There is a green and vibrant vein running through the city of Bath, and it is the Bath and Bristol Railway Path. Following the route of a long-closed Industrial and passenger railway line, it lets Bathonians and visitors to Bath escape the city, and get out into the Spring sunshine. Very clearly signposted with well- maintained path surfaces, it is a wonderful route to follow, whatever your group or motivations. Along the way, there are plenty of places to take a well- earned break, such as the lovely Locksbrook Inn.
This path forms just one branch of the wonderful network of leisure paths created by the 'Sustrans' group, who have sought to make a network of safe and scenic public paths all around the UK. This brilliant charity always celebrates the history and heritage of an area, and they have done this here, by placing several information boards all about Bath's railway past. For a closer look at the wonderful work that Sustrans do around the UK, check out their helpful website:
My walk began at Millmead Road bridge, one of many bridges which span the streets of Bath. I parked near to Millmead Garage, postcode BA2 3JP. Here, there is free, on-road parking and the bridge offers an unusual view of the Georgian side of the city of Bath:
The view from Millmead Bridge, looking towards the famous Georgian part of the city
Although my walk was only four miles in total, I could have carried on for a further ten miles and finished in Bristol. Alternatively, walking in the other direction would have taken me to another wonderful walk, known as the 'Two Tunnels Circuit', which I have written about before:
I just wanted to get out into the spring sunshine for some exercise and fresh air, but I ended up having a colourful mindfulness walk and was calmed and inspired by beautiful sights. I am a firm believer in the art of mindfulness, and the sights along this path made me feel very mindful and mellow. Here are my top three:
1. Serene swan. The lead up to the Railway path runs along the Avon canal towpath, with all manner of wildlife there to enjoy. As I crossed the river on a footbridge, I saw this stunning swan, who paddled alongside me for a mile:
A calm and contented swimmer, who looked amused by my camera
Parts of the old railway bridges and signal boxes have been adorned with spray paint art, and a lot of it is very interesting to look at. I felt that some of the murals were a stark yet interesting contrast to the spring beauty all around.
Some well- executed street art along the Sustrans path
Due to it being built over the route of train lines, this is a very well- marked, broad and flat path. As long as you follow the signs (especially when crossing through the Locksbrook Industrial area, then the path is very easy to navigate, and you can choose whichever pace you desire. As a shared access path for pedestrians, cyclists and runners, there are always people around, and so it also feels very safe and populated. I thoroughly recommend a visit this spring, because it looks glorious down there!