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Poleaxed By a Big Red Bus...

Poleaxed By a Big Red Bus...


Sometimes a brilliant idea hits you in the face when you're least expecting it. So it was with the open top bus tour around Bath with my 4 year old in tow on a beautiful, unseasonably warm Spring day.

We were actually on our way to the Postal Museum, followed by lunch at Jamie's Italian (which I was particularly looking forward to) when the sight of a bright red roofless bus left him poleaxed. Nothing else would do.

So we abandoned our plans and jumped aboard, heading straight for the unchartered territory of the back seat on the top deck.

Bath is such a beautiful city and this really is a genius way to see it. In between preventing my son from throwing first his drink and then himself over board, I couldn't listen to everything our tour guide told us but what I caught was very interesting. He gives you a brief history of the sights - the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, The Circus, Bath Abbey, the Assembly Rooms along with snippets about Bath itself (twinned with another spa town Aix en Provence, brewing is its major industry, the spot where Captain Wentworth proposed to Anne in Persuasion).

Best of all, you can get on and off the bus wherever you like so it's a perfect way to spend a day touring the city.  Toppings Bookshop (one of the best in Great Britain to my mind) is, I've always felt, just a little bit too far from Yen Sushi. Chuck in a few cultural highlights - the Fashion Museum, the Victoria Art Gallery, the Holburne, the Jane Austen Centre, the Thermae Bath Spa and you have the makings of a perfect day without too much legwork.

You also get to clock things you might not otherwise have noticed - such as the enormous and very cool playground in Royal Victoria Park (massive skate ramps, tube slide).

You can also take the Skyline Tour which ventures out of town and takes in the fantastic American History Museum in Claverton and the National Trust gardens at Prior Park.

In summer the buses run at 15 minute intervals so you never have to wait long. A day on the buses? It's tempting isn't it...

Tours are run by Bath City Sightseeing

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