Walking

Walking trail

Bath Skyline walk

Walking trail

Only a short stroll from the city centre, enter another world, onto the skyline hills above Bath and beyond, through 6 miles of meadows and ancient woodlands to secluded valleys.

Introduction

The gentle chatter of birds, rustling leaves and babbling spring waters replace the city drone. The smell of wildflowers fill the air in the warmer months and in autumn the fruits of nature abound in the hedgerows and orchard fruit trees. At all times of the year, a variety of views from this walk’s elevated position offer new perspectives of Bath, nestled among tree-lined hills. The contrast of the city, so close to this rural haven, enhances the sense of tranquility and the softness of nature’s forms, that unfurl into Bath like green fingers holding a golden stone prize, a special combination that has earned the city and its countryside setting World Heritage Site status.

View of Bath from the Skyline on Bathwick Fields

Map

Bath Skyline walk map

Start:

Bathwick Hill at Cleveland Walk, ST76046 64704

1

Cleveland Walk and North Road: Standing on Bathwick Hill at entrance to National Trust Bathwick Fields, cross road to Cleveland Walk opposite and continue for 400m until narrow footpath on R opposite Sham Castle Lane. Follow path to meet North Road. Turn R and continue to kissing gate (KG) on opposite side of road. Cross road, and through KG.

Waymarkers to lead you around the Bath Skyline Walk

2

Sham Castle Down: Continue up steep steps and path through field. At top go through KG onto small road with bench on L. Detour to Sham Castle (200 m). Cross over road and follow path up past small stone building, then bear R to reach Sham Castle. Retrace steps to bench.

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Sham Castle on the Bath Skyline

3

Bathwick Wood: From bench, keep views to your L. Take path down steps into woodland. Follow path. Ignore metal KG on L, and follow path R and R again, steeply uphill to KG at the top.

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Shady woodlands are a nice retreat in the summer months

4

Bathampton Down: Turn L onto track, keeping woods to your L. Continue past KG on L. Leave wider track on approach to radio masts and take smaller grassy path to L. Continue across two fields keeping level ground. Walk down a short slope which bears L, turn R into wood over stile.

5

Bathampton Wood: Follow winding path through woods until reaching junction of steep cross path. Go straight across past large rocks on both sides and up short slope between two trees where path splits. Take wider path in middle, past large rocky cliff on R. Keep to the higher path, ignoring any others. Path ascends gently to large Y junction, here bear L and continue to metal KG.

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6

Bushey Norwood: Go through KG into open field. Continue ahead with fence on L. At end of field, go through gate in wall and bear R. Cross field keeping wall on R until reaching gate. Go through gate, turn L along track. Turn R before metal gates and go through wooden gate (University land). Go over stone stile in wall on L and turn R along road for 100m. Turn L onto public footpath at gap in wall just before Cats and Dogs Home. Follow path, it narrows at end then reaches Claverton Down Road. Go L for 40m then cross road to small layby.

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Peaceful green spaces of the Bath Skyline

7

Claverton Down: Go through gate to L of layby. Follow fenced path for 800 m, through several wooden gates until you reach woodland on R.

8

Woodland Path: Turn R into woodland, and follow woodland path for 1 km, until you reach wooden gate in stone wall. Go through gate and straight over cycle track. Continue, with playing field on R. Bear L down rocky slope, ignoring wooden stile straight ahead.

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Woodland Path on Claverton Down, home to the Elf anf Fairy Foray

9

The Balcony and Rainbow Wood Fields: Turn R, through stone pillars. Continue along path with views down the valley on L. Detour to Prior Park (300m one way), after pond, through KG on L, follow grass path down through 2 fields. Go past pond on L then bear R up steps. Continue straight ahead through trees until you re-join cycle track. Turn L onto cycle path and follow for 150m until you reach metal KG on L.

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A south view of the Palladian bridge and pasture

10

Widcombe Hill and Smallcombe Vale: Go through KG and follow path down to main road at bottom. Cross road, and continue down road with field and views to R. Turn R into field through KG, then immediate L through second KG. Walk downhill across field keeping views ahead. Bear R to reach KG next to water trough. Go through KG and follow path down steps keeping fence to L. Detour to Smallcombe Garden Cemetery – a tranquil haven with abundant wildlife and a number of notable historic graves – turn R up lane for 140 m.

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Smallcombe Wood carpeted in wild garlic in spring

11

Bathwick Fields: Go through KG at bottom of hill, cross lane, and through gate opposite. Continue up steep path and steps, bearing R and bending L. Go through KG into field. Continue up slope until Bath is in view. Bear R then keep L as path forks and continue to KG into Richens Orchard. Cross top of orchard to another KG. Bear L and head for KG. Go through KG and take path to R. Continue 200 m across field to pedestrian gate next to larger gate. Exit field and go straight on to reach National Trust Bus Stop where walk started.

End:

Bathwick Hill, grid ref: ST76046 64704

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Bath Skyline walk

Terrain

Very varied including roads, surfaced paths, steep hills, a rocky uneven section, steps and a stile. Sturdy foorwear advised.

Bath Skyline walk

Contact us

Bath Skyline walk

How to get here

Address
Bathwick Hill at Cleveland Walk, Bath, Somerset
By train

Bath Spa station is 0.8 miles (1.3km) from the start of the walk (point 1 on the map). Take bus from Bath Bus Station/Dorchester Street (at front of train station). Alight at Cleveland Walk (on Bathwick Hill).

 

By road

Bath is just off the A4 Bath to Bristol road, and the A36 between Bath and Warminster; 10 miles (16km) from Jct 18 on the M4.

There are no National Trust car parks on the Skyline, but there are frequent bus services from the city centre.

 

By foot

From Bath Abbey

With the Abbey behind you and Roman Baths to your right, turn left into York Street. At the end of York Street turn right and follow the path, then cross Pierrepoint Street onto North Parade.

Continue over river to T junction. Cross straight over road onto footpath, going under railway. At canal turn right and soon after turn left over canal footbridge and up steps to Sydney Buildings. Cross the road onto footpath opposite. Continue straight on for 150m and turn left to Bathwick Hill. You are now at Point 1.

 

By bus

From the city centre bus station take the U1 bus (towards University of Bath) to the Cleveland Walk bus stop on Bathwick Hill.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network route 4 passes through Bath (long distance path from London to St. Davids). Follow cycle route to the east side of the city, where cycle route joins/ leaves the canal path. Follow canal path back towards the city (south), until you reach Bathwick Hill. Follow Bathwick Hill uphill until you reach point 1 on the Skyline map (at National Trust branded bus stop on your right).

 

Bath Skyline walk

Facilities and access

  • There are no National Trust facilities directly on the route, but there are a number of refreshment stops nearby
  • Bath Cats and Dogs Home (between points 6 and 7)
  • American Museum cafe, opening times and admission fees apply. Free hot drink and American cookie with purchase of a ticket when you show this map (2017 offer) (between points 6 and 7)
  • Prior Park Tea Shed, opening times and admission fees apply, National Trust membes free (near point 9)
  • Widcombe Village, various shops and pubs
  • Dogs welcome but must be under close effective control, and on leads around grazing animals, farmland and in Woodland Play Area