For a city famed for its glorious Georgian architecture, Bath has a surprising amount of public green spaces. From beautiful 18th-century landscaped grounds to charming community gardens, here are the best of the bunch.
Royal Victoria Park
Named after Queen Victoria, who opened the gardens in 1830 at the tender age of 11, Royal Victoria Park is situated just a short walk from Bath city centre. Spanning 57 acres, this vast parkland is well worth a visit, whatever the season. Explore the tranquil Botanical Gardens, enjoy a picnic in front of the iconic Royal Crescent, have a game of tennis on the public courts or try your hand at the 18-hole mini golf course. There’s even an adventure playground to keep the kids happy.
With picturesque views of Pulteney Bridge and the weir, Parade Gardens are a little piece of horticultural heaven in the centre of Bath. The colourful floral bedding displays are a huge highlight, especially in the summer, but it’s the Edwardian bandstand that really attracts the visitors. Band concerts are held here throughout the summertime, so bag yourself one of the deck chairs (free on a first come, first served basis) and enjoy this quintessentially English experience.
Prior Park Landscape Garden
Just a 25-minute walk from Bath Spa train station, Prior Park Landscape Garden is a breathtakingly beautiful 18th-century National Trust garden, situated in the Prior Park estate. Set in a lush, green, sweeping valley, the gardens have amazing views of Bath and are home to one of only four Palladian Brides of this design in the world. From here, you’re just a five-minute walk to the Bath Skyline, a six-mile walk through tranquil woodlands and meadows.
Designed by the architect Harcourt Masters in 1795, Sydney Gardens is Bath’s oldest park. It was a hugely popular destination in the late 18th century and early 19th century, so much so that members of the Royal family were frequent visitors, as well as Jane Austen, who lived at nearby Sydney Place. The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the park, and with manicured lawns and flower beds, tennis courts, a children’s play area and wide paths perfect for cycling, it’s a pretty place to spend a relaxed afternoon.
Offering magnificent panoramic views of Bath and the surrounding countryside, Alexandra Park sits proudly at the top of Beechen Cliff. It’s a fantastic green space scattered perfect for dog walks, picnics and lazy weekends. You can access the park on foot from the city, either by a long flight of steps – known as Jacob’s Ladder, or via Holloway and Shakespeare Avenue. There’s a children’s playground, as well as a petanque court, bowling green and outdoor table tennis table, to keep the whole family entertained.
Spread out over eight pretty acres, Alice Park is a charming, family-friendly space with a real community feel. With six tennis courts, a playpark, boules piste, children’s cycling track and a dedicated quiet zone with ponds, you could happily spend a whole day here, if the weather is kind. Make sure you pay a visit to the Alice Park Café for a great cup of coffee and freshly baked croissant.