Bath often seems the embodiment of an English ideal, that of understated elegance in a setting of serene continuity. The city’s history began with the Romans in the first century, and the baths of their temple complex are still intact today. The Thermae Bath Spa nearby allows modern-day bathers to experience the waters via a series of more recently drilled boreholes. In A.D. 973, Edgar I was crowned King of England in Bath Abbey, in a ceremony that was the progenitor of the royal coronation ceremony used to this day. The city’s second golden age started at the beginning of the 18th century, when the spa town became England’s leading center of leisure and fashion, a period immortalized in the novels of Jane Austen. Nowadays, Bath is a prosperous university city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Join Andrew Harper today to continue reading our exclusive content.