King Bladud’s Pigs in Bath

Bath is one of my favorite places in the world, and this summer it is going to be even better than usual. Starting on May 19 there will 100 pig statues, life size and individually decorated, all over Bath – King Bladud’s Pigs in Bath. In October the pigs will be sold at auction.

There have been similar projects in other towns. The Cow Parade has been done in many cities. In Germany they did Storks on the Danube (Flickr). The Trail of Painted Ponies started in Santa Fe in 2001.

Pigs were chosen for Bath because of the legend of King Bladud and his pigs who discovered the natural hot springs in Bath.

Kaffe Fassett is one of the artists making a pig. Fassett is an American, from Big Sur in California, who moved to England decades ago and “revolutionized” needlepoint and knitting in the 80s. His family owns the wonderful Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur. This is a great place to stop for lunch when doing the California coast drive. They also run the Phoenix shop beside the restaurant which sells many Kaffe Fassett things. They used to have a couch that he had covered in needlepoint, but it was not there the last time we visited.

The money raised by the Pig Project goes to the Two Tunnels Project which I had not heard of until today. This is a project to restore a four mile path – involving an old railway track, a viaduct and two tunnels – to connect the center of Bath with the Sustrans path NCN 24 (Sustainable Transport – National Cycle Network route 24) south of Bath near Milford. From there you connect to many biking and hiking trails. The route will be for bicyclists and walkers. One of the tunnels is one mile long and goes beneath Combe Down (high area south of Bath). See a detailed map.

Currently you can walk from the Center of Bath to Milford, but the path is longer and more difficult. With the Two Tunnels Project the path will be shorter and level.

I found out about this event when I was writing about Knitting Socks. I was reading Kaffe Fassett’s website to find out about his sock wool, and there was the information about the Pigs in Bath!

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

2 thoughts on “King Bladud’s Pigs in Bath”

  1. I saw many of these pigs last month while visiting Bath. They are all so bright and beautifully done and you never knew where you may find them. Although most are in the squares, parks and along the streets, we saw one atop a stone wall and another pulled up into the tree branches (a flying pig?). What a great idea for a fund raiser and everyone enjoyed them, especially the children.

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