What a summer it's been! Whilst sad to see it go, we're all secretly looking forward to Autumn here at Woolley Grange. Autumn to us is a time of completeness and celebration. A time to gather in summer's bounty from the gardens and to enjoy seeing guests relaxing by the fire with friends and family. Here we list 8 reasons to revel in the changing season.
1. Crisp country walks
There's nothing like an autumn walk on a crisp, blue sky, crunchy leaf day. Woolley's on the edge of Cotswold country with pretty villages, hillsides and country taverns. For outstanding views, we recommend the Bath Skyline walk and Prior Park. Great child friendly walks can also be found at Barton Farm Country Park along the canal and riverside (with excellent playparks for children too) and around Lacock Abbey and village. The grounds of Woolley are fun to explore with the Good Life Garden, the White Witch's House and the Fairy Garden. So don those wellies and enjoy!
For more information on our favourite walks and how Woolley welcomes dogs, take a look at our Walks and Dogs blog
2. Relax by the fire with warming afternoon tea
Ok, so after that brisk country walk, what could be more satisfying than relaxing by the fire with lovely fresh leaf tea and maybe a scone or two, with cream and jam, plus a good read of the paper. The Danish call it 'hygge' (pronounced hooga and roughly meaning winter cosiness). We call it a bit of well deserved relaxation! At Woolley our main lounge has a large old stone fireplace and the smaller lounge has an open fire too. We also offer seated afternoon tea in the dining room (sometimes easier if you have sticky fingered little ones) and loads of toys to keep children amused.
3. Gathering in the Harvest
Surrounded by rolling Wiltshire countryside, Harvest time is a bit of a thing in these parts and our menus will soon be reflecting our autumn harvest. Why not join us for our Apple Pressing Day? We'll be gathering in the apples from our orchard to crush, mash and press to produce lovely fresh, English country apple juice. This year it's on Saturday 21st October. Meet at 10am in the Woolley Grange Walled Garden. It's free and everyone's welcome! Coffee and homemade apple cake available to purchase.
4. Candlelit dinners
There's something special about a candlelit dinner and with the night's drawing in, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy. If you're staying at Woolley with children please take advantage of our complimentary baby listening service, or, if you prefer, book one of our friendly babysitters. Just enquire when reserving your room. For slightly older children, we run a cinema club on Saturday nights, so they can have their tea early, if you prefer, leaving you to dine a deux or with a group of friends, whilst they are entertained.
5. Halloween and Bonfire Night
Yes, as you'd expect, we do celebrate! Our Halloween activities run from 16th-29th October. There's pumpkin carving and ghostly arts and crafts in the Woolley Bear's Den and our own traditional Bonfire Night celebrations.
For details of what's on when in our Halloween fortnight read our half term holiday blog.
We celebrate Bonfire Night this year on Saturday 4th November. A small family affair for guests and spa members. There's some poor guy on the top of the bonfire, a little firework fiesta, bonfire toffee and delicious warming mulled cider (you'll be asking us for the recipe!)
6. Relaxing in the Spa
When the weather is really grey, there's no better place to be than the Spa at Woolley. The pool is oh so warm and the Elemis treatments ever so relaxing. If you haven't tried it, we think you'll love it! Open to staying guests and Spa members. Child friendly pool, adult only steam room and sauna.
7. Arts, crafts, cooking and The Bath Children's Literature Festival
Autumn always feels like a creative, homely time. The harvest calls out for new ideas in the kitchen (101 things to do with courgettes!) and the children are looking for more indoor activities.
In the Woolley Bear's Den, the team have got lots of crafty ideas to keep the children occupied. Look out for the weekly programme of events (on the small board just opposite the entrance to the dining room). We're also sponsoring the Bath Children's Literature Festival (29th September-8th October). They'll be literary dressing up, storytelling, games and quizzes in our Story Week in the Den throughout the Festival.
We also have author Laura James coming in to the hotel to regale us with tales of Pug at 4.30pm on October 5th. This is event is free and all are welcome, although mainly suited to children 5+ years. Pleasae inform the Woolley Bears Den if you'd like to attend.
8. Planning the Christmas festivities
Is it too early to mention the 'C' word? Autumn is the time when we start to see the lights (in our heads anyway), prepare the pudds and generally plan the excitement ahead. The famous Bath Christmas Market runs from the 23rd November to 10th December...not to be missed!
Woolley is nearly booked up for Christmas itself, but how about our Bath Christmas Shopping break or a break between Christmas and New Year? Take a look at our offers. The hotel still looks lovely with all the decorations up, but has a slightly calmer atmosphere. You know, like after the storm. Only kidding! But please, do book soon to avoid disappointment.