Pocket Britain
Britain > Somerset > Bath > Solsbury Hill

Arguably the best view over Bath

Listen to this article
Plenty of places claim to offer the best view of Bath. The city is surrounded by slopes and ridges, so there are lots of good vantage points. However, anyone who makes a visit to Solsbury Hill inevitably has their mind changed. Once you've been here, you’ll almost certainly agree that this is the greatest spot in the county. You can see over the river, across the city and to the fields beyond – a perfect place for a picnic after walking the streets and lane s of Bath!
Good use of the hill has been made for thousand for thousands of years. The people of the Iron Age were obviously fans, as they built a fort on the summit. It was a primitive construction, with stone walls and wooden huts. Sometime in the 1st century BC it was burnt to the ground, and never rebuilt.
In the 5th century, another violent event supposedly took place here. At the Battle of Mount Badon, the armies of England gathered under King Arthur and fought to repel the Saxon invaders. It resulted in a major British victory, with Arthur apparently killing 940 men all by himself. In truth, the story is more of a legend than fact. No-one really knows where "Mount Badon" is, or if even exists. It may seem a bit much to call Solsbury Hill a mountain, but it remains the most likely location.
At any rate, this is now a much more peaceful place. There’s nothing left to see by way of the fort’s structure though the hill’s flatness makes it easy to imagine what once stood here. The limestone grassland that covers Solsbury's slopes is full of attractive plants and animals, including orchids, and butterflies. This is also the home of many skylarks, who brighten the atmosphere with their voices. Sheep can also be found wandering the ancient site.
This cheery mood had such an effect on one man that he wrote a song about it. This was Peter Gabriel, who achieved fame with a band called "Genesis". Shortly after leaving the group, he had a spiritual experience on top of the hill. The song explains both his feelings, and his reasons for quitting the band. It was the first single Gabriel had made by himself, and its success kick-started his career as a solo artist. Thanks to the song, the name "Solsbury Hill" is well-known around the world, even by people who have never been to Bath in their lives.

Back ~ Top ~ Home ~ Index

Pocket Britain is optimised for use on a smartphone or tablet with internet access. All content is subject to copyright. All reasonable methods have been used to ensure information supplied is accurate at the time of publication. However, it is advisable to check information before relying on it. Privacy Policy