homeEngland travel guideEngland travelogues > Bath and “Bourne” to be wild
England guide
Traveler café 
Travel directory
Last updated : Nov 2009
Bath and “Bourne” to be Wild
Rating: (4) (2 Votes)

Bourne, United Kingdom
Oct 06, 2003

Pros: Bath is beautiful and set on the River Avon - with brilliant ghost story tours
Cons: none

Well, I have been up to explore the countryside of jolly England and have found it to be quite lovely. On Friday I took a train to Basingstoke and met up with a friend from Thailand, who showed me all around. Now Basingstoke is an interesting place, it is small, similar to the Mac but has this massive shopping complex which is half indoors, half outdoors with an equally massive eating area, which is again half indoors and half outdoors. As well the most history it contains in the Holy Ghost, which is a church and old cemetery that Martin and I (after a reef, two glasses of wine and sangria) thought we should go exploring through in the middle of the night, in search of a good fright. So off we go after hearing tales of the screaming woman who was buried alive. It was dark, very dark, so dark in fact that we turned and ran in the opposite direction and headed for home, deciding that we should leave the big scare for another, more sober time. Then, in the morning. we met up with Jo and Carl and drove through Oxfordshire country into Bourne, where there I met up with a group of long lost friends from Thailand and experienced several different things. First of all being this beautiful English countryside home, where I had trouble working the toilets and had to ask for help as the flusher was not quite the same (and got thoroughly laughed at. We went out that night in the little village of Bourne to a neat spot that was the bar, pub, club and breakfast nook the next day all in one, so you literally just walked upstairs or downstairs depending on what you wanted. The locals were a funny bunch and it really brought new meaning to small town. These 4-5 boys came in and literally took off their pants and hung them on the wall. I asked them why they were doing that, and they were equally interested to answer as I had the accent. They replied that they needed something to do, so rather than just drink this fine Saturday night, they would do it in their boxer shorts. Interesting logic but good fun none the less. Anyhow after a long night of food and spirits and me being the only one on the dance floor, we headed home to bed and got up the next day for my first traditional English meal, which was brilliant! Complete with yorkshire pudding and mushy peas! A lovely weekend, now off to Bath!

Oct 08, 2003

Now, two days after the craziness in Bourne, Martin and I took the train to Bath, where the ancient Roman baths are. This place is phenomenally beautiful set on the River Avon and into a hill side, the Bath Abbey bells ring every hour and the quaintness overwhelms me. Upon arrival, we did what every tourist does (to Martin's chagrin) we found a hostel and some food, which appropriately enough was Thai. After satisfying the basic needs, we headed over to the Roman Baths. These were incredible. We took the audio guided tour and ventured through the spring and took in all of it's healing properties, we even paid 50p to have a drink of the wonder-water which tasted like old iron, but was said to be incredible for any human that drank it. Beyond that, the history that was there was fantastic and it made for some good pictures. It was incredible to see the ancient spring still boiling in the original bath said to be the King’s seat. The museum built in and around the baths was very intriqing and had ‘true to life’ scenery with wax people apparently living, as the Romans would have when they first inhabited the area. We then headed over to the Museum of Costume, which was to say the least, entertaining, although paled in comparison to the Roman Baths. But that night was the night for finding a good fright, as we embarked on the Ghost tour of Bath. It was a two hour walking tour and being that it is off season, we were the only two on the tour and it was incredibly good value for money. The gentleman doing the tour was about 60 and he could tell a story like no other, he had me so scared and so convinced that I was going to see a ghost, I was genuinely nearly in tears and begging Martin to go back to the hostel. The tour began at a pub where the guide started off with a ghost story accompanied by various sighting tales, which then continued for about an hour stopping at various historical buildings and describing sightings. We then walked along the edge of the Queen Victoria park where there was no lighting and continued to walk along telling ghostly tales and sightings, also repeating that we were getting closer to the paranormal activity, and asking if we could feel it. He had us stand in front of this tree, with our arms extended, and he said that the 'spirits' would pull us into the tree, and we should be able to feel the warmth as we allowed ourselves to go into the tree. Well I tell you I was practically running the other direction. So he says to me, don’t be frightened, and just come into the tree and feel the warmth. So I did and of course I felt the warmth (only because my head was playing tricks, always a skeptic). Martin thoroughly enjoyed my panic and made sure to take the piss out of me at every opportunity. After the tour we went to get a cup of tea, which of course the time being 930pm, absolutely nothing was open and we ended up going back to the hostel slightly frustrated at the lack of ‘open hours’. The next up again early and headed to the market, where there were fantastic used book stores and the usual tourist toys. After a lovely English breakfast, we indulged in the world’s best fudge and I discovered Banofee, which is a combination of banana and toffee, very nice indeed. Now I have to say the best parts of Bath are the Roman baths and the scenery, which unfortunately we had experienced the day prior. So we wandered about, sitting by the river drinking tea, went through the East Asian Museum, the Bath Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens and back to the scary tree, which is not scary at all during the daylight. The funniest part of that, was that there were about three other people all standing around staring at this tree when we arrived back at it. I’m sure the residents of Bath look at us and think ‘Look at the dumb gullible tourists, all flocking around the paranormal activity tree’. Anyhow, Bath was a very calm and enjoyable break from the hectic pace of London, but alas I must return… on with the adventure!