Baby’s cousin, who is two, and her family were visiting for the weekend so we took them to one of our favourite places – the National Trust property Prior Park, on the outskirts of Bath. It was built by the same architect who designed much of the town, Ralph Allen, for himself and his friends such as the poet Alexander Pope. The famous garden designer Capability Brown had something to do with it, but records don’t show exactly how much. The bridge is purely decorative, in the palladian style that so much of Bath is also inspired by. At the time the gardens were built, there was a movement away from formal laid gardens, to this more natural style. It takes about an hour to walk around, there’s a tea shop half way (they have a real coffee machine! Good cake too) and there are steps so I’d recommend taking babies in a sling unless you’re feeling strong!
On a side note, I always wondered how Capability Brown got his name, and Bill Bryson explains it in his excellent book, ‘At Home: a short history of private life’: after wandering around their estates, he would tell his clients their gardens had ‘capabilities’.