but are they all horrid

Our first trip to Bath was when my father took us all there for the weekend. We stayed at The Francis, whose corridors Deborah roamed on new rollerskates – no trike, no twins, no “redrum”.

My mother’s strict itinerary was built around breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. From the moment she sat down at dinner, she’d never relax until she’d seen the sweet trolley and made her choice. Anne couldn’t decide what to have: the waiter gave her small portions of three desserts.  I don’t think mum ever got over it.

Within that itinerary, there was little room to see or be seen, to squeeze in any sightseeing: a walk past the Assembly Rooms, a sidelong glance at the Pump Room, a brief peek at the Baths.

It was only later, on our own visits, that we discovered just how much remained: the bath complex itself, the temple of Sulis Minerva, the sacred spring with its votive offerings and its curses.

Read: Janine Barchas’ Mapping Northanger Abbey (PDF)