Aquae Sulis – Roman Holiday resort

If you had been a proper Toga wearing Romano-Britain in 350AD there is only place that you would have gone on holiday. It was Aquae Sulis every time. The great thing about it was that not only was there lovely walks and countryside around it, but you could dip into luxurious warm natural spring baths that were there. Also, you could get yourself in with the Goddess Sulis or Minerva remembering you’re a Roman now and not using the old Celtic name. “Let’s get the cart loaded up kids! Actually, get the slaves to do it I’m off to look at the mosaic for a bit”.

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Aquae Sulis or Bath as it is known today still has the spring and is still used as today. It’s quite a sought-after area as Bath Estate Agents will no doubt tell you but check out to see what we mean.

When you and the family arrived at the small yet bustling town you would have been able to stay at many of the hotels that the town is thought to have offered. The baths themselves were fed by the nearby river Avon. The Roman military machine that had been busy subjugating the Isle had a base to the North West. There are a lot of hills around the town and there was the small matter of bridge that needed building over the river Avon (not that they called it that) for the route of the Fosse Way. This was a military road linking the town to Corinium (Cirencester), Londoninum (London) and Brandogenium (Birmingham). The Legionaries discovered a shrine to Sulis, a local Goddess of water, who was believed to favour the place. In true Roman fashion they asked if they could leave a little votive offering as Sulis sounded a lot like Minerva the Roman water god. They wanted to respect the local traditions but really, they did this because they knew full well that eventually poor old Sulis would be forgotten and people would come to praise Minerva instead so that they could get in with their Roman Masters.

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Taking the family in for a bit of dip you would know that as a good Roman the water was washing away all the dirt and yuck from the travel. You also knew that you were going to pop a little votive offering yourself to keep yourself in with the Goddess. After that who knows? A brisk walk up to the Legionnaires camp to show young Justinian the Tower shields and Gladius and then some dinner in the eateries. After that a trip to see some actor’s colony put on a performance. It would be shaping up to be a nice break.