Aquae Sulis Way (1-day version) – Bradford-on-Avon to Bath Abbey. 12 miles. Bath was a sacred site long before the Romans came to Britain, and it has been ever since, mainly because of its healing waters. This day pilgrimage starts in the Saxon town of Bradford on Avon, with its many holy sites. On arriving in Bath, visit the ancient Abbey, then drink the waters at the Roman Baths, from the rather healthy-tasting(!) King Spring – before immersing in the waters at the original Celtic holy site – the Cross Spring, part of Thermae Bath Spa. Journey along ancient wildlife-rich riverside paths toward Bath and experience flowing holy wells and amazing churches along the way.
Keynsham to Bath Abbey – 11 miles. From Keynsham Church there is level walking by the riverside and on the old railway cycle path. From Saltford, you head uphill across farmland to the historic Kelston Roundhill, with stunning views (on a clear day!) across Bristol to Wales. You join the Cotswold Way briefly, which takes you to another panoramic viewpoint at Bath Racecourse. This is followed by a couple of miles of level walking across farmland before you begin the descent into Bath. Tucked into the hillside above Bath, St Mary’s Charlcombe is the oldest ecclesiastical building in Bath still in use today. In St Mary’s peaceful quiet garden you’ll find a holy well fed by a fresh-water spring. The final stretch of the route includes Bath’s famous architectural gems: the Royal Crescent, Circus and Assembly Rooms, finishing at the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. There are good public transport connections between Keynsham, Saltford and Bath. You can find food and drink on route at pubs and cafes in Saltford, Kelston and Lansdown, as well as numerous pubs and cafes in Keynsham and Bath.
Low-cost hostels along route – Bath YMCA; Hostel World and across region.
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Aquae Sulis Way
(alternative start at Bradford-on Avon)
Keynsham to Bath Abbey
Journeyed from Bradford on Avon to Bath Abbey on 9th November. Three of us, all in our 60s, started at 9:30 and arrived at the Abbey at 4pm (still light). Parked in BoA station car park and caught a train back from Bath.
Lovely churches on the way, Holy Wells, rivers and canals. The two canal aqueducts were very impressive. One section of path near the labyrinth was very muddy and slippery, but most was fine. Bath Abbey was a little “sterile” and underwhelming and was outshone by the other churches and chapels. Definitely recommend this pilgrimage.