Situated behind the Holburne Museum at the end of Great Pulteney Street, Sydney Gardens is the oldest park in the city of Bath. It was planned and laid out by the architect Harcourt Masters in 1795 and throughout the end of the eighteenth and into the nineteenth century it was the popular place to see and be seen by the fashionable visitors to Bath.
Sydney Gardens was frequently visited by members of the Royal family and, of course, the famous author Jane Austen who lived at number 4 Sydney Place, directly opposite. Public breakfasts were only one of the many attractions the gardens had to offer, alongside firework displays and concerts.
The gardens were reached via the Sydney Hotel, in Sydney Place, at the end of Great Pulteney Street. Today, the hotel still welcomes you as the Holburne Museum, home to fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne.
The gardens contain fine trees, shrubberies, lawns and flower beds, tennis courts and a children’s play area and is still a source of entertainment, with cinema and theatricals taking place throughout the summer months.
The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the park, with a wide towpath, ideal for leisurely walking and cycling, or for just admiring the view from one of the elegant iron bridges.