Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bath — River Avon and Parade Gardens

As you would expect, Bath is a fabulous town to wander. I wish we had had more time to spend just aimlessly exploring its nooks and crannies. One of my bad habits on trips is to try to cram in too much purposeful sightseeing and overplan an itinerary. I'm not good at being idle. We did, however, take some time to wander Bath without any definite plans.

Streets of Bath, England
Pausing during our wandering.
Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights
We stumbled across Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights, an aptly named bookshop.
Award-winning bookshop
Speaks for itself.
Bath has its share of tourist shops it can feel akin to an urban version of a beach resort but when they come packaged in such an attractive setting I don't object too much.

Shop-lined street in Bath
I'm not a shopper I loathe shopping but I enjoy a pleasant shop-lined street.
Street busker in Bath
This street busker deservedly attracted a good crowd.
Skeleton in Bath with flowers
In Bath, even skeletons must have flowers.
Of course, we would have had more time to wander, except for an impediment. A tiny one. Who tends to dictate the speed at which we travel.

We spent a mere thirty minutes or so walking up the street, and down the street, and up the street, and down the street . . .
One of the prettiest areas to wander in Bath is by the river. On a warm, sunny day like we had it's irresistible. We spent hours on the riverside.

River and canal boats in Bath
Watching (and narrating) the River Avon in Bath. "Dad! That green boat." Yes, what about it? "It's moving!"
River Avon in Bath
Kate and I have pondered taking a few weeks to tour some U.K. rivers and canals by boat.
The Pulteney Bridge is lined with shops and provides a pretty backdrop. It's certainly no Ponte Vecchio in Florence, but I appreciate the effort. We grabbed some food for a picnic from a cafe on the bridge.

Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge in Bath. Boats go up and down the mini-falls in the river.
View from Pulteney Bridge
View from the cafe within the Pulteney Bridge.
We picnicked in the Parade Gardens, an absolutely fabulous, fabulous, place to picnic on a sunny afternoon. You have to pay a pound or two to get in, but the small cost keeps the crowd size down. You enter down a ramp into the Gardens, which are set well below the street level.

Parade Gardens in Bath
Parade Gardens in Bath.
The park provides lounge chairs for your relaxation:

Lounge chairs and bandstand in Parade Gardens
They hold summertime concerts in the bandstand.
Eating crisps
Stealer of chips crisps, stealer of hearts. And the kid is cute, too.
Lots of flower beds.

{Ed.'s note: Duh, of course.}

Stuffed flowerbed in Parade Gardens
I'm guessing this gardener won the "how many flowers can you stuff into a flowerbed?" competition.
We loved our visit to Bath. So many great things to see and do. And it was a marvelous home base to explore the surrounding towns, which I'll describe in upcoming posts. But my favorite memory from our trip was the family time we spent in the Parade Gardens.

I couldn't decide which of the following two pictures I liked better, so here are both.

Parade Gardens with Bath Abbey as backdrop
Parade Gardens with Bath Abbey as backdrop.
View of Parade Grounds from River Avon
A little more artsy view.

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