Day Trip To Bath
Roman Baths, Stunning Georgian Architecture.
Paddington station to Bath Spa, 1hour 30min by train
Start Walk : Bath Spa Station
End: Bath Spa Station
3.7 Miles - 6km
Fast walk 1hour 20 minutes but allow a full day to explore most of the sights.
The City has world heritage status, with around 5,000 buildings of historic interest. As well as the Roman Baths, it's famous for Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge and as the home of novelist Jane Austen.
Bath is a living film set where many feature films and major TV dramas are shot. The Georgian architecture provides the perfect backdrop for classic costume drama.
The walk ends with a stroll along the Kennet and Avon Canal. In the early 1800s this waterway was regarded as an engineering marvel. This is a fantastic day out!
A) Bath Spa Station.
Buy your tickets in advance for lower prices
B) Parade Gardens
A beautiful park in the heart of the city. The City's gardeners regularly win the national ‘Britain In Bloom’ competition, particularly for the bedding displays in Parade Gardens. In Summer, the bandstand is in regular use for concerts.
C) Bath Abbey
Founded in the 7th Century, with wonderful stained glass windows and ceiling fan vaulting. The 216 steps to the top are worth the climb for the fantastic views. Don't miss the carvings of the angels climbing Jacob's ladder on the front of the building.
D) Roman Baths
Bath's most popular attraction. Book in advance to avoid long queues. The cost of admission includes a good audio guide. I particularly enjoy the children's commentary: it's witty and clever! The costumed actors tell their stories, all based on historical evidence. Excellent, for both children and adults.
E) Thermae Bath Spa
People love the rooftop pool. The steam rooms are also recommended.
F) Theatre Royal
Built in 1805, this is one of Britain's oldest and most beautiful theatres. The Theatre Company is well-renowned and tickets are cheaper than in London.
G) Queen Square
Built between 1728 and 1736 and named in honour of Queen Caroline, the wife of George II. The seven Palladian-style houses on the north side are made to look like a Palace. Beau Nash built the wonderful obelisk at the heart of the square in 1735.
H) The Circus.
The Latin word 'circus' means oval or circle. The architect John Wood the Elder was fascinated by Stonehenge and The Circus has the same 218 foot diameter as the ancient druid site. Construction work began in 1754 and was completed in 1768.
I) Royal Crescent
John Wood the Younger built these beautiful buildings between 1767 and 1774. No1 Royal Crescent is a museum, which gives a good insight into the life of a wealthy Bath family. The volunteer guides in each room are very knowledgeable and are pleased to answer questions.
J) Royal Avenue
A good walk through the park with a nice view of Royal Crescent.
I've split the walk into two sections: the following are key things to look out for in the second section.
A) George Street
From the park, cross into George Street and turn left at the path. Then turn right and then left until you get to Alfred Street.
B) Alfred House -14 Alfred Street
Don't miss the ice cream cone-shaped iron object. It was used to extinguish flaming torches. You will also see some historic winding machinery, used to carry heavy goods and provisions down to the basement.
C) Bath Assembly Rooms - (Free) & Fashion Museum
Designed in 1769 The Assembly Rooms were the place for Bath's elite to enjoy themselves - music, dancing and a place to meet and be seen. The Fashion Museum is highly recommended. The 'dressing up’ interactive activities appeal to both children and adults.
D) Victoria Art Gallery (Free - for permanent exhibition)
Pictures from the 15th to 21st Century. All the artists are local, and include Thomas Gainsborough, Walter Sickert, John Nash and Edward Burne-Jones.
E) Pulteney Bridge
A truly iconic bridge, designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1774. Unusually, it has shops down its entire length. There are only four other bridges like this in the world. You can also take pleasure boat trips from the bridge.
F) The Holburne Museum. (Free - for permanent exhibition)
A beautiful museum with works by Gainsborough and Stubbs. The collection also includes silver, ivory and porcelain. The cafe is popular and recommended.
The gardens are situated behind the Holburne Museum. They make up Bath’s oldest park and were laid out in 1795. They became popular with the Royal Family and the famous novelist Jane Austen lived nearby at 4 Sydney Place. I find the trees spectacular and it's a good spot to wander around and to enjoy a picnic. Walk through the park to the Kennet and Avon Canal
G) Kennet and Avon Canal
Opened in 1810. This is the final section of the walk, and it takes you past some impressive feats of engineering: Pulteney, Abbey View and Wash House Locks enable barges to join the Avon River. The Canal enjoyed an economic boom (large fortunes were made) until the opening of Great Western Railway in 1841. Today, the canal is used by pleasure boats.
At Bathwick Hill you have to cross over the bridge and rejoin the towpath on the other side. Follow the signs for the City and Bath Spa station
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