How to enjoy the great outdoors in Bath

By Jon Price

Home to rolling hills, gorgeous gorges and lush pastures aplenty, it’s no wonder that Somerset in south-west England is a place that excels when it comes to outdoor pursuits. The historic Roman city of Bath is the perfect jumping-off point, so once you’ve followed in the footsteps of Jane Austen and taken a dip in the thermal hot springs, it’s time to get a good ol’ dose of the great outdoors. Here’s our pick of the very best… 

Stretch Your Legs

Home to grand Georgian buildings, ancient Roman baths complexes and one stunning Abbeys, the city centre of Bath is full of manmade architectural wonders – many of which are revealed on a leisurely walking tour. Not only will you see the sights (and a fair few hidden corners) but you’ll also take in the city’s most picturesques open spaces including, most notably, the Royal Crescent.

Walk on the Wild Side 

If you prefer to discover the surrounding area’s natural beauty, it’s hard to beat an exhilarating hike through the sublime countryside that envelopes the city. This guided ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ tour sets off from the heart of Bath, swapping cobbled streets for lush meadows along a 12km trail that takes in stunning woodland, panoramic viewpoints and centuries-old waterways.

On the Right Track 

Bath is strategically linked to the south-west largest and most colourful city, Bristol, by a former railway track that has since been converted into a family-friendly cycle path lined with eye-popping artworks, welcoming pubs and all kinds of wildlife. Running from Bath’s iconic Pulteney Bridge to the end of St Philips Road, 13-miles away in Bristol, this track is famed for its parkland views and quirky sculptures. It’s also tarmacked to ensure a smooth and steady ride for cyclists of all abilities, and there’s traditional pubs and trendy snack stops along the way for weary riders in need of a mid-point beer or quick bite to eat.   

Set Sail

To discover the city from a unique perspective, an intimate river cruise is hard to beat. This two-in-one tour introduces you to iconic landmarks such as Bath Abbey and the Half Penny Bridge on a 40-minute cruise setting off from Bath Quays along the River Avon, immediately followed by an expert-guided walking tour offering knowledgeable and insightful commentary on the city’s fascinating history and most interesting contemporary quirks. 

Say Cheese!

The quaint Somerset village of Cheddar, famed for its ruggedly impressive gorge - is less than 25 miles away from Bath. The journey there is a scenic one through the winding Mendip Hills, well-known for its walking and cycling trails. Best known for its cave-aged cheeses, mysterious caverns and crystal-clear Cheddar Yeo river, this quintessentially British location boasts a dramatic limestone gorge and, as you may expect, cheese-tasting opportunities galore. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Museum of Prehistory to learn the fascinating story behind ‘The Cheddar Man’ – a fossilised Mesolithic human skeleton first discovered in 1903 that has intrigued scientists, archaeologists and historians ever since.

Bikes and Bubbles

Bath is certainly a city that looks superb from two wheels, but while most cycling tours tend to involve hours of pedalling with limited downtime, this alternative biking adventure has a delightful difference. Following canals and the picturesque River Avon, with tales and stories offers from a local guide – you will see Bath through new eyes. The best bit? There’s a leisurely pitstop along the way in which a bottle of Prosecco is popped open and enjoyed from a scenic viewpoint. It doesn’t get much better than that.  

MakeMyDay offers unique and handpicked experiences and tours in exciting cities around the globe, including Bath.

Image: falco from Pixabay