If you take a stroll through any number of the ancient streets in Bath there's something you might notice absolutely everywhere.....photographers! And, there's a good reason for that. Bath is frequently championed as one of the most Instagrammable (is that a word?) places in the United Kingdom, heck, maybe even the entire planet.
It's small city but jam-packed full of the most stunning architecture and historic venues that are ripe for photo sniping and getting that shutter finger working overtime. It seems every corner you turn reveals another draw-droppingly beautiful vista, a scene from history melding with modern twists here and there neatly wrapped up in a small accessible area easily walk-able on a day trip or as part of a longer stay.
So, if it's your first time visiting or looking for inspiration for your next photography trip then why not explore some of the best Instagram locations in Bath and capture scenes worthy of sharing on your own social media account:
The heart of the city and a magnet for all visitors and locals who flock to the stunning Grade 1 listed Gothic masterpiece. If you're looking for a bustling music-filled atmosphere come during the day but personally, for atmosphere and serenity and more importantly, crowd free photographs, its best to visit at dawn or dusk.
A perfect circle of townhouses surrounding a green and giant veteran trees causes the same reaction to every visitor who first ventures to this part of the city. The scale and beauty is incredible as are the photographic opportunities. It may be a little too large to capture in one image so aim for the finer details, such as house fronts, doorways, intricate ironwork or architectural stonework. Visit at the optimum time of year in Spring and Summer to enjoy glimpses of roses growing across some of the facades.
One of the many jewels in Bath's crown and easily one of the top Instagram spots in the city. The bridge itself is slightly offset and can be an strange angle to fully capture from North Parade overlooking the landmark. You may need longer arms to reach over the stone balustrade to fit the entire bridge in. Or alternatively, just a short distance away are the beautifully managed Parade Gardens where views of the bridge and weir are uninterrupted.
Of course the iconic scene is viewed from Spring Gardens adjacent to the Recreation Ground and River Avon where riverside trees frame the exterior perfectly.
The Royal Crescent
Not to be missed from any visit to Bath is the mighty swooping curve of the Royal Crescent. It's an awesome architectural delight in a city which is home to many fine crescents. As with the Circus it can be tricky cram all of the townhouses into one image without dwarfing the overall effect - so, try for sections of the townhouses which show of the beautiful columns. A good tip here is to perhaps slightly lower your angle when taking a photograph to try and block out any vehicles that may be parked on the adjoining road.
North Parade Buildings
Some of the best places in Bath are hidden away, tucked out of sight from the centre of the city. Close to Sally Lunns Restaurant is one such location, a series of charming linked alleyways that lead from Abbey Green to Terrace Walk (Bog Island).
North Parade Buildings being one commonly visited and photographed spot. It's actually surprising how many differing photos you can capture from this tiny passageway. Times of the day will vary your images, from the warm hues of daytime to the cool blues at dusk and even better when it's just been raining and the stone paving glistens in the light.
The Roman Baths
I recall reading once that the Roman Baths was the tenth most visited place in the UK - now, that's really quite something but you can see why, it's a gorgeous feast for the eyes and even better for taking photographs. The main bath is probably the destination that will captivate you the longest and yield incredible image opportunities.
It's not just the architectural subject that will reveal your creativity but also weather and time of day will play a huge part in capturing the mood and magical quality of this location. Hope for cool temperatures where mist may form over the hot baths or alternatively aim to visit and experience the baths at twilight as flaming lanterns create ethereal conditions perfect for making your photos extra special.
Great Pulteney Street & Holburne Museum
Great Pulteney Street is quite something to see - the sheer enormity of the road flanked by towering gorgeous townhouses is unrivalled elsewhere in the city. Leading from Pulteney Bridge to the Holburne museum at the eastern end opportunities for images will pop out in front of you. Possibly, attempting the entire street view in one sweep might be tricky, so, as before aim for the finer details. Laura Fountain is a great place to start and acts as a focal point or alternatively pick out any of the townhouses and focus on the facade details.
As you stroll along the 300 metre route architectural quirks and side streets reveal themselves before approaching the impressive Holburne Museum. Autumn is a brilliant time to visit this former hotel at the edge of Sydney Gardens - but, anytime of year will see the stonework gleaming in the sunshine and creating an array of angles and shapes that your camera will lap up.
Linking two hot springs, both modern and ancient is the aptly named Bath Street with flanking houses built in the late 1700's. The beauty of this particular location is that lack of traffic and vehicles and any signs of modern influences such as advertising or recent technology - It's no wonder that this part of Bath is commonly favoured as a movie location due to it's beautiful column lined cobbled street free from clutter....must be very simple to arrange a film set here!
Now, you can shoot wide here and get the entire street in which would work well for some social media channels, though for Instagram and it's favoured 4x5 crop I would suggest making the furthest end of the street and the Cross Bath part of your composition. If there's anyone in the frame then why not make them an unaware feature of your photo too!
Another tip - return at Christmas time as the market in this area is incredibly photogenic.
Views , views and more views
Alexandra Park - Making a detour out of Bath's centre is a wise choice. Not only will you explore so much more in the communities here but you'll also be rewarded with some incredible views over the city. Anytime of day to visit is fine, though at dusk is particularly special to watch the city slowly fade from the bustling working day into night and to witness twinkling lights illuminate the landmarks and streets below.
Widcombe area - The Kennet and Avon canal that passes through the city is a fantastic place to enjoy a peaceful stroll through the fringes of Bath. Along the route are many, many photographic scenes that will fill up that memory card in no time. What makes this area special is the sun as it begins to set, creates amazing silhouettes on the horizon where prominent structures in the city, such as Bath Abbey or St John's Church loom out of the golden haze.
Bath Abbey Tower - We're back where we started and this time we're going inside Bath Abbey and climbing historic spiral stone staircases onto the vast roof space overlooking the city. It's special here, the glimpses of Bath from the abbey tower are unbelievable. To be close to many features only seen from ground level is truly memorable and perfect for capturing some distinctive photographs. There's a small challenge here though, as some of the ancient stonework could restrict your view, but persevere and conjure up that yoga spirit to contort your body into a perfect position to get the shot - it'll be worth it.
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