The Magic of Torchlight - Summer Evenings at The Roman Baths

Updated: Jun 20, 2018

Bath is a beautiful place to visit at anytime of the day, but usually when the shops close and the tourists drift away there can be a void in the city where not much happens.

Now, I don't want to give away my secrets, but this twilight zone is one of my favourite parts of the day - the streets are empty, my camera is out and the light levels begin to dip.

It's a magical part of the day and the team at the Roman Baths have made the most of this by extending opening hours at the famous tourist attraction - creating a unique atmosphere - under the illumination of torchlight - with actual real flames flickering in the twilight.

This, I believe is how the Roman Baths should be experienced as shadows and light dance in the corners and columns of the architecture and the rising mist from the baths tickles the surface of the water before dissipating into the air.

Away from the Great Bath, the further chambers where differing treatments were taken are open to view as part of the package. Shifting light levels plays tricks with your eyes as shadows hug the corners of smaller baths and plunge pools. An orange glow picks out unusual Roman features such as the hyper-course tiles, stacked in twisted columns throughout ancient floors.

Gilded bronze statue head of Minerva

The Baths are a labyrinth of features, a maze-like route taking the visitor through a wealth of historic finds, in particular to the beautifully crafted, bronze head of Minerva. This priceless object was part of a statue likely to have stood at the Sacred Spring and was undiscovered for over a thousand years, unearthed in 1727.

Tip for photographers:

The lower light levels are going to need a steady hand when taking photographs of the Roman Baths at dusk. Tripods are not allowed so you'll have to try these tips to ensure a shake free, un-blurred photo.

1. Raise ISO - Most modern DSLR cameras allow you to change the ISO settings (light sensitivity) Adjust the number (check your manual) to a higher digit - anything from 640 ISO should ensure more light to hit the camera's sensor

2. Steady Yourself - A great technique is to think about your body as a tripod - Tuck your elbows into chest and side and hold the camera to your eye - Many cameras now don't have a viewfinder, but you can still use this technique to ensure a rigid stance to keep the camera steady - lessening any blur. Just think how wobbly your camera is if you hold your arms out too far in front to take a picture!



Open untill 10pm (last entry at 9pm) From the 16th June - 31st August 2018

Website: The Roman Baths

Huge thanks to Faith Toynbee and the Roman Baths for inviting me to the torchlight preview evening. It was a fantastic opportunity to join other Bath creatives and tourism professionals, to experience the splendor of the Roman Baths at dusk and to have a very nice glass of wine :)

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