The Roman Baths

Overview: 

The Roman Baths are centered in the middle of the city and are a very popular tourist attraction all year round, as there are many original Roman artefacts and features in the museum. They were discovered in the 19th Century and are below the modern street level, as Medieval Bath was built over these ancient ruins.  There is a lot to see, so I would give about 2 hours for your visit.

Review by Vic:

Having lived in Bath for several years but many years ago, and History being one of my passions I have visited the museums on many occasions.
However, we have never been as a family with our autistic son.
It is evident that over the years they have done a lot to support families with additional needs from researching their website.They have recently won a National Autistic Society award so I was excited to see how it would accommodate those with invisible disabilities.

On approach the queue was around the block but I had read you could approach a member of staff to get a fast pass (queue jump).
The person who helped us was lovely and sorted us with headsets and made entrance smooth. We were not expected to present ID and she was just supportive, smiley and approachable which is great.  There are lots of staff round, so do not feel you have to queue if the individual your are with finds queuing stressful and/or creates it creates anxiety.

Despite it being so busy, our son absolutely loved the headsets with the audio guides. These were great but because it was particularly busy it was difficult to see the numbers of the boards to decide which ones to press on the handset.  However, we did a bit of improvising and he was just happy to listen to the person speaking.  There are lots of visual models of the original layout of the baths which is great to get an idea of how it looked.  Also they have quite a few interact style video clips and images throughout the museum.  He also really enjoyed the interact computer transmitted images inside the museum. At one stage he tried to follow the Roman who was walked off the screen!

For us the movement around the museum was pretty dictated by the crowds, however,  it is pretty accessible and there are few steps and lots of ramps and lifts to ensure those with wheelchair can access the majority of the site.  They offer free hire of slings and backpacks for babies/toddlers so there are no  buggies within the museum.  This helps to free up space and the backpacks give toddlers a good view of the museum.

As you travel around the museum there are several members of staff, so if you need any support or advice they are there to help.  Also, around the main bath area on the bottom floor, they have a couple of Roman character actors which is quite nice for the kids.

Other plus pointers
 90% wheelchair accessible with lots of lifts throughout
 lots of staff around to point places to go
 baby carriers and rucksacks available
 they have British Sign Language tours available on Opus Touch handsets available free of charge with your ticket
 If you are a hearing aid user, they can provide you with an audioguide compatible with the “T” switch on hearing aids. They can also provide a printed copy of the audioguide text
 they also have a visual story which can be used prior to visiting.

We are so pleased that such a forward thinking heritage site also wants to learn more and is attending our inclusion and disability awareness workshop in September 2019.  👍 🌟
PS no swimming in the baths
PPS we managed to keep Jimmy out

Other information:

1. They have produced a visual story of the museum which could be used to prepare individuals prior to the visit. https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/sites/roman_baths/files/heritage/Visual%20Story.pdf

2. They allow fast track passes for individuals who struggle with waiting when the queues are busy.

3.There is specific information for families and individuals who have autism. https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/sites/roman_baths/files/heritage/Information%20for%20visitors%20with%20Autism_0.pdf

4. They offer free carer passes which can be issued on arrival, so you can still take advantage of any other tickets online.

5. They do offer headsets which give details of the exhibitions on display.

 

Details from the venue:

The Roman Baths, in the heart of the city of Bath, is one of the finest ancient spas in Europe. This incredible Roman site allows visitors to experience a world dating from the first to the fourth century AD. Here the natural thermal waters once heated a sophisticated bathing complex where Romans came to relax and socialize. To the Romans the hot springs were also a sacred place where worshippers prayed to the goddess Sulis Minerva. To visitors today the site is still a place of special significance and is one of the best preserved Roman sites in northern Europe.

The Roman Baths are over 90% wheelchair accessible – see our website for the full accessibility guide. We are proud to have received an Autism friendly award. Many of our staff are trained Dementia Friends and are always happy to help. A ticket to the Roman Baths includes a complimentary audioguide available in 12 languages. A British Sign Language tour for hearing impaired visitors and a fully descriptive tour for visually impaired visitors are also available, as well as children’s trails.