Designed by John Wood the Younger as lodging-houses for the gentry on their visits to Bath, this crescent was completed in 1767. It was in the middle of farmland then and had wonderful sweeping views of the hills and Avon valley. Those views now offer additional interest for fans of gasholder design and housing estate layout, but the Crescent itself remains a splendid sight, with Victoria Park calmly green below. Note the ha-ha, or sunken fence, which kept the sheep, cows and peasants from their front lawns, but didn’t interrupt the view from the apartments.
Bath has eight crescents. But the magnificent Royal Crescent is the finest – a world-famous icon and the city’s most desirable location. At the centre is the Royal Crescent Hotel, one of the world’s best.
John Wood the Younger designed the crescent as a row of 30 lodging houses for the gentry coming to Bath for the season.
One-bedroomed flats here go for up to a quarter of a million pounds.
Open-top bus tours come past here, but have to turn off their loudspeakers so as not to annoy the residents.
If you’re cycling along here, watch out for the cobbled streets. A mountain bike is best.
Victoria Park in front of the Crescent is ideal for a picnic in sunny weather.
The houses date from 1767 and were then in the middle of farmland. Royal Crescent was the first crescent of houses to be built in Britain, possibly in Europe.
If you don’t want to do the bus tour, it’s only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of town. Come up and wander round Victoria Park.
No. 1 Royal Crescent is now a museum of the Georgian period.
If you’re lucky enough to be here on the opening night of the Bath Festival in late May, all the shops will be open until well into the night.
Victoria Park, Bath’s largest and loveliest, is in front of and to the side of the Crescent.
A panoramic camera is best for capturing the wide sweep of the Crescent. Because it is south facing it looks good almost any time of day.
There are lovely walks between here and the city centre through Victoria Park. Head for the top left hand corner of Queen Square and keep going up.