If you’re sailing across the skies on a hot air balloon ride across Bath, there are many sights to see, from landscaped gardens like Prior Park to the reflective surface of the River Avon.
However, it’s not just natural wonders like parks and water courses that are present in this historic city. For lovers of architecture, there are also plenty of manmade masterpieces waiting to be discovered.
Tucked into Baths stately buildings from the Georgian period, you might be lucky enough to spot one of Northern Europe’s most famous historic sites. The remains of the Roman Baths within the city are incredibly well preserved for their age. Not only are they considered to be among the most important spas of religious significance, they are also a shining example of the extraordinary engineering abilities of the Romans. With an aerial view from a balloon’s passenger basket, you’ll have a clear view of the cool waters and classic columns below.
Also known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath Abbey offers the pinnacle of the Perpendicular Gothic style of architecture. From its unmistakeable exterior with detailed vaulting and columns cast in stone the shade of honey, to its outstanding stained-glass windows, the abbey has long been one of the city’s most visited locations. Despite its age, the abbey is to this day still an active church. If your flight takes you past this beautiful building, you may witness the citizens of Bath flocking to one of the regular services that occur during the week.
Largely considered to be the Somerset city’s most iconic landmark, 30 terraced residences created in a curved row comprise the celebrated Royal Crescent. Constructed by John Wood the Younger, an architect who was baptised in Bath Abbey, its Georgian architecture is arguably some of the finest in England. As you pass above the perfectly maintained Grade I listed buildings that were completed in 1774, you will also see the elegant Royal Victoria Park stretched out before it that was opened by the future Queen when she was just 11 years old.
Once the Sydney hotel, The Holburne Museum stands within the picturesque splendour of the Sydney pleasure Gardens. Construction began on this eye-catching three-storey building in 1796 from designs by Charles Harcourt Masters. Although completed three years later in 1799, the structure evolved again in 2011 when the architectural firm, Eric Parry, developed a modernist extension for the museum. Featuring a stunning selection of ceramic and glass fins in blue and green, the unique design resulted in the Bath location being shortlisted as building of the year for the RIBA Stirling Prize.
From its grand museums and historic sites to the unparalleled architecture of its residences and churches, Bath offers an impressive array of buildings to spot from the skies. The next time you take a flight by balloon, see how many you can make out from your lofty perch.