Although the glitter and sparkle of the festive season is fast fading into the background, one way to beat those winter blues is to wrap up warm and head out into beautiful Bath to enjoy some of the wonderful walking trails this picturesque city is blessed with. From extensive treks, ideal for walking off those extra mince pies, to gentle family jaunts where you can throw a ball for the dog, Bath offers a variety of reasons to get out and about in the winter. Here are some of our favourites:
Having been dubbed the most popular of the National Trust’s downloadable walks just a few years back, the Bath Skyline walk had to come top of the list. A six-mile trek beginning at Bathwick Hill, this route presents breath-taking views of Bath’s iconic, honey-coloured buildings and terraced houses as you wander through the surrounding countryside, discovering hidden valleys, beech woodland, 18th century follies and the Iron Age fort on Little Solsbury Hill. This walking trail is excellent year-round, plus the National Trust assures us that this route burns off as much energy as playing 90 minutes of football – just the sort of thing to get that New Year’s health-kick started.
Kennet and Avon Canal Path (from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath)
Hit two historical destinations with one walk and hop on the train to the quaint market town of Bradford-on-Avon. Here, you can follow the Kennet and Avon Canal Path for a seven-mile stretch through the charming valley and enjoy stunning views, thanks to the canal’s elevated position above the river. Look out for the impressive aqueducts at Dundas and Avoncliff and warm yourself up with a hot drink or spot of lunch at one of the charming pubs you will encounter en route.
Cotswold Way (Journey’s End)
Explore the southern end of the famous Cotswold Way with this six-mile stretch leading from open hilltop and farmland into the heart of Bath. Hop on the Bath Park & Ride No.31 (Lansdown) to start your journey and follow the trail round the Bath Race Course to begin your descent. As you approach the tree-topped mound of Kelston Round Hill, expect the captivating vista of Bath to begin to open up on the left. After climbing stiles and navigating kissing gates ton your way down to Victoria Park, reward yourself with refreshments at one of Bath’s excellent pubs, restaurants or cafes.
Prior Park Gardens
A particularly magical destination during the winter months, when a light dusting of frost brings the grounds to life, the 18th-century landscaped gardens of Prior Park make for a short, family-friendly walk. This gentle trail is one that even small children can appreciate due to the hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by wandering off the beaten track. Explore the gothic temple, the grotto and the serpentine lake before crossing one of the four Palladian bridges of this kind in the world. The sweeping vistas over the valley offer spectacular views of Bath – equally enchanting on a misty morning as on a crisp, clear winter’s day.
Royal Victoria Park
Of course, sometimes during the winter months, one does not wish to wander too far from the comforts of the city centre. Fortunately, Bath offers a selection of rather lovely green spaces, ideal for taking the dog out and absorbing some of the historical highlights for which the city has gained such notoriety. The Royal Victoria Park is arguably the cream of the crop, formally opened in 1830 and the first park to be named after Queen Victoria. Comprising of 57 acres, sweeping views of the Royal Crescent and superb Botanical Gardens boasting an excellent collection of trees and plants, this scenic park offers a relaxing experience for all ages and in all seasons.
Surrounded by exquisite countryside and dotted with green spaces, life in historical Bath provides all manner of seasonal walks right on your doorstep, offering the perfect combination of city life and access to nature.