There are plenty of good things in Bath. Baths. Bath buns. Books. (Topping & Company is one of the best bookshops we've ever visited. Packed with good books, beautifully laid out, and a fine pot of tea for customers who are clearly going to be in there for a while.)
We've just had a few days strengthening our leg muscles with plenty of urban hill-walking, going from amazing Georgian crescent to amazing Georgian crescent, via the amazing Georgian Circus.
[The Circus - chimney pots]
I read The Sack of Bath and pointed out to Simon the desecrations of the 1970s Bath town-planners, while marvelling at what is left. I was also set to read Northanger Abbey for the first time since I yawned my way through it at school when I was 12 (as a newly formed feminist, I couldn't understand why Catherine put up with all the restrictions placed on women, and didn't just break out of polite society and make her own way in the world without kowtowing to the social expectations of her time and milieu).
But I was completely waylaid by David Hockney thanks to Topping, and Bath which is surrounded by wonderful landscape and boasts some spectacular trees, proved to be a good place to read about Hockney's paintings of and views on trees and landscape. It's a fascinating book with beautiful illustrations and great colour quality (just found this interesting review by Margaret Drabble). So I only read the first chapter of Northanger Abbey, but can confirm it's a lot better and funnier than I remember.
[enormous trees in the centre of The Circus, dwarfing the guided tour group]
I still have no idea, though, how the sedan chair carriers coped on those hills, ferrying ladies in sprigged muslin gowns up and down between the Pump Room, Upper Rooms, and the high houses of of the high society. I imagine they must all have had legs like Sir Chris Hoy. I'm very thankful we can all just walk now.