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Great Dell in Royal Victoria Park

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by Tom Fieldhouse (subscribe)
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 May 22nd 2020
Great Dell is Great for All
A beautiful open space with an intimate feel

In need of some peace and quiet? Kids or pets need to stretch their legs? Are you looking for some tranquil you time? Then Great Dell in Bath's Royal Victoria Park is definitely for you! Tucked away within the city, it is a leafy, beautifully maintained park space offering quiet picnic space, gentle walks and a safe, fenced-off area for children and adults.

Trees in Great Dell
Part of an International grove of trees in Great Dell

'Dell' is an Old English word for a valley, usually surrounded by woods. That is precisely what Great Dell is. Mostly flat, with a rising path that reaches a wooden aerial walkway looking down on the dell space. There are all manner of giant trees and bushes from around the world, that create a bright green canopy that shelters the entire place from the sun. Its gently sloping sides give the dell a cosy and intimate feel, and there is plenty of space for all.

Oak
One of the Centuries old Oak English Oak trees


One of the truly special things about the Dell are its resident English Oak trees. Some of these are over four hundred years old, and they form the backbone of the great dell. The Oak is a staple of the South West of England, and an old adage says that they can live for a Millenium, with '300 years to grow, another 300 to live and a final 300 to die. The peace and tranquility that these gentle giants offer is truly magical. Another legend states that Robin Hood and his merry men lived in a secret Dell, and it is easy to imagine why once you visit this special place.

Raised Walkway
Looking over the panorama from the raised walkway of the Dell.


A favourite spot of the Dell is the aerial walkway, which is fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs. It offers a view of the bowl-like dell and some of the more colourful trees and bushes, including Japanese Acer trees and rhododendrons. For families, it also makes a superb meeting place, or a base to play hide and seek from. With the entire area being fenced off with painted iron railings, this is a safe place that is road and bicycle free. Perfect for a picnic!

Shakespeare Monument
A monolith that celebrates one of England's finest nature writers.


The Shakespeare monument is well worth a look. Up on a plinth at the base of the Dell, a noticeboard tells of the 30,000 strong procession that led up to the statue's unveiling. Many of his plays have been performed here, and not least 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. It really does have a magical ambience here.

Redwood
A Californian Redwood, making a shady canopy over the bottom of the dell.


A family favourite of the dell is a gigantic Californian Redwood tree, another potential meeting place. It is the tallest tree of the entire place, and looks to be in vigorous health.

Well signposted
Tranquility this way!


Whatever you fancy doing, this place will be waiting for you. The whole space is open from early morning until dusk, as is the rest of Royal Victoria Park. The Dell is right in the centre of the city if you are waking, and offers plenty of parking spaces if you arrive by car or motorcycle. When the whole of the UK is seeking some socially distanced outdoor freedom, this is an ideal place to have a little nature, whether you are alone, with family or looking for a safe place to get some exercise with a friend. All hail Great Dell!

Pathway
One of many well-maintained paths
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Why? Intimate and cosy beautiful outdoor space, nestled in Royal Victoria Park, Bath
When: Dawn to Dusk- open later during Summer months.
Phone: 44 (0) 1225394041
Where: Bath City Centre
Cost: Free
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