Parade Gardens in Bath will host a day of free activities to celebrate World Heritage Day on Sunday 23 April, 11am-3pm.
World Heritage Day is marked at sites around the world each April. This year has special importance for Bath as the city celebrates 30 years of being a World Heritage Site.
The theme of this year’s celebrations will be ‘Waters of Bath’ and activities will focus on the past, present and future use and significance of Bath’s hot springs, river and canal network.
Displays will be staged by local museums, archives and heritage organisations, and visitors will have a chance to find out about exciting new developments and restoration projects taking place in Bath.
Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, (Conservative, Lansdown) Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “World Heritage Day will be a wonderful celebration of Bath’s 30 years as a World Heritage City. There will be free events and activities for people of all ages in Parade Gardens, as well as a chance to explore other parts of the city on guided walks.”
This year, for the first time, there will be a programme of short talks. Local experts will explore different aspects of the water theme, including the medicinal use of spa water, the importance of the waterways in the Georgian development of the city, Bath’s cold water springs and minor spas, the use of thermal water to heat the Abbey, and the history of Bath’s river crossings.
Guided walks will be on offer throughout the day, ranging from a 30-minute Garden Tour, to a 60 minute exploration of Cleveland Pools, a 75-minute tour around the river and canal, and a longer walk to the Bath Skyline.
Entertainment will be provided on the bandstand by Bath City Jubilee Waits playing traditional English waites (11am-12pm) and brass band the Bath Spa Band (2.30pm-3.30pm). To mark St George’s Day, Widcombe Mummers will perform ‘St George and the Dragon’ at 1pm.
There will be plenty to keep younger visitors busy. Kids can follow the ‘Bookmark Stamp Trail’ to find out why Bath is so special; practise their engineering skills by trying to build Pulteney Bridge; explore old maps to see how Bath has changed over time; try their luck at World Heritage dominoes; test their knowledge of globally important places and add a pin to a giant map to show which World Heritage Sites they have visited. They’ll also be invited to make a scented ‘spa posy’ or dragonfly to take home.
Visitors can share their memories of the day by uploading their Pulteney Bridge selfies using #bathworldheritageday.
Find out more about all the events via:
The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Bath is one of only two cities in Europe for which the entire urban area has World Heritage Status (the other is Venice).
The six reasons why Bath was designated as a World Heritage Site are: the Roman remains, the hot springs, the 18th-century architecture, the 18th-century town planning, the green setting of the city, and the social setting of the 18th-century spa resort.