We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Sydney Gardens were created as pleasure gardens in 1795.

Bridges over canal in Sydney Gardens Sydney Gardens, Kennet & Avon Canal

The Sydney Hotel, now the Holburne Museum, added to the gardens’ charms by offering entertainment and fine dining. When the route of the new canal was proposed, the Kennet & Avon Canal Company was charged 2,000 guineas to allow it to route the canal through the gardens. Strict conditions were imposed, including ‘neat iron bridges’ to be supplied by Stothert, the famous Bath engineering company.

Painting of Kennet & Avon Canal in 1700sThe Bath Vauxhall Gardens, later known as Sydney Gardens, were the highlight of many visitors’ experiences in Bath, offering spectacle and delight with firework displays, hot-air balloon rides, theatrical and musical performances, a labyrinth and grotto – complete with a resident hermit! The gardens were a vital part of the cultural and social life of Bath, patronised by rich and poor alike, from royal dukes to impoverished servants.

 Listen to an audio tale about Sydney Gardens

Listen to an 'overheard conversation' about Sydney Gardens

Last date edited: 17 July 2015