Re-inventing Bath

We’ve been hearing a lot about how Bath is going to have to re-think ways in which it can make a living and also compete with other UK tourist cities – after the Pandemic crisis ends – to attract people both from this country and the rest of Europe.

It’s anticipated that long haul travel is going to take a long time to recover.

Thank you to everyone who has come up with their own suggestions. I am going to use some of your messages here.

Dr Victoria Holt has already suggested everything from a Museum of Ballooning and an outdoor amphitheatre to creating a winter sports venue at the University of Bath.

Following on from that Robert Draper added:

I have in the past thought of this with an ice track going down into the Limpley Stoke valley from up on Claverton Down.
No doubt University-based engineers could come up with economical cooling mechanisms &  and suitable insulation. Would definitely widen Bath’s tourist appeal...’
Now here is a carefully thought-out list of suggestions from someone signing themselves ‘hermanndercherusker’:

 

‘1) Given our climate Create more covered outdoor seating space post-Covid 19 to facilitate meeting space for locals and visitors, this is especially true for pubs and restaurants. Make the river gardens free entry and open the Colonnades on the weir. And instead of a monstrous new stand at the rec move the stand away from the river and redevelop the whole area as a riverside park with open-air food and market stalls.
2) Investigate the possibility to run steam services from Bath to Bristol to link up with the SS Great Britain (Isembard Kingdom Brunel experience days)

3 ) Wilhelm Herschel observatory and a planetarium akin to the Madam Tussauds in London

4) Mozart and Christian Bach played at the assembly rooms make more of that especially in Germany. Promote Bath as a Mozart city.

5) Horse-drawn canal boat trips from Sidney gardens to Avon Cliff or at least the Aquaduct.

6) Open-air theatre, for example, Regent’s Park Theatre in London. Bath has got plenty of parks. Midsummer night’s dreams in such a setting are magical or even better build an amphitheatre to mirror roman past and the crescents. Involve Bath Spa Uni

7) Better promotion and access to Alexandra park very much a hidden gem; many visitors to Bath are elderly how about a funicular

8) Enlarge Museum of Bath at work should include large exhibitions about Stothert and Pitt and Pitmanns, but also William Harbutts plasticine manufacture in the city.

9) Open up the Ralph Allen mines for visitors and cavers

10) Citywide real ale and cider festivals.’

Wow – that is quite a list of ideas. Meanwhile, David Kernek is more concerned about cheapening what’s on offer.

The re-think promised would have been more than timely – even without the dire consequences of the Covid-19 mess. The risk with looking at the domestic UK market, however, is that it will simply increase the low-rent, day-trip trade, which will mean yet more gift shops, fast-food outlets, Hen Parties, anti-social behaviour, litter and, doubtless – heaven forfend – an even larger and longer Christmas Market.

But Bath is not Venice. Does the town really have sufficient Roman and Georgian attractions to warrant a stay longer much longer than a two-day weekend? On this basis, the number of hotel developments we’ve seen in recent years might prove to have been unrealistic and unduly optimistic.

Promoting Bath chiefly as an upscale centre for a week-long explorations of Somerset and West Wiltshire might be the way forward.’

Do keep your ideas coming!