New public art marker for the Cotswold Way to be unveiled at Bath Abbey

Photo: @ShortTitle@

A new work of public art will be unveiled at Bath Abbey on 25th October to mark the beginning and the end of the Cotswold Way National Trail.

 The unveiling ceremony is the result of an initiative between the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Bath Abbey and Bath & North East Somerset Council who have worked closely together to provide an attractive and fitting focus marking the start and finish of England’s newest National Trail.
The marker will take the form of a large limestone disc set into the pavement outside the west doors of the Abbey, the official start and end of the Cotswold Way. Hand carved by local artist Iain Cotton with place names from along the trail, it will provide an invitation to walk, a welcome for tired feet and food for thought for the thousands of people that visit the city and walk the National Trail every week.
James Blockley, National Trail Officer for the Cotswold Way says, “This project is the culmination of over four years' group effort, and it will be just wonderful for us all to see it unveiled at long last. The expertly carved marker will be a celebration of the Cotswold Way and its place in Bath for many years, and many walkers, to come.”
The unveiling ceremony will take place on Thursday 25th October. A guided walk to the Abbey will start from Lansdown park and ride at 10.30am, arriving at the Abbey at 1.45pm where the Abbey bells will be ringing in celebration, and entertainment will be provided by the Bath Waites and Mr Wilkins Shilling.  
Nearly a hundred people are expected to attend including local volunteers, businesses and Council employees. Speeches will be provided by the Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Rob Appleyard and Richard Lloyd MBE of the Cotswolds Conservation Board.
Members of the media are invited to attend.
Interviews can be provided on request.
For further information, please contact:
Cotswold Way Bath marker website page and @cotswold_way for further details and images of the work in progress.
About the Cotswold Way National Trail
  • The Cotswold Way National Trail is 102 miles (164 km) long, and runs for most of its length along the Cotswold escarpment.
  • The Cotswold Way was formally launched as a National Trail in May 2007, although it had existed as a promoted long distance walk for over 30 years.   This designation is a very special one and there are only 14 other Trails in England and Wales with this special grading.
  • The Trail's highest point is Cleeve Common at 317m (1,040ft).
  • The Trail team is hosted by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, based at Northleach.
  • Funding for the management and promotion of the Trail is provided by Natural England.
  • The Cotswold Way links all that is special about the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; internationally renowned bluebell woods, rare and important limestone grassland, intriguing history both ancient and modern, globally significant geology, sleepy villages and thriving market towns.
  • Highlights along the Trail include: World Heritage City of Bath; views over River Severn to Brecon Beacons in Wales, Malvern Hills and Forest of Dean; National Trust properties of Dyrham House and Horton Court; Broadway Tower and Somerset Monument tower follies; old mill towns of Painswick, Stroud & Dursley; Devils Chimney at Leckhampton Hill; Belas Knap Long Barrow; Sudeley Castle; and Hailes Abbey.
About Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey has a rich history spanning over a thousand years and is still in use today as a working Anglican church in the heart of the city:
  • Open seven days a week, with a variety of formal and informal worship
  • Over 400,000 visitors a year, more than any other parish church in the UK
  • Reaching out to hundreds of disadvantaged and marginalised people through work with homeless agencies and the local authority
  • Continuing a strong choral tradition with a Choir of Boys, Girls and Men which plays a vital part in the music life of the Abbey and the city
  • The city’s second largest venue for concerts throughout the year
  • The Abbey has many of its own activities for the young and also works with local schools. More than 1,500 children sing in the Schools’ Singing Programme. 16 local schools take part in Easter Experience and 19 local schools hold carol services here every year.
About Bath & North East Somerset Council and this project
Bath & North East Somerset Council is the local authority for the Bath and North East Somerset area. The Council has a commitment to improving the public realm for both residents and visitors. This piece is the latest of several works of art that have been sited in Bath over the past 10 years.
About the Cotswolds AONB/Cotswolds Conservation Board
  • The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape.
  • The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
  • The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For further details, visit: