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 submitted our Round 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery's Parks for People Fund on August 15th 2018, following a successful project 'Development Phase' from Spring 2017 to June 2018. Our Round 2 bid is the final stage in our project to secure a total grant of £3.4 million to improve the historic park. We will hear in January 2019 if we have been successful. Find out more about the Sydney Gardens 'Parks for People' Project.
View selected documents from the Round 2 bid to the HLF
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.
We undertook Public Consultations on the design plans for the park during our Development Phase. The first public consultation took place in November 2017. As a result of feedback, we updated the restoration plan for Sydney Gardens in April 2018 and exhibited them at the Friends of Sydney Gardens Community Day in April 2018 and at a public exhibition in Bath Central Library for 2 weeks in May 2018, open to public comments and feedback. We made minor tweaks to our design masterplan as a result of this public exhibition and feedback for our Round 2 submission.
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. If successful with our Round 2 application, we will be running a packed programme of activities and events for people of all ages and needs.
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.