Wednesday, 3 June 2015

My Favourite Place

Bath, from Prior Park

Having lived in Birmingham, Brighton, and London, I find myself bringing up my children in Bath. When I moved here 12 years ago, I felt it was like a working museum; the buildings are so homogenous, they almost feel unreal. (Even now, planning is so strict in the city that all construction has to be in (or at least 'faced' with) Bath stone.) There is a Georgian festival every year where people parade through the city, dressed as Mrs Bennett or Mr Darcy. There are the Roman Baths, of course, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The Arts flourish here; there's a literature and a music festival, a fringe, and three wonderful theatres. There are supposedly more choirs here per capita than anywhere else.

To temper the toffee-nosed middle-class-ness of it all, there are two universities and, in the summer, numerous language schools which flood the city with Italian and French students.

But the best thing about Bath - the BEST thing - is the fact that it's surrounded by hills. And so, if you climb to the top of pretty much anywhere, you get an amazing view of the city.

I took this photo in the winter from Prior Park, a landscape garden in the safe hands of the National Trust. It's 18th century (of course it is!) and is an absolute gem. The wonderful Palladian bridge - at the bottom of the photo - has 18th century graffiti scratched into its fabric. The sweeping valley has cows grazing on it from time to time, and the lake at the bottom is filled with fish. Oh, and there's a tea hut. With lit braziers (not brassieres, mind) to keep you warm in winter.

And five minutes' walk from Prior Park is the Bath Skyline, a six mile circular route around Bath with unbelievable views. It's apparently the most downloaded walk from the NT's website. More info here: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bath-skyline/

If you visit Bath and come to Prior Park, don't bring the car. There's no parking available (which makes it relatively quiet); best to catch the red sightseeing bus or the No.1 - or get your walking shoes on and hoof it up the hill.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

11 comments:

  1. Such a stunning view. It really does look like a beautiful place. I've never been actually. #TheGallery x

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  2. Love Bath, not just because it's beautiful but also because it's come to represent a very welcome day off... Once in a while I escape and meet up with a friend there. Don't ever get to see that much though as usually spend the whole time nattering in a cafe. Maybe I could persuade her to natter and walk instead? Prior Park sounds well worth a visit and your photo of the view is stunning.

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  3. I love the sound of the Bath Skyline! My sister and BIL went to university in Bath and I must say it is place I always enjoy visiting :)

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  4. I like Bath too. We've yet to visit with the children but we really must.

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  5. What a great little advert for Bath! Love that you love where you live so much :-)

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  6. I have never been to Bath but I have visited its neighbour Bristol on a few occasions

    Mollyxxx

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  7. I have never been to Bath, but it looks beautiful. Would love to visit x

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  8. Ah this is so lovely to read as Bath is one of my all-time favourites places as well. In fact we sold our house to move there about 9 years ago then chickened out at the last minute (when the old farmhouse we wanted to purchase fell through for a second time). Interesting how things turn out? I wonder if one day we might retire there. It's a place we often go back to for weekends. Beautiful place. Lucky you. x

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  9. Beautiful picture and I am now planning a trip to Bath to investigate. I really want to see the Georgian festival.

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  10. Absolutely beautiful photograph of a place I'd love to get to know more and spend some days touring with my family... maybe on one of our trips back to the UK. Love a place with hills too - and all that cultural richness and festivals. I can totally understand why this is a favourite place for you :)

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  11. Bath is one of my favorite cities in the world. Great post!

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