From the birthplace of football to the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. Discover the history of some of UK’s top historical cities and some fascinating facts about them.
Famous for its waters and Georgian architecture, Bath was also an important Roman town too and the Romans were enjoying the waters there over 2,000 years ago. Before the Romans turned up though, Bath was a Celtic city dedicated to the Goddess Sulis, who legend has it kept the waters of the hot springs sacred.
With around 5,000 listed buildings, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the famous PulteneyBridge is the only historic bridge, apart from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, to have shops built into it.
You can also discover all about Jane Austen in Bath with promenades, handwritten manuscripts and a chance to walk in her footsteps.
Dating back to Saxon times and known as ‘The City of Dreaming Spires’ due to the world-leading university’s architecture, Oxford’s streets are crammed with history. Apparently if Hitler had been successful in his plans to invade Britain then he was going to make Oxford his capital, which is why it wasn’t bombed when so many other important cities were.
If you wander the streets today then you’ll see Wayside Stones dating back to the 1600s; Grade II listed red telephone boxes; post boxes from the Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian periods; and plaques and inscriptions galore marking the lives and times of some of the city’s more famous residents, including Edmund Halley of the comet fame.
Find out more about things to do in Oxford.
Wales’s capital is most famous today for its castle and stadium but it’s also the place where Roald Dahl grew up and the city celebrates this every year on his birthday, September 13th, with the Roald Dahl festival.
Sporty and literary it’s definitely a cool place to go. In 2011, National Geographic magazine named Cardiff as one of the Top 10 Places in the World to visit and despite the impression that it rains all the time in Wales, it gets more sunshine than Milan! In 2014 it’s also going to be the European Capital of Sport.
Less than half a million people live in Edinburgh but during the city’s famous festival the population more than doubles to over a million. The city has spawned many famous people whose inventions and books have changed the world. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, and the lesser known John Muir, who travelled to the New World and was the founder of America’s National Parks.
Literary links include JK Rowling, who famously wrote the first Harry Potter novel in one of the city’s cafes and Robert Louis Stevenson, whose novel Kidnapped features the The Hawes Inn in South Queensferry, which is still there today. Edinburgh was also first ever UNESCO City of Literature in 2004.