Celebrating Neurodiversity at The Roman Baths: An Unforgettable Adventure

The Roman Baths in Bath,  have always held a special place in history, captivating visitors with their timeless beauty and rich heritage. But our visit on Tuesday to this historic site was unlike any other. We had the unique privilege of being invited to a neurodivergent family event that transformed our evening into an unforgettable adventure filled with warmth, education, and inclusivity.

Our adventure began right after school, as we hit the road with anticipation and excitement. Ruby & Grayson both had doctors appointments so I was grateful that they ran on time and we could jump straight in the car and get going.  Our journey was pretty easy to be fair. It took us just over 2.5 hours, and there was surprisingly few arguments!   We mostly listened to audio books, and flicked through a few as obviously three children are unable to pick on in particular to agree on!!  I was hopeful we’d have a great time at the event as it was a long way to go after school, and thankfully I had nothing to worry about it was amazing. 

When we arrived in Bath, honestly the most complicated part of our evening was figuring out the car park machine – why oh why are they always so complicated!   We headed around the corner from our parking to the City Centre and arrived at the Baths. I was so impressed with myself for finding parking so close – well actually I might well have been tipped off in our ticket confirmation email – but I still found it, so I’m taking some credit!

We were welcomed in, and given audio guides.  The tour was self guided and we were free to explore by ourselves.  This worked perfectly for us, as their interest is not always guaranteed.  BUT saying that, they loved the audio guides and enjoyed selecting the next part to listen to as we went around.  Its really well set up with guides for adults and children, so they can listen to the fun bits and we can enjoy the more factual info.

The neurodivergent family event was a shining example of inclusivity. Families from all walks of life came together to celebrate the beauty of neurodiversity. It was heartwarming to witness the sense of belonging, acceptance, and unity among the attendees. We met some incredible individuals and families who shared their stories and experiences.  It was so lovely to be at an event exclusive for us, where nobody cared if the children were themselves, and where nobody stares.  The staff were incredible, and were so friendly and patient.  A special shout out to Scarlett who we bumped into on numerous occasions and who was super lovely to my three.   

Our journey through The Roman Baths was a mix of education and entertainment. From the stunning Great Bath, which dates back to Roman times, funny that seeing as its called the Roman Baths, to the intricately preserved artefacts, we were immersed in history. The site’s immersive exhibits and audio guide provided us with a comprehensive understanding of the Baths’ significance.  The children of course explored in their own sweet way, and asked all the questions  they wanted to, and came up with their own ideas as to why things were as they were.  I love to hear their thoughts and to see life through their eyes and imaginations.   There is so much to see, you can take your time to read and listen to everything if you like – not so easy with curious children – but we still did get to look at everything as they were very interested which was great for me.   They had a lot of fun and enjoyed exploring.  Ruby even tried out a coffin for size!  

One of the highlights was the opportunity to connect with experts who shed light on the historical context of the Baths and how they were used in ancient times. The experience left us in awe of the remarkable ingenuity of the Romans and their engineering prowess.  It always baffles me how all these buildings and structures were made and designed without all the technology and machinery we have today, and don’t even get me started on the Egyptians and how they built the pyramids!  

The children loved having the opportunity to see and also to touch ancient coins – one of which was over 2000 years old.  That was hard enough for me to get my head around yet alone for them.  They also loved meeting the Romans, and were insistent that they were real Romans.  They loved chatting and sharing stories and this for me is how history comes alive for them.  Everyone was so so friendly and made the evening really special. 

When we actually got down to the waters edge pretty much everyone else had moved on, I think we were the only family left exploring. I was absolutely in awe of the baths and the fact we had them to ourselves and felt so privileged to be there.  So so grateful to the team at The Roman Baths for inviting us to attend.  It was truly magical, and felt so special. The children were happily chatting to the ‘Romans’ and I had a few minutes to be in awe, to take photos, videos and to breathe in the history.  Like seriously when as a single mama do I get opportunities like this, it was so special.  I still cannot get over how wonderful it was – yes I know I am going on about it, but it was just wonderful, so let me have my moment!  

Our visit to The Roman Baths during the neurodivergent family event was an eye-opening experience that left a lasting impression on our hearts. It highlighted the power of inclusivity, the beauty of neurodiversity, and the importance of creating spaces where everyone feels valued and accepted.  I am so grateful that more and more venues are hosting these events and are mindful of inclusivity, it really does make the world of difference.

As we headed out of the museum, we got to the part where you get to taste the spa water.  Dad had prepared me that it was gross, so I was not expecting good things.  But for a YouTube moment, I passed over my phone and asked someone to record us all tasting it.  Hilariously Hallie and I actually found it to be quite nice and Hallie went back for another two cup fulls.  Of course Grayson and Ruby thought it was gross, but honestly for me it tasted like warm bath water!  

I was actually delighted to find that the museum shop was open at the end of our visit.  I’d not really expected it to be, and for once I was not in dread of going into a shop post a visit.  We’d had such an amazing experience and the children had loved it so much, I genuinely was happy to buy them treats related to our visit.  Once I’d selected the obligatory fridge magnets – the children decided long ago that we have to get them everywhere we go – they each got to choose a gift.  Grayson chose a sword, Ruby a lego (ish) model to build of the baths and Hallie chose an fluffy Owl – not going to lie I totally missed the significance of her, but apparently she is called Minerva – so if anyone is visiting the baths in the near future  please find out for me!!  We also bought a book about the Romans and some activity books which we are going to have a look at properly on the weekend.  So they did ok out of that shop visit, for sure!!  

This adventure allowed us to explore a historic gem in a magical way, seriously who actually gets to explore this magnificent place almost empty and at night.  We are so so blessed.  I was literally in my element.  Tonight was a reminder that learning, understanding, and embracing diversity can lead to profound connections and unforgettable moments.

We hope our story inspires you to seek out opportunities to celebrate neurodiversity and inclusivity in your own life. Together, we can create a more compassionate and understanding world, one adventure at a time.

**All The Important Stuff**

How do I book tickets and where can I find more information:  Check out the website right here:  https://www.romanbaths.co.uk and the link for tickets can be found there also, but here it is: https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/tickets/2024-01-january

There are numerous options for tickets but to give you an idea on a weekend tickets for adults are £21.50 and for children £14.00, you can also buy family tickets.  A carer or companion is welcome to join a ticket holder free of charge.  Blue Peter badge holders are also entitled to a free ticket. 

Where are the Roman Baths?

The Roman Baths are in the centre of Bath in the West of England. Bath is 100 miles (160km) west of London and 10 miles (16km) east of Bristol. We drove from Hertfordshire and it took us about 2.5 hrs, I find that easier as everyone is contained!  

Is there parking?  We parked in a car park around the corner from the Baths, it was on Avon Street and was easy to find with Waze.  You do have to pay for disabled parking at the same price as regular parking.  

Is there food available? There is a restaurant called The Pump Room Restaurant.  We did not get to visit but the link to have a look for yourselves is here: https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/pump-room-restaurant

Mummy I need a wee!  There are two sets of toilets. One is near to the main reception before you buy your ticket, and the other is at the very end. We had no problems, although there were very few visitors when we were there.  But there were plenty of toilets available so I cannot see this being much of a problem.  There are baby changing facilities in both the male and female toilets at the end of the visit, and in the female toilets at reception. 

Accessibility  – If you are visiting the Roman Baths with young children its encouraged you to use a baby carrier rather than a pushchair. Due to some steep steps and narrow walkways throughout the museum, pushchairs will need to be left in the main reception hall during your visit.

There is a lot of information on their website about accessibility so it makes sense to share the link to ensure you have all the info you might need: https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/accessibility

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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