With luscious green countryside and quaint villages surrounding the city, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to pub walks near Bath.

We’ve selected some favourites that pack in excellent scenery along with pitstops at charming pubs and historic inns, plus some interesting local sights for good measure.

Walkers alongside the Kennet and Avon Canal

Image - The Kennet & Avon Canal, credit Paolo Ferla

The Kennet and Avon Canal: Bath to Bathampton

Stretching all the way from Bath to Reading, the Kennet and Avon Canal Path follows a historic waterway through beautiful countryside. It’s popular with cyclists and walkers alike looking for a scenic route.

You can easily reach the village of Bathampton in under an hour on foot. Starting from Pulteney Bridge, follow the path towards Sydney Gardens, one of the last remaining eighteenth-century pleasure gardens in the UK.

Continue on past boats and barges until you’re greeted by waterside pub the George Inn. With real log fires, low ceilings and creaking beams, it’s a cosy spot in autumn and winter, while the spacious garden overlooking the canal will call to you on sunny days.

Turn back here or continue on towards Freshford, passing by the Dundas Aqueduct before a second pub stop at The Freshford Inn.

Bradford-on-Avon

Image - Bradford-on-Avon

Bradford-on-Avon to Avoncliff

An alternative walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal is from picturesque market town Bradford-on-Avon to the small village of Avoncliff. It’s well worth making the town’s Tithe Barn, located just off the towpath, your starting point. Dating back to the 1300s, this is one of the largest medieval barns in England, with a spectacular timber cruck roof.

Out on the path, you’ll have the River Avon on your right and the canal to the left as you pass through the wildlife-rich Barton Farm Country Park. Spot birds, insects, small mammals and a wide variety of plants.  

When you reach a fork in the path, turn left over the bridge to carry on following the canal or keep right for the river path. Both routes get you to Avoncliff and its magnificent Victorian aqueduct, as well as the Cross Guns pub. This is a sixteenth-century inn with timber beams, open fires and beautiful gardens with panoramic river views – a lovely spot to while away a few hours people and boat watching.

The George Inn at Norton St Philip

Image - The George Inn, credit Butcombe Brewery

Norton St Philip Loop

About five miles south of Bath, just a short drive or bus ride away, you’ll find Norton St Philip. This historic village makes a great starting point for a circular seven-mile walk charting country lanes and bridleways, woodland and streams, a hidden hamlet, and views back towards the city.

Set off from Bath Road, where a stile just opposite Chever’s Lane leads you to a trail across the fields to neighbouring village Hinton Charterhouse. Here you can take a break at one of two country pubs – the Rose and Crown or The Stag Inn.

The next leg of the walk takes you out of the village via Tuggy’s Lane, into Tait Wood and across Norton Brook to the hamlet of Hassage. Head back to Norton St Philip from here, or take a detour to the Tuckers Grave Inn, a traditional cider house which has remained practically unchanged since WWI.

Round off your wander with a visit to the historic George Inn in Norton St Philip. This is one of the country’s oldest inns (it claims to have had a licence to serve ale from 1397!) and has been used as a set for film and TV, including The Remains of the Day.

View of the countryside from Box Hill

Image - View from Box Hill, credit Edmund Shaw

Box Hill Circular Walk

You may not have heard of Box Hill village before but if you’ve ever travelled on the Great Western Railway between Bath and Chippenham, you’ve actually passed through it. Just east of the city, it’s the site of Brunel’s Box Tunnel, which was the longest railway tunnel in the world when it was completed in 1841.

From Box Hill, follow the sharp descent down to the By Brook Valley. A haven for birders, this is said to be the best place in Wiltshire to see dippers, so keep your eyes peeled as you wander along the river.

The By Brook path leads to the village of Box, where there’s a point of interest for music lovers: Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. This residential studio has hosted everyone from Amy Winehouse to Van Morrison, Beyonce and Coldplay.

Finish the route by walking through Quarry Woods back to Box Hill. Here you can enjoy a well-deserved pint and stunning valley views at The Quarrymans Arms, named as a nod to the area’s mining past. There’s even a heated and covered pergola terrace so you can comfortably drink in the views in all weather!

Solsbury Hill trig point and view

Image - Solsbury Hill, credit Bill Boaden

Little Solsbury Hill

This walk also happens to have a Peter Gabriel connection – it’s the Solsbury Hill that inspired his hit song of the same name. Based to the north east of the city, the hill rises above the village of Batheaston where the walk starts. Buses run regularly to here from the city centre or there’s a car park on London Road.

Footpaths from Solsbury Lane lead you up to the hilltop, where you can enjoy amazing views and explore the remains of Iron Age hill forts. Carry on to Chilcombe Bottom, a tributary valley of the larger St Catherine’s Valley and former reservoir turned mini wetland reserve.

Head towards Northend where you can join the Limestone Link back through Batheaston, ending up at stylish riverside pub Bathampton Mill for a post-walk drink and bite to eat.

Hare & Hounds Lansdown

Image - Hare & Hounds

Hare & Hounds Lansdown Trail

The Hare & Hounds in Lansdown is a rustic gastropub just north of Bath. It undoubtedly has one of the city’s most impressive pub gardens, thanks to its large terrace and superb vista across the Charlcombe Valley.

With lots of lovely walks starting from the pub, they’ve teamed up with the iFoodpath app to create the Hare & Hounds Lansdown Trail map. This route takes in Beckford’s Tower, the former study retreat of nineteenth-century writer William Beckford; views of Kelston Roundhill; Bath Racecourse; and lush hillside pastures.

Return to the Hare & Hounds to rest your feet and tuck into some top-notch pub food or a pizza in the garden.

Want to explore more of Bath on foot? Keep reading about walking in the city.

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