Haile Selassie in Bath – a walk about the Ethiopian Emperor’s exile in Bath between 1936 and 1940.

This walk around central Bath gives some fascinating insights into the Emperor’s background after fleeing here following the Italian invasion of his country. The walk will also deal with his struggles and triumphs during his time in exile and explores the considerable impact he made on the local residents.

During most of his exile the Emperor lived at Fairfield House on the outskirts of Bath on the road to Kelston. Although this residence is too far away to include in the walk, stories and photographs from his time there will be incorporated. The Emperor is also associated with several other places in Bath, including the prestigious Bath Spa Hotel, and these will be visited on the walk.

The walk will be led by Keith Bowers who has published a book called Imperial Exile, the first full account of the Emperor’s experiences as a refugee in Bath. Keith now lives in Bath but taught for several years at Addis Ababa University which is in the grounds of Haile Selassie’s former palace.

Photo by kind permission of Bath in Time.

Start Date Monday 16th September 2019
Start Time 14:00
Duration 2 hours
Distance 2 miles
Places Available 25
Meeting Point Outside west front door of Bath Abbey, Abbey Churchyard


Start / Finish

Outside west front door of Bath Abbey, Abbey Churchyard.


Mainly flat. Includes steep steps to canal towpath.


Public toilets (free) inside Roman Baths Museum near to start and end point. Public toilets two thirds of way round at bottom end of Sydney Gardens (20p).


Part of this walk will take us along a pretty stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal, through Sydney Gardens and along the magnificent Great Pulteney Street.


Keith Bowers

Meeting Point

Outside west front door of Bath Abbey, Abbey Churchyard