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Discover a true sense of pilgrimage with this wonderful walk into the heart of Bath and the southern end of the Cotswold Way. Follow the trail as it slides from open hill top into historic city, winding its way around open farmland and down bustling alleyways, past the Royal Crescent and Roman Baths to its crescendo at the majestic splendour of Bath Abbey.
- Distance: 6 miles (linear – public transport return)
- Duration: 3½ - 4 hours (plus max. ½ hr return)
- Difficulty: Moderate – one stile, some steep sections.
- Parking: Lansdown Park & Ride Car Park, BA1 9BJ
- Public transport: Bath City Centre (Milsom Street) Service 31 to Lansdown Park and Ride - Travelwest Service 31
- Refreshments: for plenty of places to eat and drink please see Visit Bath; also The Hare & Hounds Pub near Lansdown P&R
Points of Interest:
- Prospect Stile - provides stunning views over the surrounding countryside, from here you get a close up view of Kelston Roundhill and in the distance the Black Mountains in Wales.
- Royal Victoria Park - the area is a beautiful expanse of green parkland, spanning 57 acres. Originally an arboretum, it is still home to beautiful botanic gardens and the Great Dell Aerial Walkway. Princess Victoria, the future queen, came to Bath in 1830, aged just eleven years old, to officially open Royal Victoria Park. Unfortunately, she was never to return. During her visit, it is said that a resident of Bath made a disparaging comment on the thickness of her ankles. The observation was duly reported to the Princess, causing her to shun the city for the duration of her reign!
- The Royal Crescent - consists of 30 terraced houses laid out in a 150 metre crescent, close to the centre of Bath. Designed by John Wood the Younger, and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United Kingdom, and listed Grade I. No. 1 Royal Crescent is a museum which has been decorated and furnished just as it might have been during the period 1776-1796. The rooms feature historic furniture, pictures and objects that reveal what life was like for Bath’s fashionable residents – both upstairs and downstairs.
- Bath Abbey - the end and start of the Cotswold Way - look out for the cotswold way marker stone at the west door of the Abbey. The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is a parish church of the Church of England and former Benedictine monastery. The history of this sacred place stretches as far back as Anglo-Saxon times there is a great deal to discover: tales of Kings and Queens, saints and sinners, as well as stories of ordinary people.
- The Roman Baths - Once the site of one of the great religious spas of the ancient world; the people of Roman Britain came to the site to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva and bathe in the waters of the natural thermal springs, which still flow with hot water today. Today visitors can explore the Roman Baths complex, walk on the original Roman pavements and see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva. The museum collection, located next to the bathing complex, includes a gilt bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva, and other Roman artefacts.