6 wonderful ways to spend your summer outdoors in Bath
PUBLISHED: 10:34 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:34 30 July 2018
Set within the hollow of seven hills, with green views in every direction, there are plenty of ways to adventure in Bath this summer
1. Summer strolls
The compact nature of Bath makes it an ideal place to explore on foot; many of the city’s most iconic sights are a short stroll from one another, and with the countryside stretching right to the doorsteps of the grand Georgian buildings, you can amble through beautiful gardens and take to the rolling hills for breathtaking views of Bath.
Take the National Trust’s Walk to the View to leave the city centre behind and follow in the footsteps of the Georgians. After promenading down elegant streets, through Georgian gardens and along the picturesque canal you will emerge onto Bathwick Meadows, where you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the city. From here you can join the Bath Skyline Walk, a six-mile route which takes you through ancient woodland, over an Iron Age hillfort, and up to Sham Castle.
Discover the delights of the Limpley Stoke and Midford valleys with a gentle stroll along the tranquil towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal. Begin in Widcombe, where you may catch a glimpse of a kingfisher skimming across the pool by Deep Lock, and as you walk through Sydney Gardens, stop to admire the elegant cast iron bridges. From here you can stroll into Bath along Great Pulteney Street or continue to Bathampton for a longer stretch of the legs.
2. Picnic in the park
Royal Victoria Park, the first to carry Queen Victoria’s name, is bursting with flowers and trees during the summer. With features such as the rock garden and pool, a scented walk and replica Roman temple, it is the perfect place to take an afternoon stroll. Wander through the Botanical Gardens before emerging into the green, open parkland, perfect for a quick game of frisbee.
At Prior Park Landscape Garden you can walk across one of only four Palladian bridges in the world. Wander through the woodland along hidden paths to discover the garden’s features, including a sham bridge, gothic temple, and icehouse. Soak up spectacular views of Bath before meandering around the lakes and across the famous Palladian bridge.
For a unique horticultural experience join Helen on a Hidden Gardens of Bath tour and uncover a diverse range of gardens not normally open to the public. Their full-day, half-day and evening tours offer a fascinating glimpse into the beautiful gardens behind the honey-coloured facades of Bath’s buildings.
3. Bath by bike
Explore Bath on two wheels and see all the highlights from your saddle. Bath Bike Tours’ knowledgeable guides will lead you to the city’s iconic sights, as well as some hidden gems, whilst sharing fascinating stories about the city and its past residents.
To take in the sights at your own pace, hire a bike and head off the beaten track. Families can hire bikes of all shapes and sizes, as well as trailers and child-seats, from BathBikeHire.com and Towpath Trail Bike and Canoe Hire, whilst the 14 nextbike rental stations across the city provide 24-hour self-service bike hire.
The Bristol and Bath Railway Path connects the cities with a 15-mile path through rolling scenic countryside and the famous Kennet and Avon Canal provides a 57-mile stretch starting in the heart of the city. The Two Tunnels Greenway, one of Bath’s best-kept secrets, takes you through Britain’s longest cycling tunnel.
4. A family adventure
Plan an outdoor adventure for the whole family. Run wild at the fantastic play area in Royal Victoria Park, enjoy a family challenge at Victoria Falls Adventure Golf or follow the Beazer Maze to reach the centre and get back out again!
Complete the family trail on Bath Skyline before having fun in the natural play area, or take a walk to Prior Park Landscape Garden where little ones can follow the Snail Trail and join in Terrific Tuesday activities including pond dipping and wild woodwork.
For a full family day out visit Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park. Take little ones along the riverside trail where they can tackle obstacles, let them explore in the adventure playground and feel the wind in their hair on the go-kart track. They can even take on the big red slide if they dare! Weary legs can be rested with a ride on the South West’s longest five-inch gauge miniature railway, a tractor tour or horse drawn carriage ride.
5. Take a punt
Taking to the water is a gentle and relaxing way to explore Bath and the surrounding area. You can hop aboard a boat tour for a leisurely way to see the sights or hire a rowing boat, punt or canoe to charter your own course along the River Avon or Kennet and Avon Canal.
Meet Pulteney Cruisers at Pulteney Bridge for a one-hour return boat trip to Bathampton, listening to informative commentary and watching out for wildlife along the way. Or hop aboard Bath Adventures’ 1960s Broads Cruiser, Lady Pamela, for a short trip taking in the city sights from the river or a combined boat and walking tour.
Hire a traditional punt, Canadian style canoe or Thames skiff from the charming, Victorian, Bath Boating Station to enjoy a leisurely day on the River Avon, looking out for kingfishers, herons and otters as you go. Or hire a canoe from Towpath Trail to explore the Kennet and Avon Canal. From Bradford-on-Avon you can make your way back to Bath or head to the market town of Devizes to see the famous flight of 29 locks.
6. Life on the water
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend the night a little closer to nature by booking a quirky bolthole.
Experience the tranquillity of life on the water by spending a night on a stylish and bijou Bath Narrowboat, moored in the picturesque Sydney Wharf. Or plan a retreat to Huts Upon a Hill, a cosy shepherd’s hut, where you can enjoy idyllic views for as far as the eye can see.
Climb into the canopy and spend the night in the Old Mill Treehouse or float off to sleep on The Lodge’s hanging bed. Relax and get back to nature as you watch the squirrels running along the balcony whilst enjoying a picnic hamper breakfast.
Start planning your adventure in Bath’s countryside by finding out more at visitbath.co.uk.