Courtesy of North Somerset Council

Natural Habitats

Our guide to breathtaking landscapes, gardens and parks

Day 1

Bath: manicured gardens and stunning views

Explore the lush landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage City.

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Photo by Rachel Beaumont

Prior Park

These 18th century gardens are the perfect expression of the harmony between human creativity and natural beauty. Created by Bath entrepreneur Ralph Allen and designed with support from landscape architect ‘Capability’ Brown and inspiration from poet Alexander Pope, the sweeping valley is set with Gothic temples and grottos as well as an elegant Palladian Bridge, one of only four in the world.

To get here, either take the No 2 bus from the centre of Bath directly to the entrance of Prior Park, or there is a very steep one mile walk rewarded with excellent views over the city.

Venue information
  • Walk 25 mins
Photo by Paolo Ferla

En route

For more views over the city take Bath’s most popular walking trail, the Skyline Walk, through woods and fields to the American Museum.

Courtesy of American Museum in Britain

American Museum & Gardens

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Limpley Stoke Valley and the River Avon, the Georgian Claverton Manor is now home to the American Museum. As well as its fine collection of folk and decorative arts in the house, the 35 acres of parklands include old Italianate-style pleasure gardens and a replica of George Washington’s garden at Mount Vernon.

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Courtesy of the American Museum in Britain

Orangery Cafe

Take a moment to soak up the greenery while in the Orangery Cafe & Terrace with its splendid views over the gardens.

  • Walk 25 mins
  • Bus 10 mins
Photo by DAVID ILIFF, License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

En route

If walking then it is downhill all the way, with great views over the city. Or there are regular buses from the University into the city centre.

Photo by Freia Turland

En route

Walk into the city through Sydney Gardens. Laid out in 1795 as a pleasure garden, it was originally the centre of fashionable Bath life and a site for firework displays and concerts.

Courtesy of the Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum

One of Bath’s finest examples of Georgian architecture, the Holburne Museum houses an impressive collection of paintings and fine art, from Renaissance treasures and old masters to temporary exhibitions of pop art and abstraction.

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Photo by Evoke Pictures

Holburne Cafe

At the rear of the Museum the cafe is housed in a modern extension of glass and steel that blends into the surrounding greenery.

Day 2

A tour around the region's 'Green Capital'

Known as the 'Green Capital' for its eco-conscious residents, Bristol is also celebrated for its sprawling green parks and surrounding countryside.

Courtesy Visit Bristol

Cabot Tower

Tucked behind Park Street is Brandon Hill, the oldest park in Bristol, and an urban haven for green space. It has a nature reserve, children’s play area and one of Bristol’s most iconic structures - Cabot Tower. Climb the 107 feet to the top for 360 degree views over the city, docks and the River Avon.

Venue information
  • Walk 25 mins
  • Bus 15 mins
  • Car 10 mins
Courtesy Visit Bristol

En route

Walking to the next location is hilly in parts, but the pay off is in the window shopping and lovely cafes in Clifton Village. If taking a bus, look for the No 8 from The Triangle.

Photo by Tobias Berchtold

Clifton Observatory

The Clifton Observatory started life in 1766 as a windmill for corn and was later converted to grind tobacco (snuff) for the Clifton elite. With sprawling views of the Avon Gorge and a wonderful vista of Clifton Suspension Bridge it is no surprise that the artist William West chose to save the derelict building and make it into his studio in 1828.

Today you are still able to see the camera obscura, installed by West in the observatory, which projects panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Venue information
  • Walk 3 mins
Courtesy Visit England

Clifton Suspension Bridge Museum

The iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, spans the Avon Gorge and links Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset.

The Avon Gorge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and is home to many rare plants including several that are endemic to the Bristol area - such as the Bristol Whitebeam and the Bristol Onion. The Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project maintain an award-winning flowerbed on the Clifton side of the bridge which houses impressive displays of local flora.

Walk across the bridge to take in the majestic views and pop into the Visitor Centre on the other side.

Venue information
  • Walk 30 mins
  • Bus 25 mins
  • Car 10 mins
  • Cycle 10 mins
Courtesy Visit Bristol

En route

If taking the bus, catch the No 505 from Percival Road to Black Boy Hill, from where your next destination is a 10 minute walk down Stoke Road. Alternatively walk over the gorgeous Clifton Downs.

Courtesy of Bristol Botanic Garden

Bristol Botanic Garden

Set against the backdrop of a beautiful Victorian house, Bristol Botanical Garden's inspirational displays include the Evolution collection, local and rare native flora, and herbal and medicinal plants. The garden contains over 4,500 plant species which will transport you to some of the world’s most incredible habitats.

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