Two bus rides, a flight and a train journey. Yes, my sister had to tackle all of these when she travelled from Edinburgh to Bath to spend a weekend with me celebrating the end of my exams. Something that she somehow never ceased to forget, particularly when it came to who would do the washing up.
The week before her arrival I, being the dedicated sister (not because I was procrastinating from revision), researched things to do and see in Bath thus we had the whole weekend planned. ‘Wagamama’s’ Friday night for tea, 5k Park Run Saturday morning followed by rowing on the river Avon and the Bath Skyline walk on the Sunday. Yes, I wanted her to experience all of Bath’s wonders – and secretly to keep her out of the flat so that my flat mates couldn’t make up weird stories about me or vice versa.
So, as soon as the examiner released me from my final exam, I was instructed to run down the hill to the train station to greet her. The timings meant that she arrived in Bath an hour before my exam finished so on top of the travelling, she had to wait in the centre of Bath alone. All hard feelings were forgotten when we reached Wagamama’s, a Japanese restaurant that neither of us had been to before though was highly recommended. It did not disappoint even if half way through our main course I received a text from one of my flat mates asking where we were sat in the restaurant. I had mentioned to them that we were going so naturally they all decided to come too – I thought they were joking until I spotted them on my way to the loo.
After sharing dessert and sipping our complementary free Green tea, I introduced her to Widcome Hill, one of the hills that runs up to the University. After all, we needed to burn off the calories from our trio of desserts and I needed to prove to her that I wasn’t exaggerating when I compared the climb to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.
Back at my flat, we began planning the following day only to discover that the ‘Bath Boating Station’ where we were going to hire the rowing boats from was closed for the winter – obviously, I was too focused on my revision to notice the opening dates. So with the weekend ruined, we decided to look around the shops in the centre of Bath after the Park run instead (if we could still move).
It was our first ever Park Run so we were rather nervous as to what the standard of ability would be like. I guess those nerves were reason that I didn’t sleep well on the Friday night though it equally could have been because I had to share my single bed with someone who liked to hog the duvet and hot water bottle.
The Park Run wasn’t as scary as we had anticipated so I am now determined on doing it most weekends as part of my training for climbing Kilimanjaro. Ok, so I didn’t go this week but that was only because it was my friend’s birthday the night before so you know… I suggested we all did it together in the morning but for some reason none of them were keen.
Park Runs can be found all across Britain and are essentially a marshalled 5km route which anyone can walk, jog or run regardless of fitness. There were children as young as 5 completing the route when we did it. Bath’s route is very close to the University and boasts some impressive views to spur you on so it’s a perfect way to keep fit even without any previous jogging experience. The only downside is that some of the marshals take pictures of you on route thus be prepared for some lovely new profile pictures of you in action.
After a shower and breakfast, we headed down the scenic route across the fields into the centre of Bath. It was a bad decision. Having rained the night before, the fields were very slippery and I ended up falling over. Furthermore, I had to walk around the shops covered in mud for the rest of the afternoon much to the amusement of my sister. I made her walk up Bathwick Hill as punishment.
The following day we set off on the Bath Skyline Walk. A signposted 10km circular walk around Bath. We began at ‘Baths Cats and Dogs Home’, an animal refuge on the edge of the University campus, so after an obligatory look and cuddle of all the animals they care for, we followed the signs through woods and across fields.
Bath Cat's and Dog's Home
You almost forget that you are just outside a busy city until the view opens up to reveal the beautiful Georgian ashlar cityscape of Bath. What’s more, the people you pass on the walk (naturally the majority clad in tweed) actually smile and greet you much like everyone does in my village at home. Now, I understand if you’re from a large city, you may find this bizarre. You may get paranoid that the sweet smiles are actually them plotting your murder, but fear not, we only do that if you don’t smile back.
It took us just over 3 hours to complete the walk what with our periodical stops for selfies – yes, after Christmas, I am now the annoying owner of a ‘Selfie stick’.
The selfie stick in action
I’ll admit we received some rather funny looks particularly from those in tweed.
It was sad when the weekend was over but quite frankly I was exhausted. Alas, my single bed felt very lonely that night.