The Royal Crescent


Photographing the UK’s most beautiful street: The Royal Crescent.

This architectural gem is often the highlight of the photo tours we run in Bath. It is, without doubt, the most famous street in the Georgian city. And one of the most famous streets in the UK.

Crescent flowers

Crescent Picnic

Despite that, it’s not obviously photogenic. The problem, I think, is that it was never built to be visually portrayed. Origanlly, that would have been painted or drawn of course, but it is just as hard to photograph. John Wood the Younger designed it so that the visitor’s eyes would be irresistably drawn along the beautiful sweep of the crescent. Viewers have to physically turn their head. You can’t replicate that in a photo frame.

So, in a photo the Royal Crescent risks ending up a long thin line cutting the frame in half with boring sky up above and grass below. The solution? Find something interesting on the grass (think flowers, frost or leaves) or something interesting in the sky (pretty clouds, or how about a hot air balloon?).

The Crescent is also a great place for some unusually elegant street photography, like this postman who happened to be doing his round as we were on a tour. (Must be the UK’s prettiest post round).


This next photo was taken in the Royal Crescent hotel looking up at their staircase. There is a beautiful garden at the back of the hotel too which you can view if you ask nicely.


Incidentally, the best experience I’ve had on the Royal Crescent was during one photo tour when the young gentleman proposed to his girlfriend right in the middle of the Crescent. What could be more romantic?