|The ruined St Mary's Church at Bathwick|
So after five days in and around the city it was time to move on. We haven't come far, geographically, just four miles up the canal to Claverton but we could be a hundred miles away.
The difference is extraordinary; we are buried deep in a steeply wooded valley through which run, closely bunched, the canal, railway and River Avon. It's sublimely rural; just the occasional toot of the train as it nears a pedestrian rail crossing and glimpses of pale stone houses among the trees. And yet, walk a mile up the steep hillside and there is the edge of the city for all we have done is loop round a long, long turn.
|Carefully conserved with wild planting and subtle pathways|
The ruins of St Marys Church, Bathwick and its redundant graveyard have been turned into a carefully managed wilderness. A contradiction in terms perhaps but the wild flowers, grasses, bushes and trees that grow among the crumbling headstones are, if one wants to be poetic, a sort of heavenly vision of nature's ability to reclaim man's world – without the hell of brambles, nettles and rampant weeds. It's all been made possible thanks to Heritage Lottery money, skilled conservation and volunteer effort. There's a subtle footpath through between the graves, many of which have been identified and marked, and even a leaflet to guide you. Worth a visit if you find your way to Henrietta Road while wandering in or out of Bath.
|Straight from East Berlin to Bath, the Hilton blockhouse|
|Eccentric ware and headwear at Green Park|
|Carefully conserved too, a wooden canal cruiser|