Situated behind the Holburne Museum at the end of Great Pulteney Street, Sydney Gardens is Bath’s oldest park. It was planned and laid out by the architect Harcourt Masters in 1795. Twelve acres in size, it became very popular towards the end of the 18th and 19th century and was frequently visited by members of the royal family and author Jane Austen, who lived at 4 Sydney Place. The gardens were purchased in 1909 by the city and in the same year a replica of the Temple of Minerva was built to commemorate the Bath Historical Pageant. Today the park contains fine trees, shrubberies, lawns and flower beds, tennis courts and a children’s play area and is popular for its bridge views of the railway line for spotting trains. The Kennet and Avon Canal also runs through the park. Its wide paths are ideal for cycling along and it’s another great spot for picnicing – but look out for squirrels!