|Step 1: turn left onto Brock off Upper Church St.|
There was a time last spring when 'the way downtown' let us along Brock Street, through the incomparable Circus, and down Gay Street in Bath. Feel free to tag along with Streetview.
|Step 2: follow Brock to the end|
The Circus was originally called King's Circus. It was designed by architect John Wood the Elder, begun in 1754 and completed by son John Wood (the Younger) in 1768. Somebody was paying close attention.
The Circus is an exquisite Georgian townhouse complex, formed from three curved segments arranged in a circle (no, no clowns and prancing horses. From ancient Rome, a rounded arena)
|Step 3: arrive at The Circus|
Why don't I quote from the Visit Bath website?
"The Circus consists of three curved segments of Grade 1 listed townhouses, forming a circle with three entrances. When viewed from the air, the Circus, along with Queen Square and adjoining Gay Street (I'm not making this up) form a key shape which is a Masonic symbol similar to those that adorn many of Wood's buildings" (nor this.)
|circles, acorns, nautical symbols, the usual Classical garlands|
The stately rhythm of elements, the massive central trees, all in the honey-coloured late day light - the calm of this particular circus will stay forever with me.
Here's the UNESCO site, explaining its reasons for declaring Bath, Somerset, to be a world heritage site (no argument there.)
Here's a self-guided walking tour, admittedly of limited use, but I'm a sucker for those things. There's a museum of Bath architecture. Dang, should have visited, it's closed for 6 weeks.
|follow Gay Street to town centre|
|down Gay Street toward Queen Square|