Though it is best known for its architectural marvels, Bath is also a city with plenty of parks and gardens which are simply asking to be explored. Many of the city’s green spaces have remained an intrinsic part of community over the years, many considered to be significant heritage assets developed for leisure purposes within the Renaissance period of Henry VIII, in response to the sophisticated parks and gardens of mainland Europe at the time.
Bath’s Royal Victoria Park is listed by English Heritage and remains a firm favourite for residents and visitors alike. At one end you can take a tree-lined stroll beneath the Royal Crescent, or partake in a range of outdoor sports on the recreational courts. Alternatively, you could spend hours wandering through the Botanical Gardens, decorated with an abundance of exotic and native flora, with plenty of designated areas for a well-deserved rest. If that isn’t enough to keep the kids entertained there is also a generous adventure playground and nearby duck pond to openly explore.
Nestled by the banks of the Avon River, Parade Gardens offer a compact recreational space, below the towering spires of Bath’s historic abbey. During the summer months, the lawn becomes a buzzing social space, complete with bandstand and deckchairs, so you can sit back and relax in the sun. Just a short climb from the centre of town you can find a striking green space, maintained by the National Trust. Prior Park Landscape Garden offers sweeping views down the hills towards the heart of Bath’s sandstone façade, known for its infamous Palladian Bridge, only one of four in the world.
It may be a bit of a climb, but if you take your time, efforts will be rewarded when reaching Alexandra Park, which offer stunning panoramic views across the city, providing a birds-eye view on Bath from above. This circular perch backs onto woodland around Beechen Cliff and includes recreational courts and a well-maintained playground for children. On the opposite side of the city, Sydney Gardens stands as a legacy of its time, as one of Britain’s best enduring Georgian pleasure gardens, its paths once treaded by the author Jane Austen. Accessible from the top of Great Pulteney Street, it also has direct access onto the scenic towpath following the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Other green spaces around the city include the Garden of Remembrance in Henrietta Park, offering ample space to recharge your batteries. If you are in the vicinity of Bath’s Artisan quarter, then you can also enjoy unique views of the city from the quiet seclusion of Hedgemead Park. If you have access to a bike or car, there are plenty more natural woodlands and greenways to explore across the wider South West region, it’s just a matter of choosing which one to visit first.