A park full of pleasures.

Tai Chi and play sessions for children are just two of a host of free activities are on offer in Bath’s Sydney Gardens starting in May and running through the summer.

The events – in what is the UK’s only surviving Georgian Pleasure garden – are designed to encourage more people to explore the park which are undergoing restoration following a £2.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

SG Cherry Blossom

Sydney Gardens first opened in 1795 and were a favourite sport of Jane Austen. The project to restore the Gardens will involve extensive heritage and wildlife conservation work and areas of the park that are currently closed to the public will be reopened.

Historic features including the Loggia, Minerva’s Temple and the Edwardian toilets will be restored. Flower gardens will be replanted and wildlife habitats, viewpoints will be improved.

The three-year project to restore the gardens is being enhanced with a year-round programme of activities and events.

SG main axis (with educational visit from Kingswood Nursery)

Keith Rowe, Sydney Gardens project manager, said: “We want to encourage a wide diversity of people to explore and use the gardens and have an events programme which we hope will have a wide appeal.  The gardens’ character changes throughout the day and the seasons so we’ve tried to schedule activities throughout the year to enable people to experience all the gardens have to offer, while watching the restoration work progress.”

May offers a variety of free activities and events to take part in: 

Free after-school play sessions:

Every Wednesday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm until the end of the summer term the Bath Area Play Project is holding free after-school play sessions.  The sessions, which will be held by the felled tree on the Lower Lawn, involve games, sports and fun activities and are suitable for children aged 5+ (Under 8’s need to be accompanied by an adult). For further information call: 01225 832479 or email: enquiries@bapp.org.uk

Bird Songs and Calls:

On Monday 6 May from 8.00am to 10.30am Lucy Delve (BathNats, RSPB and Friend of Sydney Gardens) will be leading a free canal side stroll from Sydney Gardens to Bathampton and back. Participants will be able to listen to and learn about birdsong and calls.  There are fourteen places available on the walk. To book a place go through the link on www.bathnes.gov.uk/sydneygardensactivities

Tai Chi in the Park:

Every Sunday between 12 May and 11 August from 12.30pm – 1.30pm free Tai Chi sessions are being led by teacher Paddy Nisbett. The sessions, which can accommodate 25 people, are suitable for anyone over the age of 14 (under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult). No experience is needed and newcomers and beginners are welcome. Meet at the park entrance behind the Holburne Museum.  Please arrive 5 minutes early to register.

SG View from Loggia

Mindfulness in the Park:

For people interested in learning about Mindfulness, Huw Griffiths from Mindfulness Bath will be leading Mindfulness sessions in the gardens starting on Friday 17 May between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Sessions will run in 4 week blocks over the summer through to the end of August. The free sessions are suitable for anyone over the age of 14 (under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult). Go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/sydneygardensactivities for the link to reserve a place.

All the information is also available on our webpage: www.bathnes.gov.uk/sydneygardensactivities

Future summer events in Sydney Gardens:

Forest of Imagination:

Thursday 20 June to Monday 24 June – Holburne Museum & Sydney Gardens

Peace Oak Commemoration:

Saturday 6 July, 2.30pm – 3.30pm. Join us to mark this 100th anniversary. All welcome. Free Tea and Buns!

Roman Archaeology Day:

Saturday 20 July, 11am – 3pm. Come and find out about the amazing Roman history of Sydney Gardens with a stone carving demonstration, activities for children and a talk about burial rituals and ceremonies with Dr John Troyer.

Friends of Sydney Gardens Community Day:

Sunday 15 September, 1pm – 4pm. A live iron forge! Stalls, play, games and activities for all.

Over the summer and early autumn, the Sydney Garden Project will also be hosting visits from older people partnering with Age UK B&NES, starting a weekly Sydney Gardening Club, holding Dementia Friendly walks and talks, Hidden History talks and a Nature Tots group.

The project works closely with the Friends of Sydney Gardens, a community group dedicated to supporting the park. To join the Friends visit: www.friendsofsydneygardens.org

For more information go to our website: www.bathnes.gov.uk/sydneygardens

Follow us on Twitter @bathnesparks

Facebook: @SydneyGardensBath

To contact the Community Ranger email: susan_palmer@bathnes.gov.uk