Monday, 29 October 2012

Day Tripping: Beautiful Bath. . .

I've been busy using up my rail pass and taking day trips around the U.K.  And despite the distance and having to take three different trains, Bath remains one of my favourite places to visit.  

 It really is one of the most beautiful, compact and walkable cities in the world.  I wandered around and just gawked at all the beautiful buildings.

And there's tons of historical, literary and architectural inspiration wherever you look.

And what a refreshing treasure trove of independent stores to be found around every corner.  In particular, I loved all the inspiring craft stores:  a beautiful yarn store called Wool; a quilting shop with an extensive collection of fabrics and battings called Country Threads (which is just kitty corner from Wool); Bijoux Beads a very pretty and sophisticated shop which had some gorgeous, gorgeous beads; and The Makery Emporium which had a little bit of everything and just had my head exploding with ideas.  I wish I lived closer so I could take advantage of the many workshops they offer.

And then it was off to explore the two famous independent bookstores.  First up was Topping & Company,  the type of store filled right up to the ceilings with books.  I could have spent hours there. 

But I also had to check out Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights  (yes, Bath abounds in Emporiums) and now I just want to move in.

Despite its unassuming exterior, it's one of those stores with lots of hidden nooks and crannies and best of all, a bibliotherapy room at the top filled with suggested reading lists compiled by the staff.  You can see some of their "Very Important Book Lists" here.  When I'm browsing in an independent bookstore, I'm always on the hunt for a book that I've never heard of, something that the chains don't stock or if they do, they certainly don't celebrate.  I'll admit it was the cover of this book (prominently displayed) that first got my attention.

And then when I discovered that Names For the Sea by Sarah Moss was a memoir about the author's impulsive move to Iceland, I had to bring it home with me.  One of the best vacations I ever took was   a walking holiday in Iceland and I'm itching to go back.  Plus, I think knitting will surely make an appearance.  When I took the book to the cash register, there was a resounding endorsement from two staff members who had read it.  It's definitely next on my reading list.   And I'm already saving up to go back to Bath for an indulgent shopping trip - this time for at least a weekend!

No comments: