Sydney Gardens is one of Britain’s best remaining Georgian Pleasure Gardens. It opened in 1795 and was a favourite spot of Jane Austen.
Now it is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike as a respite from the busyness of central Bath - it is a short walk from the town centre and situated behind the Holburne Museum.
The park is an ideal place for a picnic or a dog walk, and has direct access onto the Kennet and Avon Canal. The Great Western Railway also runs through Sydney Gardens making it an ideal place for trainspotting.
What can I see?
The Gardens have close up views of trains and canal boats and glimpses of the wider city of Bath amongst the historic trees. You can explore the central promenade and its listed buildings including the Loggia, an original feature of the 18th Century Gardens, and the Temple of Minerva which was added in the early 20th Century. You can also explore the historic Labyrinth that was an original feature of the 18th Century Pleasure Gardens, that we have mown into the former Bowls Club Lawn (on the left hand side of the park up from the main entrance) - it's great for children to run around in - see if you can find the centre! Watch the short film about recreating the Labyrinth.
What facilities are there?
- Toilets (20p entry)
- Tennis courts
- Children’s Play Area
- Ice cream kiosk (variable opening hours)
Sydney Gardens Heritage Lottery Fund Parks for People Project
We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in our Round 2 application to the Heritage Lottery 'Parks for People' Fund, with news of a £2.7million grant from the HLF. This success means that we have secured a total of £3.4 million of funding to improve the historic park.
Find out more about the Sydney Gardens Heritage Lottery Funded 'Parks for People' Project.
The funding will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscaping works, renovate the play area for use by people of all ages and create new gardens, alongside a programme of events and activities. The project will celebrate the fascinating history of the gardens, with its Cosmorama, Labyrinth, Merlins Swing, Concerts, Public Breakfasts, Galas and Illuminations. Find out more about the Pleasure Garden in the past.
The planning application for the restoration of Sydney Gardens was submitted on the 15th August 2018: view our planning application.
Events and activities in Sydney Gardens
From September 2017 to May 2018 we ran a series of activities, events and training session in Sydney Gardens as part of our Development Phase, to trial ideas and needs and to engage with the public, park users and community groups in Bath and our surrounding neighbourhoods. Go to our Events page to see what happened. Following news of our successful Round 2 application to the HLF Parks for People Fund, we will be running a packed programme of activities and events for people of all ages and needs, over our three year Delivery Phase (2019 - 2021).
Get involved and keep in touch
Sign up to our mailing list to hear about upcoming events and activities, project update and about consultation events.
Contact our Community Ranger Sue Palmer with any comments or questions:
Watch us recreating the historic Labyrinth on the old Bowls Club lawn in November 2017.