I wish I could confirm this, but I couldn't tell because the damn tourists were in the way.
We went to Bath after goncalves and J's wedding. I've been meaning to visit for ages; partly to feed my Roman bug (nurtured since childhood visit to Hadrian's wall), partly to take the waters for myself.
It's a good thing I knew what I wanted to see, otherwise I'd have given up and gone home.
From the train station onward, it's a wash of tourists; people jamming up the station exits ('where did my ticket go? why didn't it come back?') to those walking too slowly ahead of you, to the buses swinging round narrow streets trying to avoid gormless goggling pedestrians, to the relentless promotion of Bath itself.
I can honestly say I've not seen any location so given over to tourism since I was last in Niagara Falls.
Aside from standard upmarket shops on the main pedestrian mall, and the pubs, restaurants and places aimed at tourists, I could not see any businesses that were run for their own sake, for the people of Bath. I didn't even spot an accountant office or a bookies, at least not between the train station and our destinations.
We did find an excellent pub, which would serve both locals and guests, and seemed to have a goodly share of locals in it: the Raven of Bath. We liked it so much we went twice in one day - once for lunch, once after visiting the spas and before the train. Recommended.
Roman baths: my first reason for visiting.
Crammed, crammed with people, with a worrying long queue outside, which proved to be for tourbus groups. But still packed.
The advantage of modern portable audio-tours, I guess, is that the people packed into exhibits are mostly quiet. They're not talking to each other or even to their kids. They're listening. So if you're not listening to an audio tour, you can enjoy the visit relatively quietly.
The Baths are impressive; they're layers upon layers of building, Roman, Georgian, then Victorian idea of what Roman would look like, then reconstructed Roman. The baths have been restored so you see the Roman water level and layout and piping of the main bath, and the water system that fed the hot bath is maintained. It's quite bright green with minerals and oxidisation.
The supporting exhibits are good, but I really don't like crowds so I didn't linger where it was cramped. The exhibits do, though, emphasise this was a liminal location - it was about visiting and socialising, but also a spiritually connected place, where Romans set up plinths to demonstrate they'd held their end of their deals with their gods...and threw in curse tablets to make the lives of thieves miserable.
The displays of waterworks, brickmaking, carving and building were best, IMO.
There is a water fountain at the museum, so you can indeed take the waters of Bath. It's chock full of mineral content, and tastes a bit iron-ish, sulphur-ish.
Fashion museum: second reason for visiting.
I'd heard other clothing mavins really running down this museum and wanted to see it for myself.
And certainly it's small. It's in the basement of the assembly rooms, a lovely Georgian building restored to Georgian condition (but w/ modern heating and lighting), and so when the dance hall is in use it sounds like a herd of elephants are doing the maraca over your head.
Right now there's a detailed display of Georgian clothing, which is one of this museum's strengths. And here I did get the audio tour, as I don't know much at all about Georgian clothing.
The pieces on display are in beautiful condition, AFAICS, and the exhibit points out where gowns have been remade and reused - several examples of gowns cut in one style but with fabric from 20 years earlier. One bright gold dress has clear hemlines where it's been let down for someone taller (or who needed a longer skirt for a different style).
But the written and audio info, to me, didn't provide a fraction of the detail I wanted. I wanted to know what it was lined with, what the pleat style was called, how many yards went into the skirt, how many panels in the bodice, and how it was hooked or laced up. None of this was forthcoming.
The written bumf put the styles in context (ie. in this year Mozart was resident in Salzburg, in this year the American civil war started, etc) which are useful references. But I dearly wanted the 'advanced' setting on my audio tour for all the gory details.
The next section was a dressup area - not of interest to me, but clearly in use every time Robert or I passed through.
Then the exhibit about how the collections are stored, with illustrations of items from each decade from 1820(?) to 1910. I thought this was very effective, both displaying items, and showing how to store them - hats, shoes, gowns, coats, everything. Each decade had a relevant quote from a novel from the appropriate era (not historical fiction, but written at the time as contemporary, like Austen or Dickens or Bronte or Forster), which was another good contextual tool.
The last exhibit was wasted on me: 'design of the year' from 1960s to modern day. Yawn.
Thermae spa: the modern Roman baths
These were a treat, because I hardly ever go to a spa, but I love saunas. This spa features baths using the same hot spring as the Romans used.
So for a 2 hour session you have the very social experience of sharing your bath with several hundred other people. YMMV.
Closest I got to the sauna was the scented steam rooms, which were ranged from not very steamy to very steamy. But not the same as the penetrating heat of the dry Finnish sauna. Sigh.
It was now end of day, and I'd had my fill of people and crowds. We retired to the pub again for a reviving drink before braving the train home.
I'd still like to visit again, to see the distinctive architecture, maybe take one of those bus tours. But maybe in a blustery February, sometime that will really keep the tourists away.