How the new UK ETA for Bath will Affect Travellers

The city of Bath, which the Romans established as a thermal resort, rose to prominence as a major hub for the wool trade during the Middle Ages. It was transformed into a posh town in the 18th century under George III, with Palladian neoclassical structures that complemented the Roman baths beautifully. Romans exploited the nearby natural hot springs as a thermal bath when they established the City of Bath in South-West England in the first century AD.

Bath became a significant hub for the wool industry in the Middle Ages. However, throughout the reigns of George I, II, and III in the 18th century, it evolved into an elegant spa city renowned for its literature and art. Bath’s history as a spa town began with the Roman ruins, which include some of the most well-known and significant Roman structures north of the Alps, including the Temple of Sulis Minerva and the Baths Complex.[1]

The Roman Baths

According to a myth, Bath was established around 860 BC due to Prince Bladud, King Lear’s father, contracting leprosy. He was made to care for pigs and was barred from the court. The pigs also had skin conditions that improved after wading in hot mud. Following their lead, Prince Bladud also received the treatment and was cured. Later on, he attained the throne and established Bath.

It is unknown precisely when Bath springs’ curative powers were discovered. The Romans, who constructed a temple nearby around the year 50 AD, were undoubtedly aware of them. The Celtic god, Sul, and the Roman goddess of healing, Minerva, were honoured in the temple. (The Romans dedicated it to both gods to win over everyone.) Additionally, they constructed public baths that drew water from the hot springs. The waters of Sul were referred to as Aquae Sulis. A ditch and an earthen rampart were built around the Roman Baths in the second century. On top of it was most likely a wooden palisade.[1]

The Climate in Bath

Tourists eagerly visit Bath’s Regency-era architecture in the summer sun from June to the end of September: cafés are busy, street performers and entertainers enliven the streets, park flowers are in bloom, boats cruise the sparkling river, and the city’s distinctive brickwork shines. The Jane Austen Festival, which takes over the city in September, offers a literary look into Bath’s history. Additionally, in the lead-up to Christmas, the diverse independent shops and boutiques make Bath a popular place for window shoppers.[2]

Physical Geography of Bath

Bath is situated on the banks of the River Avon in a natural arena of high hills. It was constructed of local limestone, which makes it aesthetically distinguishable. Many of the streets and squares were designed by John Wood, the Elder, and the city developed in popularity and population during the 18th century. More construction was done in the nineteenth century and after the Bath Blitz in World War II. Bath was incorporated into the county of Avon in 1974. Since Avon’s demise in 1996, it has served as the primary centre of Bath and North-East Somerset.[5]

Bath’s Georgian Roots in the Royal Crescent

Bath’s well-preserved Georgian architecture draws tourists from all over the world. The Museum of Bath Architecture is a one-of-a-kind facility housed in a former private chapel and provides insight into how classical design affected the city’s architecture. It also houses the Bath Model, a stunning 1:500-scale architectural model of the medieval city centre.[4]

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey, the Gothic cathedral of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, was founded in 1499. According to mythology, it was built after Bishop Oliver King dreamt of angels climbing up and down staircases to and from heaven. He also heard a voice telling him that the crown should plant an olive tree and that the monarch should rebuild the church.[4]

Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge, one of Bath’s most famous works of architecture, is one of just a few bridges with buildings above them that still stand. Completed in 1774 to connect central Bath to undeveloped land on the other side of the River Avon, it is regarded as one of the most iconic bridges in the world, and it played a role in the film adaptation of Les Misérables.[4]

Thermae Bath Spa

The building is a blend of a modern glass-fronted construction completed in 2006 and historic Georgian-era structures. The New Royal Bath, the main bathing area, features a spectacular open-air rooftop swimming pool, an interior pool, two hot baths, two steam rooms and an ice chamber. The original 18th-century “hot bath” and the garden-side health room are also points of interest.[4]

The New UK ETA for Bath

The United Kingdom announced the upcoming launch of the new Electronic Travel Authorisation (UK ETA) system. All visitors to the UK, including non-visa nationalities (except British and Irish citizens), will need a permit to visit the United Kingdom for business, studies, tourism, or medical treatment once the law is enacted. ETA eligibility includes passengers transiting through the UK. Non-visa nationalities include most European countries, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. The ETA permits tourists to stay in the UK for up to six months.

How Will the New ETA System Affect Travellers?

The new ETA system aims to improve security by collecting information for travellers not currently needing a UK visa. Additionally, the ETA aims to streamline UK border migration and make it more efficient, with a view to contactless travel. Visitors will benefit from a more user-friendly travel experience, travel processes that embrace modern technology and increased public protection.

What Documents will Travellers Need to Apply for an ETA?

A valid national biometric passport, an email address and a credit or debit card are the main ETA requirements for visitors. Applicants will also be required to supply personal information, such as travel information, birth date and place of residence.

How Long is an ETA Valid?

ETA approval will provide visa-exempt travellers with a single-entry travel authorisation valid for six months. In addition to ETA approval, travellers visiting the UK for short- or long-term employment or business activities will need work authorization from relevant authorities. Visitors to the country for work or long-term visits will need a visa. An ETA does not guarantee entry into the UK.

How Will an ETA Be Generated?

The UK ETA requires travellers to apply for an electronic travel authorisation before their trip. The ETA application is completed on the internet. Travellers will be permitted to enter the nation (at the discretion of immigration officers) once they have received an ETA. Once the application is authorized, the ETA will be electronically connected to the passport number. The immigration officer will scan the passport, and the ETA will be automatically validated.

Who is Eligible for a UK ETA?

The Home Office aims to implement the UK ETA for non-visa nationals travelling under the non-visa nationals scheme. Travellers from 92 nations are eligible for a UK ETA, including European Economic Area (EEA) nationals.

Visitors to Bath need to be fully informed of the UK ETA requirements to avoid any travel inconveniences. Bath is an important UK city, which offers a contrasting blend of past and present. Here, tourists can gain insight into UK history and unwind for a weekend.