Bath Skyline

Prior Park Landscape Garden, Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, Somerset BA2 5AH

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
View of Bath City, Mendips and beyond from Bath's Skyline © Annette Townsend

View of Bath City, Mendips and beyond from Bath's Skyline

A fantastic array of fiery orange and red leaves in the autumn © Jim Parry

A fantastic array of fiery orange and red leaves in the autumn

Eighteenth-century folly commissioned by Ralph Allen © Katy Smith

Eighteenth-century folly commissioned by Ralph Allen

Energy mapping graph for Bath Skyline walk © National Trust

Energy mapping graph for Bath Skyline walk

Route overview

Savour the magnificent views down into the picturesque World Heritage City of Bath, walk through history from an Iron Age hill fort to 18th-century follies and stroll through hidden valleys, woodlands and patchworks of small meadows, all rich in wildlife.

This walk burns as much energy as playing 90 minutes of football, according to new research. Read the story on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bath-skyline.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route map for Bath Skyline walk
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Bathwick Hill, grid ref: ST760647

  1. Standing on Bathwick Hill, with your back to Cleveland Walk, take the path opposite that goes between houses. Go through kissing gate and bear left diagonally across field. Through next kissing gate, after 82yd (75m) go through another kissing gate and enter Richens Orchard. Exit Orchard through another kissing gate and follow track right. Go through kissing gate, down slope and steps and follow until another kissing gate. Cross track to next kissing gate and bear diagonally right uphill.

    Show/HideBath Skyline

    Stop and enjoy the spectacular views over the Georgian city of Bath and as far across as the Mendips.

    View of Bath City, Mendips and beyond from Bath's Skyline © Annette Townsend
  2. Go through kissing gate into field opposite and bear right diagonally uphill to kissing gate. Bear diagonally left uphill across next field towards houses. At far corner turn right immediately after kissing gate to road. Turn left uphill on road. After last house turn right across road and follow path uphill through woods. At kissing gate A, turn right and follow path straight ahead to gap in wall. 110yd (100m) across next field, take path bearing right away from main gravel track. Enter trees, cross the junction of tracks and follow steps downhill with railings on right. At bottom of slope turn left before kissing gate, keeping railings on your right.

  3. At gateway, turn left uphill through trees to playing fields then turn right, keeping the fence on your left. Keep on round the perimeter of field, then go through metal gate which leads to a gravel track. Go straight across, through the kissing gate into woodland. Keep straight on across private drive, pass field on left and keep on through more woodland. Follow path to right as it skirts an old quarry and finally arrive at houses at woodland edge.

    Show/HidePrior Park Landscape Garden

    Beautiful and intimate landscape garden with Palladian Bridge; one of only four in the world. Prior Park was once owned by 18th-century entrepreneur, Ralph Allen, who also owned much of the Bath Skyline. Discover the newly restored wilderness with cascade and serpentine lake (ST760631).

    A fantastic array of fiery orange and red leaves in the autumn © Jim Parry
  4. Turn left through kissing gate into field. Keep field boundary on right and at end of field take the right of two gates and follow path along wall. At main road turn left and after 27yd (25m) turn right down narrow footpath. Go straight on at playing field, keeping boundary immediately on left and come to RSPCA home on left.

  5. Turn right on road and after 110yd (100m) turn left over stone stile in wall. After 22yd (20m) turn right at crossing path, go through gate, then left and continue down track. Follow to first corner of field, go through kissing gate and bear left across field. At corner, where field and woodland meet, go through kissing gate and cross field, following woodland edge to your right.

  6. At end of field go through kissing gate and enter Bathampton Woods. At first fork bear right and keep to main trail through woods.

  7. Leave woods and continue straight on. Bear left, slightly uphill, heading towards the right of the TV masts. As you approach the masts, theres a woodland on right and a golf course on left. The path gradually moves away from the woodland and joins a track just to the right of the masts.

  8. Follow track to second kissing gate on right, down into woods. Path drops down very steeply through trees, then go to left just before a wire fence. Continue on path, winding through trees, go up some wooden steps to viewpoint and stone pillars of golf club drive. Here, make a short detour to Sham Castle then return to route and go through kissing gate on right of stone pillars and follow path downhill with field boundary on left. Alternatively, for a level walk, continue from the Castle and follow path, keeping plantation on left, across field to stile. Cross wooden bridge and continue along track through car park, at end turn right and carry on along private road. Carry straight on until Bathwick Hill, opposite Copseland. Walk down Copseland and cross Widcombe Hill to Quarry Farm. Continue along path to kissing gate on right. Rejoin route at A.

    Show/HideSham Castle

    Eighteenth-century folly commissioned by Ralph Allen to provide employment for local stonemasons and to improve the view from his home in Lilliput Alley.

    Eighteenth-century folly commissioned by Ralph Allen © Katy Smith
  9. At bottom of slope go through kissing gate onto road (cross with care) and turn right along pavement. Take footpath left between a field and a garden and follow downhill to emerge onto Clevedon Walk. Turn left to Bathwick Hill and the start of the walk.

  10. We've found that, on average, people burned 735 calories (kcal) during this walk - almost enough to meet the minimum amount of physical activity that the government recommends that people perform each week.

    Show/HideEnergy mapping this walk

    We’ve been working with the University of Bath on a unique project to generate an ‘energy map’ of this walk. We found that, on average, people burned 735 calories (kcal) during the walk - almost enough to meet the minimum amount of physical activity that the Government recommends that people perform each week. Through a survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bathskylinewalk we’re asking people whether they find this information useful, and whether it is worth us looking at doing this for other places.

    Energy mapping graph for Bath Skyline walk © National Trust

End: Bathwick Hill, grid ref: ST760647

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)
  • Time: 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 172
  • Terrain:

    Waymarked circular walk. Paths are muddy in wet weather and steep in places, with some stiles and gates. Take care when crossing busy roads. This walk follows the recommended route. However, there are lots of other footpaths that detour from the main route, which cross level ground and avoid some of the steeper hills. Dogs welcome on leads only as cattle and sheep graze the meadows. Please clear up after them.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: within 1 mile from city centre, up a steep hill. Join the walk at point 1 on the map

    By bus: City Sightseeing tour bus from Bath Spa station, alight American Museum. Buses 8, 18 and 418, City Centre to Bath University, Join walk at point 1 or point 5 for level walk

    By train: Bath Spa, 1 mile, then walk to point 1

    By car: Bath is just off A4 Bath to Bristol and A36 Bath to Warminster; 16 miles (25km) from J18 on M4. There are no National Trust car parks on the Skyline, but there are frequent bus services from the city centre

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