About your boat trip
The Scheduled Trips
The Pulteney Princess cruises from Bath’s landmark Pulteney Bridge every hour and 20 minutes, seven days a week, from April to October. The journey from the Georgian city of Bath starts a few yards from Bath Abbey, right in the centre of Bath. On departure, we pass under the triple arched Pulteney Bridge with its famous shops and houses on both sides. You get a chance to view the ‘other side’ of Pulteney Bridge with its odd shed like structures tacked on to the back - not the picture postcard view you expect of beautiful Bath but very interesting all the same. Here is a popular site for grey wagtails, flitting from stone to stone.
We pass the mediaeval cattle market, considered by some, to be the oldest building in Bath, quite unusual amid all the Georgian architecture. Then we see Chatham Row, a fine example of Bath’s historical splendour, lucky to survive, not only the Bath blitz in the 1940s but also the Sack of Bath during the 1960s and ‘70s.
Next is Cleveland Bridge, an early iron bridge with its four matching Palladian tollbooths, one at each corner, with elegant columns supporting a typical Palladian pediment.
We see a Victorian boating station, passing many traditional punts and skiffs. Georgian swimming baths are next - the Duke of Cleveland’s baths, built for him in 1815 and claimed to be the oldest surviving lido in the country.
Then we are out in the countryside, with its ever-changing scenery depending on the season. We pass between Bathampton Down, site of an infamous pistol duel over a gambling disagreement (Bath was the gambling capital of the known world and was cleaned up by Beau Nash) and Solsbury Hill. Both were previously home to Iron Age settlers and the latter was the subject of that little heard chart hit ‘Climbing up on Solsbury Hill’, remember it?
Half an hour after departure, we tie up at our landing stage in the charming village of Bathampton for passengers who want to join us there and to let those who have time to enjoy the lovely village.
As soon as we are all aboard, the Pulteney Princess turns around in the beautiful weir pool, a perfect photographic opportunity, and heads back to Bath. This is when the crew and the driver will start the commentary pointing out the places of interest and details that we hope you will find interesting or amusing.
Have your own party or function on board
Weddings, stag and hen cruises, you tell us what you want - meet us at the boat to discuss it.
Why not charter the Pulteney Princess for your own exclusive use? We can take you for a scheduled cruise during the day or in the evening we can offer your group a choice of options. We can take you for a round trip, or we could tie up at our landing stage in Bathampton for as long as you like. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink on the boat. She is suitable for all weathers as the roof can be removed.
We can arrange for you to load a buffet, drinks and decorations on board in advance of your cruise.
For smaller groups you may like to join a scheduled sailing - we can reserve a section of the boat for your party. Please call us and let us know your requirements.
What wildlife are we likely to see?
It’s quite common to see a kingfisher. There are at least two breeding pairs on our stretch of the river. Ducks, coots, moorhens are common. There is a family of swans with their signets. Herons and cormorants are regular visitors. All this bird life indicates a well-stocked river.
There are roach, dace, chub, tench, pike and eels. And trout - there used to be a trout farm right next to the river.
Otters have been reintroduced to the Bristol Avon and there have been recent sightings. You are more likely to spot a vole or water rat, grass snakes occasionally swim across the river.
What is there to do if we visit Bathampton?
There are two restaurants with bars within view of our landing stage. One has a charming riverside garden where you can enjoy a meal or a drink. Or you can feed the ducks or watch the fishermen.
Less than ten minutes walk is the Kennet & Avon canal with a popular canalside pub, the George, which also serves food.
There are many walks you could enjoy from the village: there’s the Bath skyline walk through National Trust woodland; the canal towpath takes you further upstream to the elegant Dundas Aqueduct or back towards Bath.
You could visit St. Nicholas parish church with its Australia chapel, dedicated to Admiral Arthur Philip - first governor and founder of New South Wales. Also buried there is Walter Sickert, the impressionist artist who some believe to have been the infamous Victorian murderer, Jack the Ripper.