Beckford's Tower

Bath, Somerset

Climb the 154-step spiral staircase within the walls of this gild-topped tower.

Who’d have thought it? Turns out there’s more to Bath than, well, baths.

While millions of people pour into the city every year, for a glimpse of Roman ruins and gorgeous Georgian houses, they’re missing out on another architectural treasure, just down the road. Perched on top of Lansdown Hill, this lovingly restored 120ft tower looks more at home in the rolling countryside of Tuscany than it does in the Cotswolds.

Completed in 1827, it was built to house the belongings of William Beckford – a man whose extensive brainpower and arty prowess was matched only by his penchant for architecture. Climb the 154-step spiral staircase within the walls of this gild-topped tower, and you’ll pass through a collection of his life and works.

Your reward? Uninterrupted views of rolling hills, honey-coloured cottages and a cracking view of Bath itself in the distance, minus the crowds. It’s only officially open at weekends, from April to October, but if you ask nicely there’s a team of friendly volunteers on hand who’ll show you round during the week.

Wish you could stay? Well actually, you can. Simply mosey down to the Landmark Trust´s ground floor flat, where you and three friends can rest those weary legs overnight, in the sumptuous Scarlet Drawing Room…


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