Recently in our Stay in Bath blogs we’ve been looking at some of the upcoming festivals that Bath will soon be hosting, so we thought it was about time that we looked at some of the wonderful things that you can do in Bath that, perhaps because they are not a one-night/one-week only attraction, don’t always get the recognition that they deserve. This week it’s the turn of Bath Skyline.
Bath Skyline is a beautiful area of Bath largely owned by the National Trust. It includes an Iron Age hill fort, hidden valleys, wildlife rich woodland and meadows, and an 18th-century folly. The best way to experience it is via a round-route walk which covers six miles and provides some of the best views of Bath and the hills beyond that we’ve ever seen. Strolling through the streets of Bath you can really appreciate the architectural details on all of the buildings and can admire the rooftop statues and carved pediments, but the views across the whole city which the Bath Skyline walk provides are something else entirely. Impressive doesn’t cover it.
On their website the National Trust estimates that the full six mile walk, if walked at a leisurely ambling pace, should take between three and a half to four hours; which makes it an excellent length for an afternoon outing, but if you stop off along the way it can also be a fantastic day out. Some of the places that we recommend visiting on the trail are:
· The American Museum at Claverton Down - where you can learn about the birth of the United States, read about the lives of the Native Americans and see samples of their folk art, and, if you present your printed skyline map, be treated to a free cookie and coffee in their tea shop along with your admission fee. The American Museum also puts on events throughout the year which are listed here.
· Sham Castle – a Grade II listed folly built in 1762 for Ralph Allen, Mayor of Bath between 1742 and 1769, “to improve the prospect” from his town house. At night the castle is now illuminated.
· Prior Park Landscape Gardens – also owned by the National Trust, these gardens were designed in the early 18th century by the famous gardener Capability Brown. The garden’s are home to a Palladian bridge (one of only four bridges which are left of this design), a serpentine lake, pools with curtain wall cascades, a Gothic temple and, as you’d expect from the National Trust, a lovely tea room.
So, why not take a picnic with you, or stop at the American Museum or Prior Park for lunch, and have a wonderful day viewing Bath from above. Details of the Bath Skyline walk, including a map and route plan, can be found here.
(And, for anyone who doesn’t fancy doing the whole six miles, a map for a shorter two-mile, family-friendly route can be found here.)