This is a circular country and town walk, starting at Bath’s - Lansdown Park and Ride. The first part is along the Cotswold Way, the second is a walk-through of the Georgian City of Bath, calling at the Royal Crescent, the Circus and finishing at the Bath Abbey. Return to Lansdown P&R is by bus.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) This walk starts at the bus stops at Bath’s - Lansdown Park and Ride (ST 73171 681). With the bus stop at your back, walk forward, and cross directly over the road - Lansdown Road, to a pathway.
(1) Turn left, and follow this path for approx. 0.7km, until you are opposite the Charlcombe Inn. Cross back over Lansdown Road, to the left of the Charlcombe Inn. With a Cotswold stone boundary wall on your right, walk forward to a kissing gate in the wall ahead (ST 726 686), pass through the gate onto the Lansdown racecourse.
To follow the designated footpath - turn right and follow the rails of the racecourse to a ‘2-furlong marker post’ (ST 722 688). Here, duck under the course rails and cross over the track to the inner field area. Turn ¼ right, and walk diagonally across the inner field, using the righthand edge of a wood (ST 718 687) opposite as a guide. At the edge of the wood turn right, and walk forward, following a well-used footpath, to a viewing point (ST 713 683) – Prospect Stile.
For this walk, the viewing point at Prospect Stile is the start of the Cotswold Way.
(2) At the Prospect Stile viewing point, pass through a wooden kissing gate and turn left. Follow a well-defined path downhill, passing through a large wooden gate, carry on down the hill to a 2nd large wooden gate. Pass through this gate and turn left. Walk forward to a metal gate, pass through this gate, and walk forward a few steps to another on your right (ST 714 682). Pass through this gate onto a well-defined pathway bounded by a hedge on your right.
Follow this footpath downhill for approx. 1.75km. As the footpath joins a lane, look directly ahead for a wooden stile on the top of an earth bank (ST 719 666). Cross over the stile into the field beyond. Follow the footpath over Dean Hill and down through woods, to a metal gate (ST 723 663) approx. 0.6km. Pass through the gate into a field. Walk ahead, and follow a footpath, downhill, through trees, into a 2nd larger ‘recreational’ field. Cross this field to the far-left corner to an access gate (ST 727 663). Pass through the gate and turn left onto Anchor Road.
Continue down Anchor Road to a major road T junction – Crown Road, turn left and walk forward for approx. 35m, to a Zebra Crossing. Cross over the road, and turn right. Walk ahead, staying on the left-hand side pavement, cross over a minor side road -Trafalgar Road, into - Church Street.
(3) The second next part of the walk is through the outskirts of Bath, leading to the city centre. The route is identified by ‘Fingerpost’ sited at key points.
Confirm - Church Street by checking for a Cotswold Way Fingerpost sign (ST 729 664), on your left, approx. 15m from Trafalgar Road. Carry on along on Church Street. as it turns left and climbs uphill. passing - All Saints Church on the left. Carry on down the hill, for approx. 50m, to a Cotswold Way Fingerpost.
At the Fingerpost (ST 731 663) turn sharp left into - Church Road, and carry on uphill, approx. 0.25k to Purlewent Drive. Cross directly over Purlewent Drive. Note the Cotswold Way Fingerpost (ST 737 662), on the left. Carry on uphill, for approx. 80m, to a kissing gate.
(4) Pass through the gate into the field beyond Primrose Hill. Turn right, and follow a well-defined path across the field. At the junction of two paths, turn right and walk ahead to a large metal gate (ST 735 663). Pass through the gate, and carry on down the lane to the bottom of the hill.
At the bottom of the hill turn a ¼ left, and follow an unmade-up path for approx. 80m, to a kissing gate. Pass through the gate into a lane with high walls on both sides. At the top of the lane, note the Cotswold Way Fingerpost fixed to a short post (ST 738 662), on your left. Continue ahead into – Summerhill Road.
(5) With houses on your right, remain on Summerhill Road, and walk ahead for approx. 145m to – Sion Hill. Note the Fingerpost on your left (ST 740 661). Turn right, and follow the road downhill and around to the left. Note the Fingerpost on your left (ST 74025 65922), pointing to a park gate. Pass through the gate onto a tree-lined pathway, crossing the – High Common. Follow the path downhill to a road – Weston Road. Cross directly over the road, via the Zebra crossing, into Royal Victoria Park.
(6) At this point, the route breaks away from the official Cotswold way to visit some of the Cities famous Georgian buildings. Walk ahead, staying on the left-hand side pavement, for approx. 160m, to Cow Lane (ST 742 653). Turn left into Cow Lane and walk ahead, approx. 140m, to a road - Marlborough Buildings.
(Note: - Cow Lane doesn't have a street nameplate; the turn-point into the lane can be identified by a large red and white traffic - ‘No Entry’ sign).
At Marlborough Buildings, turn left and walk up the road to the entrance into the Royal Crescent on your right. Turn into the Crescent (ST 744 654) at house No 30. Walk along the curved frontage of the grand Georgian Houses. Exit the Royal Crescent at house No 1, at the eastern end of the Crescent; turn right into Brock Street (ST 745 653). In Brock Street, walk ahead approx. 150m, to The Circus. Turn right, and follow the curve of the Circus around to the next exit – Gay Street.
(7) Walk down Gay Street on the left-hand side pavement, crossing over - George Street and Old King Street, carrying on down to – Wood Street. Turn left into - Wood Street. Walk ahead to the end of the street, turn ¼ right, and cross into - Quiet Street. Walk to the end of Quiet Street, and turn right into - New Bond Street.
Walk forward down Bond Street; passing to the left side of a Cotswold stone building, with a statue of a small boy, high up on the frontage, into – Burton Street. Continue ahead, crossing over two streets – Upper Borough Walls and Cheap Street, into - Stall Street.
(8) Continue down Stall Street for approx. 30m; the entrance into – Abbey Churchyard is on your left. Turn left and walk through the colonnade into – the Abbey Churchyard. The Abbey is in front of you.
The Abbey is the finish of the walk. However, it leaves you at a good starting point to explore Georgian Bath.
Return to Lansdown Park & Ride is by bus. Details can be found in ‘Useful Information’ below.(A)
D : mi 0 - alt. 745ft - Lansdown - Park and Ride
1 : mi 0.52 - alt. 748ft - Charlcombe Inn - and Lansdown race course
2 : mi 1.41 - alt. 741ft - Prospect Stile - viewing point
3 : mi 3.54 - alt. 187ft - Church Street
4 : mi 3.9 - alt. 312ft - Primrose Hill
5 : mi 4.27 - alt. 361ft - Summerhill Road – Start of the city walk
6 : mi 4.96 - alt. 151ft - Cow Lane - & The Royal Crescent
7 : mi 5.47 - alt. 171ft - Gay Street
8 : mi 5.86 - alt. 102ft - Stall Street - turning for the Abbey
A : mi 5.91 - alt. 105ft - Lansdown - Park and Ride
Lansdown - Park and Ride Bus Details
Informations below were written in September 2021 and may have changed since the writing of the text :
No 31 Bus – Lansdown Park & Ride (Post Code BA1 9BJ)
Operator First Bus (to Contact the operator (Tel. 0345 602 0121).
• Monday to Friday 6:15am - 8:30pm
• Saturday 6:15am - 8:30pm
• Sunday & Public Holidays 9:30am - 6:00pm
Types of payment accepted - Cash plus Contactless on the bus
• Adult return ticket on weekdays - £3.60
• Adult return ticket weekends and Public Holidays - £3.10
The No 31 return bus to Lansdown P&R, runs approx. every 15 minutes from a bus stop in Milson Street, opposite Jolly’s Store.
• There are some toilet facilities at Lansdown P&R.
• No facilities on the walk until you reach Bath.
• No special equipment required.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Bath's Royal Crescent
A minor deviation to the published Cotswold Way has been added to this walk; to include a stroll along the front of “The Crescent”; to enjoy a close view of the Georgian houses, and the outlook that the occupants would have had over the parkland to their front.
"The Royal Crescent", was originally named "The Crescent." It is claimed that the addition of “Royal" was added at the end of the 18th century after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany had stayed there.
The Crescent; built over 240 years ago, is laid out like a crescent form. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger, and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the best examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom. It is made up of 30 town-houses; though some changes have been the Georgian stone facade remains much as it was when first built.
The Royal Crescent is linked, via Brock Street, to The Circus.
The Circus is a ring of large townhouses near the city centre. Designed by John Wood the Elder, and built between 1754 and 1768; along with the Royal Crescent, it is regarded as a pre-eminent example of Georgian architecture and has been designated as a Grade 1 listed building.
John Wood was convinced that Bath had been the principal centre of Druid activity in Britain. He had previously surveyed Stonehenge, which has a diameter of 325 feet (99 m) at the outer earth bank and designed the Circus with a 318 feet (97 m) diameter to mimic this.
The Circus is divided into three segments of equal length, with a lawn in the centre. Each segment faces one of the three entrances, ensuring a classical facade is always presented to pedestrians entering the Circus.
Originally, the central area was paved with stone setts, (quarried stone, usually granite, used on roads and walkways), covering a reservoir that supplied water to the houses. In 1800 the Circus residents enclosed the central part of the open space as a garden. The area has now been grassed over and is home to a group of large plane trees.
Bath Abbey is a parish church of the Church of England; a former Benedictine monastery. It was founded in the 7th century, reorganised in the 10th century, and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. Further major restoration work was carried out by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1860s.
The first sight most visitors have of Bath Abbey is the West front, with its unique Jacobs Ladder of Angels. Legend has it that Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, visited the Cathedral in 1499, and found the building in a poor state of repair. The bishop took over a year to decide what action to take. In 1500 it was decided to rebuild the cathedral, part of which was the rebuilding of the west front. The story goes that the bishop had a dream in which he "saw the Heavenly Host on high with angels ascending and descending by ladder". Seeing this dream as a message from God, he had it represented on the west front of the cathedral.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.