Monday, 25 June 2012

A Day out in Bath, the Widcombe Art Trail, The Bath Skyline Walk and Prior Park Landscape Garden

Last weekend, on the 23rd and 24th of June, Widcombe held their  sixth Art Trail; the folded programme looked very inviting, and Widcombe is just across the road from the station, so it seemed like a good opportunity to get a few good ideas from another group putting on an open studios type event. There are amazingly 5 different art trails in Bath, the programme for the Widcombe one can be found at:
We started by walking to Violet Bank Farm, the furthest venue from the station, up Widcombe Hill and right down Prospect Road, as the name suggests, the views from the farm were spectacular. I particularly liked Sue Wales' landscapes and would have been very happy to own the second one on the left as I went in to her studio. The garden was splendid, with many interesting compartments to it, and open for the day raising money for Dorothy House. Not for the first time, I thought how well garden and art trails go together.
Here's a photograph of a stunning fountain in the garden:
From there we could see the Palladian Bridge in Prior Park Landscape Gardens and thought we needed a closer look, it can be reached via the Bath Skyline walk which was just up the hill, past Macaulay Buildings and turn right up a steep footpath through the wood. The Bath Skyline Walk is well worth  attempting, it's a 6 mile circular walk through stunning countryside.
We didn't walk the whole walk on this occasion, but dropped down the Prior Park by the back way, walked across the fine Palladian Bridge and stopped for lunch at the cafe. I'm putting in 2 photos of the bridge because I like them so much.

I loved the reflection in this one. There were huge carp in the lake and ancient grafitti carved in the bridge stonework.
On the way back to the Art Trail, we passed Widcombe Manor, a rather lovely place with lions on the gateposts:

Just round the corner in the grounds of St. Thomas a Becket church was this fascinating room with a light on inside:
So back to the Art Trail, and Bewdley House where Janet Coles had some magnificent vibrant paintings. I bought some place mats from her, they are delightful, have a look at her website:
Sara Pearch's pottery was stunning, I bought a card from her.
Next we visited 29, Prior Park Road where Andy Kelly's stained glass was put to good effect in the bathroom window.
The White Hart was a bit cramped, I'm not sure how diners coped with people leaning over their food to look at the art on the walls.
The Print Room was very popular:
The Ring O Bells pub where I have had an excellent welcome and food in the past did not disappoint:

 On the ground floor Penny Richards had some Giclee prints of her allotment paintings, I love them.

The second one had a bright light beside it, so photographed badly, but it gives you an idea of what they're like. Have a look
Julia Trickey was also at the Ring O Bells with her amazing botanical watercolours. I bought a card with a bunch of Violas on the front.
Last but not least, we visited St. Matthew's Church and Hall and got some interesting tips from Simon West who went to Florence to learn a special portrait painting technique used to great effect in the painting of the girl on the easel:

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