A Stroll in Prior Park Landscape Garden

A Stroll in Prior Park Landscape Garden

In the heart of Bath is a sweeping valley.

A place of peace & quiet. A tranquil green landscape that allows you to escape from life and enter a world of nature.

If this sounds like your kind of travel experience, come along for a stroll in Prior Park Landscape Garden.

There’s no shortage of lovely landscapes when it comes to Bath, England.

In part because Bath is a city and countryside rolled into one.

Right next to the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city of Bath is the beautiful landscape garden of Prior Park. A peaceful oasis made to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.

It’s a place to quiet your mind and take in the beauty of nature.

Something it seems we could all use a bit more of that in today’s hyper-stimulated world!

Bridge in Prior Park

I’m a big advocate of wellness travel or traveling in ways that enhance health & well-being.

Why? Because engaging in wellness travel can make any type of trip richer & more enjoyable.

In planning my wellness travels, it’s always a priority to support my mind & body.

Since walking is a great way to stay in shape during travel, it often makes my list of things to do in Bath, and beyond.

I love Georgian architecture, so Bath is a somewhat regular stop when in England. This summer I was lucky enough to get back to Prior Park for another visit.

Come and join me for a relaxing walk in the park.

A Stroll in Prior Park

Prior Park is an 18th-century landscape garden that is owned by The National Trust.

The park was originally laid out between 1734-1744. The garden’s showpiece, The Palladian bridge was added in 1755.

Then later, the hilly slopes were added by the famous landscape architect Capability Brown.

Prior Park House and Decorative Garden Urns

Upon arrival at the gardens, you are greeted by a small shed with visitors’ information.

Here, you will find the Wildlife Sighting Board. One of these days I am hoping to see finally see a badger up close and personal!

Seasonal Sightings Board at Prior Park Landscape Garden

From the shed, a circular walking path encompasses the property. Making ambling at a leisurely pace a treat.

From here, it’s up the hill towards the house.

After a jaunt through some tall cattails, I arrive at Sham Bridge. Here, I stop to ponder this architectural feature.

It’s like a mini-Palladian bridge, and you can’t help but wonder what it would have been like in the park’s heyday.

To pass over the bridge while chatting away about life in The Georgian Era.

Sham Bridge at Prior Park Landscape Garden

Rounding the corner, Prior Park House majestically appears though an opening in the trees.

It’s as if the path was made to appreciate that small glimpse of Georgian splendor.

National Trust Property Prior Park House

Prior Park House is a Grade 1 listed building that was built by John Wood, The Elder in the 1730s. It’s a harmonious piece of architecture.

This Palladian mansion is now privately owned, a school of all things!

It’s a pity, as I would love to see the inside of this beauty.

Prior Park House in Bath England

Even though the house is grand, the view looking back over the valley is even grander.

The bench is an invitation to sit, rest and take in the view.

It’a sigh-worthy spot to experience.

View of Prior Park Landscape Garden and Bath England

After a respectable pause on the bench, it’s time to continue along the path.

Traveling only a few yards, I befriend two shiny Labrador Retrievers and of course, their owners. 😉

We chat away about Bath, travel, life, and their adventures hiking the SW Path in England. Over a period of a few years, they hiked its entirety- all 630 miles! Talk about travel goals!

I share with them my upcoming plans for my Cornwall vacation and they reassure me that I have made some scenic and challenging choices with my planned hikes. That’s good to hear!

Continuing along the quiet path, the rustic Summerhouse appears.

Tucked away among the trees, it’s a quiet spot to sit and enjoy nature.

The Summerhouse at Prior Park Landscape Garden

Past the Summerhouse, the path climbs to what is a commanding birds-eye view of Bath.

When you are in the center of Bath it buzzes with a vibrant city energy. Yet, up here Bath sits quietly nestled in the valley. It’s easy to feel removed from it all.

It’s a peaceful perspective from this vantage point and a wave of calm blankets me.

Hilltop View of Bath England

The sun finally looks to be making an appearance as I round the corner and spy some cows through the trees.

This little one chews away on the trees, clearly not very interested in me.

It’s a whimsical moment that makes me smile.

Cow Eating Tree Leaves in Prior Park Landscape Garden

Continuing down the hill, the cows appear again.

With the cows now grazing in front of the house, the view looks like an old landscape painting.

Quintessentially British.

Cows Grazing The Valley in Prior Park Landscape Garden

The next stop is the focal feature of the park, the Palladian bridge, one of only 4 in the world.

Architecturally, it’s spectacular.

Palladian Bridge Over Serpentine Lakes in Prior Park Landscape Garden

On a mindful level, it’s lovely to experience walking across it as the beams of sunlight cast lines of shadows across the walkway.

In fact, the bridge is what initially motivated me to visit Prior Park. Anything Palladian, and I am there!

The sun finally peeks out for a while as I make my way around the serpentine lakes.

The lush green landscape glistens and I feel the calming effect of nature.

Prior Park Lake Serpentine Lake

How a wide-open space can feel so intimate, I’ll never know.

t’s one of those places you can feel completely present and connected to your surroundings, while also feeling like you are a part of something much bigger than yourself.

My bliss is interrupted as my stomach tells me that it’s time to find some food. Exiting the lower gate, there’s a narrow lane with old-world charm.

At the end of the lane is The Thomas Becket Church. Today it’s actually open, so I stop inside for a look.

This Grade 2 listed church dates back to 1490 and is still an active parish. A few volunteers were on hand to share the history of the church with me and entertain my curious questions.

It was an unexpected surprise and the perfect way to end the afternoon.

Thomas Becket Church and Cemetery in Bath England

A Few Logistics…

Check the Prior Park website for opening hours and a schedule of guided walks which run seasonally.

Prior Park is located about a mile, slightly uphill from the city center. There is no onsite parking. But, the Bath City Sightseeing bus and the number 2 bus stop near the main entrance.

There is a tea shed for refreshment, and the park is dog friendly!

Above the park is the Bath Skyline walk, if you wish to continue your outdoor experience. Or make a stop at Prior Park part of your Skyline Walk.

If you are visiting multiple sites in The UK, consider buying a National Trust annual pass, it’s well worth the more Americans can buy The Royal Oak pass.

What’s so great about a historical garden like Prior Park is that you get to experience a piece of history while reaping benefits to your own well-being.

Travel meets wellness, the perfect combination for today’s fast-paced world!

until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well

More inspiration…

10 Wellness Things To Do In Bath

5 Beautiful Places For Leisure Walks In London

Explore The Necropolis- Glasgow’s Victorian Era Garden Cemetery

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An Afternoon Stroll In Prior Park Landscape Garden

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Travel Coach, Health Educator, photographer & coffee lover who calls italy home

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Wellness is my path & passion. Integrating my life's work in Education & Sports Medicine, with my love of travel, I created T & I to help you craft meaningful adventures that recharge the mind, body, & spirit. It's a space of inspiration, empowerment & well-being. Come and join me on the journey...

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