Quingo Scooters brings to you another edition in our Accessible Attractions series. We’ve narrowed it down from over hundreds of attractions around the UK to just one. This week we’re going to a historical city buzzing with plenty of interesting historical facts…
On a trip to the South West of England, we’re taking you to Bath to discover the outstanding architecture of The Roman Baths. Situated in the heart of Bath, the baths were constructed around 70 AD.
The history of the baths
The Baths were founded upon natural hot springs, the steaming water played a key role throughout its history. The Baths were built as a grand bathing and socialising complex and is now one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world.
Each day, 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water reaching 46°C fill the bathing site. The Romans believed that this was mystical work of the Gods, however we now know that the water source – which comes from the King’s Spring – fell as rain water around 10,000BC.
The Great Bath is lined with 45 sheets of lead, and is filled with hot spa water. It once stood in an enormous barrel-vaulted hall that rose to a height of 40 metres, the bath is 1.6 metres deep which was perfect for the Romans to bathe in. visitors to The Bath would have been able to sit on benches within The Bath as well as having access to small tables for drinks or snacks.
The Great Bath that lies below street level can also be viewed from the Terrace, decorated with statues and shadowed by the great Abbey. Visitors can explore the remains of the ancient heated rooms and changing rooms, as well as the tepid and plunge pools.
The Romans built a temple high over the courtyard in honour of the goddess Sulis Minerva, visitors can stand before the fearsome Gargon’s head carved into the pediment – if they feel brave enough!
Prices and opening times
Prices vary depending on the time of year, between January to June and September to December prices are; adults £15.50, students £13.75, senior citizens (65+) £13.75 and children (6-16) £9.80. In July and August prices are; adults (9am-5pm) £17, adults (5pm-9pm) £15.50, students £13.75, senior citizens £13.75 and children £9.80. for more information on ticket prices, click here. The Roman Baths are open every day – except 35 and 26 December. The opening hours vary throughout the year, and include special late evening entry during mid- June, July and August. For more information on opening times, click here.
Getting to The Baths
The Roman Baths are in the centre of Bath, The Baths are 100 miles (160km) west of London and 10 miles (16km) east of Bristol. Bath has great coach and rail connections from London and most major cities within the UK.
By bus or coach, National Express operates a regular bus service from London Victoria, Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The dropping-off point is at the bus station, just 5 minutes away from the Baths.
By car, the quickest and most straightforward route is likely to be is the M5 and M4 approaching Bath from the north and using the Lansdown Park and Ride – marked park and ride north. Further information of parking within Bath can be found here. For disabled badge holders, there are parking bays in a number of locations within the city centre.
By train, visitors can travel into Bath using the Bath Spa station. There are frequent high-speed connections to London Paddington, for a slower cheaper service there is alternatively London Waterloo. The Roman Baths are less than ten minutes away from the station.
Accessibility within the Baths
Due to the Baths being six metres below street level, there are a number of steps throughout the site. Recently, two lifts and improved handrails have been updated at the site. The Baths ask that visitors make the staff aware of any limited mobility and they will direct visitors to the most accessible route.
There is level access from the Abbey Church Yard entrance to most of the ground floor areas; including the 18th century Pump Room, the Sun Lounge which overlooks the hot spring and the outside Terrace which overlooks the Great Bath. There is also level access to the main Roman Baths shop from Stall Street.
Access to the teaching space, mezzanine displays, lower museum, Great Bath and East Baths is via four accessible lifts. There is one accessible toilet close to the Roman Baths entrance and one at the beginning of the Kings Bath corridor. For more information on accessibility, click here.
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