Walk in the Cotswolds: The beautiful country and splendid views of the Bath Skyline

Views of top Bath landmarks on the Bath Skyline walk

The Bath Skyline walk leads you over rolling hills, across enchanting valleys, through blooming meadows and ancient woods, and offers a wonderful escape to the beautiful Cotswold countryside surrounding Bath.

As its name indicates, the Bath Skyline enjoys splendid views of the city of Bath and the surrounding hills. From various view-points along the walk, you can spot Bath’s top sights, including Bath Abbey, the Empire hotel, St Michael’s church and the many rows of Georgian terraced houses Bath is renowned for.

You can start the Bath Skyline walk at either Bathwick Meadows or Prior Park. If you don’t have time to complete the whole walk, you could just explore the first section of the walk closest to Bath. Be ready to walk up and down many steep hills, and don’t forget your picnic, the many meadows and fields the walk crosses are perfect picnic spots.

Location: Bath, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 3 ½ to 4 hours

Distance: 6 miles (9.4km)

Prior Park to Bathwick Meadows: Enchanting valleys and blooming meadows

I started the walk at Prior Park. The first section of the walk from Prior Park to Bathwick Meadows is, in my opinion, the best part. If you wish to shorten the walk, this is the section to explore. You can admire the best views of the city of Bath from the many meadows, woods, valleys and fields you cross.

The Palladian Bridge at Prior Park in Bath
The Palladian Bridge at Prior Park

Starting the walk at Prior Park, you can enjoy the beautiful scenic gardens and 18th century Palladium Bridge built by Ralph Allen. Prior Park is one of Bath’s hidden gems and you should visit this landmark. From Prior Park, the walk leads you up the hill across meadows and fields. This is the first steep climb of the walk.

As you reach Ralph Allen’s 18th century carriageway which leads to his Prior Park mansion and is now a country path, you can marvel at the charming views of Bath and the surrounding hills. From this far, the different landmarks of the city are barely decipherable, but you can admire the lovely honey-coloured Bath stone. As you walk through Rainbow Wood and back down Widcombe Hill, you cross more meadows and fields filled with wild flowers and offering delightful views.

Views of Bath on the Bath Skyline walk
Views of Bath from Widcombe Hill

The walk then takes you through the enchanting Smallcombe Vale. This valley is so close to the city and yet so peaceful. From Smallcombe Vale, you can imagine you are lost in the middle of beautiful countryside. You then reach Bathwick Meadows, another hidden gem, which offers the most magnificent views of Bath. From Bathwick Meadows, you can fully appreciate the Bath skyline and its many landmarks, such as Bath Abbey, the numerous rows of Georgian terraced houses, the Empire hotel and St Michael’s church.

Cleveland Walk to Bathampton Wood: Georgian houses and verdant woods

As you leave Bathwick Meadows and stroll along Cleveland Walk, you can spot the gorgeous honey-coloured Georgian terraced houses typical of Bath. This is one of the few sections of the walk along city streets. From Cleveland Walk, you make another steep ascent to Bathwick Wood.

Before entering Bathwick Wood, you can do a quick 5-minute detour to Ralph Allen’s Sham Castle which also enjoys further lovely views of Bath. The folly is believed to have been built to showcase the quality of Ralph Allen’s limestone. As you cross Bathwick Wood, and further on, Bathampton Wood, signs of the limestone quarries, such as rock faces and old railway tracks, are visible.

Trail in Bathwick Wood on the Bath Skyline walk
Old railway tracks in Bathwick Wood

The walk then leads you behind the Bath Golf Club across Bathampton Down to Bathampton Woods. The serene fields of Bathampton Down offer charming views of Bathampton village, the valley and nearby hills. From there on, the walk is mainly on flat ground until the descent back to Prior Park.

Bushey Norwood to Claverton Down: Lush fields and country paths

From Bathampton Wood, the walk continues across the Bushey Norwood field, at the back of the University of Bath. You can barely glimpse the university buildings behind the burgeoning trees delimiting the university boundary. You then walk along the edge of fields and country paths and through woods across the Claverton Down area.

Views of the Bath valley and surrounding hills on the Bath Skyline walk
Views of Bath from Ralph Allen’s carriageway

This section of the walk is the least charming or exciting. While the land is flat, the views are limited, but the country scenery is as beautiful and serene. As you finish the loop around Claverton Down, you reach the back of Prior Park College and Ralph Allen’s 18th century carriageway. From there, you descend back through blooming meadows to the gardens of Prior Park where the walk started.

To view the walk itinerary, please visit nationaltrust.org.uk.

Explore more in Bath & the Cotswolds

Bath’s hidden gems

The Bath Skyline walk leads you through two of Bath’s hidden gems, Prior Park and Bathwick Meadows. Explore Bath to the fullest and discover more off-the-beaten-path places with the Bath hidden gems guide by A Dragon’s Escape.

Kennet & Avon canal in Bath with canal boats and townhouses
Kennet & Avon canal in Bath

Best of Bath

Bath is one of the best travel destinations in England and offers top attractions, such as Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent. If you want to discover the top places to visit in Bath, check out the Bath discovery tours by A Dragon’s Escape.

More Cotswolds walks

The Cotswolds offer many splendid walks through beautiful countryside. Featuring enchanting valleys, rolling hills and quaint villages, the Cotswolds enchant and delight every walker. Find out more with the Cotswolds walk guides by A Dragon’s Escape.

Located near Bath, the St Catherine’s Valley walk offers a peaceful escape to a hidden valley and the charming hills of the Cotswolds. This circular walk features country paths, rolling fields and quaint villages, and boasts fantastic scenery of the Cotswold countryside. Find the St Catherine’s Valley walk guide.

Views of St Catherine's Valley from Cold Ashton
Views of St Catherine’s Valley

The Bath Skyline walk details

Location: Bath, Somerset

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: Approximately 3 ½ to 4 hours with regular stops

Distance: 6 miles (9.4 km)

Ascent: Somewhat steep

Itinerary: Bath Skyline walk

Trail condition: Good, but the trail can get muddy in wet weather.

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs or bikes.

Parking: Bath city centre

Facilities: Toilets, shops and pubs in Bath

Notes: Please be mindful of livestock and keep your dogs on a lead.

Plan your escape

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Reference: National Trust

Featured image: View of Bath from Bathwick Meadow

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