Milton House is in a suburb of Bath called Bear Flat, about twelve minutes’ walk from the centre. The Edwardian terraces leading down to the Wellsway are all named after poets – Milton, Kipling, Shakespeare, Shelley, Chaucer, Byron and Longfellow - and are known locally as Poets’ Corner.
The area was originally the site of Holloway Farm but was developed in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, when many of the skilled workers and artisans in the industries which flourished at the time lived here.
Milton House was built for the two Misses Butler - residents of Holloway Farm - in 1899, and the adjoining shop was a dairy. The cows were driven from their pasture down Milton Avenue for milking in the cowsheds which stood where our neighbour’s garages are now.
The walk into the city centre is a pleasant stroll down Holloway (pictured left) past the chapel of St Mary Magdalen. The chapel was originally built in about 1100 AD, rebuilt in 1495 and restored in the 18th century. Just below it, the small stone house was once a leper hospital.
Above Holloway is Beechen Cliff, described by Jane Austen in ‘Northanger Abbey’ as ‘That noble hill whose beautiful verdure and hanging coppice render it so striking an object from almost every opening in Bath’. On top of Beechen Cliff, reached by steep wooded pathways from Holloway (or via the avenues of Poets’ Corner) is Alexandra Park, from where there are panoramic views of Bath.
Our local pub – The Bear - has a long history. In the times of horse transport, it was a busy hostelry, serving to rest and water the horses after the steep climb up the hill. It was also famous as a venue for boxing matches, but there is no evidence, despite its name, that it was ever the scene of bear-baiting. Unfortunately, the original Bear and surrounding shops were bombed in the Second World War, and the 1950s rebuild is not so pleasing. However, our local shops include two small supermarkets, a delicatessen, a chemist, a barber, a hairdresser, two estate agents, a flower shop and the headquarters and gallery of the Royal Photographic Society, as well as the Bear pub, a bistro and an Indian restaurant.
Bath has much to entertain the visitor, whatever the weather. You can visit the famous Roman Baths and take tea in the elegant Pump Room, or bathe in the healing waters of the rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa. There is a wealth of galleries and museums, a huge range of shops, bars and restaurants and an exciting programme of theatre and music. (See the Events page). Younger visitors might enjoy the crazy golf and the huge adventure playground in Victoria Park.
You can download audio tours of Bath to your MP3 player from www.visitbath.co.uk. There are currently two: ‘The World Heritage Site Tour’ and ‘In the Footsteps of Jane Austen’.
Why not extend your stay and explore other attractions in the area? (From October to May, we offer midweek discounts on stays of three nights or more). In Bristol, there are the Zoo Gardens and the SS Great Britain, winner of 14 major awards including Museum of the Year. Not far away are the beautiful cathedral cities of Wells and Salisbury, the Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole and the house and wildlife park at Longleat. The famous Glastonbury Tor, not to mention Stonehenge and Avebury are all within an hour’s drive. National Trust properties nearby include Prior Park and Stourhead, as well as the village of Lacock, used as the picturesque location for the filming of Persuasion and Cranford (and also Harry Potter!).