Monday, 22 June 2015

Summer is Here to Stay in Bath Carnival

One of the best things about summer, aside from long sunny days and ice cream cones, are the huge number of outdoor events that are going on. But it’s not just camping in fields at festivals like Glastonbury. There are hundreds of smaller, city-based events being held as well, and Bath is no exception; we have some lovely ones coming up soon.

The next big event we have coming up will be on Saturday 11th July when Bath welcomes back the Bath Carnival. Each year there is a different theme and local organisations and residents work together to produce a day of music, dance and arts that can be enjoyed by all ages, culminating in the grand carnival parade.

This year’s theme is Creatures, Colours and Communities. It’s inspired by Rio Carnival and each section of the city has been given a different colour and Brazilian creature to use as inspiration. Dukes Hotel is in the centre of Bath so we are part of the Brasilia area that has been given red as its colour and frogs for its creature. Even better for us – the carnival procession will be passing by our front door as it gathers at the Bath Recreational Grounds and will make it’s way down Great Pulteney Street, so we’re guaranteed to have a good view of it all!

Everyone is encouraged to join in in whatever way they would like to. Whether this is signing up to a workshop or two, signing up to march in the parade, or, most importantly, just turning out to have a good time and be part of the atmosphere. Costume making workshops are underway in the coming weeks and we’re really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. It should be a good spectacle. Last year there were lots of feathers, sequins and samba, so we’re hoping for some more of the same this time around.

It may not be as big as some, or as well known or high profile, but for those of us who want a little more in the way of comfort, and a little less in the way of dodging cowpats, small scale events like Bath Carnival are the way forward. You can enjoy a wide range of musical and cultural treats, while still having a comfortable mattress and a soft duvet to look forward to at the end of a lovely day. Stay in our luxury Bath bed and breakfast for Bath Carnival and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Coming to Stay in Bath - The Bath Festival of Nature

Bath does fantastically well when it comes to hosting free events, and on Saturday June 27th another great free family event will be coming to visit Bath – The Bath Festival of Nature. Local and national organisations will be setting up their stands and displays around the bandstand area of Royal Victoria Park and offering visitors the chance to get stuck in and discover something new.

The Festival of Nature began in 2003 in Bristol and has been growing ever since. Each year a committee made up of representatives and members from the Bristol Natural History Consortium works together to fill the programme with talks and events from experts in sectors of conservation, media, policy and research. Some of the exhibitors this year will include the Avon Wildlife Trust, the Wild Waters tent and the National Trust who will be promoting their ongoing ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ project.

One of the best things about the festival is how interactive it is. A few of the things on the list of experiences that will be on offer are…
- A life casting workshop which will teach visitors how to make moulds of plants and faces
- A drawing workshop teaching you how to capture nature in pencil or paint
- The chance to make your own batteries with the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies
- Scientific stand-up comedy (we’re not entirely sure what this involves but we’re certainly intrigued to find out)
- And the Avon Bat Group who will be bringing in some live bats for visitors to meet.

Another highlight looks set to be the guided walks that are running. There are many many different tours that you can take that will show you the main city and tourist attractions in Bath, but if you fancy exploring the leafier side of Bath as well then there are two free nature themed walks that you can take as part of the festival. From 12-2 is the photography walk and from 2-2:45 is the nature walk that will be visiting Bath’s badger sets and botanical gardens.

Bath is a very cultural city as well a historic one (we were given World Heritage Site status in 1987) and the artistic side of nature is well catered for too. The Discovery Dome will be showing wildlife and art films throughout the day and the Forest of Imagination Installation is a sight not to be missed.

With the weather looking so good it’s a great time to stay in Bath and explore. Not only exploring the beautiful central city that Dukes Hotel is lucky to have enough to have waiting just beyond it’s doorstep, but also the many beautiful parks and gardens that we have all around us too. With so much going on for the Festival of Nature, it’s a great time to book a bed and breakfast stay in Bath. We hope we can see you soon!

Friday, 12 June 2015

 Visit Bath and Visit Dyrham Park

It’s easy to visit Bath for a week and find that there’s so much on offer in the city that you don’t have nearly enough time to do it all. Let alone have enough time to explore the surrounding areas as well. But Bath has such great road and rail links that staying in Bath and spending a couple of days of your stay going a little further afield is a real must. 

Recently we took a leaf out of our own book and went on a day trip to one of our local National Trust properties; Dyrham Park, and we had such a nice time that we thought we’d tell you a little more about one highlight of our latest trip. 

At the moment Dyrham is undergoing some essential renovation work on its roof – 200 years of use has taken its toll and apparantly water was starting to leak through in worrying amounts. But rather than close to the public while they replace all of the 8,000 slates and 46 tonnes of lead that make up the roof, the National Trust decided to turn the work into an attraction. Now visitors have the opportunity to go up to the top of the roof to a specially constructed walkway and get a close up look at the work in progress and see what’s going on. Not only was this pretty fascinating in itself, but there were viewing platforms looking out across the beautiful Cotswold countryside and the scenes were stunning. Made even better by the fine weather which we ‘re pleased to see looks set to continue this summer. 

It really is a unique opportunity and a great place to visit when you visit Bath. Of course, being caretakers of a historic house ourselves, as Dukes Hotel is a Grade II listed building, we feel a great affinity with organisations that want to protect the past in the same way that we do. There’s nothing quite like Georgian splendor to inspire you with a taste of luxury, and so it’s really important to retain the original features and authentic atmosphere of these historic properties. At Dukes we make a real effort to remain true to the era by preserving our sash windows, decorating our rooms in a traditional Regency style, and filling our hotel with beautiful antiques. 

Dukes Hotel is located perfectly for exploring the historic and cultural delights of Bath – the Royal Crescent and the Roman Baths to name only two. We’re only five minutes from the centre of town; placed just off from the famous Great Pulteney Street so it’s all right on our doorstep. We’re also only five minutes from the M4 and a ten minute stroll from Bath Spa railway station. This makes reaching all of the wonderful places we have nearby like Longleat and Lacock village (the location where they filmed the BBC series Cranford) fantastically easy.

Of course there’s more to see and do than can been done in the space of a weekend break, or even a two-week stay. So the only solution we can offer when it comes to trying to do it all is that you’ll simply have to visit Bath more often, and we really hope that you do. We’d be delighted to see you.