The historic City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and the surrounding areas have been designated as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The ground lies at the heart of the city, within easy reach of pubs, restaurants and shops, all of which are crammed full of rugby fans before and after a game.
The first Bath Rugby match was played on the ground in 1894. Three years later, the ground hosted its maiden first-class cricket match, with Somerset County Cricket Club hosting the Gentlemen of Philadelphia as part of the Bath Cricket Festival.
A new lease was granted to Bath F.C. in 1927, allowing them the use of the land on the west side of ground, along with a Grand Stand, a New (North) Stand and a Pavilion, for a term of 25 years. Over the years, this lease was further extended with the most recent extension being in 1995 when Bath F.C. were granted a further 75 year lease.
To date, about a quarter of The Rec is leased to Bath Rugby during the rugby union season as a sports ground capable of holding 12,200 people. During the summer the rugby ground's temporary East Stand is removed to make way for cricket on a larger pitch. This cricket pitch is used for local contests and by the Somerset County Cricket Club for one match a year.
Parts of the eastern area of The Rec are used by Bath Hockey Club, Bath Croquet Club, Bath Drama Club and some tennis courts. Pitches are available for amateur sports such as football, volleyball and lacrosse. There is a cricket pavilion at the William Street entrance to the ground and the council run Sports and Leisure Centre is located on the southern edge of The Rec by North Parade. Click here to find out more about the location of the ground.
The Rec. isn't the biggest rugby ground, nor the most modern, but the views and the surroundings make visiting it as a fan a unique experience. Like most of the UK, Bath has had its share of rain this week, but the forecast for Saturday afternoon is fine, with some sunshine, and a temperature of 14 degrees.
Sale Sharks won 16-13 at The Rec. last December, their first victory there since 2006.
Bath v Sale Sharks kicks off on Saturday at 2.15pm. Keep up with events on @SaleSharksRugby Twitter.
Our trip to Bath is followed by our home fixture again Leicester Tigers on Friday 5th October at 8pm. Tickets are still available for this match through our match ticket page.