The Prior Park estate was established by Ralph Allen, a wealthy businessman, postal reformer, and future mayor of Bath. The gardens were designed by the poet Alexander Pope and landscape gardener Capability Brown. The mansion is now home to Prior Park College and the parkland is maintained by the National Trust.
Our Prior Park Bath dog walk begins at the visitor entrance on Ralph Allen Drive. The weather is fine and water has been provided for dogs at various locations around the estate.
The Palladian bridge
We take in the views from the top of the valley and walk down to the Palladian bridge. Aside from the gardeners the park is empty, even the cows that sometimes graze here are absent.
We then follow the winding paths through the woodland that circles the valley where we find a ruined thatched cottage and an ice house, a restored 19th century summerhouse and the footprint of a gothic temple.
We leave Prior Park through an unmanned gate that takes us up a steep hill to Rainbow Wood which is on the Bath skyline walk. I recently blogged about our skyline adventure in this post.
Our Prior Park dog walk was both beautiful and peaceful. Cleo particularly enjoyed the meandering paths through the various habitat types. Although the walk isn’t a long one, we highly recommend visiting these gardens for a relaxing dog friendly break from the bustling city.
Facilities include a tea shed that offers a range of cakes, scones and ice-creams. There is only disabled parking on the estate so we parked on North Road at the top of Ralph Allen Drive and walked down to the visitor reception. On our return to our vehicle we joined part of the Bath skyline walk through the woods. Alternatively, you can park in central Bath and walk up Ralph Allen Drive.