Around Christmas time we went to Bath, I had dreams of getting lots of quaint pictures of the Christmas Market and writing a blog post all about what an amazing time we had had. Unfortunately, on that weekend it seemed the entire world had decided to also visit Bath. It was ridiculously busy and my anxiety was at an all time high. I therefore decided next time we went I would make sure I got some pictures and share them with you.
We’ve stayed at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel a number of times now, unfortunately during our visit at Christmas time our stay was less than satisfactory. A combination of a shabby room, loud neighbours, a mistaken wake up call from housekeeping at god-knows-what-time in the morning and my attempts at arranging room service via email were ignored. I was really upset with our visit and so decided to send an email telling them. We were really upset as our previous visit had been flawless and we had been going round telling everyone to visit!
To our surprise they offered us a complimentary night stay to apologise. Our faith in the hotel has been restored following this stay and the room we were put in was absolutely gorgeous. I’m going to send them an email thanking them for inviting us to stay and ensuring we had such a lovely time. There’s a few pictures of the hotel within this post, you won’t be disappointed!
You can read about my previous trips to Bath here – there’s some information on the Roman Baths in there too.
If I’m honest the day got off to a less than satisfactory start. Following the panic attack that I had at the beginning of May, which was caused by being stuck in traffic, I was on edge about the drive. To make matters worse when we checked the traffic before leaving it was horrendous. After a few phone calls with my dad and a consultation with the map we decided to weave our way through back roads.
What should have taken us around 3 hours took us 5 and a half hours. Thankfully the drive was very pretty and we didn’t get stuck in much traffic. My anxiety was relatively well behaved during the drive. I may have misread the map wrong on a number of occasions which led to a few tense moments in the car and so I pretended to sleep whilst my boyfriend had a little paddy.
Being vegetarian and unable to eat gluten tends to make eating out at lunchtime very difficult- especially when travelling. I always end up getting the same Greek salad from M&S but this time I decided to also treat myself to a caramel bar – we’re on our holidays after all.
Eventually we arrived at the hotel, we checked in quickly and made our way up to our room. To our amazement we had been upgraded to the most beautiful room. Honestly, I’ve never felt like such a princess in my life. We had a gorgeous four poster bed with a chaise-like chair at the end, there were huge windows overlooking a court yard with a beautiful water feature and there was a bottle of prosecco on ice for us.
We felt thoroughly spoilt (and a little embarrassed at having previously complained).
Following the stressful journey we decided to go straight down to the spa to enjoy the facilities and have a little time to unwind. The heated outdoor pool was glorious as the sun shone down on us – we were eventually forced out as we began to get a little too hot. The atmosphere was wonderfully relaxed with people lying around the pool snoozing or reading their book. We then headed to the saunas and steam rooms and took turns in each one. My boyfriend doesn’t cope too well with the heat and so we didn’t spend too long in each one.
As we headed back to the room all of a sudden I felt my anxiety hit me. We were walking along the corridor to our room and my eyesight kept going and I felt like I was about to pass out. I took a few deep breaths and made it back to our room, immediately lying down on the bed. I drank some water and laid there until I had calmed down a bit. Once the panic was over I felt fine anxiety-wise, however during the panic I had swallowed a lot of air and now felt really bloated. My stomach really hurt but I knew it was only because of the panic. After spending another half an hour lying down and taking some indigestion tablets I decided to get in the shower and get ready for the evening.
I was not going to let my anxiety spoil our evening.
After getting ready for the evening we headed out, I was still in a bit of pain and I could feel the anxiety lurking but I was determined to have a little walk around Bath. I was also a little upset as I had been saving the dress above to wear in Bath and my bloated stomach ruined it slightly – I know that’s really vain but I was excited to make a bit of an effort that evening and feel good about myself. I guess it’s just another side to mental health problems.
Our walk around Bath was delightful, everywhere was relatively empty due to it being evening. The lighting was beautiful and we had a very relaxing stroll around.
We went to see the Abbey, I’ve been inside a few times before and so just seeing it from the outside was enough. It’s absolutely breathtaking to see in person and even better without all the crowds during the daytime. If you’re interested in reading about the Abbey’s history you can find their website here.
Our walk continued towards Pulteney Bridge. Despite my earlier panic I think this walk was one of my favourite meanders around Bath. It was nice and quiet and the lighting was pretty. My partner and I talked about how nice it would be to live somewhere like Bath where life just feels a little bit calmer. We live near-ish London and life just feels more hectic and everyone’s rushing around to get things done instead of just living. One day I’d like to move away from London, I think it would do my mental health a lot of good to be away from the hectic towns and cities.
Perhaps it would feel different if we actually lived there.
I feel like I keep repeating myself about not being able to eat out due to my anxiety but it’s a big part of my life right now and is extremely limiting. We had decided to get a takeaway in Bath and either find a park to eat it in or sit in the car. After my little panic I didn’t feel like sitting in a park with other people and eating and so we decided to retreat to the car. Unfortunately I still had a seagull staring at me whilst I ate but I successfully stepped up to the challenge and devoured my pizza. Dinner was followed by a staring contest with the seagull as it contemplated having a little saunter across our car.
Once we’d eaten I felt a lot less anxious. We had considered going out for a drink after but we were both tired from the long journey and I didn’t feel as though my stomach would appreciate a drink. We also still had the bottle of prosecco in our room.
We got back to the hotel and decided to have a little walk around the garden. We came across this rockery which was beautiful with lots of plants growing around it. We were the only ones out there, the sun was setting and it was lovely and peaceful.
It was the perfect end to a lovely evening.
Once back in our hotel room we decided to watch Mamma Mia in bed. I mixed a little bit of prosecco with some lemon and lime water whilst my boyfriend enjoyed half the bottle of prosecco. I’m not a huge prosecco fan as it tastes too much like white wine and I have some very bad memories after drinking a whole bottle of the stuff!
I also polished off the rest of my sweets that I had brought for the car journey, obviously I’m not yet adult enough to save them for the journey home.
I was absolutely exhausted from a physically and mentally busy day but also incredibly happy that I had made it here and had such a lovely day.
The following day was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was really hot. We got up quite quickly and got ready for the day, wanting to have an hour or so in Bath before we began the journey home. I was feeling really anxious knowing that we had the journey home ahead of us and so I struggled to enjoy the morning.
It was very sad leaving the hotel room. I had a real Cinderella moment that morning where a squirrel came up to the window and I went over and had a chat to him. My boyfriend was in the shower at the time and when I later told him about it he rolled his eyes and laughed at me.
I’m still going to treasure my Cinderella moment.
Bath was a lot busier today, they were also electing a new mayor which only added to the crowds. We caught the back end of the parade, which was quite something to watch. Bath felt alive today and full of excitement as everyone milled around enjoying the beautiful day and the beautiful surroundings.
I absolutely love the architecture in Bath, everywhere you look is beautiful. There are a number of little cobbled streets that just scream out for a picture to be taken. Unfortunately we always seem to be in the car when we pass them. One night in Bath is simply not long enough. We’ve previously been for a couple of nights but there’s still so much more to explore. I hope one day we can return for a longer stay but for now a night is Bath will suffice.
Sally Lunn’s looked very inviting as we walked past. When I could still eat gluten I adored their roasted vegetable bun. My cousin has been recently and has assured me that their gluten-free scones are delicious. Hopefully we can return to Bath when I’m able to eat out again and I can try them for myself. If you’re going to Bath definitely take the time to visit Sally Lunn’s – even if the queue looks uninviting the food is delicious and worth the wait.
We walked back down to the river and stood and watched as a couple of boats passed by. It was incredibly relaxing and tranquil. I was dreading the journey home and just wanted to get it over with but on the other hand I didn’t want to leave.
I know we’ll be back again soon but even soon feels like too long to wait.
We took once final walk around the town centre and decided to head back towards the car, promising to return to Bath as soon as we can. I’m not sure when that’ll be, especially after having been upgraded at the hotel, I’m not sure I could go back to one of the simpler rooms.
It’s been the perfect trip even with my anxiety rearing its ugly head.
On the drive up my boyfriend admitted that he had never seen Stonehenge before, he’s never even driven past it! We thought we’d stop off on the way, however on arrival we realised they now only do timed tours and so we gave up. Thankfully we still drove past it and so my boyfriend can now say that he’s seen it. Perhaps next time we’ll try to book a timed tour so that he can see it up close.
The drive home took us quite a while but we were in no rush. We went the back way again and enjoyed the scenery, deciding that the drive would be part of our weekend away too.
Coming home was very sad, our weekend away was officially over and we don’t know when we’ll be going back to Bath again. I hope it won’t be too long and I hope my anxiety will be a little better for our next trip. I’m longing to go back to Sally Lunn’s and try their gluten free scones with a pot of tea.
If you’re looking for a weekend away in England then I would definitely recommend Bath, it’s beautiful, historical and functional – what more could you want? Everyone keeps asking us why we don’t try somewhere new but I just love Bath so much and enjoy wandering around without the pressure of having to see everything for the first time.
It’s like visiting an old friend for a catch up.
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before we’re trying to save up to move out at the moment and so it’s unlikely we’ll be having any weekends away anytime soon but I will treasure these memories until we can return.
Where’s your favourite place for a weekend away?