Legend tells us that Prince Bladud, who contracted leprosy and was banned from his fathers Court, whilst working as a swineherd was cured after bathing in the hot muddy waters in the area. In gratitude he founded the City of Bath around the springs some 3000 years ago.
Bath sits in the basin surrounded by hills at the southern tip of the Cotswolds. Its fame is due to the presence of its mineral water springs which disgorge 250,000 gallons of hot water every day at a virtually constant temperature of 46 degrees centigrade
It was the Romans who developed the springs of Acqua Sulis as a sanctuary of rest and relaxation for their troops on a site already revered by earlier Celtic tribes.
Following the Romans departure Bath developed into a monastic centre and a medieval wool town and market place.
It was in the 18c that Bath became a popular spa attracting royalty and nobility to its health giving waters thereby creating demand for the great squares, crescents and terraces for which it has become rightly famous.
In 1988 it was dedicated a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Today Bath is a multicultural city with a population of some 85,000.
Bath University, one of two in the city, whilst very highly regarded as a seat of learning is perhaps better known for the world class facilities it makes available to many of our Olympic athletes who are based here. Looking forward to 2012 it is anticipated that Bath will cater for the needs of world class athletes competing at the London Olynpics.
The major sites of the city, the Roman Baths, the Abbey, Queens Square, Royal Victoria Park, the Royal Crescent, the Circus and Assembly Rooms and many museums and galleries are within walking distance of the city centre.
The restoration of Bath’s Spa, Thermae Bath Spa a few minutes walk from the Abbey, has now been completed, the latest chapter in a story which goes back at least 2000 years.
A guided walk around the major sites will take about 1 ½ hours
and a panoramic coach tour around the city about 1 hour.