Activities At Newton Surmaville


Enclosed bridge over river in City of Bath

Bath, the Jewel of the South East

Bath lies just over an hour north of Newton Surmaville and it is well worth spending a day exploring this beautiful Georgian Regency town perched on the southern edge of the Cotswolds.  The stone is the colour of pale honey and the intricate wrought iron railings and balconies that adorn so many of the terraces are exceptional.  You feel like you are in a Jane Austen novel as you wander along the Parades, skirt the Crescents and circumvent the Circuses.  Huge plane trees rise out of the squares and round each corner another quintessentially English view reveals itself.

Canal boat travelling upstream in City of Bath
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History, architecture, landscape, literary inspiration, film locations, thriving independent food and drink scene or luxury shopping, Bath has something for everyone but, obviously, one has to start at the beginning.

Ancient Romans came to Bath, or Aquae Sulis, as they called it, to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva and bathe in the warm thermal waters that still spring forth. Today at the Roman Baths, right in the centre of the city, you can explore the beautifully maintained buildings including a ruined temple and walk in the footsteps of these ancient peoples. The audio tours, with costumed guides, are excellent and a good way to really understand the context of this extraordinary place. 

The Abbey close by is also worth a visit, being one of the last examples in Britain of an ecclesiastical building built in the perpendicular style.  There has been a church on this site since Saxon times but this building dates from 1499.

Moving forwards, the vast part of Bath was built in the late 18th, early 19th century.  Walking along the Royal Crescent (in fact a half-ellipse, not a crescent), you get a wonderful view of the town and admire this impressive creation by John Wood the Younger between 1767 and 1775.  The Circus is another beautiful ‘square’, with a group of plane trees at its centre.  The Assembly Rooms are not far away, they were the focal point of entertainment in Georgian times and most likely from where Jane Austen got here inspiration for the many dance scenes in her novels.

Both Jane Austen and Mary Shelley have strong associations with Bath, in fact Shelley wrote a large part of her most famous novel, Frankenstein, whilst living here in 1816-17.  Despite Jane Austen only living here for 5 years at the beginning of the 19th century, Bath made a huge impression on the writer and whilst almost all her novels mention Bath, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are mainly set in Bath.  If this interests you, the Jane Austen Centre is well worth a visit.

Bath is a perfect city for wandering and as you amble along the River Avon, past the Parade Gardens with their unique, 3 dimensional planting displays in summer, you come across the pretty Poulteney Bridge which is an unusual sight with little shops lining both sides.  This leads to more splendid wide roads, lined with handsome Georgian houses.  Note the wrought iron pergolas that frame each entrance with a distinct light or feature to differentiate them, one from the other.  At the end is the Holburne Museum, set in Sydney Gardens, an elaborate pleasure garden popular with Georgian society, and contains a nice collection of 18th and 19th century paintings and decorative art.  There is a nice café here too if you need a bit of peace away from the bustle of the centre of town.

As an alternative to walking, and if high energy activity is what you seek, Original Wild can organise a mixture of watercraft; paddle boards, kayaks, dinghies, to provide you with the most adventurous way to explore the historic city of Bath!

Slightly out of the city, to the east of Bath, you will find The American Museum at Claverton Manor.  Positioned in a gorgeous setting, the American Museum and Gardens was created by an Anglo-American couple, Dallas Pratt and John Judkyn, and opened to the public in 1961 with the ambition to showcase American decorative arts and dispel stereotypes of American culture.

Housed within Claverton Manor, a Grade I listed building, the Museum features exceptional collections of folk art, quilts and maps and includes set pieces that recreate periods from American history that are both poignant and informative. The surroundings are beautiful and the gardens and café have panoramic views from its elevated position.

Newton Surmaville is a dream home for a large house party

…or an intimate gathering of family & friends with lots of different spaces for guests to enjoy both in the house and throughout the property.

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The house has accommodation for up to 20 people in 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.
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There are 5 impressive reception rooms, a cinema room, a children’s playroom and 62 acres of grounds & gardens.
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The house is 75 minutes by car from both Bristol and Exeter Airports and 2 hours from London Heathrow. There is helipad at the house for those wishing to arrive by helicopter from London or it is just over 2 hours by train.

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