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15 Best Hikes and Walks in Bath, UK

Having recently spent the summer pet-sitting in this historic city, enjoying the range of hikes and walks that were available in the area, I’ve put together a list of the 15 best walks in Bath, UK. Bath sits in a beautiful part of England and attracts a large number of visitors every year. Visitors come … Read more

The post 15 Best Hikes and Walks in Bath, UK appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Having recently spent the summer pet-sitting in this historic city, enjoying the range of hikes and walks that were available in the area, I’ve put together a list of the 15 best walks in Bath, UK.

Bath sits in a beautiful part of England and attracts a large number of visitors every year. Visitors come to Bath for its history and culture – the city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after all!

Others come for the excellent cafe, bar, and restaurant scene, and many crowds flock to the city because Bath offers the perfect blend of all of these things. Walks and hikes are certainly on the list of top things to do in Bath.

Bath is located in the south-west of England in the county of Somerset. The city, which is home to two universities, also happens to be nestled among some fantastic countryside. Rolling hills, quaint villages, and the Avon River/Canal are within easy reach via a few leisurely Bath walks.

Best Hikes and Walks in Bath

I’ve enjoyed hiking and walking all over the world. From the mountains of Southern California to the vineyards of Florence and Sienna; a lot of my trips are based around exploring places on foot. I love the different perspective of a town or city you can gain by taking a stroll (or something more strenuous), plus it’s great exercise.

I’m also partial to a walking tour and wandering amongst the architecture of a city admiring its beauty at a gentle pace. So, in this list, you’ll find a nice mixture of hikes that pose a challenge as well as routes for those who are simply looking for some relaxed walking in Bath.

1. Bath Deep Lock – Bathampton

narrow boat

Let’s begin with what I consider to be one of the best walks in Bath. Using Bath Deep Lock as a starting point, we’re going to head along the beautiful Avon Canal all the way to the neighboring village of Bathampton.

This route sticks to the Canal the entire way but does at times require you to cross to the other side as one pathway comes to an end. I loved admiring the many pretty narrowboats that moor up along the banks of the Canal, and watching as the boaters operate the locks. Rather them than me!

You’ll encounter ornate bridges, a historical pumphouse, a floating B&B, and hopefully plenty of wildlife too. Continue walking east from Bath until you come to the George Inn – a lovely traditional English country pub with 2 big beer gardens and a courtyard just steps from the Canal. It’s the perfect place to refuel for the journey back to Bath.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start – Bath Deep Lock – Finish – The George Inn at Bathampton
Length: 4.6 Miles (7.4km)
Duration: 2 Hours
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

2. Bath Skyline Walk

It is an uphill view of the city with lush plants on the frame image's side.

For those looking for good hiking in Bath, look no further than the Bath Skyline Walk. This encompasses a loop of the outer hills of the city and takes in some spectacular views and glorious English countryside along the way.

Begin at Bath Spa Train Station, and walk east out of the city you begin a steep climb to reach the loop. I’d advise you to follow the route clockwise, as during my previous hike here the signage had been removed in the anticlockwise direction. This led to a few mishaps and turnbacks as the trail can be misleading at times.

Be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots as some parts of the route can become quite muddy. If there’s been prolonged, heavy rain, consider saving this hike for another day. Generally, the route is well-maintained and easy to follow and it’s worth the effort of the climb for the views. The Skyline Walk is one of my favorite hiking trails in Bath.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Bath Spa Station, Bath BA1 1SU, United Kingdom
Length: 7.5 miles (12.07km)
Duration: 3-4 hours
Type of Trail: Circular
Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft

3. Bath Spa – Sham Castle

It is a historical architecture of a place gate.

One of the best simple hill walks near Bath is the pretty straightforward route up to Sham Castle. I was out for a morning stroll and came across what I thought were some long-lost ruins, but it turned out to be Sham Castle. It’s what is known as a folly, (essentially a piece of architecture built purely for decoration), and is not in fact a castle at all.

The walk to Sham Castle was very nice, however, and you’ll be treated to some fantastic views of the city once you’re there. Beginning again from Bath Spa Station, walk east out of the city along the canal until you reach Bathwick Hill. Climb the hill, turning left onto Cleveland Walk. Along this road, you’ll meet footpaths that head all the way up to Sham Castle.

You can join the Bath Skyline Walk too and extend this hike exponentially. Or simply return along a similar route back to Bath City Center. This is best to complete on a beautiful clear day so you can enjoy the lovely views.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start – Bath Spa Train Station – Finish – Sham Castle
Length: 2.8 miles (4.51km)
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 246 ft

4. Bath Spa – Bath Abbey – The Royal Crescent

It is a long and curved historic building with a few people walking and cars part at the front.

I had quite a few family members and friends visit me during my stay in Bath and I got pretty good at giving ‘the tour’ of the popular sights of the city. I’m happy to share with you this free walking tour in Bath that takes in some real architectural wonders.

Using Bath Spa station as your starting point, head north into the city center, following the main high street. This is usually a busy thoroughfare and within a few minutes you’ll come across the magnificent Bath Abbey and Roman Baths on your right. Be sure to spend plenty of time enjoying this iconic part of Bath’s history.

When you’re ready continue north, turn left when you reach George Street, and then immediately right. This will then lead you directly to the Circus – a stunning collection of Georgian houses built in a round. Just steps from here is one of Bath’s most famous landmarks; the equally stunning Royal Crescent.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start – Bath Spa Train Station – Finish – The Royal Crescent
Length 2.4 miles (3.86km)
Duration: 1 hour – 1.5 hours
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

5. Bath – Bradford-on-Avon

A canal, as well as an old building with trees on the side

If you’re feeling energetic, consider taking on the Bath to Bradford-on-Avon walk. It takes in some of the best places to hike in the area. You’ll pass by fabulous English countryside, the Avon Canal, the Tucking Mill reservoir, and The Two Tunnels Greenway (one of the tunnels is over a mile long!).

This is generally considered a challenging route and shouldn’t be undertaken without prior planning and preparation. The reward at the end is the wonderful town of Bradford-on-Avon with all of its quintessential English historical charm and its many quaint cafes, shops, and pubs.

It’s a long, tough walk and I wouldn’t advise attempting to walk there and back in one day. Regular buses and trains give you the option to make it a one-way hike. The pub by the Bradford-on-Avon train stationThe Three Horseshoes, is one of my favorites in the town.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Bath Spa Station, Bath BA1 1SU, United Kingdom
Length 12 miles (19.2km)
Duration: 5 hours
Type of Trail: Point to Point
Elevation Gain: 1600 ft

6. Widcombe Hill

A historic castle surrounded by green trees and a air balloon above the castle.
From one of the lower viewpoints. The view keeps getting better the higher up Widcombe Hill you go!

One of my regular Bath treks was to climb Widcombe Hill. I stayed in the neighboring suburb of Widcombe for the entirety of my stay in Bath and enjoyed the exercise of hiking up the hill a few times a week. The views of the city as you reach the top are breathtaking.

The hill itself is pretty steep at times, and will give you a good leg and butt burn! It seems to go on for a while too but it’s not too long until you reach the Widcombe Hill Viewpoint. From Bath, this is a fairly short, but fairly energetic, walk with a great view to finish (I’ll be expanding on this walk more in the next hike).

Be sure to stop at the Ring O Bells in Widcombe for a rewarding post-hike pint. As featured in the 15 Best Pubs in Bath.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start – Bath Spa Station – Finish – Widcombe Hill View Point
Length 1.4 miles (2.25km)
Duration: 40 minutes – 1 hour
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 492 ft

7. Monkton Combe

A small path way towards a hill and green fields.
The final steps down to Monkton Combe and the Wheelwrights Arms.

One of the best hiking trails near Bath is a continuation of the previous hike up to and beyond the Widcombe Hill Viewpoint. Continue a little further and you’ll reach the tiny village of Monkton Combe, where you can rest your legs and enjoy a rewarding beer at the Wheelwrights Arms.

As you reach the apex of Widcombe Hill, a public footpath on the right links you to a stretch of the Bath Skyline Walk. This cuts across beautiful green fields and tree-lined walkways. On weekends you’ll be able to grab a coffee en route from the Mole Hill Coffee – a horsebox turned cafe that was featured in the 15 Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in Bath 2023.

When you reach Combe Down, cross the main street and take Shaft Road. This small street leads to a set of descending stairs that land you in Monkton Combe. The views from the stone steps are stunning, but be sure to fuel up before attempting the return journey, they’re pretty steep! The Wheelwrights Arms is then just a short walk to your left.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start – Bath Spa Train Station – Finish – Wheelwrights Arms Country Inn & Pub
Length: 6 miles (9.66km)
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 550 ft

8. Avon Canal Walk – West

A lake surrounded by green plants, with boats on the side and an old city in the distance.

The beautiful Avon River and Canal are a real focal point of Bath City Center. You’ll come across ornate bridges and the flowing water many times just strolling around the city. The Kennet and Avon Canal stretches 87 miles from Bristol in the west of England to Reading, west of London.

Public footpaths trail the 87-mile journey, which makes a canal walk an easy-to-follow and delightful endeavor. Simply pick up the water behind Bath Spa Station and head west keeping the river on your left at all times. This will lead you to a nice pub stop – The Locksbrook Inn – in around 45 minutes.

You can also extend this Bath river walk all the way to Bristol if you’re so inclined! But I’d suggest just continuing for another 10-15 minutes until you reach The Boathouse Pub. It’s another great stop by the water for a final refreshment before heading back to Bath along the same route.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start – Bath Spa Train Station – Finish – The Boathouse Pub
Length 5.2 miles (8.37km)
Duration: 2 – 2.5 Hours
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

9. City Walking Tour

A lake and an old building on the right, and people staring at the lake on the left.
Pulteney Weir steps from Pulteney Bridge.

There are a number of great walking tours in Bath. Knowledgeable Blue Badge tour guides will ensure you see all of the important architecture, monuments, and culturally significant parts of the city. You can put your map of Bath away and opt to be shown the way by someone who knows it all inside out.

My parents came for a visit and took a guided tour (I think they doubted the quality of my free guided tour…) and they loved it! The option they went for even included entry to the Roman Baths, so they got to tick off another major landmark on the same morning.

Tours are popular in Bath, especially during weekends and the summer holidays. I’d advise booking well in advance. Click here to learn more about Bath walking tours and to book your’s ahead of time.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start and finish at Bath Abbey
Length: 1.5 – 2 miles (3 – 3.5km)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

10. Bridgerton Tour

A man wearing a white wig is in front of the historic building.

For enthusiasts of the hit TV series “Bridgerton,” I’ve got good news for you. Many scenes from the show were shot in Bath and there’s a walking tour tailored just for fans of the show. Why spend ages attempting to identify the iconic filming locations on your own? Instead, join a knowledgeable guide on a comprehensive journey through key sites.

During the 90-minute tour, you’ll walk by the exterior of Lady Danbury’s residence and visit the National Trust property where numerous ballroom scenes were captured. Along the way, immerse yourself in fascinating behind-the-scenes insights about the show, shared by your knowledgeable guide.

This walking tour of Bath is a great way to see another side of the city. And if you loved the show, even better. Click here to book your Bridgerton walking tour today.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start and finish at York St, Bath BA1 1NH, UK
Length: Approx. 2 miles (3.22km)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Type of Trail: Circular
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

11. Newton St. Loe Circular

dog walker woodland

A route I sadly didn’t get the chance to do, but one that was certainly on my radar, was the Newton St Loe Circular. I’ve heard it’s one of the best family walks near Bath. The easy-to-moderate trail is popular with dog walkers, joggers, and hikers of all ages and abilities.

Situated just a short drive from central Bath, the route takes in a couple of lakes, woodland trails, and even a small castle. The paths are considered good and easy-going, but some of the reviews lead me to believe that on wet days they can become very muddy. So, if you’re planning on taking this one on and don’t fancy the mud, perhaps wait for a dry day.

You’ll also be able to take a slight detour and visit the Newton Farm Shop and Cafe which is just a few minutes walk into the village of Newton St Loe at the start (or end) of your walk. It’s a cute place for a coffee, a light snack, lunch, or to pick up some locally produced groceries and goodies.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Workshop Lane, Newton St Loe
Length 2.2 miles (3.5km)
Duration: 50 minutes – 1 hour
Type of Trail: Circular
Elevation Gain: 200 ft

12. Keltson Circular Trail

A green field and a cloudy sky.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Kelston Circular hike, it offers some of the best hiking in Bath. The picturesque trail winds around the hills that surround the village of Kelston and the wonderful Bath countryside. The stunning views of the Avon Valley and the meandering River Avon make this one of my favorite Bath hiking routes.

With a distance of around 7 miles, the climb is challenging at times and would suit hikers of moderate experience levels. The terrain offers a mixture of rolling hills, steady accents, and rewarding viewpoints. Parking is available at the Swineford Picnic Site, where you’ll also find the trailhead.

But the very welcoming Swan Inn at Swineford served as my starting point. I fueled up with a tasty lunch here before embarking on the journey. This hike is a wonderful way to escape the city, breathe in the fresh countryside air, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds Bath.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Park up and begin at the Swineford Picnic Site
Length 7 miles (11.1km)
Duration: 3 – 4 hours
Type of Trail: Circular
Elevation Gain: 1,155 ft

13. Bizare Bath Comedy Walk

A man on the street performs a comedy act.

If, like me, you enjoy some strange tales mixed in with some laughs, you’ll get a real kick from the Bizare Bath Comedy Walk. My husband and I signed up for this guided tour as we wanted to hear some of the more quirky tales of the city we were staying in.

It was less of a history tour and more of a piece of street theater. Our guide was really comical and essentially used various locations as backdrops for telling tales. It was a completely different vibe to the historical guided walk my parents booked and showcased some alternative parts of the city.

It’s a great way to get your steps in for the day whilst walking around Bath, seeing some top sights, and hearing some really interesting and funny stories. I’d highly recommend it. Click here to learn more about this Bath walk.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start and finish at The Huntsmans Inn, Terrace Walk Bath BA1 1LJ
Length Approx. 2 miles (3.22km)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Type of Trail: Circular
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

14. Royal Victoria Park

Bath hikes cafe

Here’s a creation of my own, and another free walking tour of Bath. Royal Victoria Park is a beautiful landscaped green area that incorporates botanical gardens, a cafe, and numerous ponds and monuments. The park loop is an easy walk and takes in some glorious Bath scenery and sights.

Situated steps from the Royal Crescent, use the Victoria Park Bandstand as your starting point and head in either direction around the park. Be sure to tick off the Colossal Head of Jupiter, The Great Dell, and the Temple of Minerva on your way. If you’re lucky, and choose to stroll around on a nice evening, you may even see hot-air balloons launching from the park.

It’s a popular walking area just outside of the main hub and is one of the best places for dog walks near Bath Center.

Trail Details and Information

Location: Start at finish at the Victoria Park Bandstand
Length: 1.3 miles (2.09 km)
Duration: 25 – 30 minutes
Type of Trail: Circular
Elevation Gain: Mostly flat

15. Bath Ramblers

A mature group of friends are out walking in the countryside with a stunning view behind them.

If you’re looking for walking groups in Bath, the Ramblers may be just what you’re after. A good friend recommended them to me and although I was ultimately unable to organize a hike with them, I was very interested in their club. If you’re in town for a while, they’re a valuable walker’s resource.

The Ramblers promote the enjoyment of walking in the local countryside with regularly scheduled group walks and hikes around the beautiful Bath countryside. Non-members are always welcome, and if you attend three walks you’ll be invited to become a fully-fledged member.

For this reason, and for their efforts in the preservation of the local environment, I’ve made them my final choice for walks around Bath entry. On top of the 14 excellent walks listed previously, the Bath Ramblers will open up a plethora of knowledge and insights into even more of the best walks in Bath.

Trail Details and Information

Website: ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/ramblers-groups/bath-group

Where to Stay in Bath

These are a few of the best neighborhoods and areas in and around Bath:

Bath City Center

Staying in the heart of the city means you’ll have convenient proximity to many of Bath’s attractions. An array of hotel choices are available, catering to a wide range of budgets. So, whether you’re looking for an economical weekend stay or a more luxurious spa break escape, you’ll find it in Bath City Center.

Here’s a great hotel I found, it’s conveniently close to the train station too.

Widcombe

Widcombe boasts its own bustling high street, complete with a charming collection of shops, cafes, and pubs, making it an ideal starting point for a weekend adventure in Bath. An added benefit is that a lot of tourists tend to overlook this quaint Bath suburb. It lies just beyond the train station, a few minutes walk in the opposite direction from the city center.

Here, you can discover a selection of delightful apartments, all within easy reach of the city’s center. Take a look at this apartment option – it’s beautifully finished, has private parking, and is ideal for daily walks into Bath.

Coombe Down

Hotels and apartments within Bath’s city center can come with a hefty price tag, making the idea of seeking accommodation in the outskirts a practical and budget-friendly alternative. The charming village of Combe Down, located just 3 miles away, is an excellent choice as it provides convenient bus connections to the city center.

My own family opted for this arrangement during their stay and made a huge saving. For example, this holiday home is a great option and features a fully equipped kitchen and a garden area so you can make the most of your stay.

Hiking in Bath: FAQs

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about hiking around Bath, England:

What is the most popular hike in Bath?

The most popular hike in Bath is the Bath Skyline Walk. The circular walking trail offers stunning views of the city and its surrounding countryside. It’s a favorite among both locals and visitors for its combination of natural beauty and varying terrain. It provides an opportunity to escape into the countryside while still enjoying the city’s proximity.

What is the easiest hike around Bath?

Of the many leisurely and easy walks around Bath, a hike along the Avon Canal is probably the easiest. The mostly flat terrain stays alongside the canal for miles in each direction. Well-maintained paths and regular access points mean the route can be as long or short as you’d like.

What should I wear when hiking in Bath?

The Bath Skyline Walk is the most beautiful trail in Bath. It offers amazing panoramic views of the city, allowing you the opportunity to enjoy the scenic countryside, rolling hills, and lots of natural wonders.

Is hiking in Bath dangerous?

Trekking Bath isn’t inherently dangerous, but as with any hike be sure to take basic precautions. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing, plan ahead, and prepare for inclement or adverse weather. Pack water and food if you’re attempting a sizeable hike. Know your route and have good guidance options with you such as maps, a phone, etc.

Is Bath (UK) walkable?

Absolutely. Walking in Bath UK is a great way to explore the cultural and historical sights of the city. The largely pedestrianized city center allows the public to explore without concern for vehicles or traffic. There are also many great hikes and walks just outside of the city.

Can you walk along the river in Bath?

Yes, you certainly can. Some of the best treks in Bath are located along the Avon River and Canal. Stretching all the way from Bristol in the west to Reading 87 miles away, the Avon has huge swathes of footpaths that allow for some beautiful walks and hikes along its banks.

How hard is the Bath Skyline walk?

The Bath Skyline Walk is one of the most popular Bath trails and is considered to be of moderate difficulty. In full, at 7.5 miles and 1,100 ft incline, there are some reasonably sharp accents and long stretches of walking. The terrain can sometimes be a little muddy too, but the views are absolutely worth the effort.

How long does the Bath Skyline take to walk?

The Bath Skyline Walk is 7.5 miles long and achieves an altitude of 1,100 ft – it should take experienced hikers around 3 hours to complete in its entirety.

Is the Bath Skyline walk muddy?

The Bath Skyline Walk can be muddy in places but is perhaps one of the best summer walks in Bath. Planning to undertake it in warmer months will also give hikers a better chance of a clear day and even better views. Predominantly, the route is well-maintained and walkable at all times of the year.

Are there guided walking tours in Bath?

Yes, there are a number of excellent guided walking tours in Bath. Whether you fancy a historical tour of the city’s main attractionsa spooky ghost walk, a comedy walk, or even a tour of a hit TV show’s filming locations, you’ll find something to suit your preferences in Bath.

In Closing

Bath is a great place to visit if you enjoy walking or hiking. I loved having so many great possibilities at my disposal during my time in the city.

So, if it’s walking in Bath City Center, entire day hikes around Bath and the surrounding beautiful countryside that will challenge even the most seasoned of hikers, or maybe something in-between you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in Bath.

Happy trekking!

The post 15 Best Hikes and Walks in Bath, UK appeared first on Goats On The Road.

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