I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Published June 20th 2017
Trees and blooms from Bath to Botany Bay
The Bath Botanical Gardens are a feast for the senses and fun for all of the family. Situated in the peaceful Northwest corner of Bath's lovely Royal Victoria Park, they offer over 9 acres of paths, gardens, bridges, scented gardens, sculptures, dells and ponds to explore. Originally formed in 1887 for the enjoyment of the people of Bath, the gardens have grown into an immaculately kept parkland space, peppered with benches and wonderful picnic spots. Whether seeking a quiet, secluded spot to read in, or a wide open space for a family picnic, this is your place.
I love to visit the Botanical Garden, at any time of the day, week or year. Whether on my own and writing, or having a family day at the weekend, it is a safe, peaceful and picturesque place. With a dedicated army of landscapers and gardeners to care for it, the paths and lawns are immaculately maintained, and entirely litter-free. With a scented garden walk to discover, along with foliage cultivated on limestone, it is little wonder that this is one of the most beloved places to visit in the city. Couples can even get married in a small chapel within the gardens, which consist of winding paths and lawns that are covered and shaded by exotic and native trees of every colour imaginable, and all labelled for would-be botanists to see.
In the rapidly expanding and modernising city that Bath is becoming, it is wonderful to revel in the beautiful and proud heritage that the city has to offer. In homage to its Roman and Georgian ancestors, the park offers cultural influences from both time periods, all carved out in the honey-coloured stone that makes the city so well-known. One can easily imagine Edwardian ladies and gentlemen taking a turn around the gardens, and reading up on the names and natures of the trees. Nevertheless, there is a dramatic surprise in the form of a preserved Redwood tree, turned in to an impressive sculpture when the trunk succumbed to age.
There is plentiful parking available around the huge loop of Victoria Park, although the rates are very expensive so I would suggest the ten minute walk to the gardens from the city centre. All of Bath is worth seeing, but I would especially recommend the walk up Gay Street, past The Circus and below John Wood's Royal Crescent. The Crescent rises above the park like a protective cliff, and it is easily possible to walk the length of it en route to the gardens.
Although there are plants and trees from around the globe within the gardens, I always feel that there is a Japanese ambience to the place. Even the grandest of trees resemble carefully nurtured bonsai trees to me, and there is definitely something serene about the thought and dedication that has gone into the design and care of the gardens. Wherever you are from, though, and whatever your plant proclivities, I feel certain that you will be fulfilled and inspired by this lovely place. Perhaps I will see you there?