Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Prior Park Review

As Yesterday was a Bank Holiday Monday, and the weather was nice, we decided to make the most of our National Trust membership and find somewhere to go for a walk and a picnic.

We chose to visit Prior Park near Bath in Somerset.

Prior Park is set in a beautiful valley. At this time of year, the wild garlic is in full flower, and the smell of garlic is everywhere, which is lovely.

The park contains a wonderful Palladian bridge, of which there are only four of this design in the world. It is fascinating to read the graffiti on the bridge, which dates back to the 18th century, when is was created by Ralph Allen. Although there are some very naughty people who have added to this in recent years, which is very sad to see, despite a sign asking visitors not to!

There are wonderful walks through the valley. They can be steep in places, with steps, which could be difficult for disabled visitors or people with young children and pushchairs. But the views are well worth the effort.

A short walk from the reception brings you to a point where the centre of Bath is laid out before you, beyond the park. It is a stunning sight.

Down by the lakes and bridge, there is a tea room, where you can sit and relax and take in the views. On the day that we visited, the swans took to the water with their gorgeous seven puffball cygnets. It was quite amusing watching them make the leap of faith of six inches into the lake. Plop, flap, plop.

Overall, we had a lovely day at Prior Park. The one slight downside is that there is only a small car park, which is for disabled customers only. We parked in a side street and walked down the hill. Or you could park in the centre of Bath or take the train and walk up, which is about a mile, or take a bus. This is a lovely hidden gem of a garden, and if you are in the area, is most worthy of a visit.

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