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Things to see and do at Bathampton Meadows

A shadow of a tree in the field on a sunny day.
Sunshine across Bathampton Meadows. | © National Trust Images/James Beck

Located on the eastern edge of Bath, Bathampton Meadows contributes to the green surroundings of the World Heritage city of Bath. As a green corridor it links the centre of Bath to the surrounding areas of Batheaston, Bathampton and Bathford. A stroll through the meadows, which date back to the late 18th century and were once part of Ralph Allen’s estate, takes in farmland, waterways and views of the city. Here’s a guide to some of the things you can see at Bathampton Meadows.

Summer highlights in Bathampton Meadows

Long sunny days of summer invite strolls with friends and family and perhaps a picnic along the way. At Bathampton Meadows you can watch the variety of grasses as they swish in warm summer breezes and see a range of wildflowers in bloom.

The riverbanks are home to some taller flowers such as water mint (it gives off a lovely mint aroma), teasel, wild carrot and red champion with its bright pink flowers. Why not take a picnic to enjoy on the riverside?

Summer is a good time to spot birds with swallows feeding in the fields and swifts overhead, you’ll probably be able to hear the song thrushes singing from the hedgerows and see smaller birds darting for cover under the trees.

With insects at their peak at this time of year, if you’re out at dusk you might be lucky enough to see the bats feeding along the river. Bring your butterfly guide and see which species you can see – we’ve recorded sightings of peacock, red admiral, meadow and skippers already.

Historic farmland and wide-open spaces

The meadows are made up of three large open fields which connect surrounding areas to the centre of Bath. This historic farmland dates back to 1743 when Ralph Allen purchased Bathampton Manor and the estate that is now Bathampton Meadows. As a designated flood area for the river Avon which runs alongside, you can see wetland areas which offer different fauna and flora throughout the seasons.

Spot the ancient oak

Bathampton Meadows is home to some ancient trees including an oak tree that’s estimated to be over 800 years old making it a contender for ‘Champion Oak status’. You can spot the tree from the path as you pass the sheep grazing fields, a smaller oak stands next to it. Home to many other trees lining the river and edges of the meadows, you can also see giant sequoia trees and willows by the river. Over 2000 new hedgerow trees have been planted at the meadows which will add to blossom in the meadows over time.

A visitor carries a child through grassy meadows
Visitors walking along the 'green corridor' at Bathampton Meadows, Somerset | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Wildflowers and blossom

Blackthorn and willow trees offer a welcome burst of colour in springtime as they start to flower. You can also see blossom on the pear trees by the bridge in Batheaston. From spring the meadows start to come alive with marsh-marigolds and cuckoo flowers, and in the summer months the fields are dappled with wildflowers such as purple loosestrife and other wetland loving plants. In the coming years the diversity of wildflowers will improve as new seed is sown across the meadows.

Wildlife spotting in the meadows

Home to many bats, birds and butterflies, the meadows provide an opportunity to spend time in nature. Hedgerows provide navigation routes for bats and have recently been planted with new trees and grassland seed mix to provide homes for pollinators and breeding sites for birds. We’ll be conducting butterfly surveys in the summer months to monitor the number of species already present in the meadows and to see how this changes over time.

Waterways

Running alongside the river Avon the meadows see many visiting birds that come because of the river such as migrating Canadian geese. On a walk you might spot swans, ducks and other water loving birds. In the field near, Kensington Meadows, there’s an old Victorian culvert and stream run through the middle.

Views to admire

Due to the open nature of the meadows on clear days there are some wonderful views of landmarks in Bath. Look up to Little Solsbury Hill which is easily reached from Bathampton Meadows for those looking for longer walks, or across to Bathampton Downs or the tree rich Brown’s Folly.

Two people walking with a buggy along the path at Bathampton Meadows. Grass and houses in the background.

Discover more at Bathampton Meadows

Find out when Bathampton Meadows is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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