Cultural Destinations: Bath 


Since the success of Netflix’s Bridgerton catapulted the sleepy Somerset town of Bath into the international spotlight, it has become a magnet for fans of the series seeking out filming locations where Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington might have enjoyed a romantic clinch as they swept past in their carriage, or one of the breathtaking Regency buildings where Queen Charlotte presided over a debutante ball. From Abbey Green to Number 1 Royal Crescent (the first house to be built in the Royal Crescent in the 18th Century), there are enough locations to satisfy the most devoted Bridgerton fan. 

Named after its baths constructed by the Romans around 60 AD, when the city’s Latin name was Aquae Sulis (Waters of Sulis), the spa city in the valley of the River Avon valley became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.  

Image courtesy Visit Bath.

Apart from its recent Bridgerton fame, Bath has many things to offer lovers of art, culture, literature and history, from Bath Cathedral to the Roman Baths, the Mary Shelley museum to the Holburne. Culturalee spent 48 hours in the historic spa town and stayed at the Bird in Bath, a charming boutique hotel close to the River Avon, the Holburne Museum, and a short walk from 1 Royal Crescent.  

Culturalee highlights include the brilliant Mr. Doodle takeover at the Holburne Museum, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths, one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, where visitors can explore ancient chambers and sacred springs.  

British artist Mr Doodle has staged an immersive exhibition at the Holburne Museum, inviting visitors on a journey through the museum, where he has installed artworks that respond to paintings and sculpture from the permanent collection. Historical and contemporary art is juxtaposed at the Holburne Museum, housed in one of Bath’s great Georgian buildings, which also stars as the home of Lady Danbury in Bridgerton.

Expect to see paintings, sculptures, video and installations covered with Mr Doodle’s signature monochrome doodles. Even the stairs and a bench outside the museum are covered in doodles. The exhibition would be a perfect way to encourage children to engage with art, as they can embark on a Mr Doodle trail through the museum, experiencing art from the past and contemporary interpretations by Mr Doodle. 

Photo copyright Culturalee.

The Holburne Museum is also presenting  Henry Moore in Miniature, an enchanting exhibition of rarely seen Henry Moore miniature maquettes and sculptures. This intimate survey of Moore’s sculptural output from the 1920s to the 1980s, features small scale sculptures of no more than 30cm. The first exhibition of its kind, it includes works from every decade of Moore’s career, and showcases a range of processes and media including stone and wood carving, modelling in Plasticine, clay and plaster, and works cast in lead and bronze. Several sculptures are on display for the first time, notably a group of nine terracotta Heads, which have been in the private collection of Moore’s family since he made them in the early 1950s. 

The Victoria Art Gallery, Bath’s public art museum showcasing fine art, sculpture and decorative arts, is staging Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre, an exhibition evoking the bohemian social scene of 19th Century Belle Époque Paris. Paris, from troupes of cancan dancers to the legendary Chat Noir, and the unforgettable characters of the Moulin Rouge. Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre features 100 original posters from 1890s bohemian Paris, and is the only chance to see Lautrec’s complete collection of posters exhibited together in the UK before it moves to its permanent home at the Musée d’Ixelles in Belgium, following a five-year international tour. More than 30 Toulouse-Lautrec posters are on display, including his first poster of the Moulin Rouge and La Troupe de Mademoiselle Eglantine, alongside Steinlen’s iconic Tournée du Chat Noir, Alphonse Mucha’s Ruinart champagne advert, and theatre posters by Jules Cheret.  

Photo courtesy Culturalee.

A visit to Bath wouldn’t be complete without experiencing Bath Abbey, a stunning Anglican Church in the city centre, and the adjacent Roman Baths. Founded in the 7th century, Bath Abbey was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries.

The Roman Baths were once one of the great religious spas of the ancient world, and people visited the site to worship the Goddess Sulis Minerva and bathe in the waters of the natural thermal springs, which still flow with hot water today. Visitors now can explore the Roman Baths complex, walk on the original Roman pavements and see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva, while the museum collection includes a gilt bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva. 

Culturalee also visited The Georgian Garden, the Museum of Asian Art (the UK’s only museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of East and South East Asia).The Jane Austen Centre, which provides an insight into life during Regency times, and explores how living in Bath affected Jane Austen and her writing, and Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, a multi- sensory experience dedicated to the author and her great creation. 

Image courtesy The Bird at Bath.

Culturalee stayed at The Bird Bath hotel where they have a collection of contemporary art and sculpture, super helpful staff and a new terrace just in time for the summer.

The boutique hotel in the centre of Bath has stunning views of Bath Abbey with bold interior design and statement artwork. The restaurant offers Modern British cuisine to café-style classics, Sunday roasts, afternoon teas, delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes, and locally sourced fruit and vegetables.

Image courtesy The Bird Bath.

Thanks to Visit Bath  and the The Bird Bath  for a wonderful trip.  

Places to visit;

Holburne Museum Great Pulteney Street.

No 1 Royal Crescent

The Roman Baths Abbey Churchyard.

Victoria Art Gallery Bridge Street.

American Museum & Gardens Claverton Manor.

The Jane Austen Centre 40, Gay Street.

Bath Abbey Kingston Buildings.

House of Frankenstein 37 Gay Street.

Museum of Asian Art 12 Bennett Street.

The Georgian Garden 4 The Circus.

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