Savouring Bath News

Interview with Director of Savouring Bath, Mike James
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Watch our interview with Director of Savouring Bath, Mike James

Updates and changes
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There have been so many updates and changes which have happened in the last year. We developed a virtual tour, and we took on new suppliers for our tours. We even produced mini-tour videos, and engaged a social media manager who is working magic with our Instagram account.  One of our longest and most loyal suppliers has provided us with desk space in central Bath, improving how we work. We’ve also been recruiting new tour guides as our repertoire has expanded with our new Cheese Tour of Bath.

Our website is now about to get a makeover too.  In the coming weeks we’re reshaping some of the pages on our site, and including more video showing our tours.

To produce this kind of content takes a great team of contributors. It’s always a great pleasure to work with talented people. Such as Ben from Root Creations who’s been a rock to us for many years since this all began. Kelly Ballard is also a great friend of Savouring Bath as an endless source of support and marketing advice.  I’m really grateful to our fantastic suppliers who welcomed us back wholeheartedly when we started producing tours again after lockdown. Plus, we’ve welcomed some lovely new businesses from across the city into the fold, who are now appearing on tours.  But a special vote of thanks goes to Val.  She does so much for us on social media making sure you can see what we’re up to.

Further updates and changes are on the way though!

The next stage of our compliance project is underway as we begin to build our Accessibility Guide and Sustainability Statement. Plus, our latest tour guide training programme has begun.  We have 3 lovely new recruits, all excited to be part of the team and itching to lead their first tours.

We’re also working with the lovely chaps at Resin Marketing in Bristol. They’re helping us focus on digital marketing tools & techniques to reach a wider audience. Rob at Resin is going to be helping us learn about:

  • Pay per click management and training (Google Adwords)
  • SEO consultancy including offsite SEO strategy
  • Linkbuilding
  • Audience targeting and profiling

This new partnership will help us expand while ensuring everything we do remains sustainable, and accessible. Resin Marketing works with local businesses to provide useful and affordable digital advice in an increasingly competitive marketplace. You can get more advice on how they can help by getting in touch with them directly.

Since winning our lovely awards at the Bristol, Bath & Somerset Tourism Awards, and also at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, we’ve had so many kind messages of congratulations. I’m truly grateful for all the kind words. It’s spurring on our little team to work hard at making Savouring Bath something which even more people get to love.

City to Countryside: Bath Skyline Mini-Tour
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Bath’s blend of ‘town & country’ is one of the city’s greatest assets

In the final of our current series of mini-tours we’re leaving behind the city centre for the Bath Skyline. When I first moved here in 2010, I was completely enamoured by the closeness of the city to the countryside.  I love how quickly you can get from the centre of the city, to a place with a feeling that you could be a hundred miles from anywhere.

The Bath Skyline is a green belt around the south east side of the city, which is largely land managed by the National Trust.  You can find the full walking route on their website, with short and long options.  Over my first few years of living in the city, I walked the full Skyline route 3 times every week.  Watching the scenery change over this period made Bath feel so special. It’s one of the many reasons why I fell in love with the city and why I chose to stay.

Our mini-tour shares the short walk between the city centre and Bathwick Meadows.  You’ll see how easy it is to reach, and why the shallow climb is worthwhile! The views over the city from here accentuate the city’s place at the heart of the Avon valley. There are also great views of the rolling hills of The Cotswolds which surround Bath on 3 sides of the city.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our mini-tours during the UK’s early 2021 lockdown period.   We’ve loved making and sharing them with you and really appreciate the many lovely comments we’ve received. We’ll be producing more video content soon, so keep watching for more inspiration to visit one of Englands greatest cities.

Guildhall Market & Pulteney Bridge: Mini-Tour
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Bath’s Pulteney Bridge is unique!

It was constructed in the 1770’s by Scottish architect, Robert Adam, and influenced by similar bridges in Italy.  Pulteney Bridge one of Bath’s iconic works of architecture and is allegedly is 1 of only 4 bridges in the world to have shops across its full span.

The weir below the bridge is reasonably modern (1970s) but there has been a weir here since the medieval period to help prevent flooding. The weir recently featured in a pivotal scene in the movie Les Miserables.  The scene featured Russell Crowe’s character committing suicide here by jumping into the river.

Before the bridge, a passenger ferry offered a crossing service over the river. This allowed the city’s visitors to enjoy countryside pursuits in the Bathwick estate, owned by the Pulteney family. There was a plan to construct large a residential development here in the 1780s. Sadly, this decade saw revolution in France, leading to a Europe-wide recession, so the full plan was never realised. Nonetheless, Great Pulteney Street was completed to the design of Bath’s official City Architect, Thomas Baldwin. The street is the city’s longest boulevard, echoing similar streets in Paris. We’ll explore this and some of its famous residents on another mini-tour.

Our mini-tour starts at the Guildhall Market which is often over-looked by casual visitors to Bath.  But it’s a must-see, not least for it’s history, but also for its interesting traders. At one time in it’s ancient past, the market was a most unpleasant place resembling little more than a messy abattoir! Today however, it’s an elegant and refined place to visit with interesting traders and lovely food & drink.  Watch our mini-tour to find out more!

The Circus & Assembly Rooms: Mini-Tour
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The Circus (originally known as The King’s Circus) is one of the crowning achievement’s of Bath’s renowned architect of the 18th century, John Wood the Elder.  He started construction in 1754 which was the same year he died, so he tragically never saw it completed, but it was completed by his son. The Circus is a circular residential development built of the honey-coloured Bath stone, in the Palladian style.  It reflects Andrea Palladio’s ideals of balance, harmony & symmetry which he experimented with when building in the Republic of Venice during the 16th century. Wood was highly influenced by this form, and many believe the Circus to be his best work.  Today, The Circus retains its sense of 18th elegance and remains primarily residential (please be sensitive to residents when enjoying the beautiful architecture here). It is renowned around the world as being one of the iconic pieces of architecture in our city.

Neighbouring The Circus, is the Assembly Rooms, also built by John Wood but in this case it was John Wood the Younger (son of ‘the Elder’!) who completed this fine entertainment venue in 1771. It is also still used for its original purpose – to provide a venue for entertainments to the masses. Its lavish interiors include a grand ballroom, a tea room, and the Octagon, all of which have been seen regularly in movies & TV shows reflecting various periods.

We explore this area in our mini-tour, taking in the honey-coloured facades and some great places to eat, drink, and watch the world go by. Join us once again, as we explore yet another intriguing, and beautiful part of this stunning city.

Union Passage & The Corridor: Mini-Tour
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Bath is a small city which is easy to navigate, but there’s lots of hidden nooks & crannies such as Union Passage. On this mini-tour we explore passages and alleyways close to the main streets, but slightly hidden away.  It’s all seconds away from the Roman Baths Museum, Bath Abbey, and the city centre attractions. They’re characterful areas crammed full of independent businesses including handcrafted food and drink outlets.  Union Passage looks especially pretty at night when many of the shops are closed.  It’s covered with bunting and hanging lights, giving it a magical atmosphere.

Our mini-tour below also features Northumberland Place, New Bond Street Place, and The Corridor which is a 200 year old shopping mall. It’s had a chequered history of retailers and interesting residents including one of the early pioneers of cinema. There’s a barrel-shaped glass roof making it very light, and glass walkways where musicians would sit and play while you did your shopping.  We visit all of these back-streets and share their fascinating history on our Guilty Pleasures, and Food Heroes tours.

Union Passage is full of cafes, coffee shops, jewellers, pubs, and gift shops. It’s also an area where you’ll find some lovely places for evening dining. Check out our vlog and the list of locations below to ensure you don’t miss out on your next visit to Bath!

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