Do you remember family summer holidays as a child with nostalgia? Here Caroline, our Marketing Manager, recounts happy times and highlights what's on offer to families when they come to Woolley Grange this summer.
I remember the excitement of going on a family holiday as a child. ‘Helping’ to pack the car and ensuring that Teddy had the best seat, singing ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday’ (sad but true) on the journey, the anticipation when we were nearly there, and then the feeling of fun and freedom once we were. Time with a relaxed mum and dad, time to explore and make new friends, trying different foods, being allowed to stay up late on endless sunshiny days…well such is my recall! It wasn’t about exotic locations. It was simple, wholesome family time. Time for the little things as we like to put it.
Luxury Family Hotels strives hard to recreate these nostalgic holidays for families today and at Woolley Grange we’ve got a whole feast of fun lined up for young and old this summer. We hope that the following highlights give you a flavour, but please do give us a call if there’s anything else you’d like to know.
Fun at the Farm
There's a bit of a farm thing going on here - reminiscent of times gone past when the hotel was a proper country estate:
- Say hello to our farm animals: Indian runner ducks, Simon the Rabbit and the chickens. You can even choose your egg for breakfast and ask chef, very nicely, to cook it for you!
- Play on the Vintage Tractor
- Plant a seed at the potting station and take it home to grow on your window ledge
- Play in the play shop, playhouse and White Witch of Woolley’s house
- Look at all the fruit, vegetables and flowers growing and then visit the Potting Shed Shop to buy freshly picked items to take home with you
- Explore the ancient orchard and the adjacent cutting garden where we grow flowers and salads for the restaurant
- Find all the sheep on the Woolley Sheep trail (don’t forget to pick up your prize!)
- Go on a 'Seed to Harvest' tour with Megan, Head Gardener and Ecologist and make and take home your own mini Bug Hotel!
- Learn how to make flower crowns from fresh flowers and pretend to be a garden fairy
For times of scheduled family activities please see schedule below.
Need some exercise? There’s no excuse not to stretch your legs a bit when you’re here:
- Choose from the indoor or heated outdoor pool for a refreshing swim
- Run around the 14 acre grounds (the top field is ideal for dogs)
- Swing on the ENORMOUS swing
- Bounce on the big trampoline
- Kick a football and score some goals in the nets
- Play croquet, giant Connect4 or badminton
- Play table tennis
- Take hotel dog Rex for a ramble around the grounds
- Check out the fun activities in the yurt - yoga and children’s dance parties, to name but a few (pre-booking advised as these are run by external tutors and open to all…see booking details below)
- Walk down to the pretty hilly market town of Bradford on Avon (market on a Thursday morning)…perhaps with a coffee stop in one of the lovely cafes
Eat & Drink
On the QT, Bradford on Avon is a bit of a foodie's secret haven with lots of lovely restaurants and cafes to choose from. We are proud to be part of this scene and, under Head Chef Jethro Lawrence (BBC Masterchef: The Professionals Quarter Finalist), our food has gone from strength to strength. Our restaurant now has a 2 AA Rosette Award.
We offer lots of dining options to suit all families' needs. Let the children enjoy High Tea together whilst you enjoy a cocktail or two and then later, enjoy a candlelit dinner in our fine dining restaurant. The children can be at cinema club or we can do the baby listening (complimentary) or sitting.
Alternatively enjoy family dining together. Appreciate the fresh fruit and vegetables that you may have seen earlier growing in the walled kitchen gardens incorporated into tasty dishes.
In the morning we offer an extensive breakfast buffet as well as an inclusive cooked breakfast. On a sunny day this is lovely to enjoy on the terrace overlooking the gardens.
In between, there's our new lunchtime menu in the Orangery (from mid-July), where chef prepares a tasty selection of 'small plates' as well as the perennial holiday favourites of the Woolley burger, chips and sandwiches. Children will love the knickerbocker glory on the children's menu, a real holiday treat (provided they haven't already had too many icecreams from the poolside bar!).
Book on the two room Grandma Came Too stay and you can all also enjoy a cream tea on arrival and a complimentary bottle of house wine.
Foodie families will also love marshmallow toasting in the gardens, making fresh pesto with chef, making mocktails with the Restaurant Team and browsing our extensive and interesting drinks menu, complete with locally grown organic wines.
For every night you stay with us, your child can enjoy 2 hours of childcare in the Ofsted registered Woolley Bears Den. Here there's a whole load of crafty fun going on, from making glass candle holders, to sand art and Ladybug biscuits.
For older children, there's the Hen House where they can hang out and play table football and the like, or enjoy themselves safely and freely around the grounds.
When your children are in the Den or we are doing the baby listening, it is time to chill. We recommend:
- Relaxing by the pool with a drink and enjoying 10 mile views across the valley.
- Indulging in an Elemis spa treatment or getting your feet summer ready with a Jessica pedicure
- Enjoying a coffee and the paper on the terrace
- Enjoying a quiet lunch with a glass of wine
- Trying a yoga or meditation class in the yurt
- Relieving aching muscles in the steam room and sauna
- Going for a walk around the grounds.
After all, it's your holiday too!
Go on a family adventure
If you can pull yourselves away from the hotel, we recommend the following as great family mini-adventures not far from us:
- Hire bikes or kayaks and head towards Bath along the canal. There is bike and kayak hire in Bradford on Avon...just ask Reception for details.
- Go Paddle Boarding (there are even Paddle Boarding lessons with dogs available!)
- The beautiful World Heritage City of Bath is a stone's throw away. We highly recommend a day trip to see the Roman Baths (very good children's audio guide), the Royal Crescent with the Victoria Park in front (perfect for a picnic) and the excellent range of shops and cafes. There's also a fun open top bus tour for achy little legs.
- Longleat: go on Safari and see lions, tigers and monkeys! Who needs to go abroad?
- If you and yours are Harry Potter fans, do visit the beautiful Cotswold village of Lacock and the Abbey, where you can see the big, big cauldron used in filming and recognise a few other gems, including the pub...now what was that called?
Wherever you choose to spend your time this summer, we wish you a wonderful one!