Top Five Best Walks Around Bath

Beyond the iconic limestone architecture and must-visit tourist hotspots, there lies a rather wild side to Bath. It may be Somerset’s largest city, but Bath is surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills, and stunning meadows dotted with some of the best walking routes in Britain.

Ready to pull on your walking shoes and breathe in a big gulp of fresh air?

Here are our picks for the best walks around Bath, including handy tips on what to wear, where to park, and each route’s difficulty level.

Kennet and Avon Canal Path

Good to know before you go

  • Distance: 20 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Flat towpath
  • Parking: Car parks and street parking are available
  • Our favourite feature: Breathtaking, varied scenery

Arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the country, the Kennet and Avon Canal Path is also one of the easiest routes to walk. It’s popular among walkers and cyclists.

Although it’s a 20-mile long trip, you’ll walk along a towpath the entire length of your journey. Leave the extreme outdoorsy gear at home for this one. Just be sure to pack plenty of water, food for the trip, your comfiest walking shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather.

It’s open all year round, so you can enjoy the natural beauty of the canal and its surroundings whatever the season.

From Bath to Devizes, this walk meanders beside the canal, taking you through some unforgettable areas. Sydney Gardens in Bath, canal-side villages, and the Caen Hill Lock Flight toward the end of the route await you.

You can even take audio tours at your own pace along the route using your smartphone. Learn more about Bath’s history, the River Avon, and pick up fun facts along the way.

There are a few short- and long-stay car parks at reasonable prices with a short walk to the start of the route. These include North Parade Road, Manvers Street, and the Bath Spa Station.

Once you’re on foot and heading south away from Bath and into the Avon Valley, you’ll discover rolling green hills, clusters of colourful canal boats, and plenty of quaint places to stop and rest.

Cotswold Way

Good to know before you go

  • Distance: 102 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Terrain: Varies between meadows, woodland, roads, and muddy paths
  • Parking: Yes, car parks and street parking are available
  • Our favourite feature: The Cotswold Lavender Fields during summer

For over 50 years, Cotswold Way has been a celebrated long-distance walk of 102 miles in total, starting from Chipping Campden to Bath.

Don’t be put off by the length of this route. Weaving through some of the UK’s most breathtaking landscapes, it’s fairly easy for fit walkers to navigate, although it does include some rather steep areas. Due to the length of this walk, it’s not something you’ll be able to finish in a day unless you take a shorter circular walk.

As terrain varies so much, wear comfortable hiking gear, pack plenty of water and food for the trip.

Each section of the route offers something different – from open meadows to ancient woodland, ruins of Hailes Abbey and of course, the city of Bath itself toward the southern end of the route.

Depending on where you wish to start and end your journey, there is parking available and public transport. Car parks in Bath are reasonably priced and a short walk to the beginning of the route. These include Charlotte Street, Avon Street, and the Bath Spa Station.

The closest circular route to Bath is appropriately named ‘The Journey’s End‘, stretching six miles and finishing with a trip on public transport to finish off the 3-4 hour trek.

Lavender fields near Bath

Golden Valley and Wick Quarry Nature Circular

Good to know before you go

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: A mix of tarmac road, muddy trails and woodland
  • Parking: Very limited street parking
  • Our favourite feature: The Ancient Wild Service trees

This family-friendly walk between Bath and Bristol is part of the Wick Golden Valley local nature reserve, a beautiful area of protected land roughly 18 acres in size. The River Boyd runs through the reserve, and with the ancient woodland and large variety of flora and fauna to be found there, it’s no wonder the locals describe it as a local paradise.

It’s a short, circular route at just under 3 miles long, with the lower part of the reserve completely wheelchair accessible. Along the full route, you’ll wind through paths past the lake, walk among ancient woodland, and visit sites of historical importance. It’s a little steep at the start but easier as the route progresses. Feel free to bring your dog, too, as they’re allowed as long as they’re kept on a lead.

The only drawback for those travelling by car is there is very limited parking available here. It’s best to travel on foot or by public transport if you can.

Prior Park Landscape Gardens

Good to know before you go

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: A little steep with grass and pathways
  • Parking: No designated parking, car parks available in the city centre
  • Our favourite feature: The Palladian Bridge

As if plucked from an 18th century period drama, the Prior Park Landscape Gardens make for a stunning short walk. Owned by the National Trust, the site features a pleasant stroll around the gardens, meadows, and woodland. Here, you’ll get to see the Palladian Bridge – one of only four in the whole world. From the bridge, survey the beautiful Bath landscape and a view of the city nestled into the valley.

You can access the gardens by walking or bussing in from the city as there’s currently no dedicated parking. However, it’s worth the trip—you and the whole family can grab refreshments at the Tea Shed and even bring the dog for a walk, provided they’re kept on a lead.

If you fancy a longer walk, Prior Park joins the Bath Skyline circular.

Prior Park Landscape Gardens

Bath Skyline Walk

Good to know before you go

  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Terrain: Varies between meadows, woodland, roads, and muddy paths
  • Parking: Car parks and street parking available
  • Our favourite feature: The city views

For a challenging walk in the natural beauty surrounding the city of bath, the Bath Skyline route may be ideal. It’s a 6-mile loop starting at Bathwick Hill and making its way through notable areas including Sham Castle, Bathwick Woods, and Rainbow Wood Fields, ending where you started.

This route is not for absolute beginners— its varied terrain over the rolling hills and through charming ancient woodland makes for a steep start. Wear hiking boots and comfortable clothing that’s weather appropriate. Bring plenty of water and a snack if you like!

No need to leave your four-legged friend behind as this route’s dog-friendly, provided you keep them on a lead. There’s plenty of free street parking near the beginning of the trail along Pulteney Road, Sydney Wharf, and Raby Place.

Related Articles