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St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

Arriving by train from London, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, is the first impressive building that visitors will notice. On the riverside just before the railway station, it boasts the tallest spire in Bath and was built in 1862. Unusual rococo inside with pillars of Red Devonshire marble either side of the aisle, an ornate altar and ceiling, it's a large peaceful church rarely crowded for services. Also fairly original, next to the votive candle stand (an exclusively Catholic phenomenon), is a book where people write in the objects of their prayers. Visiting Polish priests occasionally celebrate mass here.

The Circus

The Circus is the embodiment of John Wood the Elder's vision: to create buildings with all the grandeur of Palladian palaces but all the convenience of a row of private houses. Planned as a speculative venture to be let or sold, and at various times it was home to such luminaries as William Pitt, Thomas Gainsborough and William Gladstone. The Circus was designed by Wood in 1754, and looks rather like a Roman amphitheater turned inside out, its three tiers embellished with Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. It was Wood's enthusiasm for the Palladian revival that was responsible for the particular unity of style that characterizes Bath to this day. And it was Ralph Allen whose generosity translated Wood's architectural dreams into the squares and crescents of this gracious city.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Spanning the Avon Gorge, arching above the waters of the mighty river, the Clifton Suspension Bridge has come to be a spectacular symbol of the city. Designed by John Hawkshaw and William Henry Barlow and completed in 1864, this bridge is set against a backdrop of splendid cliffs, making it a picture-perfect icon of both romanticism and engineering finesse. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a marvelous feat of engineering indeed, with its structural and strategic layout, as well as the grandiose design of the towers that uphold it. This magnificent bridge not only affords views of the gorge, but also way across Clifton. Nearby, the Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre extensively chronicles the bridge's history and struggles. Open through the day, the bridge is especially striking when it is set alight against the ink-black sky at night.

Bristol Cathedral

Installed as the abbey church of St Augustine in 1140, the Bristol Cathedral was one of the cornerstones of the newly-formed Diocese of Bristol in 1542. With a peak length of 91.44 meters (300 feet), the cathedral's ornate twin towers elegantly soar over the hustle and bustle of Bristol's Park Street. The structure's architectural complexity is further enhanced by its splendid Gothic-Revival nave and an elaborately decorated rose window that sits atop the church's arched entrance. Its Norman chapter house is captivating, to say the least, and is widely touted as the finest surviving specimen of its kind today.

Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

The clock-tower and spire of this 14th-century Anglican church, soar above the city's last remaining ancient gate, through which you can pass into the heart of modern Bristol. The smallest of the city's old churches, it's rarely open but even from the outside it is a remarkable sight, its nave being contained within the thickness of the medieval wall. This gate is a poignant reminder of the centuries of history that have flowed beneath its span - it was through this gate that the seven Protestant martyrs passed, as they went to their execution on Highbury Hill. King Henry VII also passed through here, as did Queen Elizabeth I in August 1574.


Tyntesfield is a spectacular Gothic Revival house, refurbished by the Gibbs family, who made their fortune from guano. Constructed from Bath stone, the house, which includes a chapel, has been owned by the National Trust since 2002. Some of the elaborately decorated principal rooms are open to the public. The gardens, which include summer houses and an orangery, may be visited separately.

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