May is National Walking Month, making it the perfect time to take in Bath by foot and celebrate walking after a year in which it’s been a lifeline to so many. As 2020 has shown us, walking is a great way to keep active and socialise safely.
With plenty of urban walks as well as countryside strolls, there’s a route for everyone to enjoy around Bath and beyond. From hilly hikes to guided tours, get some inspiration on where to #WalkThisMay in and around the city…
1. Take a Bridgerton-Inspired Promenade
Were you loving hit Netflix series Bridgerton over lockdown? If yes, you may already know that Bath stood in for Regency London during many scenes in the series. Step onto the same streets as the Duke of Hastings, Daphne Bridgerton, Lady Whistledown and co. on one of the brand-new Bridgerton walking tours available around the city.
See the dress shop where much gossip is shared, the Featherington family home at No.1 Royal Crescent, ballroom venues and more, led by guides who will fill you in on trivia along the way. City of Bath Guides, Bath Walking Tours and Brit Movie Tours all offer in-depth wanders, and Bath Adventures’ Bridgerton Sights and Music Tour lets you listen to the soundtrack as you take in the sights.
Click here to learn about Bath's starring role in Bridgerton.
2. Follow in the Footsteps of Literary Legends
Learn about Jane Austen’s connections to Bath on a guided walk. Austen made Bath her home from 1801 to 1806, with the city partly inspiring two of her novels – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Walking tours will take you to significant spots from her time in the city as well as giving you an insight into life in Regency Bath.
One of the most iconic horror stories of all time also has connections to Bath: Mary Shelley wrote much of Frankenstein while living here (in Abbey Churchyard) over 200 years ago. Join Show of Strength on their award-winning Frankenstein in Bath walking tour to uncover tales from Shelley’s life in the city. These are running as part of The Bath Festival, or you can arrange private tours.
Return to Bath from 30th June and you can also visit the brand-new immersive attraction, Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein.
Discover more guided walks around Bath here.
3. Explore Beyond Bath
With Bath surrounded by hills and wooded valleys, you can easily escape into peaceful countryside via walking routes from the city centre. Enjoy spectacular views on the Bath Skyline Walk or the Cotswold Way, follow footpaths off the Kennet and Avon Canal to quaint villages, or stop off at waterside pubs along the River Avon. If these greener routes sound up your street, read up on country walks here.
With lovely countryside on every side, Keynsham is another great starting point for walks near Bath. This historic market town is just a ten-minute train ride away and is part of the national Walkers are Welcome scheme. Discover routes for all abilities passing points of interest and great pubs and restaurants within the town and surrounding area.
4. Share Your Memories for the New Bath River Line
While you won’t be able to wander along it this National Walking Month, the Bath River Line is a walking route you can look forward to enjoying in the future. A council initiative, it will cover 10km alongside the River Avon, connecting beautiful green spaces, city landmarks, tempting pubs and peaceful water meadows.
For now, you can share your memories of working, living and relaxing on the riverside, adding them to a map of the route for other people to read.