Think of the Cotswolds and you’ll probably think of the countryside, relaxation, and peace and quiet. And you would...
Picture courtesy of www.coolplaces.co.uk
Walking holidays in and near to Bath is certainly growing in interest. From our knowledge here ‘on the ground’ more and more of our customers enquire about where to go and just how good the walks can be. From our experience Bath is a walker’s paradise, as most of the city’s attractions are squeezed within walking distance of each other ensuring you can take in much of what the city has to offer without the need for a car or even public transport! The walks here are all within easy reach of our self catering cottages in Bath.
Bath has some of the UK’s finest examples of Georgian architecture, and includes Roman relics, an imposing Gothic Abbey, and one of the world’s four remaining Palladian bridges. To fully appreciate Bath, and to make sure you haven’t missed out on an important building or attraction, there are guided walks that are suitable for all kinds of walkers, from the fit and healthy to the young and the possibly less mobile.
Our favourites are the Cotswold Way National Trail, the href=”http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bath-skyline/”>Bath Skyline Walk and the City Trail. Here’s a little information about all three so that you can decide which is most suitable for you.
This trail walk is very popular in Bath because there are different distances available, so you are catered for whether you just fancy a lazy stroll around town, or a longer walk, taking in all of Bath’s many sights.
The Cotswold Way National Trail really highlights the beauty of Bath, and shows the visitor the tremendous diversity that goes to make up the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The National Trail takes you through the infamous bluebell woods, beautifully peaceful meadows, rolling grassland habitats, but also draws the visitor into the mystery of the sleepy villages. You can learn about the Roman contribution to the city, how the past has shaped the city today, and understand how Bath became an important part of British history.
This walk is ideal for those who want to learn a little about Bath as a city, as it links buildings with history and the countryside with the past.
If you’re minded to you can walk the entire Cotswold Way which is about 100 miles, but even if you’re not feeling up for a big challenge you should still give this path some time. In fact if you are quite certain that you want more than a normal challenge then there are regular running races along the Cotswold Way! One of many friends is taking part in the Annual Cotswold Way relay – ten runners each running approx 10 miles carrying a baton. Not for the faint hearted!
This is a new walking and cycling path that has taken a disused railway line and transformed it into a stunning walk. You are guided through marked footpaths where Bath’s hidden gems will unfold before your eyes. The stunning views take you into tranquil ancient woodlands, over rolling hills and through hidden valleys, where you can see the beautiful scenery of Bath from spectacular vantage points.
There are numerous places where you can stop and picnic, fly kites on the Blackdown Hills, and spot Roman settlements and archaeological curiosities.
And keen gardeners will be pleased to note that this walk takes you past a beautiful 18th-century landscape garden complete with stylish and unusual follies. The walk can be steep in places and there are a far few stiles and gates to cross and manoeuvre around, so if any of your party is infirm or frail you should consider this. We’re delighted to highlight some cottages at the foot of the Skyline Walk should you be looking for something that offers Bath and the countryside in equal measure.
This is probably the most popular walk around Bath as it is the official circular walking tour, and even comes with a handy book showing you the route, which is available from the Tourist Information Board. Follow the bronze plaques around town and learn about the history of Bath at your own pace. The City Trail is ideal for people who want a little guidance but like to venture out on their own, and stop as many times as they like on route. Start off at the Roman Baths and the Museum, which includes interactive displays.
You can visit the Pump Room, built in 1706 specifically for the sick and ailing, or buy a cup of the healing water straight from the spring. Across the road is the Cross Bath, open to the public, where you can book a private session with your friends.
Shopping enthusiasts should head over to the Seven Dials, a modern shopping complex complete with a courtyard of distinctive shops and restaurants.
The Royal Crescent situated in Victoria Gardens is next; this is an avenue of lodging houses built by John Wood the Younger and completed in 1767. Talking of John Wood, he believed that the Royal Crescent represented the Moon and the Circus the Sun, as they were linked along old lines of ancient energy. Wood was obsessed with old symbolism and you can see examples of this on the frieze on buildings in the Circus.
Fashionistas should make time to visit the Fashion Museum, which is home to over 400 years of fashions, and includes iconic fashion items such as wide-legged flares and platform boots.
Broad Street is a narrow street that contains some unique pubs and shops, and is a firm favourite with local patrons. Broad Street comes from the broad looms the peasants used to weave the cloth that the monks then sold. You can also visit the Bath Postal Museum here, which has on display the world’s first stamped letter right (2 May 1840) and many other relics of the postal service.
This walk ends up at Abbey Green, fittingly a quiet little courtyard with a pub and featuring small independent shops. As for how long you should allow to complete this walk, it all depends on stop offs, and how fast you walk, but fast walkers can make the circular walk within an hour, more laid back walkers can take three hours or more.
So there you have it! Walking options within and just outside Bath. As a city break choice, few can compare with Bath and hence why it is such a jewel in the Cotswolds’ crown. Even if you don’t bring your walking boots the first time, we hope that you’ll realise that Bath is simply too good for only one visit and that you’ll take the word of thousands who come back to Bath year after year.