These two ancient Roman Cities are a must-see on any visit to England. York has inspired generations with its impressive city walls, twisty shopping streets, and majestic cathedral. The city of Bath boasts a rich Roman legacy which centres around the ancient Roman Baths and is also famous for its elegant Georgian-style architecture.
York is one of the highlights of any visit to England. Its roots date back to Roman times, and visitors will immediately be impressed by its ancient city walls. Start a visit by taking a walk along the old Roman walls, which offer fantastic panoramic views of the city skyline, including the unmissable York Minster.
York Minster is one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, that enjoys a long and rich past. You cannot fail to be impressed by the enormous scale of this monumental architectural achievement that towers over the York landscape. A statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine stands tall near the entrance, a reminder of the days when York was briefly a centre of the Roman empire, where Constantine was hailed, emperor.
The interior is equally impressive, with an extraordinary nave ceiling, intricate carvings, and beautiful stained glass windows. A highlight of any visit to York Minster is to climb the 275 steps to reach the top of the tower. While not for the faint-hearted, the climb is worth it, with unbeatable views of the City of York down below.
Following your cathedral visit, take a stroll through the Shambles, a long narrow ancient cobbled street that’s lined with unique and independent shops. Stop to taste some of the traditional local Yorkshire cuisines, such as Yorkshire Pudding, Pikelets, and Yorkshire Turd Tart.
Spend the afternoon visiting one of the cities world-class museums. York Castle Museum explores the city’s rich historical past, while the National Railway Museum explores the UK’s long railway tradition. The JORVIK Viking Centre takes a journey back to the days when the Vikings ruled this part of the world and include artifacts that are over 1,000 years old.
End the day with a relaxing cruise along the River Ouse, which runs through the centre of the city. Floodlit evening cruises are available daily, showcasing a different side of York.
The city of Bath is renowned for its beautiful Georgian style architecture. Visitors will immediately be struck when entering the town at the beauty of the River Avon. Pulteney Bridge is one of the cities most iconic landmarks, which breathtakingly crisscrosses the river, with shops built across its full width.
Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this becomes immediately apparent when entering the city centre. You’ll find beautiful Georgian lined properties, perfectly proportioned and balance. The lively city centre hosts a range of local and independent shops, as well as regional markets taking place throughout the year.
Make sure to visit the Roman Baths, which were built by the Roman Empire to harness the hot natural spring water that flows beneath the city. While not in use today, it is still considered an incredible feat of engineering, and the Roman Baths complex contains a host of fascinating archaeological artifacts.
On the same street lies Bath Abbey, which is the last great medieval church built in England. Make sure to see the impressive stained glass windows and fan-vaulted ceilings, as well as climb the tower to enjoy breathtaking views of the city landscape.
From here, it’s a short walk to the Royal Crescent, a world renowned-icon of Georgian architecture featuring 114 Ionic columns, every 30 inches in diameter and reaching 47 feet. Visit No.1 Royal Crescent to step back in time to discover a house furnished in the 18th Century style. Highlights include the period pictures, historic furniture and interesting objects that tell the story of the lives of Baths’ residents during this era.
Bath is also a great place to base yourself in order to make some trips to nearby areas. Visit Devon to explore the magnificent English countryside, head into North Wales or discover the nearby city of Bristol.
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