Top spots for history and wildlife lovers

Hummocks made by yellow meadow ants on the Bath Skyline

The Skyline can seem enormous, and you may worry you might miss the best bit. We've compiled them here for you to enjoy, and to get an idea of what you might spot on your walk.

The gravestones at Smallcombe Cemetery

Smallcombe Garden Cemetery

In Smallcombe Vale you will pass through two traditional hay meadows. A short diversion off the Skyline path will take you to Smallcombe Woods with Smallcombe Garden Cemetery nestled in the vale below the wood. This steep place is Bath’s only ancient woodland, having been here for at least 400 years. Discover veteran oak, lime and ash trees along the network of informal paths.

Hummocks made by yellow meadow ants on the Bath Skyline

Claverton Down

Now up on Claverton Down, you can enjoy panoramic city views as you walk along part of Ralph Allen’s eighteenth century carriage drive, known as the Balcony. Prior Park Landscape Garden is tucked down in the valley below. Rainbow Wood Fields lie between the Skyline path and Prior Park. The distinctive natural mounds on are home to the yellow meadow ant. Some of these anthills are over 100 years old. Rainbow Wood gets its colourful name from the arc shape of the woodland.

Children enjoying the woodland play area

Woodland play area

For the young, and the young at heart, why not stop off in the woodland play area. Have a go on the tyre swing, balance beams and see-saw, build a den, or just make the most of the picnic area.

Calves on the Bath Skyline

Rainbow Wood

You’ll pass by Rainbow Wood Farm, a National Trust tenanted farm. Look out for young lambs and calves in the spring.

Winter trees on Bath Skyline

Bushey Norwood

Bushey Norwood is an area rich in ancient history. Look out for an Iron Age hillfort and early Roman earthworks. See if you can spot the standing stones, known locally as claver 'key' stones.

After leaving Bushey Norwood, you pass through Bathampton Woods. The cliffs, caves and rocks in the wood tell a story of quarrying the valuable Bath stone used during the Georgian period. Roughly halfway through the wood on the Skyline path, you cross the remains of an incline railway that used to transport the stone to the bottom of the hill in gravity powered trucks. The prehistoric limestone here was formed when lime was deposited around shell fragments of sea creatures millions of years ago. You'll see that most of the buildings in the city below have been built with Bath stone. The open pasture of Bathampton Down you later emerge into gives views out towards Little Solsbury Hill, Bathampton, Batheaston, and up into the Swainswick valley and the Cotswolds beyond. Leaving the open ground into Bathwick woods, you pass woodland glades that have been created to improve the diversity of wildlife habitat here.

The purple shepherds hut on Bath Skyline

Our shepherds hut

From Sham Castle it’s downhill back to the start of the walk. Look out for our purple Shepherd’s Hut around the Skyline. It moves around throughout the year, but it’s a great place to pick up a Bath Skyline Walk leaflet, and grab a coffee when the hut is manned most weekends.