Destination No 2. Bath
The beautiful city of Bath is a great location for a school trip as a base for visiting this part of the United Kingdom. For teachers just wanting an educational day out for their students, Bath has plenty of opportunities for all ages from primary to university level, especially those studying history, citizenship and fashion. It's compact size enables you to walk around the city easily and Bath is ideally located to visit a number of top attractions ensuring you can pack as much in as possible on your visit.
Bath has Britain's only thermal hot springs, and the Romans built the finest religious spa in northern Europe. This great temple and bathing complex still flows with natural hot water. The extensive remains and a Roman museum of international significance lie beneath the Pump Room and Abbey Church Yard in the centre of Bath. The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by Celts, and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his largely fictional Historia Regum Britanniae describes how in 836 BC the spring was discovered by the British king Bladud who built the first baths. Early in the 18th century Geoffrey's obscure legend was given great prominence as a royal endorsement of the waters' qualities, with the embellishment that the spring had cured Bladud and his herd of pigs of leprosy through wallowing in the warm mud!
The Roman Baths is a favourite for children and their teachers studying the Romans and Roman Britain. Children can work with original Roman material in the dedicated Education Room. There are activities offered for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 through to GCSE, GNVQ and 'A' level
Bath’s Fashion Museum provides a range of fun, interactive and accessible ways to learn. They offer a range of visit options, from a teaching session to self-guided activities. For Key stage 1 and 2, 90 minute interactive sessions based on the National Curriculum are held at the Fashion Museum. Pupils will be encouraged to develop their speaking and listening skills in whole class, small groups and by individual work. Study themes include toys, clothing past and present, gorgeous Georgians, patterns and fashion in the 20th Century. For secondary and A Level students there are sessions exploring the ever turning wheel of fashion including examining the last 400 years of fashion. Costumes from the past are linked with the latest fashion from the catwalk and the season's top trends, including comparing similarities and differences between fashions past and present. Using research work made in the museum students are able work to create a new design bringing in elements of fashions past and present. Water-colour pencils can be used to complete the finished work.
For art and students studying architecture, Bath is a dream of a city, and was granted World Heritage status in 1987 . The Royal Crescent, the Circus and Bath Abbey are just some of the famous landmarks within the city and the famous Palladian style Pulteney Bridge that crosses the River Avon, was based on an unused design for the Rialto Bridge in Venice by Robert Adam and completed in 1774. It is exceptional in having shops built across its full span on both sides.
The Holburne Museum, the city's first public art gallery is situated in Sydney Pleasure Gardens and boasts a collection of fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne. The education team offer a range of workshops for both primary and secondary students.
Bath is an ideal base for exploring attractions outside the city. Longleat is only a short coach drive away and appeals to children of all ages for an educational visits day out. Children of all ages love animals and for those at the beginning of their learning journey they can help introduce the concept of the wider world. Your students are able to get close the animals and can observe ones that have become popular through books and television.
Longleat House itself, is also a great starting point for other curriculum areas; inspiration for creative writing, drama performance, song writing or art work; developing speaking and listening skills; carrying out maths investigations. The house was built during the reign of Elizabeth I with many alterations taking place during the reign of Queen Victoria. There is a wealth of art work and artefacts that come from different time periods that are on display. The range of rooms and objects work well for topics such as how we lived, people through time and local history. It is an amazing opportunity for supplying a fascinating cross curricular day out for your students.
Another interesting excursion particularly for Harry Potter fans is Lacock Abbey where many scenes were filmed here. The Abbey located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery.
The American Museum is only a short drive from the city and is situated on a hill in a lovely location with beautiful grounds. It is the only museum of Americana outside the United States. The Museum tells the story of its early settlers, slavery, the creation of country and has a remarkable collection of folk and decorative arts and the learning team offers a variety of themed workshops for your students.
Places to stay
- YHA Bath Situated in the outskirts of Bath this period property is a perfect base to explore Bath.
- University of Bath Campus The Claverton Down campus is situated in 200 acres of grounds and a 5 minute drive from Bath. The spacious grounds enables your students to be able to have plenty of space to relax. Alternatively the University of Bath has city centre accommodation available too at their city based campus.
- The YMCA is situated in the heart of Bath and provides quality accommodation for groups wanting to spend a few days exploring the city.