L.L. Diamond

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When you cross the river, leaving Bath, and walk uphill for a little over a mile, you find Prior Park Landscape Garden, which is a National Trust Property. This 28 acre piece of property boasts six miles of walking trails with amazing views of Bath in the distance as well as one of four surviving Palladian bridges.

IMGP8704Prior Park has its beginnings with entrepreneur Ralph Allen, who purchased the property and had it landscaped to compliment his home, which was of Palladian architecture and designed by John Wood the Elder. The house still exists, but was sold to the Catholic church in 1828. The house is now Prior Park College, though the students have sweeping views of the park on a daily basis–lucky ducks!

Prior Park’s trails vary and have several follies, the remains of Prior Park’s ice house, which they are still excavating, the restored Serpentine, and a small waterfall or two.

Despite our long uphill trek to Prior Park, I would say it was worth the walk. We brought a picnic and sat on benches (the ground was still wet from a recent rain) just below the school, looking over the Palladian bridge and Bath in the distance. It was a wonderful lunchtime view! If you do decide to take in Prior Park and walk like we did, the exit at the bottom of the hill is supposed to now be opened for entry to the Park as well (At least, that is what we were told on our visit. We missed the change by a few days.), so do check the National Trust’s website for directions there. My only warning is it is a small road, so you have to watch for cars as there is no pavement/sidewalk. While the original and main exit is a big uphill, it does have a pavement. There was also no parking at the entrance, so if you drive, check the website for the closest parking.

IMGP8748After our foray to Prior Park, we walked back up Lansdowne to Hedgemead Park where my children, despite their constant complaining on the walk back that their feet hurt, wanted to play. Hedgemead is a lovely park for a stroll and has a good playground. After the kids had their fill, we walked around and I happened upon St. Swithin’s Church, which you can find at the end of the Paragon in the Walcot section of Bath.

For those who are unfamiliar with St. Swithin’s, it was the parish where Jane Austen’s parents were married (Though it was a smaller church that stood before this one. It was demolished and replaced due to the growing population in Bath at the time.) and is also the church where Jane Austen’s father, the Rev. George Austen is buried.

I didn’t go into the churchyard to find his grave, but did get a picture from Hedgemead park.

My last fun bit was to walk just up from where we stayed at the end of Camden Place to actually look at Camden Place and take photos of the building. It’s a tricky building to get a good photo of, due to its length and the busy road in front. I tried a panorama at one point when a car came barreling around the corner, creating a strange blip in the panorama. Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing the building where Sir Walter Eliot lived in Persuasion. 🙂


Next up – Cambridge – Sedgwick Museum and Fitzwilliam Museum


6 thoughts on “Bath – March 2016 Part 2

  1. Carole in Canada says:

    Love the pictures especially the one with the bridge and folly! Oh to take a ramble through that park…Don’t you just hate things getting in the way of a great picture!
    Thank you!


    1. You made me go look and see if my husband’s shoulder was in any of the shots! He had a bad habit while in Bath of walking in front of me while I was taking a photo. 🙂 Thanks, Carole!


  2. Thanks for the lovely post, Leslie. I loved Prior Park when I went up there a couple of years ago, especially that gorgeous Palladian bridge, but the trek uphill was a bit of a shock to my system 😀 I didn’t expect it to be quite so long and steep. The views were well worth it though. Loved to see the photo of St Swithin’s Church too. Thanks for taking us with you and can’t wait for the Fitzwilliam Museum!


    1. That hill is a shock, isn’t it! For about two months, I had a nasty respiratory virus that became pneumonia, then a cold, then a sinus infection. I was beginning the sinus infection when we went to Prior Park. I was miserable huffing my way up that hill! Then we got to the top and the guide told us all about how the lower exit was going to be open on Monday for entrance (It was Thursday). The views are spectacular though! My daughters want to go to the school. LOL!


  3. Brenda Webb says:

    I do not comment often enough, Leslie, but I love your blog . . . especially when you post pictures of things I shall never see in my lifetime. I love this post and the bridge. Sigh. Thanks for being so kind as to share with all of us. Hugs. Brenda


    1. The Palladian Bridge is awesome! You should check out the photos Jane Odiwe posted on Facebook today. She has some of the etched graffiti from the bridge that she took shots of. Some of it is Regency if you take the time to look for it. Thanks, Brenda!


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