After October’s budget busting mountain of the month taking the form of Shivling in the Indian Himylaya November’s had to be a more local affair. Having recently headed north, south and west from Bristol in search of local-ish high points I decided to head East and explore a trail maintained by the National Trust: The Bath Skyline trail.
The trail is very easily accessed from Bath city centre which added to it’s appeal. Any walk that starts with even a short rail journey seems more of an adventure than if you drive to the start.
We decided to walk the route clockwise rather than anticlockwise in order to hit the cafe and the best views towards the end of the walk when the weather was supposed to improve. This was a great tactic overall, but was slightly hampered by a trail running race running towards us for about 25% of the 6.5 mile trail. The walk was beautifully varied; woodland, far reaching views and farmland.
The walk is circular and generally is well signposted (maybe going clockwise did mean signs were a little more sparse). We lost the route a few times but had little trouble finding it again as once up on the skyline aim is to stay high until you get back to where you started. If walking clockwise about 3/4 of the way round you can drop down to the glorious Prior Park which is run by the National Trust. It was truly looking its best in the autumn sunshine. I would thoroughly recommend including this in your visit as it has a delightful tea shed selling cakes and hot drinks along with a brazier to warm your hands – perfect for a walk on an autumnal or wintery day.
The climb back up to the final section is worth it and leads back into central Bath by way of country lanes you would never imagine were within 20 minutes walk of the city centre.
The final section takes you along the canal to the station, this towpath is full of the hustle and bustle of town life and really makes you appreciate the quiet, peaceful nature of the rest of the trail up above Bath.
There is lots going on throughout the year on the trail, lots more information and detail on the route can be found here on the National Trust website. I really enjoyed my walk; sometimes when time seems tight real enjoyment of the outdoors can be found on our doorsteps, we just need to remember to look for it. December will definitely feature a true mountain as I am heading off for some festive times in Snowdonia. Fingers crossed for snow!