We travelled to the beautiful countryside which surrounds the City of Bath for a 6 mile Skyline dog walk. Passing through hidden valleys, idyllic woodlands and meadows rich in wildlife.
It’s Sunday and the usual parking restrictions are not in force, so we park on Cleveland Walk close to Bathwick Meadow (on any other day you can park on the opposite end of Cleveland Walk, before the controlled parking zone). Then it’s a short walk to Bathwick Hill. Taking the path between the houses and through the gate, it’s here we pick up the trail for our Bath Skyline dog walk. Entering Bathwick Meadow we are immediately greeted with views of Bath’s honey-coloured Georgian architecture.
The best views of the Bath Skyline are during this part of the walk. Cleo has a run through the long grass and I try and spot some of the famous Bath landmarks. We walk up to Richens Orchard, where occasionally you will find a small flock of sheep grazing.
We follow the trail to Smallcombe Nuttery, a nut orchard of 37 trees including cobnuts, walnuts, almonds and sweet chestnuts. This is a project run by Transition Bath with the aim to provide a sustainable food resource for the local community.
We walk a steep uphill stretch to Rainbow Wood. This area is great for wildlife and we spot rabbits and butterflies. You may be lucky enough to see deer, woodpeckers, jays and buzzards.
Cleo loves the woods, walking through Rainbow Wood she has her nose firmly on the ground sniffing everything. There is a gate on this path that leads into a valley and at the bottom of the valley is Prior Park. Prior Park was created in the 18th century by Ralph Allen to show off the stone from the quarries he owned. The garden is set in a sweeping valley with magnificent views of Bath. We don’t go down there today but you can read about Prior Park in this blog post.
Next up, Long Wood. This section is part of the Family Discovery Trail which is two miles loaded with activities for children, including a play area.
We can now hear barking dogs, which means we are next to the Bath Cats and Dogs home. They have a small pet store and snacks. Cleo already has some treats so we head on to Bushey Norwood.
To get into Bushey Norwood we need to climb over a stone stile, this is the only difficult part of the walk for Cleo to manoeuvre. She puts her paws up on the top of the wall and, with a little help from me pushing her up, scrambles to the top and jumps down into the woods. Well done Cleo! We come out from the woods onto a field and there are quite a few cows here on this occasion. Look out for an Iron Age hill fort and early Roman earthworks.
Keeping to the main trail through the woods.
We emerge out the woods and head towards the TV masts. The golf course is now on our left and we continue along the ridge walk with nice views of Bath between the trees. Eventually we take the second gate on the right, down into the woods.
The path drops steeply through the trees and down to the main path. Cleo runs on ahead, exploring the smaller tracks. We continue on the main path, winding through the trees, go up some wooden steps to a view point with a bench. Here we make a short detour to Sham Castle.
Making our way up the slope, Sham castle appears in view at the top. This folly was a Ralph Allen commision to improve the view from his house.
We head down the steep slopes back to Cleveland Walk and the end of our fabulous Bath skyline walk.
This was a 6 mile long and well-marked walk with great views of Bath. You really experience a unique perspective on Bath. There are some steep sections and quite a lot of gates, with the kissing gates giving Cleo’s mind a workout. If I’m with more than one dog on our Weekend Adventure days, we usually take one of the many other footpaths that crisscross the main route and spend more time exploring the woods and open fields without the cows.