Bristol (Bath), England, United Kingdom
Cotswold Countryside & Bath
Local Sightseeing, All
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The Cotswolds are considered by many to be among the most beautiful areas in England -- they are the hills that rise gently from the green meadows of the Upper Thames. This area is world famous for the beauty of its towns and villages, from modest cottages and imposing manor houses to impressive churches. The harmony created by the texture and color of the warm Cotswold limestone, with which many of the buildings are constructed, has a unique appeal.
Take in some of the finest English landscapes of rolling hills and tree-lined valleys during a 1½-hour panoramic drive through the countryside. In the villages of Bibury and Tetbury, you'll have time at leisure to browse and explore. Tetbury's town center is lined with Cotswold-style stone buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Don't miss the Old Market House, built in 1655 on thick Tuscan pillars.
Continue through the South Cotswolds, taking in more delightful scenery and passing through sleepy villages before arriving in Bath in time for lunch.
Bath owes its origins to the Celtic King Bladud who discovered the curative properties of its natural hot springs in 860 BC. In the 1st century AD, the Romans built baths around the spring. The medieval monks of Bath Abbey also exploited the spring's properties, but it was when Queen Anne visited in 1702-03 that Bath reached its zenith as a fashionable resort town.
A highlight of your tour will be an independent visit to the Roman Baths. Extensive excavations have revealed the remarkable skill of Roman engineering. View the principal parts of the complex including the Great Bath. This lead-lined bath has steps, column bases and paving stones around the edge which all date from Roman times. The water flows from the spring into the corner of the bath at a constant temperature of 114°F.
Leaving the Roman Baths, you can either re-join your guide for a guided walk through the stunning center of Bath, or take a stroll to the nearby abbey for an independent visit.
Shopping opportunities in the pedestrian area consist of excellent shops and name-brand stores.
A one-hour drive brings you back to the ship at Bristol.
Use of an audio headset (included) at the Baths will enhance your tour experience. Guides are not allowed inside the Roman Baths. Wear comfortable walking shoes.