Widcombe is a thriving community with excellent facilities and services. On the south-eastern fringes of Bath city centre, the area is only a few minutes walk via the the 'Halfpenny Bridge'(built in 1877 and restored in 2013) across the River Avon from the rear of the railway station. You can also approach from the centre of Bath along the riverside path from Argylle St or North Parade Bridge. The photo at left shows Widcombe landmarks as seen from North Parade Bridge in Bath City centre.
Widcombe boasts excellent eating and shopping, beautiful walks and spectacular scenery. Widcombe Association members enjoy discounts with local Widcombe traders - and you don't have to live in Widcombe to be a WA member!
Historians of all kind will find much of interest in Widcombe's churches, cemeteries, historic houses and war memorials. For an overview of Widcombe's history, including many downloadable pamphlets produced by the Widcombe & Lyncome Local History Society, click here.
Widcombe, with its unique blend of city and glorious countryside, is home to many artists and craftspeople. Every year the WA holds an Art Trail, where local artists and friends display their work in their homes and studios and local shops, pubs and restaurants. A Craft Fair is also held every November where local craftsmen and women including potters, jewellers and textile artists, present their own work, and you can buy Christmas gifts direct from the makers.
Top Sights in Widcombe
- The Bath Skyline Walk passes through Widcombe and provides spectacular views of Bath and the surrounding countryside.
- Prior Park Landscape Garden - At the top of Ralph Allen's Drive, south from Widcombe Parade, The Garden is one of Bath's jewels, with views over the city of Bath and a wonderful Palladian bridge. Take a scenic walk from the City centre via the Abbey cemetery, avoiding traffic and enjoying wonderful views en route.
- Beechen Cliff & Alexandra Park - Take a walk from Holloway, Bear Flat or Lyncombe Hill to Beechen Cliff and Alexandra Park for a spectacular bird's-eye view of the city. More on Alexandra Park here.
- Widcombe Manor & St Thomas à Becket Church - Two gems side-by-side in Church Street in the heart of Widcombe (NB The Manor is a private house - please respect this!).
- Bath Abbey Cemetery and Perrymead Cemetery - South from Widcombe Parade up Prior Park Rd can be found the Abbey Cemetery, with many interesting memorials and lovely views. Stop on your way for a 'Tombstone Trail' leaflet at the Prior Park Garden Centre. Perrymead cemetery is next to it.
- Holloway - Make your way from the west end of Widcombe Parade past St Mark's Church, and walk up Holloway, the ancient pilgrim route to Glastonbury, with its Chapel of St Mary Magdalen and recently restored horse trough with poem.
For informational on historical sights, see Historical Widcombe.
For a slide show of Widcombe sights, accompanied by the Beechen Cliff School Folk band playing their self-composed Widcombe Suite, click here.
Where to Stay
Widcombe offers a wide range of accommodation, including the friendly and comfortable dormitories of The White Hart Inn and the Travelodge by the canal.
Portraits of welcoming Widcombe Traders
Where are the businesses in Widcombe Parade?
Many traders in Widcombe are members of the Widcombe Association and offer very worth-while
Discounts to WA members. Details here.
Whilst Widcombe Parade can provide for every-day needs with shops like the convenience store and Pharmacy it is perhaps better known for its hostelries and specialist shops, which draw clientele from all over Bath and the surrounding area: The Aga Shop supplying Agas and all the accessories; Curtain Exchange for new and second-hand high quality curtains & fabric; Kindle Stoves, suppliers and installers of wood-burning stoves, Blazes, a fireplace provider; Print Room for prints and framing; Roundabout for high quality second-hand clothes etc for children and adults; portrait painter and landscape artist Catherine Beale's studio/gallery;
Bath Spa Florist supplying flowers, plants and shrubs, and Secondhand Rose for quality clothing. On the south side of the parade you can find Widcombe Antiques, offering antiques and collectibles at a discount to WA members.
Around the corner in Prior Park Rd is Prior Park Garden Centre, providing a vast array of trees and shrubs, garden and pet supplies, and a farm shop offering local fresh produce.
A short walk westward will take you to St Mark's Rd where tucked away behind St Mark's Church you will find Tim Richards' Workshop & Gallery, where his many fascinating architectural models can be seen and purchased.
Also living in St Mark's Rd is artist Jessica Palmer, an expert in intricate paper images, who conducts workshops in paper cutting, collaging, making cards or painting mini portraits at her home, and who offers a discount to WA members.
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Widcombe – The Place to Eat
Widcombe Parade hosts two excellent bistro-style dining venues for lunch and supper, each with a different atmosphere and high quality cuisine, a Chinese restaurant with well-deserved reputation, and Indian and American food takeaways.
The Ring O’ Bells is a bustling wine bar with scrubbed wooden tables and benches. The menu contains such dishes as baked red mullet and sea bass, with boulangère potatoes. There is also a good sized function room upstairs, ideal for a private party, dance or group activity. Sunday night is music night at this popular venue - for the gig list, click here.
The White Hart has been converted from a traditional pub to a spacious, light, airy bar and restaurant with pleasant courtyard garden, serving choice dishes such as braised lamb shank with horseradish mash, or rib-eye steak with tarragon mustard butter. The White Hart offers discount to WA members.
The Hon Fusion Chinese Restaurant offers a wide range of Chinese food and a take-away service. (Note the discount offered to WA members!)
As well as these restaurants, there are also the traditional pubs: The Ram in Widcombe Parade which serves a wide range of pub favourites, such as homemade beef, bellringer and thyme pie; plus snacks and filled ciabattas; and The Royal Oak in Pulteney Rd which boasts real ales, home-made food, a beer garden and a skittle alley.
Widcombe is also well-known for the Widcombe Social Club, a centre for, amongst other things, Somerset skittles,Darts and folk music. The Club closed for redevelopment at the end of September 2012, when many of its sporting events were switched to Twerton's football ground.
The Parade also has two take-aways - The Manhattan serves burger-type food and the Ruposhi is an Indian curry house.
The Kindling Coffee Shop offers locally produced cakes, sandwiches and snacks with your coffee; and has an outside terrace for Summer days. Lennies Deli and Coffee Shop offers fresh bread daily, cream teas, fine wines and coffee and filled rolls to eat in or take away.
Bath Lock & Key, opened in 2012, offers a large range of locksmith services including lock fitting, emergency call-out service, key cutting, master key systems, security bars and grills, and safes.
Within the Parade is also a doctors' surgery with a chiropodist, two dentists, including Widcombe Dental Practice, Widcombe Pharmacy, two estate agents: Roman City Property Management, specialising in the management of student properties, and Bath Property Shop, who let and manage properties; a launderette, And if you're looking for a driving instructor based in Widcombe, try Widcombe Driving School on 444166.
2014 saw the arrival of veterinary surgeons Ashman Jones at No 5 Widcombe Parade, so Widcombe's pet lovers once again have a vet on the doorstep.
Ashman Jones offer WA members a 10% discount on their pet's first consultation
Amongst specialist companies is Solicitors Own Software,
providing consultancy and software support to the legal profession.
id homes - an interior design and development consultancy - is based in Widcombe. Full details here.
Architect Jonathan Logsdon is based in Widcombe, off Pulteney Rd
Weighed down by clutter? Or moving home or dealing with the belongings of a loved one? Or simply needing help to get your home or office in order? Contact Widcombe-based professional
de-clutterers Lumen Domus. Lumen Domus offer a 10% discount to WA members
Tucked away behind Widcombe Infant School in Miles Court you can find Vibe Fitness offering training and workouts for all with the latest in fitness systems.
Also based in Widcombe is Swim and Smile, offering one on one swimming lessons to adults.
For Therapeutic Holistic Massage, try the Widcombe Therapy Room at 29 Prior Park Rd. Daytime and evening appointments are available.
Widcombe is also home to two theatre companies, the world-famous Natural Theatre Company, and the Zenith Youth Theatre Company whose home is in St Mark's Community Centre
The Naturals' proud boast is that they can take performances to parts that other companies cannot reach. They are specialists in everything from extreme street theatre to providing embarrassing guests to enliven your birthday or wedding celebration, and are responsible for the organization of the biennial Widcombe Rising, now Bath's premier street festival. The Naturals can be found in the old Church Institute at the bottom of Widcombe Hill, where they provide a home for Bath's best-loved minor Royal, Lady Margaret (below).
Discounts for WA members
Ashman Jones Vetinerary Surgeons - 10% off first consultation for your pet
Bath Lock & Key -10%
Bath Property Shop- 10% on agency fees
Blazes - 5% on goods purchased - but not installations
Bus Station Florists - 10% - but not Interflora, sales less than £10 & reduced items
FAB! Event Management - 10% on tickets to any FAB! event
Jessica Palmer Art Workshops - 10%
Kindle Stoves - 15% on logs and accessories
Kindling Coffee - Double Loyalty Stamps per hot drink
Kitchens - 10% on kitchens over £3000
Lennies - coffee for £1.50
Lumen Domus de-clutterers 10%
Royal Oak - 10% on main courses - not on Sundays
Swim & Smile - 25% on first lesson
White Hart Restaurant - 10% off lunch & dinner Monday - Thursday
Widcombe Antiques - 10%
Widcombe Driving School - 10%
Widcombe Pharmacy - 10% (not NHS prescriptions, medicines and promotional items)
Widcombe Dental Practice - 5% on routine treatments (excluding check-ups)
Vibe Fitness - 10%
Not a member? - click here - you don't have to live in Widcombe!
Widcombe is home to excellent schools, in both state and private sectors. The state primary schools are Widcombe Infant School and Widcombe C of E Junior School. The excellent Beechen Cliff School falls within Widcombe's western boundary. It is single-sex for boys, but takes in girls in the 6th Form. In the private sector, the Paragon School in Lyncombe Vale feeds the high-achieving Prior Park College, whose main building is Ralph Allen's old mansion in a wonderful position overlooking the city.
Just up Widcombe Hill from Widcombe Parade is St Matthew’s Church and a little further on, turn right along Church Street to find the original parish church of St Thomas à Becket. These two churches make up The Benefice of Widcombe. Regular Sunday Services are no longer held in St Matthew's, but it does provide excellent spaces which are available for hire for events.
Widcombe Baptist Church is found at the east end of Widcombe Parade opposite Prior Park Rd, and the Christian Science Church at the corner of St Mark’s Road and Claverton Street. The Chapel of St Mary Magdalen in Holloway holds Sunday services and occasional cultural events.
St Mark’s Community Centre (a large converted church) in St Mark’s Road is used by the Acorns Pre-School, providing full day-care for children between 3 years and statutory school age. and hosts various classes and a packed programme of events.
Widcombe’s local police Beat Officer is Malcolm Webley and he is the man to contact about any incidents in Widcombe. He can be contacted on 01225 842496. If you observe a crime in progress, dial 999 but if you want to talk to Bath Police about a non-urgent matter the number is 101.
PACT (Partners & Communities Together) meetings are held every few months, usually in Widcombe Junior School. This is an opportunity for Widcombe residents to meet Police representatives and occasionally councillors to voice any concerns they might have about safety, security and quality of life in Widcombe. The Widcombe Association is always present at these meetings, very often in the chair. PACT meetings are listed in the WA newsletter and in What's on.
More information can be found on the Avon and Somerset Constabulary website under ‘Widcombe Beat News’.