If you choose to come to Woolley for a total chill out...a slumber by the pool, a massage in the Spa, a lie in and read of the papers whilst the children enjoy time in the Woolley Bears Den...we fully understand and please ignore this post. But if you want to venture outside of the blissful grounds, there's plenty for old and young explorers alike to see. Here we list 15 top ideas. We feel sure that you may discover a few of your own along the way. Ask at Reception for maps, leaflets and even more ideas!
1. Shopping and sightseeing in Bradford on Avon
A beautiful, historic wool town with unique artisan crafts, shops and cafes. Don’t miss the 14th Century tithe barn, the canal, the river and the great play parks.
A 5 minute drive or a 20 minute downhill walk, steep in places, so allow a little more time coming back!
2. Beautiful Bath
…need we say more! So much to see and do. If it’s your first visit be sure to go to the Roman Baths, The Royal Crescent and The Circus. For more information: www.visitbath.co.uk
20 minutes by car or we recommend the 15 minute scenic train ride: Bradford on Avon to central Bath.
3. Longleat House and Safari Park
'Enter a land of adventure. Where lions roam. Tigers stalk. And monkeys swing. Travel through time in a grand stately home. Lose yourself in one of the magical mazes. Hold exotic creatures from the ends of the Earth. This is Longleat. Jump in’. Ask at Reception about Woolley Grange guest discounts on this special 50th Anniversary year.
It will take about 20 minutes by car from Woolley to Longleat.
A pretty National Trust village. Lacock Abbey was formerly a country house, home to photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot and now the Museum of Photography. Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice were filmed here. 15-20 minutes by car from Woolley Grange.
5. Prior Park
A glorious National Trust park for children to run around! Prior Park is home to one of only four Palladian bridges of this design in the world. The garden was created in the 18th Century by entrepreneur Ralph Allen, with advice from 'Capability' Brown and Alexander Pope. Allow 10-15 minutes by car from Woolley Grange.
6. Farleigh Hungerford Castle.
Farleigh Hungerford castle ruins are surrounded by beautiful countryside - great for families and walkers (and there is a local wild swimming club too!). The history (sometimes gruesome) is told through graphic panels and a free audio tour. For those who are brave enough to enter the crypt, there’s the best collection of human-shaped lead coffins in Britain! Less than 4 miles away, it is a 5-10 minute drive from Woolley Grange.
7. Castle Combe
Fast and slow! Castle Combe is famous for both its bike/classic car racing track, and for being one of the prettiest villages in England. Take your pick…or experience both!
25 minutes by car from Woolley Grange.
8. A walk in the wonderful countryside
‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking’ Nietzsche. Try Barton Park Farm for easy, relaxing walks with little ones (great playparks nearby too); the White Horse at Bratton for dogs to run around or for kite flying; or the flight of locks canal path at Devizes for sheer engineering ingenuity! Ask at reception for further ideas and recommended routes for wonderful Wiltshire walks.
9. Visit a local market.
One of our favourites is The Frome Independent held on the first Sunday of every month from April to December. Others are the Bath Artisan market on the second and third Sunday of every month and the Bradford on Avon Farmers and Artisan market on the last Sunday of every month. We think that’s all Sundays covered! Frome is a 25 min car ride from Woolley Grange.
10. Have fun at a Festival.
Bath and the surrounding countryside are home to numerous festivals. Whether it’s music, books, food, dance or a traditional carnival, there’s something for everyone. Woolley Grange is sponsoring the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in October, now in its 10th year and continuing to grow in popularity. Let your children be enthralled an entertained by David Walliams, Chris Packham and numerous other wonderful talents! If you'd like to stay at Woolley Grange during the Bath Children's Literature Festival, you can book here and ask at reception about Children's Literature Festival discounts and our complimentary taxi service to the station for the 15 minute train ride to central Bath for the Festival.
11. Hire a canal boat for the day.
Hire a boat from Bradford on Avon wharf, pack a picnic (we can make you a delicious one!) and putter through the scenic Avon Valley towards Bath; or do it the easy way and buy a ticket for a canal boat tour from Bradford on Avon lock! Ask at reception for details.
12. Go for a cycle ride.
There’s lots of routes, but if you’ve got little ones in tow, we recommend Barton Park where you can safely ride en famille. Bike hire available in Bradford on Avon…ask reception for details.
13. Hire kayaks
Paddle along the canal towards Bath or Devizes. Some great picnic spots, cafes and pubs along the way!
14. Vineyards & breweries.
15. Farmyard fun.
Children love our chickens, ducks and rabbit but if you want to show them more animals visit The Hope Nature Centre in Southwick country park, with alpacas, donkeys, pigs & other animals. The Centre is a registered charity helping to provide work for young adults with learning difficulties. There's also some great farmshops around with children's play areas...Hartley Farm and Neston Park Farm to name but a couple of local lovelies.
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