We had decided to spend the day in Bath and given that it is easy to get to from Reading we elected to do so by train. It is always cheaper to buy train tickets in advance and as we also had a railcard it made it reasonably cheap too. When we picked up the tickets at the station I suddenly realised that I had left my railcard at home so the tickets weren’t valid – I was pretty upset.
This left us with a few choices: try our luck and just go with what we had, use a photo of the railcard I had on my phone, buy new tickets or cut our losses and go home. The first thing I did was to check the photo of the railcard and was amazed to discover that it had expired in March! In the end we bought a new set of tickets and, of course, they were not checked once either out or back so could have got away with the original tickets but at least I was honest…
Once at Bath, however, it was all plain sailing and it is a beautiful place. The weather was gorgeous and so the place was packed with locals and tourists alike but like in so many places you only have to walk a short distance out of town for it to be nearly deserted.
In our case we choose to walk out along the river, through the botanical gardens, past the Royal Crescent and then back into town. The first part of the walk was empty and while the Roman Baths are fascinating the river walk and the gardens were beautiful and fairly tourist free. Understandably the Royal Crescent was pretty popular although right outside the properties themselves it was quiet unlike the green area in front which was busy with people taking in the sun and barbecuing.
Having done the culture bit we spent the rest of the afternoon in the town and wandering around the shops which are a heady mix of the high street staples, quirky local offerings and touristy outlets.
Finally it was back to the station only to find that our train had been cancelled.
As a postscript to the train story once I got home I decided to rid myself of the expired railcard only in doing so I found that I had renewed it and it was in date after all!
* The title is supposed to be a clever take on two sporting metaphors harking at both the Ashes and rugby played in Bath while also indicating where we went. I think that it horribly misses its mark and is awful for SEO but I just can’t be bothered to think of a better title.