Great West Way Travel Magazine | Issue 02

Page 1

2020 Annual Edition



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Follow the paths taken by generations of travellers through England’s idyllic countryside, quaint villages and elegant towns on the Great West Way touring route between London and Bristol


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Pictured Below: Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle and outdoor pool at Beechfield House Hotel

DISCOVER ANCIENT routes through idyllic countryside on this 125 mile touring route. The Great West Way is one of the world's premier touring routes, bringing together many of England's most famous destinations and attractions along a corridor between London and Bristol. There’s no customary direction or time-frame for exploring the Great West Way. It’s simply the perfect route for seeing England at its finest, and is a beautiful journey that can be easily navigated by car, coach and rail, by boat, bicycle or on foot. You might choose to fly into Bristol Airport and then travel on a 'Great West Way Discoverer’ pass, GWR's single ticket now available specifically for travel on the Great West Way. Take your time to explore the chocolate-box villages, to walk in the countryside, to find new experiences, discover city culture, and to enjoy our picturesque riverside locations. Visit the world-famous sites and the well-kept secrets - and most importantly of all, find your own story on this essential strand of England. This issue is brimming with inspiring features, edited by our dedicated team of talented journalists, to help you plan your journey - we look forward to welcoming you to the Great West Way.

England’s Great West Way is one of the world’s premier touring routes, bringing together many of England’s most famous destinations and attractions along a corridor between London and Bristol.


Jessica Way Editor-in-Chief, Great West Way Travel Magazine Download your Great West Way map: :

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Bradford on Avon Iford Manor Gardens




We’re proud to be the Official Airport Ambassador for the Great West Way®. Bristol Airport is the perfect place for you to start your Great West Way journey. We’re just 8 miles from Bristol city centre and 19 miles from the city of Bath.

We’ve invested £225m in developments that have transformed the airport experience and now offer more than 120 destinations to our 8.6 million loyal passengers.


2020 Annual | Edition 02

Pictured left then clockwise: Wilton Windmill; Bowood House statue, and the Thames Lido





THE WAY FORWARD Highlights for 2020 and a look at what’s new on the Great West Way

THE WATERWAYS From canoeing, paddleboarding and cycling along the towpath to a enjoying a traditional cream tea


BY TRAIN 33 TRAVEL With the GWR Great West Way Discoverer

CELEBRATE IN SEASON From Easter egg hunts, to the fun of the summer shows, to being immersed by illuminations at Christmas - whatever it is you choose, there’s always a perfect season for discovering the Great West Way


MY GREAT WEST WAY Three locals tell us what is special to them, and what they love best about the Great West Way

pass you can hop off at any station along the way


EXPLORE THE COUNTRYSIDE The Great West Way perfectly lends itself to the outdoors lifestyle, with open spaces of stunning countryside, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Trails, Landscapes and Wildlife Trusts →


Visit the heart of beautiful Georgian Bath and step into history with a visit to the Roman Baths, one of the finest spas of the ancient world.

Book online in advance and save 10%

@RomanBathsBath TheRomanBaths theromanbaths


Contista Media Ltd Mitchell House, Brook Avenue, Warsash, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 9HP In association with the Great West Way.


Bradford on Avon Curious visitor enjoys Bradford on Avon, home of The Bridge Tea Rooms where loose-leaf tea is served in china cups, homemade cakes and light bites served by staff in Victorian costumes



CAPTURING THE MOMENT Photographers are never short of inspiration for the perfect shot along the Great West Way. Vote for your favourite capture for your chance to win! GARDENS 46 HIDDEN From the world famous to the well-kept secrets,

here are some gardens along the Great West Way where you won’t be able to help but stop and smell the roses

53 With a special thanks to: Bristol Airport, Canal & River Trust, GWR, and National Trust

Follow us on Twitter @theGreatWestWay Facebook @GreatWestWay

Contista Media Ltd cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken prices and details are subject to change and Contista Media Ltd take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.



FIT FOR ROYALTY The ancient route that inspired the Great West Way was one of King Charles I’s Great Roads, with many castles, hotels and places to visit bringing you closer to England’s royal family heritage




EXPERIENCES AFTER DARK From stargazing to swimming, spooky city tours to light shows, there are plenty of experiences to try even when the sun goes down

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YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE Image copyright credits: Throughout © / p3 ©VisitEngland/Doug Harding / p9 ©National Trust Images/ Andrew Butler, © Douglas Harding / p11 ©Royal Collection Trust/©Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II / p11/p21/p28/p67 © / p12 ©Isabelle Plasschaert /Alamy Stock Photo / p33/p34/p35/p39 ©Jon Attenborough Photography Ltd / p42 ©Paul Box, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum / p43-44 © Photographers listed on page 44 / p45 ©Steve Russell Studios Ltd / p47 ©2015 WWT. All rights reserved / P51 ©Colin Hawkins / P65/ P69 ©Casper Farrell / p70 ©VisitEngland/Iain Lewis

Pictured above: Visitors on their bikes stop off at Three Daggers, Wiltshire


TIME FOR YOU From keeping fit to taking it easy at a luxury spa, there are some excellent ways to add a wellness element to your Great West Way journey


DYNAMIC CITY CULTURE Take a journey to discover the bright lights beyond London

Digital editions available at: digitaltravelmagazine


SHOPPING GEMS From antique stores and independent shops to stylish shopping centres and malls






Bristol Aero Collection Trust: charity no. 1010632



Take a look at some of the highlights and what’s new in 2020 on the Great West Way


2020 is the 125th anniversary of the National Trust and to celebrate this special birthday year, you might like to visit some of the properties and gardens along the Great West Way throughout the Thames Valley, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Bath and Bristol including Tyntesfield, Dyrham Park, Prior Park Landscape Garden, and Lacock. ›

Pictured from top-left clockwise to far-left: National Trust's Runnymede and Ankerwycke, near Old Windsor; Lacock, Wiltshire Dyrham Park, near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire and Basildon Park, Berkshire.


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Whatley Manor, Malmesbury a five star hotel with three AA red rosettes restaurant is pioneering new ideas in sustainability within the industry. In partnership with 'It Must Be Now' ( a portal for sustainable travel and tourism, Whatley is the first UK 5* property to be accredited with a 4-globe rating by Earthcheck. To discover more about their Simply Sustainable package please visit their website. ›

Did you know? The new £20 note launched in February features J.M.W. Turner - one of Britain’s most important artists. Turner designed his house in Twickenham, today a museum, and you can visit Wednesday-Sunday to enjoy the events planned in support of the new note!



Created in the 1820s by King George IV, Windsor Castle's Inner Hall, which has been closed for more than 150 years, is now open again for visitors to use as an entrance hall, just as official visitors to the Castle once did. See the State Apartments, the world's most famous dolls' house, or pause and enjoy refreshments in the new café. ›


The Wave is now open! An impressive £25 million project which took nine years in the making is welcoming visitors to explore its 75 acre site and 180m surfing lake. As well as the surfing lake, there’s a Clubhouse serving food and drinks and a surf shop, As the site develops it will also offer beautiful gardens, meadowland, woodland and family-friendly camping, opening in spring 2020. ›


Having being closed since July 2019, this brilliant heritage attraction re-opens in 2020 following a multi-million-pound ‘Onwards and Upwards’ project. Visit as part of your Great West Way journey and discover 1000 years of Trowbridge’s history including the history of its West of England woollen cloth and how it became the county town of Wiltshire. › trowbridgemuseum

Travel the eco-way

Bradford on Avon is helping visitors and the environment. Three new water fountains have been installed throughout the town (Sladesbrook Play Area, St Margaret’s Car Park and Culver Close Recreation Ground) for people to re-fill and re-use bottles for free, rather than use unnecessary resources on single-use drinks bottles. ›



Monkey Island Estate lies on a picturesque island in the River Thames in the historic village of Bray, Berkshire. The island has a rich history, centuries old, and has been the haunt of monarchs, aristocrats and artists, along with writers, famous performers and Berkshire locals and now is home to one of the finest hotels in Bray - and the Great West Way. ›

You might also enjoy: Hotel Indigo Bath: a luxury 166-bedroom boutique hotel located in the centre of Bath opening in August 2020. The designs of the stylish guest rooms and lounges has been inspired by the area’s rich architectural beauty, ready to delight guests with a true feeling of this historic neighbourhood. For more information on Bath news and events see


HOBBS OF HENLEY CELEBRATES 150 YEARS! Enjoy an adventure on the Thames in 2020 with this family boating business and celebrate their 150th anniversary. To mark the occassion Hobbs of Henley have also launched their very own Gin 'Mr Hobbs'- a nod to their founding father Harry Hobbs who established their family business in 1870. So don't miss a sip or two of their cherished family tipple too! ›


SALISBURY CATHEDRAL CELEBRATES 800 YEARS! Within easy reach of the Great West Way celebrations mark the 800th Anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral, starting with Sarum Lights (18-22 February). Granted by the Pope in 1219, the Cathedral moved from Old Sarum to its current site, with the first stone of this remarkable building being laid on 28 April 1220. ›


2020 will see the 20th year of the Calne Bike Meet, bringing together motorcyclists and the local community from far and wide. The small, Wiltshire town of Calne (where it is free to park) is taken over for the day by every variation of two wheeled machinery imaginable. A free event, held on the last Saturday in July, this year falling on the 25th July with a live band taking to the stage at around 11am. ›

Don't miss! We hope you will notice our new welcome town signs on your Great West Way journey installed in the historic market town of Hungerford, famous for its antique shops. Make time to visit and take a boat trip onboard MV Rose of Hungerford from the Wharf, stop for coffee and cake at the Tutti Pole, or join one of the expert-led walks. ›


Celebrating a special occasion on your jourey? Mark the moment with a

Wylde Flower Diamond #WYLDEMOMENTS



From Easter egg hunts, to the fun of the summer shows, to being immersed by illuminations at Christmas - whatever it is you choose, there’s always a perfect season for discovering the Great West Way Words: Samantha Rutherford


OU CAN CELEBRATE throughout the year while touring the Great West Way - with special events for every season. National Trust properties are a great way to enjoy Easter with the family, while in the summertime you won’t struggle to find entertainment


with a beautiful view. Autumn is a wonderful time to enjoy the countryside with golden tree walks and Halloween train rides, while the festive season is full of Christmassy days, and evenings, full of magic, fireworks and joyful laughter.

Pictured left-right: Visitor explores Shaw House; Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum; Fawn on the Great West Way; a family enjoying a day out at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum


You can’t beat a spring nature walk on Good Friday or Easter Monday and they don’t get much better at this time of year than following the Bath Skyline Family Discovery Trail. A fun-packed two-mile stretch of the Bath Skyline loaded with activities. Discover magical doors in the Long Wood elf and fairy foray, hunt for geocaches, complete a series of '50 things' challenges or just let off some steam playing in the woodland play area. Celebrate the arrival of spring as the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt returns to Hampton Court Palace in April. Explore the palace and its stunning gardens through an adventurefilled treasure hunt. Lindt Gold Bunny is hidden all around the palace - where monarchs through the ages have indulged their sweet tooth! Bounce into spring by decorating a ceramic bunny in cheerful spring-like colours, or join in the fun of an Easter wreath workshop and create your own arrangement using seasonal flowers at Shaw House, on the outskirts Newbury - one of the best-preserved Elizabethan mansions in England. Or for a Quirky Easter Quiz Trail and a great day out, or even an overnight stay ( don’t miss Beckford's Tower and Museum, Bath. Built between 1826 and 1827, Beckford’s Tower is an extraordinary building that was once home to one of the greatest collections of books, furniture and art in Georgian England and now stands as the only surviving example of William Beckford’s great architectural achievements. Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without going on an Easter egg hunt, and the Great West Way’s National Trust properties are a great place to find them. Explore Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath and enjoy your chocolate in the intimate 18th-century landscape, where one of only four Palladian bridges of this design in the world can be

crossed. In Berkshire, visit Basildon Park, an 18th-century house which survived the threat of being demolished after the Second World War, and today sits proudly in 400 acres of historic gardens and parkland - or discover the story of West Berkshire in the museum of the same name. While in Wiltshire, Harry Potter fans will love the Easter trail at Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, once home to William Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of the photographic negative. Just make sure you have spotted the cloisters which doubled as part of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone before you leave! Nearby, pop into the award-winning Wiltshire Museum or Roves Farm is bound to be a great family day out come rain or shine!


Whether you’re a royal fan or just want to experience a traditional English day out, Royal Ascot horse races in June and Henley Royal Regatta in July should be on your summer agenda. Going to a music festival in a muddy field is a rite of passage in the UK - a pair of jazzy (preferably glittery) wellies are essential! There's Reading Festival in August, one of the biggest, WOMAD at Charlton Park, Wiltshire in July, Love Saves the Day at Eastville Park, Bristol in May, and NASS in Bath - a music festival with skating, BMX and street art. If opera and classical music is more to your taste, visit Iford Arts at Belcombe Court and enjoy listening in 45 acres of Cotswold parkland and gardens. Bookworms will love the Swindon Festival of Literature in May, and for film, dance, theatre and more the Devizes Arts Festival in June is a must. A country show is a great way to learn more about country life in England. Given the rural nature of much of the touring route, there’ll be plenty to choose from, but one of the biggest is the Royal Bath & West Show in May/June. →


Pictured top left then clockwise: Longleat Safari Park; Bowood House; Beckford's Tower and Museum

Due to the abundance of fresh homegrown produce along the route, you’ll also find lots of food and drink festivals to attend too. The Great British Food Festival at Bowood House in August, Bristol Food Connections in June, and The Big Feastival in the Cotswolds in August are some of the biggest but you’ll find lots of smaller ones in villages and towns too. Want something really different? Dare to bare all for the Bristol World Naked Bike Ride in June! Not everyone’s cup of tea perhaps, but it’s for a good cause: raising awareness about road safety for cyclists. If you’re visiting in May, try to get tickets for Pint of Science. These informal yet informative science events take place in pubs around London, Reading, Bath, Bristol and beyond. While you enjoy a pint, scientists will fill you in on their latest research findings on topics ranging from human biology to robotics. Meanwhile the fields are ablaze with colour, wildlife is abundant and blooms fill the air with wildflower perfume at Stoke Common Meadows, in Cricklade. Nearby, at Lower Moor Farm, Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow ruddy darter and four-spotted chaser dragonflies can be seen hovering above the pond. And if in Devizes, take a walk in Peppercombe Wood's picturesque ancient woodland and listen out for birdsong from chiffchaffs, wrens, black caps, and tits.


From classic pumpkin carving and ghost stories to afterhours ghost tours, National Trust properties make a fantastic day out for some Halloween magic. Try the Halloween Trail at Tyntesfield, near Wraxall, and make the most of the autumn colour with walks across the estate. In Wiltshire, Stourhead’s vistas are sure to be highlighted with burnished leaves, or try Bowood House & Gardens, halfway between Calne and Chippenham, 100 acres of


beautifully landscaped ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and enjoy pumpkin hunts to freaky face painting. Visit Dyrham Park, near Bristol and Bath, where you might also witness one of nature's most majestic happenings as the bucks battle it out for the top spot of master buck in their annual deer rut. Or you could creep down into the cellars and meet a coven of witches, and a few wizards, at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire's Spooktacular Halloween. If you’re visiting in October, celebrate Halloween at Legoland, Windsor and enjoy their annual fireworks spectacular, or book a ghost train and visit the bat caves at Longleat Safari Park. You could scare yourself silly during Fright Night at Bristol Zoo or visit a Halloween Twilight Tour of Lansdown Cemetery, Beckford’s Tower and Museum, Bath. Or join in the fun of Windsor’s annual Halloween Pumpkin Party at Windsor Royal Station including the Mr Marvel Magic Show - frightful free fun for all the family!


At the most magical time of the year, nothing feels more festive than a market, and there are arguably none more well-known in the UK than Bath Christmas Market, with its magical Regency backdrop providing the perfect setting for a mulled wine and a mince pie. This year will be the 20th Bath Christmas Market, and in addition to the usual festivities, there will be lots of celebratory activities taking place to mark the occasion. Try also Bristol Christmas Market, Windsor and Berkshire Christmas Fairs, and the beautiful Christmas Market in the grounds at Blenheim Palace, just a short detour off the route. Sip a mulled wine, pick up unique hand-made gifts, or sample local produce. Beautifully decorated for the season you might like to celebrate Christmas in style through the ages at Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, which will be sparkling →

Make memories with your loved ones as you discover England’s only koalas

Book online and save up to 15% plus group discounts are also available

A day out with all the family exploring seven attractions above and below ground Book online and save 15% on Day Tickets plus group discounts are also available

Follow the paths taken by generations of travellers‌ Discover Longleat and Cheddar Gorge & Caves, both within easy reach of the Great West Way.

Scale the rigging, clamber through the cabins and dive under the glass sea to marvel at the ship from below. For the best ticket prices, book online:

PLUS DON'T MISS! Travelling the Great West Way is all about discovering the real England, and alongside the picturesque sights and seasonal events there are all sorts of quirky customs and traditional events that you can discover in this vibrant swathe of England too!


An ancient pagan celebration performed in January to encourage fruit trees to give a healthy harvest. This ancient tradition still takes place in certain village orchards, particularly in cider producing country - and there is plenty of cider country along the Great West Way!

Pictured: Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

Morris Men

with gorgeous candlelit displays, roaring open fires and a magnificent 20ft Victorian-decorated Christmas Tree in the Gothic Hall. Discover an Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, or at Longleat's Festival of Light, the UK’s original, biggest lantern festival. Watch hundreds of breathtaking, illuminated lanterns, set in over 30 acres of splendid ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds transform the Estate as darkness falls. Step back in time into a classic Christmas from England's past as you explore Victorian Christmas Weekend at SS Great Britain in Bristol. The iconic ship SS Great Britain is transformed into a Dickensian winter scene where you can meet Victorian characters, shop for seasonal gifts and indulge in festive food and drink. And Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a festive trip to the theatre - Bristol Hippodrome or Theatre Royal Bath perhaps? A Christmas show or pantomime is an essential part of any traditional English Christmas, so be sure to pick up a Christmas programme from the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, the Barn Theatre in Cirencester, Pound Arts Centre in Corsham or head to the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon. For a heartwarming traditional Christmas, why not sing in a carol service in front of Windsor Castle, or enjoy the seasonal atmosphere at the Hampton Court Palace ice rink, a wonderful way to get into the festive spirit, with spectacular views of the Thames-side Tudor palace. Discover an enchanted wonderland of light and magic during Christmas At Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury or discover the glittering spiral trees, and dynamic laser projections which illuminate the iconic Temperate House at Christmas at Kew, Richmond. Or why not put the sparkle in your family Christmas by enjoying the annual Christmas Extravaganza and Carol Concert in Hungerford, or the season of lights and lanterns in Devizes with their annual Lantern Parade & Christmas Festival.

Morris Men are one of the most well known of England's ancient traditions. Troupes of Morris Men dress in white with bells and ribbons and dance traditional dances together, with much slapping of knees and hitting of sticks! You'll likely see Morris Men at local fairs and festivals taking place along the Great West Way - a reminder that you're undoubtedly in England.


The charming Berkshire market town of Hungerford is reputed to be the only place in England where locals still dress up to celebrate the medieval festival of Hocktide. The residents of Hungerford throw themselves into the many customs surrounding Hocktide, which takes place annually after Easter, including dressing up, decorating their houses, welcoming the 'Tutti Men' and exchanging oranges and kisses.

Swan Upping

In Windsor, the ancient custom of 'Swan Upping' takes place in July each year, with uniformed 'Royal Swan Uppers' travelling in traditional rowing skiffs on the Thames to assess the health of the local mute swans, which are by tradition the property of the British monarch.

Oxford Traditions

Within easy reach of the Great West Way is the university city of Oxford, which has a whole host of quirky customs and traditions of its own, including penny throwing, May day singing, and boat burning. Don't forget to tag #GreatWestWay so we can see your pictures along the route!




Wiltshire is rolling green downs, ancient woodlands and bustling market towns. It’s parish churches, grand historic houses and country inns. Timeless monuments and contemporary luxury. Local ales and picnics in the park. The England you love in one County Visit Wiltshire, at the heart of the Great West Way.

It’s Time for Wiltshire


Whether you want to indulge in a splash of Edwardian opulence, down a chilled glass of Britain’s finest fizz or take a ride in a Rolls Royce phantom, these three locals hold the keys Words: Belinda Richardson


OM NEWEY IS STILL reeling at the success he has had with his Alder Ridge vineyard, eleven years on from its launch. “Times are changing,” he says. “Who would have ever thought they’d find an internationally recognised vineyard along the Great West Way?” Critics said it was too hairbrained and wouldn’t work so Tom set out to prove them wrong and was rewarded with the cat’s whiskers when he went and won silver for his Blanc de Noirs at the International Wine Challenge in 2016 - not bad for his very first vintage. “Of course we have had our ups and downs and will no doubt continue to. I certainly watch the weather a lot more than I used to but for the time being – and I hate to say this – global warming is working in our favour. The chalky ridge and the flinty topsoil have many of the key characteristics of the Champagne region, which not only means strong grapes but a beautiful place to live. Tom's best thing about the Great West Way: It promotes slow travel, which means we get our heads out of our sat navs and take time to appreciate our surroundings on our journey”.

Pictured left then clockwise: Tom Newey, Chief Executive of Alder Ridge Vineyard and Cobbs Farm Shops; the vineyard; Marlborough and The Three Tuns, Tom's favourite place for lunch

Tom's favourite day out: “A gentle browse – and a spend - in my favourite town Marlborough while I am waiting for my electric car to charge, followed by a wander in Great Bedwyn and lunch at The Three Tuns.” →


Richard Aldhous has been a car enthusiast all his life. Now a director of Calne’s Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, he started working here as a car parking attendant. “Back then, we were three staff, now we are a grand nine,” he says. “We will never be as big as Beaulieu or Haynes but we don’t want to be, we are quite happy being small but spectacular. We have everything here from the expected to the unexpected, including all those makes you can remember from being a kid, like the Trojan, Morris Minor, Model T Ford, Austin 7s, gleaming Daimlers, a prototype Mini – you name it.” Refreshingly free from the glitz and the trailer queens, Atwell-Wilson is packed to the rafters with a whacky collection of about 100 everyday classic cars (some available to hire), lorries, motorcycles, mopeds and push bikes from days gone by, set against the backdrop of a 1930s garage. Pretty much all the vehicles are in useable condition rather than being pampered showpieces and poking round them is like taking a casual, rather fun stroll through motoring history. “I feel as happy as a sandboy living and working here in Calne,” says Richard. “There is so much here to discover. Calne has always been a place of discovery – first you had Priestley discovering oxygen in Bowood, which in turn led to discovering the process of photosynthesis. Not forgetting the good old pigs and the Wiltshire cure, invented here by the Harris family in the eighteenth century. When we lost the pigs, it is fair to say that Calne had a good 15 years of depression but now we have fallen back in love with ourselves and our community is as strong as any. →


Richard's best thing about the Great West Way: “I love that it focuses travellers on a route but then guides them north and south of it too, which means they do actually find little gems like us”. Richard's favourite day out: “Cycling the track from Avebury to Calne and out to Chippenham with a stop off at The Lansdowne Arms on the way and dinner back in Calne at the Italian restaurant (Antica Roma) that’s always booked up”. Pictured top-left then clockwise: Richard Aldhous, Director of Calne’s AtwellWilson Motor Museum; the museum; The Red Lion Avebury; Cycling on the Great West Way; Calne High Street

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Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB



Discover Calne’s Heritage Quarter

Calne Town Crier Mark Wylie

A warm welcome awaits you in Calne! Look no further and discover Calne’s Heritage Quarter with two hours free parking in the Church Street Car Park, and explore what Calne has to offer with a host of options to eat, drink and stay.

Mark Thwaites, Director at Thames Lido, has come up trumps with his restoration of both Bristol and Reading lidos, leading the charge in the renaissance of some of our finest Edwardian outdoor pools. “Thankfully our lee-dos are not what most people remember as lie-dos from childhood – all floating plasters, empty crisp packets and wagon wheel wrappers, “he says. “These are much more grown up – escapist places to be pampered and well-fed.” With his background in the fitness industry and his half Finnish heritage, Mark and Swedish developer Arne Ringner, have created glamorous outdoor oases, delightfully free of lane ropes, flags and pace clocks, secluded in glass-walled courtyards, with steam gently rising from the ambient 25 degrees C water. Scandi-style saunas and massage rooms and a chi-chi restaurant complete the picture.

Pictured top then clockwise: Thames Lido; Mark Thwaites, Director at Thames Lido; Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Mark's best thing about the Great West Way: “All the beauty and variety and tranquility you find along the way. Thames Lido has a natural place in this market since unwinding and being calm is at the heart of what we do.” Mark's favourite day out: “Much as I like Reading, it would have to be in Bristol. For a long time Bristol battled against Bath for tourism but at last Bristol has broken through as a mecca for great music, culture, arts and restaurants – namely our very own at the Bristol lido”


Take your time on the Kennet & Avon Canal

The beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal (or K&A as it’s known) flows along 87 miles of the Great West Way®. From Bath to Reading, it winds through quintessential rolling Wiltshire hills, bustling towns and even a World Heritage Site. Since 1810, narrowboats have drifted along at four miles an hour, plying their trade from Bristol to London. Today, you’ll find a mixture of holiday and live-aboard boaters, all seeking the calm and tranquillity that comes from life on or by the water. In fact, research by the Canal & River Trust, the charity that looks after the K&A, suggests spending time next to water is good for your wellbeing. So take a wander along the towpath, paddle away on a canoe, jump aboard a boat trip, or simply stop, stare and take it all in. The K&A is free and open for everyone to use and enjoy every day.

Great West Way® Waterways Ambassador

Registered Charity Number 1146792


Relax with a gentle stroll and traditional cream tea, or for the more active there’s an amazing variety of activities, from canoeing and kayaking to paddleboarding or cycling along the towpaths Words: Charlotte White

Pictured: Kennet and Avon Canal, Bradford on Avon


HE RIVER THAMES, the River Kennet and Kennet & Avon Canal meander their way through the heart of the Great West Way route starting from London all the way to Bath and Bristol, meeting with each other at Reading. Though they are very different waterways. Passing through towns and cities, the

waterways offer tranquil spaces in urban areas, as well as stopping-off points to discover England’s heritage. The more rural sections offer a wealth of wildlife and natural beauty and along their lengths is living history. The waterways have also inspired festivals and regattas through the ages. →


Pictured left-right: Kennet and Avon Canal, Bradford on Avon; The River Thames


The 87 mile long Kennet & Avon Canal is in fact two rivers, linked by a central canal section built in the Georgian period. Created originally as a trading link between London and the west coast, it is a masterpiece of engineering with 104 wide beam locks, including the second longest continuous series of locks in the country at Caen Hill, Devizes. Despite this, the canal fell into obscurity and disrepair, and was almost lost to the nation with competition from the newly built railways. It took a passionate band of dedicated volunteers to restore the waterway which is now open for everyone to enjoy. The Kennet & Avon Canal is a great way to travel the route, with time to take in some magnificent sites (and sights) from the Crofton Pumping Station to a World Heritage Site and historic battlefield - not to mention 21 conservation sites, 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and many spectacular landscapes including Wiltshire and (just a short detour off the route) the Northern Cotswolds. The canal has awesome examples of canal engineering too. The 16 locks of the steepest part of the flight at Caen Hill are not only a scheduled ancient monument, they are an Olympic-sized challenge for every boater – so remember to take a snack with you, as it will take 5-6 hours to pass through the locks. One of the most impressive structures on Britain's waterways, the Avoncliff 28

Aqueduct at over 100 metres long and 18 metres wide, carries the Kennet & Avon Canal over the River Avon. Cycle just over 2.5 miles (4k) up the towpath and visit the equally magnificent Dundas Aqueduct, opened in 1805 - both were built by the architect and engineer, John Rennie. Or you could walk the other way along the towpath, passing the Barton Farm Country Park and you easily reach the bigger market town of Bradford on Avon.


The Thames is the longest river in England with 45 locks. It boasts three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is the only river in Europe with a national trail, The Thames Path, along its entire length. Starting as a small trickle in the Cotswolds, the River Thames travels over 210 miles through the heart of some of England’s loveliest towns. The Thames offers an excellent array of riverside locations to stay and play. It curves past some of the most significant sites in history including Runnymede where Magna Carta was sealed, the Royal Palaces at Windsor and Hampton Court, and the Parliament buildings at Westminster. It carried the bodies of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I to their final resting places. While a flotilla, led by the Havengore vessel, carried Winston Churchill’s coffin up the Thames to Temple Pier, on the first stage of his journey to Bladon near Blenheim Palace, his final resting place. →

Explore Bristol by Boat!

Hop aboard our daily waterbus service or hire out any of our boats for educational tours, boat parties and much more! • 0117 927 3416 • @BristolFerry

Majestic Marlborough


The ancient market town that packs a postcard-perfect punch

Hungerford The Heart of the North Wessex Downs

History, culture, scenic walks, antiques, shopping, pubs and restaurants. For a wonderful day out, Hungerford has something for everyone.


Pictured: Richmond


A rare combination of river, canal and architecture from the Romans, Saxons, Normans, Georgians and Victorians, who have all left their mark. Don’t miss The Bridge Tea Rooms, a double winner of the UK Tea Guild's 'Top Tea Place', stop in to the newly refurbished canal-side pub, the Canal Tavern, or board the MV Barbara McLellan for a sightseeing boat trip. îHenley on Thames Discover the history of Henley, rowing and the Thames at the River & Rowing Museum, then join a sightseeing cruise along the Thames with Hobbs of Henley. Head out of Henley (5.4miles/8.7kms) to Stonor Park, dating back to the 12th century and take a tour inside and walk through the gardens. îVale of Pewsey On the banks of the Kennet & Avon canal, this is a tranquil, mystical sort of place with two Wiltshire White Horses, Pewsey and Alton Barnes. Stop for a cup of tea and you’re bound to have some illuminating conversations. The Little Lunchbox Café is a warm, welcoming place on the High Street, while The Charlton Cat has a seriously tasty selection of cakes (try the rhubarb and custard) and an outdoor courtyard with fabulous countryside views. Make your way to Honeystreet Mill Café for gateaux style cakes, with unique flavours that change every week, or pop into Marshalls Bakery for a slice of their Wiltshire Lardy Cake, delicious! îReading From boat trips along the Thames to its historic Reading Abbey Quarter which covers the former precinct of one of Europe's largest royal monasteries. Visit one of the town's free museums, the Reading Museum or The Museum of English Rural Life, also known as the MERL, before enjoying its great shopping area and evening entertainment.

îCAROLINE ROBSON, THE CANAL & RIVER TRUST The charity that cares for the waterway Caroline's best thing about the Great West Way:

As a Great West Way traveller, the Kennet & Avon Canal offers you an abundance of natural beauty, outstanding canal structures, fabulous vistas and heritage galore. With so many places to stop off on route, you don’t have to travel far from the tranquil water to discover little known corners of quintessential England as well as urban centres including the architectural masterpiece of Bath. Caen Hill in Devizes is the second longest flight of locks in the country and an absolute must to visit!

PlayHungerford CycleHungerford

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY îBristol Packet Boats

Hear about the origins of the Floating Harbour and Brunel's famous Bridge as you cruise underneath on an Avon Gorge Cruise in Bristol, along the River Avon. îFrench Brothers Celebrate a special occasion with a luxury cream tea cruise on board a beautiful genuine steamboat. îHenley Rowing Association For a unique experience on the Thames in Henley book a Champagne Rowing Taster Session designed for ladies who lunch! îBoat Trips on the Kennet and Avon Canal Take a trip on the Kenavon Venture, a wide beam boat, from The Wharf in Devizes, or The Jubilee, a traditional narrowboat, from the Wharf in Newbury. îSalter's Steamers For an unforgettable experience while in Oxford try an afternoon of punting on the River Thames. îThames Rivercruise Sit and relax as beautiful scenery glides by on a cruise along England’s greatest river.


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Image: The Roseate Villa, Bath,

space ‘Henrietta Bar’ (The Roseate Villa Bath).

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With the GWR Great West Way Discoverer Pass you can hop on and off at any station around the route - Reading, Swindon, Chippenham and Bath Spa, or London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central Words: Jane Freeman


H, THE ROMANCE OF THE RAILWAY. The sound of the whistle that announces the train’s departure, the clack-clack rhythm of the rails as they pass beneath the wheels, and the everchanging view that passes by the window. Settling in to a railway carriage is a treat – one that heralds adventure and can be accompanied by a steaming cup of tea or a cooling bottle of beer, no driving required. Seeing the Great West Way by train means becoming a part of its history. Trains have chugged and steamed along this route for over 175 years, bringing produce to market

and business to towns, holidaymakers to the countryside and rural folk to the capital. Join the story of England’s railways on a journey along the Great West Way with the GWR Great West Way Discoverer Pass. The Discoverer pass makes travelling the route easy and hassle free. It includes unlimited off-peak train travel from London Paddington/Waterloo along the route to Bristol Temple Meads via Reading and/or Basingstoke circular routes with options to branch off towards Oxford and Kemble. It also includes unlimited travel on the bus services along the route. →


Did you know? There are 200 bus routes along the Great West Way to help you complete your journey - Visit your nearest bus station and/or tourist information

THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY One of England’s great long-distance railway lines, the Great Western Railway runs along the full distance of the Great West Way – from London’s Paddington station to Bristol Temple Meads. It’s chief engineer was Isambard Kingdom Brunel and you’ll travel the course he plotted back in the 1830s, including his Box Tunnel, infamously said to be impossible to build. Before he built it. In one go, the journey takes just 1 hour 40 minutes, but stopping en route to explore the Great West Way is far more fun. First stop is Reading, for a cruise on the River Thames, a stroll through Caversham Court Gardens and the chance to watch a professional football match at Reading FC’s Majedski Stadium. Next stop is Swindon, home to STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway. Here you’ll see famous locomotives from throughout the railway’s history, drive a train simulator and work the signals in the interactive GWR signal box. Right next door is the McArthurGlen outlet shopping village, where more than 100 brands are on sale at up to 60% off. Armed with your new skills – and perhaps a souvenir or three to take home – head next to Chippenham, a historic market town in the rural county of Wiltshire. On the banks of the River Avon, Chippenham is a flourishing small town, with an enticing market to explore on Fridays and Saturdays on the High Street and plenty of proper English pubs.


It’s just 15 minutes by bus from here to Lacock, seen on screen more often than Judi Dench. This picturesque village has been the backdrop to film and TV titles such as Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice and Downton Abbey – see if you recognise Lacock Abbey and the High Street from your favourite scenes. Your final calling point en route to Bristol is the beautiful city of Bath. You’ll want plenty of time here, for a stroll past honey-hued Georgian buildings and a dip in the natural hot springs that bubble up from the ground. Don’t miss the original Roman Baths, too, not to mention the Jane Austen Centre, where afternoon tea is served Regency style. The Great Western Railway ends in Bristol, a vibrant city where you can climb aboard the last Concorde ever made (built right here in Bristol) at Aerospace Bristol, and clamber up the rigging of one of Brunel’s other famous creations, the SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner. SS Great Britain celebrates two big anniversaries in 2020; 50 years since her epic salvage and homecoming; and 175 years since arriving in New York City. Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge is here too, beckoning you on along the River Avon and out to Avon Gorge. Set foot atop this world-famous bridge and quietly thank Brunel for the journey he made possible – along the Great West Way by rail.

Tickets for the Great Western Railway can be bought from ticket offices at stations along the route but for cheaper tickets and no queues we recommend buying in advance. There are three Great West Way Discoverer routes available, (East, West or all) giving you the opportunity to explore your chosen area in one-day instalments or over the duration of a week. Book online at, prices from just £24. Visiting from overseas? Three-day or seven-day international passes can be purchased (costing £98 /£129 respectively for adults) online at

EXPLORE TOWNS AND VILLAGES AT YOUR LEISURE The Great Western Railway is far from just one main line. Take an alternative rail journey and you can get off the beaten track and out into more rural areas. Consider returning to London via a different route, taking the train from Bath to Bradford on Avon for example. This glorious small town sits on the edge of The Cotswolds and straddles the River Avon. Cross the waters in ancient footsteps, on the 13th-century town bridge, and stand dwarfed in the 14th-century Tithe Barn, its lattice of timbers soaring for over 50 metres far above your head. Change at Westbury and head east for Bedwyn, where you can disembark for a stroll along the water’s edge on the towpath of the Kennet & Avon Canal, which runs from Bristol all the way to Reading. After just over two miles you’ll encounter a surprise – the world’s oldest working steam engines. The Crofton Beam Engines are fed by a hand-stoked coal-fired boiler and are still plugging away at the same job they were designed to do more than 200 years ago – pumping water up to the highest point of the canal. Back on the railway there are two other stops worth making en route to Reading – at Hungerford and Newbury. You’re travelling through the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty here so press that nose up against the window and pick out the perfect place for a stroll. There are several short loop walks from Hungerford (an ancient town also known for its antique shops) or you could walk the nine miles to Newbury along the canal. Once you’re in Newbury you could stop for a flutter – there’s a world-class racecourse here. While closer to London, trains between Reading and London Paddington call at Twyford, where you can change onto the line to Henley-on-Thames, home to the famous regatta and plenty of messing about in boats. Trains also call at Slough, where you can catch a train to Windsor to poke your head into the State Rooms of the Queen’s favourite castle.

RIDE THE RAILS OF THE HERITAGE STEAM RAILWAYS Savour the unmistakable sights, sounds and smells of steam at the Didcot Railway Centre, as you relive the golden age of the famous Great Western Railway. Find the entrance through the ticket hall and original steam age subway of Didcot Parkway railway station. Just outside Bristol is the Avon Valley Railway, where you can ride three miles of preserved track from the Victorian Bitton station through the valley, listening to the puff and whistle of the steam train. Reach Bitton by taking the Great Western Railway from Bristol to Keynsham and following the brown signs on foot for 1.5 miles. Near Swindon you’ll see the steam of the Swindon & Cricklade Railway rising above the Taw Valley. Ride the rails for more than two miles from Taw Valley Halt to Blunsdon on a heritage steam train. You’ll need to take a bus to get here, the number 15 from the centre of Swindon stops at the Tawny Owl pub, close to Taw Valley Halt.

JOURNEY TIMES BY RAIL Based on average journey times: London Paddington to Bristol î1hr 40 mins London Paddington to Bath Spa î1 hour 11 minutes London Paddington to Heathrow î35 mins Reading to London Paddington (via Slough) î30 mins Bristol to Bath î11mins Bath to Salisbury î55mins Salisbury to Stonehenge î33mins (bus) Salisbury to Swindon (via Melksham) î90mins Swindon to Reading î30mins Reading to Windsor (via Slough) î35mins



EXPLORE THE COUNTRYSIDE The Great West Way perfectly lends itself to the outdoors lifestyle, with open spaces of stunning countryside, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and links to National Trails Words: Samantha Colbourne

Pictured leftright: Couple walking their dogs in Avebury; Cycling in the North Wessex Downs


HE GREAT WEST WAY OFFERS a curated touring route comprised of road, rail and water links between London and Bristol. Direct it runs 125 miles - but if you include all the off-the-beaten track walking and bike trails and other tempting detours then there’s over 500 miles to explore. So where to begin? Pick a starting point - any starting point - and that in itself may uncover new realms of possibility. This route is all about finding your own way. Embracing the unknown and being open to whatever crosses your path. Enjoy some of England's best national trails, three areas of outstanding natural beauty, winding waterways, and beautiful views. Feel inspired to enjoy some of England's finest landscapes, breathe fresh air, relax and enjoy the sights along the way. And exploring the Great West Way by foot or bike, you will never be far from a pub or café along the route for lunch, afternoon tea or a refreshing drink at the end of your day. Find time to explore and unwind without the need of your car or public transport.


If walking or cycling in nature, exploring the roads and paths less travelled, finding hidden gems and a host of native wildlife is your idea of the perfect short break, then why not plan a walking road trip down the Great West Way over the course of several days? There are a host of fantastic accommodation options along the route, from bed and breakfasts in quintessential villages and rental options in quaint cottages, to luxury hotels in grand houses. Find inspiration from our Where to Stay article p78, or you can find everything you need at

Your adventure might take you through one of the three National Trails that cross the Great West Way, perfect for day trips or for longer holidays. You might enjoy a river walk along some of the 184 miles of Thames Path National Trail passing Windsor Castle. This trail is mostly flat and relatively gentle with water meadows, sleepy riverside villages and nature reserves interspersed with historic market towns. The Ridgeway National Trail is an 87-mile National Trail follows Britain’s oldest road, a route that’s been walked by travellers since prehistoric times. It passes through the North Wessex Downs and the Chilterns. Along the way you’ll glimpse remnants of the Iron, Bronze and Stone Ages, passing stone circles, white horses and ancient woodlands. If it's picturesque villages you are searching for then you can't beat The Cotswold Way National Trail offering just over 100 miles of magical walking, with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment, and journeys past famous ancient sites. →



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connect to The Stonehenge Tour from don Salisbury railway station regularly from Lon

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Avebury and Stonehenge Private Guided Tours Wiltshire’s wonderful countryside, full of internationally important monuments, is a very special place to visit

Find out more online or call Laurence | +44 (0)7947 488665


From ancient trees to butterflies and otters, National Trust look after some wonderful landscapes, that are full of life. Try Bath Skyline for example - only a short stroll from the city centre. Explore the skyline hills above Bath and beyond, through six miles of meadows and ancient woodlands to secluded valleys. The limestone grassland slopes support a great variety of plants and attract a number of butterflies, great for some spring and summer wildlife spotting. This is a circular walk and will take around three to four hours of moderate walking. For a more exhilarating walking trail you might prefer Cheddar Gorge & Caves dramatic 3-mile walk – 450ft above sea level – with views over the Mendips. And it’s not just the landscape out to impress. The gorge is a dedicated conservation area, home to an abundance of rare plants and wildlife – see if you can spot the Cheddar Pink (dianthus), which isn’t found anywhere else in the world. There are a variety of fascinating sites across Wiltshire too, including parts of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. At Avebury you’ll find the largest stone circle in the world, a prehistoric artificial chalk mound, Silbury Hill, as well as many other Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, including Windmill Hill, The Sanctuary and West Kennet Long Barrow. A bit further afield, discover the Stonehenge Landscape where there are remarkable prehistoric monuments such as The Avenue, several Bronze Age barrow cemeteries and the huge henge monument of Durrington Walls, which contains the remains of a Neolithic village. Just outside Marlborough, Lockeridge Dene and Piggledene’s

PEDAL POWER Discover the Great West Way on two wheels, whether you choose to take your own, or hire your bike. Join a cycle tour with Wild Swim Bike Run, or find adventure in beautiful countryside on trails with Active England and Compass Holidays. Or why not try cycling on a tandem around Bristol, the UK’s first Cycling City, with Bristol Tandem Hire? Adventure seeker? Then head to the Swinley Forest stopping in at the Swinley Bike Hub.

unusual sarsen boulder stream, creates a striking landscape, from which the standing stones of Avebury were probably sourced. At Cherhill there’s the white horse on Calstone and Cherhill Downs. North of Chippenham discover Sutton Lane Meadows, an unspoilt natural wildflower meadow which blooms in May and June. →


There's 125 miles of twists and turns and new discoveries along the Great West Way route. To help you plan your journey be sure to pick up a map which will not only help you to navigate your jouney, it also includes 125 great things to do! START HER E.


13 REF: E4

54. Climb to the into the “blood top of Roundway H y victory of the ditch” – scene of the English Civil War, in 164 55. Tune into alien Wiltshire’s infamo energies on the hu us crop circles Crop Circle with Exhibition & Information people think C these large and often orn that appear overnight in the county’s are the work w of extra-terrestr ials… GRID 56. Walk along the River Thame strolling from s on the Th Kew Garden s to the upscale of Richmond, home to some great pubs. GR 57. Take a stroll through 45 at Bristol’s Arnos acres of seren cemetery surrounVale Cemetery, a Victori a home to numer ded by unspoiled woodla ous fascinating monument 66 58. Try a hot chocolate sevent Dyrham Park eenth-centur – you might be surprised it has cayenn to e pepper in 31 it! GRID REF: B3 le 59. Scan the skies for red kites in the the best time Chilte to see these glorious birds is between Octob of of seeing them er and April and the best is in the far c Outstanding south of the Area Natural Beauty . GRID REF: K1 60. Get a new insight into Shakespeare, contemporary at a performance at Bristol Shakes of the Bard’s best w peare Festiva l (July). GRID REF: A3 61. Find dazzlin g carpets of bluebells in West Woods the woo just outside Marlborough. are bluebell April and season here. GRID

53. See paintin gs by English Gainsborough maste and at Bath’s Holbur John Constable, ne Museum. GRID R REF: A3

50. Step inside a with a stagger fourteenth cen ing stretch for more timber roof of than 50 metres Bradford on Avon’s that it’s protect tithe barn is so ed by English Herit 51. Travel throug stand-up paddle h the historic c take a lesson boarding safari w in Bristol (A4) with S 52. Play disc golf in the park, Bristol – you’ll at A be into each hole. trying to get a f GRID

England for the Curious

lunch – a platter of 111. Eat a traditional ploughman’s picture-postcard accompanied by bread and 94. Take a guided tour of the local cheese, pickle and onions Manor and check twelfth century Castle Inn fifteenth-century Great Chalfield (usually) a salad. Try it at the style garden, complete in Bristol (A4). out its beautiful Arts and Crafts in Castle Combe (C3) or at Beese’s topiary. GRID REF: C4 with some very well-manicured tea – served strong Have a proper English cup of pub experience. There are 112. tearoom. There 95. Settle in for an authentic English with milk of course – in a traditional the Great West Way, where the Great West Way hundreds of traditional pubs along are hundreds of tearooms along Coffee Shop in beer garden in summer, or cosy Peter’s St you can play pub games in the but some of our favourites are love the Three Tuns Freehouse in Dyrham (B3), the Teapot up by the open fire in winter.We Marlborough (E4), The Tollgate in Malmesbury (C3), the Pole in Hungerford (F4). in Great Bedwyn (F4), The Old Bell in Cookham (J3) and The Tutti Red Lion Freehouse in East Royal Oak in Yattendon (C3), The tree, still going strong Pub in Newbury (G4). 113. See a 2,000-year-old lime Chisenbury (E4) and The Newbury GRID REF: C3 in Silk Wood at Westonbirt Arboretum. & Avon Canal on your 96. Pootle along the Kennet skills on the orienteering up at pub gardens 114. Test your navigational very own narrowboat, mooring are three to try There trails at Ashton Court in Bristol. the route and feeling the and in market towns along kiosk. GRID REF: A4 – pick up a map from the golf be hired just for the day pace of life slow. Boats can track, following the for a longer holiday from 115. Cycle along an old railway from Devizes Marina (D4) or Path between the fancy driving yourself? 13-mile Bristol & Bath Railway Honeystreet Boats (E4). Don’t route of the Midland on the Jubilee from two cities. This was once the Take a narrowboat tour instead, of its life as a railway of Hungerford from Railway and some evidence Newbury Wharf (G4), The Rose traffic-free and Venture from Devizes is still visible. The route is tarmac,a breeze for Hungerford (F4), the Kenavon it from Bradford on almost entirely level – making even try it on a Wharf (D4) or the Barbara McLellan all levels of ability. You could bike from Bristol Avon (C4). tandem, hiring a two-seater hotel, The Old Bell Tandem Hire. GRID REF: B4 97. Check in to England’s oldest I listed and stands giants, Goram and Hotel in Malmesbury. It’s Grade 116. See the cave where two Abbey. Fully restored, made their home. right next to the twelfth century Ghyston, are said to have once n and relaxed overlooking Avon it offers elegant modern accommodatio You can walk to this small cave above it, dinners.GRID REF: C3 Gorge in Bristol from the Observatory nineteenth century through a tunnel carved in the with Rein and Shine in 98. Take a horse-riding lesson REF: A4 by artist William West. GRID experience packages Swindon. There are horse riding the rare chalk grasslands the chance to learn 117. Go butterfly spotting in of two and three hours, including habitat for a wide variety GRID REF: E3 of the Chilterns, the perfect about stable management. that love them. of wildflowers – and the butterflies working steam 99. Marvel at the world’s oldest GRID REF: H3 Engines. Fed by a 2 engines, the Crofton Beam one of England’s best they’re still plugging 118. Play a round of golf on hand-stoked coal-fired boiler, Park Golf Course in designed to do more than parkland courses. Try Richmond away at the job they were Golf Club in Wiltshire or up to the highest West London, North Wilts 200 years ago – pumping water Canal. GRID REF: E4 Bristol & Clifton Golf Club. point of the Kennet & Avon GRID REF: L3 some winter 100. Bring the binoculars for Kennet & Avon Canal Park. Look out 119. See what’s biting in the birdwatching at Cotswold Water most bankable angling ducks, coots and – home to some of England’s for great crested grebes, tufted along much of the towpath spots. Fishing is permitted pochards. GRID REF: D2 for a bumper catch here, but two of the best places in English twentieth century (C4) and Hungerford 101. Check out the work of are Bathampton near Bath the eponymous gallery on local angling association painter Sir Stanley Spencer in Berkshire (F4). Contact the the Thameside village he the high street in Cookham, for a permit. years. GRID REF: J3 lived and worked in for many

Racecourse, which has 82. Bet on the horses at Newbury at Bowood’s Woodland G4 2. Smell the rhododendrons race days year-round. GRID REF: flowering season. ardens, open every spring during of Americana way between the vibrantly 83. Check out the largest collection Two miles of paths wind their fascinating ancient maps have been putting on outside the US, including some coloured plants, many of which the American Museum and 1854. GRID REF: D4 and more than 200 quilts, at this display every year since Gardens in Bath. GRID REF: C4 by the anonymous 73. Spot a Banksy – an artwork with the helpful bar staff at from, Bristol. You can 84. Get geeky about local ales street artist – in the city he hails Bristol and selling Old of at work, painting the walls the Beer Emporium, in the heart also watch other street artists The bottle shop upstairs art and graffiti festival, beers from local craft breweries. as part of Europe’s largest street REF: A4 has loads to take away too. GRID every July. GRID REF: A3 the twice-weekly market some very cheeky 85. Shop for local goodies at 74. Get eyeball to eyeball with second widest high street – as you drive through in Marlborough, set along the monkeys at Longleat Safari Park clamber onto your car, and in the UK. GRID REF: E4 their habitat expect them to to fan out them! GRID REF: C5 peacocks possibly to take some of it with 86. Wait for Corsham’s free-roaming take the perfect picture. at Stonor Chapel, built in the their bright coloured tails – then 75. Attend the weekly mass themselves in the site of a prehistoric stone You might even spot them admiring late thirteenth century on the GRID REF: C4 ever since. GRID REF: H3 shop windows of the High Street. circle and resolutely Catholic Hill, part of the prehistoric walk around the market 87. Join the debate over Silbury 76. Seek out ghosts on a creepy did ancient man build a John Girvan. The complex at Avebury. Just why town of Devizes with local historian pyramid? terrifying children and adults mound as large as a contemporary Egyptian Devizes Ghost Walk has been and includes a trip to the site GRID REF: E4 alike for more than 20 years REF: D4 of the town’s old gallows. GRID Atwell-Wilson Motor 77. Step into the 1930s at the 1930s garage has been Museum in Calne, where a classic cars. GRID REF: D4 reconstructed and filled with from the vineyard at the 78. Drink English wine direct (F4) or Aldwick Estate award winning Alder Ridge Vineyard wine is getting especially in Bristol (A4). English sparkling try. popular so be sure to give it a of art” at Stourhead, one 79. Stroll through a “living work gardens. The best time of England’s greatest landscape the trees turn golden, but to visit is the autumn, when seek out the classical at any time of the year you can shot for your Instagram. temple above the lake – a great GRID REF: B6

shoe at the Fashion 80. Discover the history of the find a collection that Museum in Bath, where you’ll to Nike trainers. runs from Georgian silk shoes

of local 88. Take your seats for a performance (D2), one Cirencester talent at the Barn Theatre in and home to of England’s best regional theatres settle in for a jazz state-of-the-art facilities. Or Centre (C4) in concert at the Wiltshire Music Bradford on Avon. Arcade Antiques, 89. Haggle for a bargain at Hungerford and plenty of dealers – home to more than 100 antique REF: F4 weird and wonderful finds. GRID with a difference at The 90. Settle in for some pub grub Buckinghamshire, the first Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Michelin stars. GRID REF: J3 UK pub to be awarded two the Ridgeway, riding through 91. Saddle up for a trek along the River Thames in the the North Wessex Downs to reach Natural Beauty. GRID REF: H2 Chilterns Area of Outstanding dart frogs, one of the 92. Spot brilliant blue poison animals, in the Lowlands world’s most brightly coloured in Berkshire. glasshouse at the Living Rainforest GRID REF: G3

interactive GWR signal box 93. Work the signals in the STEAM, the Museum of and drive a train simulator at in Swindon. GRID REF: E3 the Great Western Railway,


Pictured above: North Wessex Downs, the third largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain

might with a visit 120. Discover the area’s military Nature Reserve, Royal Electrical and 102. Go orchid spotting in Hartslock to REME, the museum of the which flowers here in Lyneham. See large home to the rare monkey orchid Mechanical Engineers, at MoD a hybrid of the monkey soldiers’ stories and get May or early June. There is also armoured vehicles, listen to place in Britain that this task simulator. GRID REF: D3 and lady orchids here, the only hands-on with the recovery H3 has been recorded. GRID REF: a mind-melting 121. Indulge yourself by booking Thermae Spa hy shot on Bath’s in-water massage – or watsu. 103. Pose for the perfect postcard-wortCastle Combe. in the natural thermal the heart of offers these dreamy treatments the arched stone bridge in a time capsule, with not a waters of the Hot Bath. Just don’t plan anything too This protected village is like REF: B4 surprise then that it has strenuous for afterwards! GRID modern building in sight. No times – in Spielberg’s appeared on screen numerous at Cock Marsh near 122. Wild swim in the Thames Dr Doolittle film to name War Horse and the original beaches to paddle Cookham, where you’ll find sandy just two. GRID REF: C3 GRID REF: J3 out from and clear, clean waters. Canal, pushing off in 104. Canoe the Kennet & Avon at Downton Abbey with a on Avon and paddling 123. Go behind the scenes a Canadian canoe at Bradford building Julian Fellowes visit to Highclere Castle, the and the canalside Barge eastwards to Seend Cleeve when he wrote the TV is said to have had in mind for a pub lunch before Inn, where you can moor up remains the family home drama. The Victorian castle D4 the return journey. GRID REF: Carnarvon, and visitors of the Earl and Countess of to much of Mary and in for an al fresco can see the Great Hall, backdrop 105. Bring a blanket and settle Dining Room, scene of play at Dyrham Matthew’s romance, and the performance of a Shakespearean of acerbic comments many a family drama and plenty Park (August). GRID REF: B3 GRID REF: G5 from the Dowager Countess. organic gardens at 106. Take a turn around the in the shooting of Wales. Book a 124. Have a crack at clay pigeon Highgrove, home to the Prince in Berkshire. GRID REF: G4 finish with afternoon grounds of Donnington Grove champagne tea tour and you’ll Champagne. GRID REF: C3 works in Bristol, home tea and a glass of Highgrove 125. Learn how stop animation Academy Award winning a spin around the rink at to Aardman Animations, the 107. Lace up your skates for Wallace and Gromit. winter ice rinks. There are studio who brought the world one of the Great West Way’s hosts model making in Bristol (A4), Royal Victoria We the Curious science centre rinks at Millennium Square even Gardens in Windsor (K3) and workshops with experts from the studio – you’ll Park in Bath (B4), Alexandra Gromit. GRID REF: A4 (November-January). get to take home a plasticine Hampton Court Palace (L4) to yourself by booking 108. Get the stones (almost) and rising early to In partnership with: the Inner Circle tour at Stonehenge it opens to the public. be inside the stone circle before but you will get some You still can’t touch the stones, REF: E6 great pictures of them. GRID Long Barrow, a 109. Stoop to enter West Kennet 5,650 years ago. You can Neolithic tomb built around metres before reaching walk along inside for about 13 GRID REF: E4 the final chamber. Bring a torch! the Cotswolds on the 110. Set out on foot through of England’s national trails. 102-mile Cotswold Way, one and head north along the You’ll start at Bath Abbey (B4) through idyllic villages Cotswold escarpment, strolling abbeys and mansions set and passing ancient churches, celebrated – and best Great West Way are registered in some of the country’s most Great West Way and England’s protected – countryside. trade marks. All rights reserved.

Blue Badge Tourist Guide, Graham Horn, listens to your ideas and then prepares a tour or visit that is unique to your needs.


in the heart of Bristol. 81. Eat international street food year-round on Tuesdays The street food market runs has everything from and Fridays on Wine Street and Thai snacks to freshly Indonesian street food and vegan dumplings. GRID REF: A4 cooked doughnuts and Tibetan Recommended accommodation ehenge, Wiltshire

Abbey Hotel, Bath

Holiday Inn Salisbury–Ston GRID


Apex City of Bath Hotel, GRID REF:



Avalon Lodge Bed & Breakfast,



Bath Apartment Breaks



Bath Self Catering

Beanhill Farm B&B, Chippenham GRID REF:


Best Western Plus Angel

Hotel, Wiltshire GRID REF:





The Langley, Buckinghamsh GRID REF: K3

MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel GRID


Manor Farm B&B, Wiltshire GRID REF: E5

Meadowbank House Bed

& Breakfast, Wiltshire GRID GRID REF:






Devizes Marina Village, Wiltshire D4


DoubleTree by Hilton, Swindon,



The Farm Camp, Wiltshire GRID REF:




The Red Lion and Troutbeck, The Roseate Villa, Bath

East Chisenbury

tevilla GRID REF: B4

The Roseate, Reading

seate GRID REF: H4

The Royal Oak, Yattendon,

Berkshire GRID


& Spa, Bath GRID REF:


The Swan, Bradford on Avon,



Totteridge Farm, Pewsey,


Tucking Mill, Bath Apartments GRID


Airport, Bristol GRID



The Old Chapel, Wiltshire



Church Farm Country Cottages,

Cumberwell Country Cottages, GRID REF:

The Old Bell Hotel, Malmesbury,

Queens Arms, East Garston,

Brooks Guest House, Bath Buttle Farm, Wiltshire


Roseate House, London

ouse GRID REF: L3

Cricklade Hotel, Wiltshire

The Royal Crescent Hotel

Donnington Grove, Newbury GRID



Great Northern Hotel, London Hampton by Hilton Bristol


Helen Browning’s Royal Oak,



Heritage Bed & Breakfast,

& Cottages


Whatley Manor, Wiltshire GRID REF:


Woolley Grange Hotel, Wiltshire




1. Sit in the Devil’s in stone at Europe Chair – a natural seat sculpted ’s largest stone GRID REF: E4 13. Test your circle, Avebur muscle power y. on a narrow journey up one boating of 2. Soak in the locks in Englan the longest continuous UK’s 25. Gawp at flights of d. You’ll rise Bath Spa – home only natural hot springs the 72 two miles at at Thermae to a rooftop Princes William super-elite school that Caen Hill lock metres (237ft) in just over the city’s al educated and Harry – flight en route market town ancient rooftop fresco pool with views Prime Ministe as well as 19 38. Step aboard of Devizes. GRID to the s. GRID REF: B4 rs. British REF: D4 3. Fly down the School Yard The tour of Eton College Aerospace Bristolthe last Concorde ever 14. Soar like mountain biking includes and College built at , on the site a bird ancient woodla trails that weave Chapel. GRID British Conco paragliding lesson. above the Wiltshire Downs REF: K3 nd in Swinley 26. Take the rde ever made. that built every through route is not Forest. wheel on a GRID REF: E4 GRID REF: B3 The 13km Red for the on a lap of Castle of a Formula Ford 1600 39. Climb a drops and twists faint-hearted – expect 15. Stand on or Lotus Elise 120-fo Combe Motor the site of the jumps, all the way. Europe’s wealth ot Neoclassical tower Racing Circuit. sealing of the on the banks GRID REF: J4 built GRID REF: C3 27. Find out iest man at Magna Carta, of the Thame 4. Count the outside Bath. Beckford’s Tower for just what you s at Runnym deer GRID REF: B4 LEGO bricks can build with just ede. GRID REF: 16. Waterski (hint: there are in Richmond Park at 42 LEGOL K4 million AND. GRID REF: on a private 40. Shop for hundreds!). GRID lake at Cotswo K3 GRID REF: D2 a bargain at REF: L3 28. Get confett ld Water Park. McArthurGlen Outlet Swindo 5. Wave to the i in your hair Design n, where more at the utterly Confetti Battle Queen as she stores offer 17. Escape to than 100 design er unique Devizes Royal Process rides in the daily (August). GRID discounts of an English country ion at world-f REF: D4 er up to 60%. hotel, where amous horsera event Royal garden at The 29. Visit the GRID REF: E3 dinner 41. Discover Ascot (four days cing Bath Priory Wiltshire white Nordic walkin and your bedroo is taken overlooking the every June). people into g on an introdu session with kitchen garden GRID REF: J4 m is named after chalky hillside horses, carved by local 6. Feast in one Bristol ctory a s Nordic Walkin are eight that flower. GRID REF: around the of the world’s 18. Swim in county. There three Michel g. GRID REF: A3 can B4 42. Mess about the pool that in star Fat Duck best restaurants, the unspoiled countr be seen today includi plunged the at Cliveden in boats on ng two in the Heston Blumen in Bray, where yside of beauti UK into chaos – backdrop to by hundreds the Thames some are as chef thal takes guests of others doing surrounded the infamous GRID REF: J3 old as 300 years! ful Pewsey Vale, and journey – all on a sensory Profumo Affair. Royal Regatt the same, at the way to the GRID REF: E4 a (July). GRID Henley seaside. GRID 30. Go organi REF: J3 REF: J3 19. Mount your c with food 7. See where 43. Watch stately from the farm steed and thwack Browning’s the earliest survivin lawn on a half-da Royal Oak (E3) Shire horses at negative was g photographic the pubs of deliver local , where portion Helen generous and taken, y polo master a polo ball across the Devizes, fresh beer to GRID REF: K4 class at Cowort s as much as at Lacock Abbey. by Henry Fox Talbot from Wadw based in the in 1835 possible is home-are You can visit h Park. GRID REF: C4 orth Brewer town. GRID REF: the farm too, y, grown D4 . and sausages and buy delicio 20. Have a 8. Climb the 44. Stand in “meet and greet” to take away. us bacon rigging Harry Potter’ find Buttle Also in Wiltsh several behind with a red panda, Britain and reach of a Victorian ship, the s footsteps he first saw Farm ire the SS (D4) in you’ll scenes experie his parents, Great one of the very room , where you and charcuterie, GRID REF: A4 reflected in Bristol Harbou heights of more than 25 can buy pork nces at Bristol Erised (the the Mirror of metres above r! If you’re feeling Chapter House Zoo. extensive farm and Roves Farm (E3), home even walk out in Lacock Abbey GRID REF: C4 shop. to an along the main really brave you can 21. Dress like ). Jane Austen yard. GRID REF: , bonnet and 31. Ride a steam the night away A4 9. Check out 45. Come face all, and dance at the Regenc train the world’s oldest to face – safely kept volunteers, Ball in Bath, cycad that lives native shark pot plant, a – with 33 differe at Avon Valley alive and running by part of the annualy Costumed Masked prickly species at the at Kew Garden Railway. GRID nt (September). Jane Austen in 1775. GRID Bristol Aquari GRID REF: A4 s and was planted REF: B4 GRID REF: B4 Festival 32. Lose yourse REF: L3 um. lf maze at Hampt in the UK’s oldest survivi 22. Ride the 10. Run a bath 46. Peer down ng hedge rails on Court Palace with from steep (arguably) greate of Isambard Kingdom . GRID REF: L4 The Gainsborough naturally hot therma cliffs into Englan largest gorge Brunel’s 33. Taste local l waters at st achievement before descen d’s Railway from brew Good rooms are plumbe Bath Spa hotel, where dramatic landsc ding Old Boy in of the brewer London to Bristol , the Great Western selected ape on a caving beneath this d directly into the Taproom y that crafted GRID REF: B4 . GRID REF: A4 Cheddar Gorge Bath’s therma GRID REF: G3 it, West Berksh & Caves. GRID adventure at l waters. 23. Settle in for a ire Brewery. traditio REF: A5 nal afternoon tea, tiered stand in 11. Poke your 47. Discover served the 34. Sniff out Bath’s food nose into the the country hotels. restaurant of one of England on a scene on a world’s inhabited castle with Savour The favourite cheese best cheeses at Winsto tasty tour ’s ing Bath – the at Windsor Castle, oldest and largest n Churchill’s Whatley Manor Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa finest monger Paxton “naughty but Queen – and tour is especia the home GRID REF: B4 Hotel and Spa (B4), said to be her nice” & Whitfield lly indulgent, Hotel (E2) are (C3) and Cricklad favourite castle. of the in Bath. GRID REF: K3 and tempta all much-loved e House tions. GRID REF: focusing on treats for which can be 35. Watch the B4 served with Champtheir afternoon teas – Changing of 48. Follow in 12. Learn the the Guard at agne. GRID REF: K3 Poldark’s ropes on a rock-cl Windsor Castle. Corsha 24. Sail up the high limesto imbing lesson into m’s gorgeous footsteps on a stroll along ne cliffs of Avon at honey-stoned 36. Join the Europe’s largest the sky in a hot air balloon – it appeared 750 climbin Gorge. There party High at g routes here, annual at Street on one are screen as eightee meeting of of Englan best-loved music the Bristol Interna some of them Truro in the and mentally nth century so physically festivals, Readin d’s biggest and BBC drama. challenging tional Balloon hot air balloons, GRID REF: H3 You needn’t GRID REF: C4 that they’ve g Festival (Augus climbed once. Fiesta every wait only for the fiesta August. GRID REF: A4 been 49. Discover t). Balloons offer the flights all year though, Bailey 37. Shop while gardener ‘Capab gardens of legendary Bristol and round above landscape walking on Bath. GRID REF: both water at Pulten in Bath. This house Corsha ility’ Brown at Elizabe A4 gorgeous Georgi than mansio ey Bridge m Court. There’ n four worldw an bridge is Great Walk s a glorious ide to have one of only planted with one-mile shops lining is a classical cedars and a Gothic bath both sides and masterpiece. planes, house and GRID REF: B4 a ha the deer out without spoilin ha to keep GRID REF: C4 g the view.

to world-fam n Bath and Windsor Castl ous sites such different, a e, but the real as Stonehen real slice of ge, joy is in disco England that memories, vering some you can take as photograp where back home hs, or even with you – as a bottle You can explo as of craft ale re by road, or piece of by rail or by two feet or local art. water. Slow two bike whee right down ls, base yours your own story to the pace elf in one place on the Grea of t West Way. for a while and find

Discover an essential stra Great West nd of England Way. Based on one of the on the Roads com missioned first Great by the King the Great Wes s of Eng t the very sou Way winds for 125 mile land, l of England , from the cap s through London to the vibrant ital city of western gate The Great West way of Bris tol. Way brings Roma you

Great thing s to do along the Great West Way.


Self-led walking and cycling holidays. You are even provided with a detailed tour pack and mobile app full of local knowledge that helps you stay on the right path!

Compass Holidays

Informative and entertaining walking tours of historic towns and cities to help you discover hidden corners which you won’t find in guidebooks!



The Chilterns, the North Wessex Downs and the Cotswolds offer exceptional landscapes, and thanks to their legal protection they are perfect countryside playgrounds for cyclists and ramblers. If you are starting your journey from London, you will be close to the southern section of The Chilterns - a section of the 324 square miles which fall within the Great West Way corridor. It’s a haven for wildlife. Keep an eye out for red kites - the bird of prey now thrives in the region, having been reintroduced in 1989. It is likely you may have heard of the North Wessex Downs - it is the third largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain (there are 46 AONBs in total). The area lies at the heart of the chalk band that stretches across southern England and was once under a warm sea. Its landscape is very diverse; as well as the chalk habitats, there is a rich mosaic of woodland, pasture, heath and common land. It is an ancient landscape etched by the impact of humans for over 5,000 years, including fascinating features such as the World Heritage Site at Avebury, eight Chalk White Horses, Savernake Forest, Highclere Castle, historic market towns and the Kennet & Avon Canal. Or you might find yourself walking some of the Cotswold Way which really is England at its prettiest. Here you could cover more ground with a leisurely Sunday road cycle through the sleepy Cotswolds villages before stopping for a well-earned roast dinner in one of the many pretty pubs or award-winning restaurants. Whichever direction you take, be it by bike, foot, water, or a mix of all three remember to slow down to enjoy the journey as much as you do the destination!

Carefully prepared, personalised tours for travellers seeking a local and authentic experience of the region’s heritage and culture.


Bristol Nordic Walking

Tour & Explore with Anne Bartlett

The biggest Nordic Walking club in the UK - offering 35 regular walks each week ranging in distances in various locations on the Great West Way.

Anne is an experienced Cotswold based Blue Badge Tour Guide who provides a friendly, professional guiding service for exploring the Great West Way.

A Taste of England

Sulis Guides

Explore well over 900 miles of spectacular countryside, villages and historic sites on custom-made and crafted Foot Trails walking holidays from three days to three weeks.

Alison Howell's Foot Trails

Discover ancient castles, magnificent cathedrals, pretty villages, hidden corners and prehistoric sites. Personalised tours of Stonehenge and Avebury include inner circle access.

Oldbury Tours

For a range of walking and cycling holidays these experts are on hand to offer you a helping hand!


CAPTURING THE MOMENT Photographers are never short of inspiration for the perfect shot along the Great West Way. Vote for your favourite capture from our ten finalists for your chance to win a luxury short break for two to Bristol!


HANK YOU to all the wonderful For the opportunity to photographers out there who have make the finalists of our been helping build our Great West Capturing the Moment 2021 Way Instagram page. With so Competition follow our many wonderful shots it has been difficult Instagram page to narrow down the photos to a top 10 of finalists. Readers - I hope these images inspire you and thank you for helping us to and tag @GreatWestWay or use the hashtag choose our Capturing the Moment #GreatWestWay Photography Competition 2020 winner!







6 43






Our Capturing the Moment Photography Competition 2020 winner will not only be featured in our next issue, on our website, and across our social media platforms but will win a hamper of tickets to visit five of the best Great West Way attractions!



1 2 3 4 5

îKew Gardens

@angelacoomey îClifton Suspension Bridge @tobypickardphotography îBradford on Avon @wordyelaine îWilton Windmill @declan.spreadbury îPulteney Bridge, Bath @ellisreed

Royal Crescent 6 î@balazsromsics Richmond, Surrey 7 î@veevs Alton Barnes White Horse 8 î@declan.spreadbury Windsor Castle 9 î@alfs_ig îCaen Hill Locks 10 @esined636



he talented winner of our Capturing the Moment Photography Competition 2020 will be spoilt for choice of places to visit on the Great West Way hopefully still with their camera in hand! We will be providing them with free family tickets to visit Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, English stately home Longleat in Wiltshire, Cheddar Gorge & Caves, Britain’s highest, inland limestone cliffs rising up 450ft, in Somerset, and Berkeley Castle, with origins dating back to the 11th century, in Gloucestershire. Plus, they will also be treated to a Bombay Sapphire Cocktail Masterclass experience, for themselves and up to three guests! And that's not all. As a thank you for voting we are offering you the chance to win an overnight stay for two, staying in the stylishly boutique, Brooks Guest House, situated in the heart of Bristol's old town (next to St Nicholas Market) within easy walking distance of Bristol's city centre. The lucky winners will also receive tickets to visit Brunel's SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner, as well as enjoying a private guided tour, discovering Bristol's famous street art, with Graft! To find out more about Bristol please visit


îVote for your favourite finalist

for your chance to win Help us to choose our Capturing the Moment Photography Competition 2020 winner and you will be automatically entered into our competition! Simply visit our website to submit your entry: î Closing date for all entries is 31 December 2020. The winner will be announced in January 2021. Terms and conditions apply, please see website page for details.



From the world famous to the well-kept secrets, here are some gardens along the Great West Way where you won’t be able to help but stop and smell the roses Words: Samantha Rutherford


Pictured left then clockwise: Stourhead; Strawberry Hill House; Cliveden House; London Wetland Centre.


NGLAND IS RENOWNED for its stately homes and gardens and many of the finest lie along the Great West Way. Here's our pick of some of the best from East to West!


The gardens of 300-year-old Cliveden House hold just as much interest as the house - itself known for exuberant high society parties, political scandals and, most recently, its connection to a certain royal wedding. Meander through the six acre Parterre, with its distinctive triangular beds, be uplifted by the fragrant intermingling of fresh spring flowers and classical statues in the Long Garden and come over all romantic amid 900 roses in the heavenly-scented Rose Garden.


London Wetland Centre, an award winning nature reserve, brings the countryside to London. Although close to the heart of the capital it is a haven of tranquility for both wildlife and people. The lakes, pools and gardens are home to kingfishers nesting in a bank, sand martins zipping over the ponds, wading birds searching for food at the lake edges and ducklings waddling after their mother in the spring. For keen bird watchers there are bitterns in the winter and yellow wagtails on the grazing marsh in summer. It’s a wonderful place for a relaxing walk through the scenic paths that meander among the lakes and gardens.


For an unforgettable horticultural experience, make a beeline for Kew Gardens - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hop aboard the Kew Explorer Land Train, which will wizz you round the main sites in around 40 minutes. Current highlights of any tour include the Palm House, built with a rainforest climate to nurture the plant life brought back by Victorian botanists; The Hive, an immersive experience that echoes the life going on inside a real beehive; and The Princess of Wales Conservatory, which is packed with all sorts of prickly curiosities from cacti to carnivorous plants.


As host of the prestigious RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, with 500 years of royal gardening experience, Hampton Court Palace is certainly no amateur. The gardens you see now are all a product of its rich history - the Baroque-style Great Fountain Garden for instance was executed by King William III and Queen Mary II’s gardener, in the shape of a goose foot as was fashionable then. Elsewhere you can navigate The Maze, which featured in Jerome K. Jerome’s novel, Three Men in a Boat, and tour the immaculate Royal Kitchen Garden with its heritage vegetables.


Strawberry Hill House, the former summer residence of Horace Walpole, author of ‘The Castle of Ontranto’, is famous for being Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture.. →


Pictured left then clockwise: The Savill Garden; Bowood House & Gardens; Stonor Park

You can visit the house and gardens in Twickenham - it has been open to visitors for over 250 years! Inspired by William Kent and the ideas behind the English Landscape Movement, Horace Walpole created a romantic garden to complement his Gothic castle. Formal borders mixed with groves of trees and shrubs crossed by winding paths, and flowers and fragrance, a fine lawn, an open terrace and meadows that led straight to the River Thames. The five-acre garden has been, as far as possible, restored to its original appearance using Eighteenth-Century maps and paintings as well as Walpole’s own writing. It is Grade II listed and of national importance as a reminder of a fascinating period in garden history. It is a charming, compact garden full of a variety of beds, borders, walks, groves, lawns and woodland. Learn more about its history by joining one of the experienced guides on a garden tour at 1pm every Wednesday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from March until October.


Starting life in the 1930s, these 35-acres of gardens are home to a whole spectrum of flora and fauna, from glades, woodlands and winter beds to spring bulb meadows and a Mediterranean garden. See flaming stars shine bright orange along the herbaceous border, spot purple globes of alliums in the dry garden and watch as the Summer Gardens become a circus of life and colour in season. But that’s not all - other gardens, also part of Windsor Great Park, include The Valley Gardens, Virginia Water and The Long Walk and Deer Park.



Set in a valley in the Chiltern Hills, Stonor Park offers a lush mix of ponds, fountains and pleasure gardens. Stroll amid the neat box hedges, and see if you can find the hidden Japanese retreat. Or head to the Old Kitchen Garden, laden with bounty in summer, and be inspired to grow-your-own back home. The estate even has its own arboretum, which is a treat to visit during spring when the cherry blossoms fall - the ideal scene for budding photographers.


Fashionable 18th-century gardener ‘Capability’ Brown has become synonymous with manicured English landscapes. He worked his magic on 100 acres of parkland at Bowood House, and it is now widely held to be the best preserved of his masterpieces. Sit for a while by the mile-long lake, behold the sweeping lawns from the terrace and learn more about the highly skilled designer, and his work, on a themed tour. Other highlights include an arboretum, woodland gardens and Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s secret walled garden - best in early summer when it blossoms with fragrant swathes of lavender, honeysuckle and peonies.


Home to 2,500 different species from the far corners of the globe and five national tree collections and the STIHL Tree Top Walkway. Enrich your visit to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum by pre-booking a seasonal guided walk with an experienced guide for only £50 (plus admission fees). A guided walk of the Arboretum (up to an hour and a half) unpicks all the myths and stories behind the trees and the Arboretum’s history, as well as capturing the garden's magical seasonal highlights along the way. →

Westonbirt The National Arboretum Explore the world’s finest woodland garden, and discover trees and plants from all over the globe at the National Arboretum.

Make memories in Marlow

Situated along the new 125 mile touring route Great West Way, the charming and characterful town of Marlow awaits you. Welcomed by the iconic suspension bridge spanning the River Thames, soak up the idyllic riverside by boat or on foot, mooch about the boutique high street shops, enjoy impressive, award-winning food and drink or explore the quintessential English villages that lie on the doorstep‌

Explore the Marlow Midsomer Murders Locations Trail Follow the local discovery trail based on locations used in the popular TV detective series Midsomer Murders in and around Marlow and the picturesque Hambleden Valley. The 17-mile trail starts in the historic market town of Marlow and you will very quickly find yourself immersed in scenes from Midsomer Murders. Following the trail you can sample local beer and wine, taste fine food, spend the night in a filming location and walk the Chiltern Hills of Midsomer. Download a copy from: Group enquiries:

Bradford on Avon

is perfectly set in the dramatic Avon valley in Wiltshire and only a few miles from the World Heritage City of Bath; it is a combination of river, canal and architecture of true character. From small weavers’ cottage to grand clothiers’ houses; handsome public buildings, medieval barns, ancient places of worship and meandering alleyways making it the perfect place to explore!

Explore BoA visitor centre: 01225 865797

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Come and discover Wiltshire’s hidden treasure Just 8 miles from Bath on the A4, 4 miles from the M4 (J17), or 3 miles from Chippenham Station.


History, heritage, arts and crafts, great places to eat and drink and lots of independent shops – plus Poldark was filmed here too.

PLUS DON'T MISS! The National Garden Scheme

There are hundreds of private gardens to explore on the Great West Way not usually open to the public, hosting special open days, thanks to The National Garden Scheme. Visit unique gardens during special open days and as a paying visitor, along with the generosity of garden owners and volunteers, you will also be contributing to charity - an impressive £3 million contribution was donated by the scheme last year! Simply go to their website ( and search for your perfect garden to visit in the town or village of your choice.

Pictured above then clockwise: Visitor to The Courts Garden; Hidden Gardens of Bath


This garden, near Bradford on Avon, offers an enchanting glimpse of the quintessential English country garden. Less well known than some of the others on this list, it’s a lovely place to spend a summer afternoon. The formal garden, with its topiary and jolly, tulip-lined borders juxtaposes beautifully with the wilder arboretum and quiet lily pond. Keep your eyes peeled for benches, placed in perfectly peaceful spots around the garden. Alternatively, treat yourself to a sugary something in The Rose Garden Tea Room.


This is the only museum of American decorative and folk art outside the US. Take a journey through the history of America, from its early settlers to the twentieth century, and delve into the museum’s remarkable collections. Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the hilltop site of the Museum’s home, Claverton Manor, takes full advantage of the spectacular views over the Limpley Stoke Valley and River Avon. Remnants of the old Italianate style manorial pleasure gardens and parkland, dating from the 1820s, can be seen within the grounds, including period features such as the balustrade and curtain walling, as well as ornamental stone work.

The Hidden Gardens of Bath

Behind the honey-coloured stone facades of Bath’s houses and hotels lie beautiful private gardens, rarely seen. With The Hidden Gardens of Bath guided tours, you can explore these hidden gems meeting their creative, passionate and hard-working owners before then sitting down to enjoy a quintessentially English afternoon tea!


At Iford Manor Estate’s remarkable gardens you will find Cypress trees, sweet-smelling lilies and draping branches of wisteria. Set on a steep hillside, the garden offers inspiring views of the Wiltshire countryside. For a unique way to enjoy this special place, join one of their guided tours, or attend a health and well-being workshop.


At this elegant 18th-century garden in Regency Bath, it’s easy to imagine parasolled ladies walking over the Palladian bridge in their flowing gowns. But there’s much more to see in real life, silky white snowdrops and bright yellow daffodils, swans floating around together in the lakes, and tiny wild raspberries emerging in the woods.


A little way off the Great West Way in south Wiltshire, but a must-visit if you’re in the area, Stourhead is one of the most famous gardens on the list. Its classical architecture includes a grotto, used to escape the summer heat, a gothic cottage and its own Temple of Apollo - built in 1765 to rival the Temple of the Sun at Kew Gardens, which was then destroyed by a storm in 1916. It’s also known for its colourful rhododendrons.



PLaying tHe fieLd again Add drama to your itineraries in a year of Tudor entertainment and diplomacy. Visitors will be transported back to 1520 as they explore a spectacular meeting of two monarchs. Henry VIII vs. François I. 10 April-31 August 2020: The Exhibition 23-31 May 2020: The Festival August 2020: Tudor Sports and Entertainment

To discover more contact +44 (0)20 3166 6311


The ancient route that inspired the Great West Way was one of King Charles I’s Great Roads, with many castles, hotels and places to visit bringing you closer to England’s royal family heritage Words: Dominic Parkes

Pictured: Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle


LONG THE GREAT WEST WAY you can trace the history of the nation, from neolithic times to the present day, riding The Great Western Railway, a marvel of Victorian ingenuity, to walking the ancient Ridgeway National Trail - or why not head out on an ancient road trip of your own along the A4 Great West Road, with a plethora of royal attractions to visit along the way? We hope you enjoy our pick of the best...

CASTLES, COUNTRY HOUSES AND GARDENS îSet in the heart of royal London, Wellington Arch was

built as an original entrance to Buckingham Palace, later becoming a victory arch proclaiming Wellington's defeat of Napoleon. Visit this spectacular landmark and feast on the glorious panoramas over London from its balconies. Next, visit Hampton Court Palace, a short journey upstream from central London. It’s a towering testament to King Henry VIII’s power complete with a complex of Tudor kitchens, a Great Hall and jousting tournaments in the gardens. Or head to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Kew Palace - King George III’s summerhouse. In Bath, a city famed for its Georgian-era architecture and Royal Crescent, you can visit the Victoria Art Gallery →


Pictured left-right: The Great Park by horse drawn carriages with Windsor Carriages; The Royal Crescent, Bath

opened in 1900 for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. While in Bristol you can head back further in time to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who found St Mary Redcliffe ‘the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England.’ Inside the church there is a colourfully-painted wooden sculpture of her, believed to be painted by a contemporary. Head 30 minutes north of Bristol and visit Berkeley Castle. Considered by many as a hidden gem, it was built in 1153 by the Berkeley family, who still live there today! Over the centuries it has changed from a forebidding fortress to a welcoming family home. Henry II gave the Castle to the family in 1153 and it has received royal guests ever since: Edward II, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, the Countess of Wessex and the late Queen Mother have all visited Berkeley Castle. Travel throughout time and history, from the Keep with its dungeon, the room where Edward II is said to have been murdered, to the Drawing Rooms with their fine upholstery, chandeliers and silver lamps. Finally, if you have time to explore more of the Cotswolds, the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall live at Highgrove, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. You can visit their impressive gardens on selected dates, and also pop into the Highgrove Shop in Tetbury which sells luxurious souvenirs and organic treats inspired by the gardens.

EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS îWhile kings and queens of England were traditionally

educated by a personal tutor at home, times have changed. Both Prince Harry and Prince William went to Eton College, which you can visit on a guided tour between May and September. While the Duchess of Cambridge went to Marlborough College - stop for afternoon tea at the café she used to visit with friends, The Polly Tea Rooms. A little off the Great West Way, there’s the esteemed Oxford Colleges. King Edward VII and King Edward VIII are both alumni. As one of the best universities in the world, it also attracts royals from other countries. Both HM King Abdullah II of Jordan and Harald V, King of Norway studied there.


SOVEREIGN PLACES îMalmesbury is England’s oldest borough with its stunning 12th Century Abbey still very much in use today. There’s so much to discover in this charming market town. Visit the original Market Cross, the Norman Abbey with its tomb of King Athelstan and the free Athelstan Museum. And have you noticed that some place names in England have ‘royal’ in the title? Although the prime minister and organisations can request the addition, for either their royal heritage or current royal connections, it is ultimately a gift bestowed by the queen. Along the Great West Way you can visit the Royal Borough of Windsor and the Royal County of Berkshire - thanks to the location of Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s three official residencies. Take some time out here to experience Great Park by horse drawn carriages with Windsor Carriages - The only carriages licensed to operate tours throughout the Great Park There’s also the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, as well as Royal Wootton Bassett, near RAF Lyneham - the most recent place to receive the Queen’s blessing. Be sure to visit Jubilee Lake when you’re there.

A BED FIT FOR A KING OR QUEEN îSometimes nothing but a 4-poster bed and some

medieval tapestries on the wall will do. See what it’s like to live like a royal by staying at a hotel with royal connections. There’s the effortlessly elegant Cliveden House Hotel, where Meghan Markle - now the Duchess of Sussex got ready for her wedding to Prince Harry. There’s The Georgian House, which although built as humble kitchens for George, Prince of Wales in 1719, occupies a privileged position in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. In Bath, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa has often found its opulent interiors and prime setting in the World Heritage City attractive to visiting royals. And a short journey from Bristol you’ll find Gloucestershire’s Thornbury Castle - where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed when they visited in 1535 (ask for the Duke’s Bed Chamber).

The stunning film location of... The stunning film location of... Poldark · Wolf Hall · The White Princess · Johnny English Strikes Again Poldark · Wolf Hall · The White Princess · Johnny English Strikes Again

Berkeley Castle A Family home for almost 900 years!

Berkeley Castle A Family home for almost 900 years!

The stunning film location of... Poldark · Wolf Hall · The White Princess · Johnny English Strikes Again

A Family home for almost 900 years!

Berkeley Castle A Family home for almost 900 years!

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The oldest Castle in England still lived in by the family that built

The oldest Castle in Englandstill still lived in in by the family that built it! built it! The oldest Castle in England lived by the family that Free Castle Guided Tours • 8 Acres of landscaped Gardens Ground The oldest Castle in England still lived in by the family that built&it! Free Castle Guided Tours • 8 Acres of landscaped Gardens & Grounds th Century Tapestries • Historical artefacts Fabulous paintings • 16 Free Castle Guided Tours • 8 Acres landscaped Gardens & Grounds th Century of Tapestries • Historical artefacts Fabulous paintings • 16 Free Castle Guided Tours ••8Family Acres offriendly landscaped Gardens & Grounds Wire Sculpture Trail Events throughout Wire Sculpture Trail Family friendly Events throughout the Yearartefacts the Year Century Tapestries • Historical Fabulous paintings • 16• th th Century Tapestries • Historical artefacts Fabulous paintings • 16 Tropical Butterfly House • Yurt Tearoom • Gift Shop ••Plant Sale Wire Sculpture Trail • Family friendly Events throughout the Year Tropical Butterfly House • Yurt Tearoom Gift Shop • Plant Sale Wire Sculpture Trail • Family friendly Events throughout the Year

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From stargazing to swimming, spooky city tours to light shows, there's plenty of experiences to try even when the sun goes down Words: Samantha Rutherford




Wander into the giant silver ball at We The Curious, Bristol for your very own evening tour of the known universe. Enjoy stories of ancient stargazers as you fly to far away galaxies and admire the views from distant and newly discovered planets. Whether you are an amateur astronomer or completely new to stargazing, you'll be able to escape the everyday and leave inspired to discover the night sky for yourself. Please check the website for shows and times. →







Visit Bath's iconic Roman bathing place in the evening and walk on the 2000 year-old pavements. Take in the magical atmosphere of the graceful columns and intricate stonework lit by torchlight. 10-13 April 9am8pm (last entry 7pm) or 20 June – 31 August 9am-10pm (last entry 9pm).




On a clear evening, there’s nothing better than a spot of stargazing. Wiltshire being a predominantly rural county lends itself to stargazing with the advantage of less light pollution than more urban areas. Try Stonehenge, described by the National Trust one of their top stargazing spots in the south west of England, or with minimal street lighting and being surrounded by countryside, the village of Lacock. Cranborne Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with plans to achieve ‘Dark Sky Status’, and there are plenty of other places that are perfect for enjoying the night skies including Tollard Royal (and the area near to the Larmer Tree Gardens), Broad Chalke and Dinton.



As part of this festive event, you can enjoy all of the astonishing animal and adventure attractions, including the Safari Park, Koala Creek, Jungle Kingdom, Jungle Cruise and the iconic Longleat Hedge Maze - and the light trail. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day a spectacular fireworks display lights up the evening sky too.




Take an artisanal food and drink tour of the UNESCO City of Bath with Savouring Bath. Uncover local flavours, foods that have been of historical significance for centuries past, guilty pleasures for all things naughty but nice and food heroes, for those who have made their mark on the city for the culinary delights they have produced. It’s a great way to explore the city whilst getting a chance to see the sites.







Book a Late Swim & Dine package at the Thames Lido and use the pool and spa facilities (outdoor hot tub and saunas) followed by a 2 course a la carte dinner in the poolside restaurant. Swim from 7.30pm, and dine at 9pm.

Visit one (or both!) of Reading’s two legendary late night music venues. The After Dark Club is Reading's longest running night club, with parts of the building dating back to 1850 when it was a Tinning Factory, and The Purple Turtle Bar, one of the craziest bars in folklore, are both open late-late, playing host to famous DJs and bands.




As featured in TV's 'Most Haunted' Bristol's Haunted and Hidden Friday night walk combines haunted buildings, TV and film locations, celebrity tales, and Bristol trivia. Or you could discover the many grim haunts of Bristol's nearby neighbour Bath with Bath Ghost Tours bringing chills and thrills to horror hungry visitors of old Bath town.




As late afternoon turns into evening, Thermae Bath Spa's Twilight Package provides the opportunity to make use of the spa facilities and experience the gradual change in the light and atmosphere. The package includes a relaxing spa session and delicious meal and drink in their Springs Restaurant.




Exclusive Evening Tours at this special royal residence in Windsor offers a 'behind-the-ropes' experience in the State Apartments. Discover the history of the Castle, including how William the Conqueror’s wooden Castle was rebuilt by Edward III as a stone fortress with magnificent apartments, how Charles II set out to rival the Versailles of his cousin Louis XIV, while George IV filled the rooms with outstanding works of art and gave the Castle its famous skyline. The tour includes a glass of champagne, a copy of the official guidebook and 20% discount in the shop.



Whether you’re keen on keeping fit or prefer taking it easy in a luxury spa, there are some excellent ways to add a wellness element to your Great West Way journey. So remember to take some time out for yourself along the route. Words: Sarah Caswell


At the atmospheric Roman Baths you’ll get to see the steamy Great Bath, the cold plunge pool and even have a nosy in the crumbling old changing rooms! You might also bump into a few Romans. The costumed characters who roam the complex, including a soldier and a travelling


merchant, are based on real characters who frequented the Roman Baths around 2,000 years ago. Enjoy an elegant lunch (or afternoon tea) at The Pump Room, followed by a shot of mineral-rich water from the spa fountain. It may well be good for you, but as you’ll soon discover - it definitely has a distinct taste! There are lots more lovely cafés and

Did you know? Although we’ve discovered a lot about what is in Bath’s famous spring water 42 different minerals including sodium and magnesium to this day no one is quite sure where exactly it originates from.

restaurants around the city too, with some excellent vegan and vegetarian-friendly places such as The Green Rocket and Acorn. Take a daytime or twilight dip at Thermae Bath Spa, followed by one of their indulgent treatments. Watsu, perhaps, where a therapist stretches and guides your body through flowing movements in the warm water. Or the Roman Trilogy, which includes a salty body scrub, a soothing body massage and an invigorating facial. Continue your pampering with an overnight stay at a luxury spa hotel. You might enjoy The Gainsborough Bath Spa, just a short stroll from Thermae Bath Spa, where you can experience the original thermal springs in natural thermal pools at their award-winning Spa Village, or try No.15 Great Pulteney Street and relax in their luxurious cedar wood hot tub and sauna.


Bristol is a city that normally makes waves for its edgy art scene, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a wellnessthemed break in the city. You might even find yourself embracing a totally new approach to exercise. Try for example a stand-up paddleboard lesson with SUP Bristol on Bristol’s Floating Harbour or a swim at Clifton’s Victorian Lido. Later on, once you’ve refuelled at one of the many health-conscious, flexitarian-focused restaurants - No 1 Harbourside, Watershed Café & Bar, Thali Café to name a few - try something totally different.

There’s a class for just about everything, from circus skills workshops to Beyoncé-inspired jazz dance. Not to mention all the yoga and holistic therapies that are hugely popular in Bristol. Wild Wolf’s Yoga, Bristol City Yoga and Bristol Yoga Space are all fairly central.


If the wellness you seek is spiritual, you’ll find plenty of absorbing sacred spaces along the Great West Way. Early travellers between London and Bristol would surely have found comfort in these places, as every journey was a leap of faith that came with the threat of highwaymen and unforeseen hazards. Some suggest Stonehenge was constructed as a place of healing, and that the smaller bluestones used were dragged all the way from south Wales because they were imbued with healing powers from nearby hot springs. Or visit one of the almighty cathedrals on or near the Great West Way. There’s the inimitable Bath Abbey, perfect for →

Pictured left then clockwise: Aheli Spa at The Roseate Reading; Spa Village at The Gainsborough Bath Spa; spa at No.15 Great Pulteney Hotel & Spa


Pictured leftright: Stonehenge; Koala at Longleat Safari Park

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY The Great West Way boasts an exciting abundance of new experiences assured to leave you feeling inspirited and rejuvenated...

pondering higher spiritual planes, as well as Bristol, Wells, Salisbury and Gloucester Cathedrals. Amid those, you’ll also find churches, temples and mosques. Or why not feel the power of England’s pagan past with a lesser-known wellbeing experience at Stanton Drew? Pagan rituals are held on the four Fire Festivals usually on Saturday 11am for an hour. Park at the Druid's Arms, upper level, (by kind permission). You don't need to be a pagan to attend, and ritual dress is optional.


Find balance in body and mind at a Casterley Barn Wellness Retreat, Pewsey with their series of retreats focusing on selfcare and mindful living. Danesfield House Hotel & Spa, Marlow-On-Thames offers three, five or seven-day retreats based around healthy eating, conscious movement, bodyweight exercises, personal training, relaxation and yoga. In Hungerford you could buy a day pass to the Herongate Club and take part in an aerobics class before enjoying a fresh juice from their first-floor lounge café.


If lounging about in a robe at a nice hotel, with a glass of bubbles in one hand and a magazine in the other sounds like just what you need then try an overnight stay (or three!) at one of the spa hotels along the Great West Way (see p78 for more). You might enjoy breaking up your journey with a stay at The Roseate Reading where they have recently unveilled a new spa. If you really want to splash out, make like a princess (or prince) for a spa retreat at Cliveden House Hotel. As well as various enticing pools, flotation experiences and treatments, they offer a Garden Oasis Purifying Experience - a combination of body brushing, massage and reflexology that promises to tease you back to tip top condition. Moored on the banks of Monkey Island in the historic village of Bray this first-of-its-kind floating luxury spa is the ultimate escape, while on the edge of the Cotswolds, a short detour from the route, both Cricklade House and Woolley Grange Hotel offer spa hotels in scenic locations too.


Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

Each year in December visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge early in the morning to mark the Winter solstice and to see the sunrise above the stones. We hope to see you there for sunrise!

A Hot Air Balloon Ride

Fancy an adventure? Why not watch the world go by from a different perspective for a while and take flight with Bristol Balloons and fly high above Bristol and Bath, Gloucester, Wells and Westonbirt

Wild Swimming in The Thames

Take a dip in fresh waters at Cock Marsh near Cookham, where you'll find sandy beaches to paddle out from and clear, clean waters

Exclusive use of The Cross Baths

You might want to upgrade your Thermae Bath Spa experience for a more intimate open-air thermal bath, located just across the street

A Tandem 1300ft Skydive

From the thrill of your first jump, right through to the exhiliration for those who take it to the extreme with Wingsuit flying, this sport has it all!

Climbing an 120-foot Neoclassical Tower Built for Europe's wealthiest manclimbing Beckford Tower, just outside Bath is an experience you won't forget!

Yoga on a Stand Up Paddleboard

Take to the water for a yoga session! Experts SUP Bristol and Original Wild will show you the ropes

Meeting some animals

Visit the big cats, giraffes, zebras, curious monkeys, rhinos and more at Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Noah's Ark Zoo Farm or Longleat Safari Park

Taking a road and river adventure

Take a trip through scenic Windsor and enjoy fantastic views of Windsor Castle from the water with Amazing Duck Tours

From quintessential cottages and country houses to quirky windmills and lighthouses‌

Find your special place along the Great West Way A portfolio of over 550 luxury, self-catering holiday properties in the UK and Ireland. Call for our brochure 01386 897 959 View the properties

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If you’re an urban adventurer, exploring the cities of the South West, out of England’s buzzing capital, couldn’t be easier via the Great West Way... take a journey to discover the bright lights beyond London Words: Katherine Holt

Pictured: Stall Street, centre of Bath


ISITORS HAVE BEEN travelling the Great West Way, visiting cities and embracing the varied culture at each place, for hundreds of years. Take your time to enjoy the diversity of each city, with its own artisan produce, independent shops, artists, museums, bars and restaurants. A twin-city break Bristol to Bath (or Bath to Bristol) is just 12 minutes by train. Your Great West Way City Culture journey could begin simply by hopping on a train at London Paddington to Bath, (1 hour 11 minutes), or you

might prefer to fly directly to Bristol airport, with direct services from over 100 destinations across Europe. From here you could take the Airport Flyer Express Link to Bristol City Centre, Bristol Harbourside, Bristol Temple Meads Station, Bristol Bus Station, or Clifton. Unlike many a metropolis, in Bath the pace of life is gentle. Or should that be genteel. For Bath is a dignified, fashionable sort of place. It has been since its most famous former resident, Jane Austen’s day. Given that so much of the handsome golden architecture from the →


Regency period remains, you might wonder if anything has changed. But spend a day here and you’ll realise it’s as contemporary as it is classic. Given the compact layout of the city, and its UNESCO World Heritage status, a self-guided walking tour is highly recommended. So grab a flat white and a croissant at one of the hip cafés in the centre - Colonna & Small’s perhaps - and take a leisurely stroll to get your bearings. Without too much ado you should pass sights including The Circus, Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey, Bath Assembly Rooms and the arc of golden homes synonymous with the city: the Royal Crescent. The latter was specifically designed to give city residents the feeling of living in the countryside. Treat yourself to a leisurely lunch at one of Bath’s cafés or a tour of Bath’s culinary delights with Savouring Bath. There’s a buoyant foodie scene in the city so you won’t be short on options. Amid the selection of vegan Indian wraps, Filipino chicken boxes and modern British salads, you’re bound to find a favourite. Fully energised, it’s time for some culture. Bath is blessed with some amazing museums. Highlights include the Fashion Museum (where you can dress up), the Jane Austen Centre (where you can meet Mr Darcy) and some very respectable art, design and history museums in the form of The Holburne Museum, Victoria Gallery and No 1 Royal Crescent - a time capsule back to the 1770s. Some more niche options include Bath Museum of Architecture, the Museum of East Asian Art and the American Museum in Britain - the only American folk art museum outside the US is in an elevated position on the outskirts of the city. If you’re here in the summer, have a torchlit dinner at the Roman Baths. Then, tired and happy, relax back at your hotel. There are some really interesting places to stay in Bath, ranging from the University of Bath campus in summer, just a short bus ride from the centre, to the literarythemed Tasburgh House where Jane Austen once slept. 66

As the ‘capital of the Southwest’, Bristol has a very different feel to Bath. In some ways it more closely resembles London, with its distinct, characterful neighbourhoods to explore - from the leafy avenues of Clifton Village to the graffiti-splashed streets of Stokes Croft. Since one of Bristol’s most famous sons is Banksy, start your day with a Bristol Street Art Tour. Or, better yet, arrive early enough for brunch at one of the Harbourside cafes, and then go on one of the weekend walking tours. Choose between a heritage tour, where you explore the history of the city, or a street art tour, where you are taken to see a mix of brand new and wellpreserved artworks - including some Banksy originals. If your legs are in need of a bit of a rest Bristol Insight will show you around their wonderful city from a seat on one of their lovely bright red buses! You could then take a leisurely stroll around the Regency streets of Clifton Village and visit its stylish boutiques. Or head to Bristol Shopping Quarter and flit between High Street staples and one-off wonders. If retro and vintage tickle your fancy then leave some time for exploring the alternative shops of Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road – the latter boasts Europe’s longest street of independent shops! Bristol does street food lunches very well. So, depending on what day you’re visiting, some options to try include St Nick’s Market, The Harbourside Market and the Tobacco Factory Market. Vendors inevitably change, but there’ll always be a great mix of global cuisine to try, from Jamaican curried goat to Nepalese momos. You could also check out Cargo, a cool new container development at Wapping Wharf where you can get delicious bites to grab and go, like chip-stuffed Greek wraps, fresh Indian curry boxes and melty cider and cheese toasties. When you’re suitably stuffed, discover Bristol’s other famous son: Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Although the Victorian engineer may not seem to have much in common with Banksy, he too was a

brave pioneer. You can visit one of his most remarkable achievements, the SS Great Britain - the world’s first great ocean liner - and get a feel for how the passengers from steerage to first class experienced long voyages across the Atlantic. Included with your ticket price is the new Being Brunel exhibition, an immersive experience which takes you inside the brain of the man himself. If you have time, venture up to Clifton Suspension Bridge - another of his projects that, sadly, he didn’t live to see finished. The arts are alive in all their guises in this creative, cutting-edge city. After dinner at one of Bristol’s many independent restaurants, seek some of it out. Depending on your tastes, you could catch some theatre at the Bristol Old Vic - the oldest continuously open theatre in the English-speaking world, even throughout its exciting recent renovations. You could also enjoy live music, see stand-up comedy or do something thoroughly subversive like go an immersive dining experience in a mystery location. Local go-tos for experimental entertainment include Old Market Assembly and Tobacco Factory Theatres. If you have time, venture a little off the Great West Way to find Salisbury, a city that embraces everything arts and culture. Visit Mompesson House, the 18thcentury property featured in the all-star film version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1995). There’s also Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Museum and Salisbury Cathedral - or pop into the Old Sarum Airfield Museum where you can sit in more aircraft cockpits than anywhere else in the UK! And of course those sacred stones aren’t too far away… If you’re heading north, don’t miss the learned university city of Oxford. Of course, it’s not all lounging around in the the Bodleian Library, pretending to study. Discover some of the city’s more unexpected attractions, like the Pitt Rivers Museum, full of alarming anthropomorphic artefacts, or The Eagle and Child pub, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien used to meet and swap stories. There’s also bikes, board game cafés and strange sculptures to find - including a curious headless shark.

Did you know? Bristol has its own currency, the Bristol Pound, which helps boost local businesses. You can buy the colourful notes at the Tourist Information Centre on the Harbourside...

Pictured top left then clockwise: UNESCO World Heritage status, Bath; The Mild Mild West Mural by graffiti artist Banksy; Clifton Suspension Bridge; Bristol Harbourside; Brunel’s SS Great Britain Mast; The Oracle, Reading

Or that Reading is the UK’s largest town much thought of as a defacto city? Soak up the energetic atmosphere at The Oracle Shopping Centre, or visit the independent and craft stores in the nearby streets or Harris Arcade



From antique stores and independent shops to stylish shopping centres and malls SOUVENIR HUNTING

Shop like the Victorians and go in search of the ultimate memento of your travels. Books by local authors, artworks, traditional crafts and handmade memorabilia. You’ll find independent bookshops, such as the award-winning Hungerford Bookshop at the heart of the historic town, stores and pop-up boutiques such as We Make Bristol in Westbury-on-Trym, which only stocks products by local artists and designers, hidden in all corners of the Great West Way. Bath is a fantastic shopping destination for independents - whether you’re into antique jewellery, antiquarian books, bohemian interiors or fine cheeses, you can take home some really unique finds. Head to Milsom Place to discover a fantastic mix of both famous names and breakthrough brands. Don’t dismiss the gift shops at top tourist attractions or tourist information offices either. Stonehenge gift shop, for instance, sells striking lino prints of the stones by local artist Caroline Day. Or pop into The Mill Shop following your visit to Whitchurch Silk Mill for exclusive silk gifts that have been woven right there at the Mill. Look for shops in unexpected locations, too. St Peter’s Church in Marlborough is now home to a craft shop selling all sorts of cute, colourful gifts. Or visit for their twice-weekly market, located on the High Street - one of the widest in the UK and lined on both sides with characterful old buildings housing an array of chic cafés and independent shops. In Bristol, the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter is a hidden-away haven for one-offs including musical instruments, herbal remedies and fine spirits. There’s also some marvellous markets selling everything from local crafts to artisan delicacies. Check out the Charter Market in Salisbury on Tuesdays and Saturdays or St Nick’s Market in Bristol, every day except Sunday.


Did you know? Bath has its own Gift Card that is accepted across the city in shops and restaurants, hotels and bars, museums and manicurists. The best of Bath in one little card! To find out more visit


The Great West Way is proud to be home to one of the largest covered designer outlets in Europe McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon, or a short detour from the route, Clarks Village, Somerset are great places to pick up discounted top name brands like Hobbs, Jack Wills, Molton Brown, North Face and Osprey. Then there’s Kilver Court Designer Village, a short distance south of Bath, where as well as fashion there are luxurious lifestyle brands like Liberty London, known for its iconic floral prints, plus a gorgeous garden to explore. For a truly personalised service, and exclusive couture clothing, visit one of the posh boutiques along the touring route. Fluidity in Henley-on-Thames attracts high flyers near and far and is rumoured to be former Prime Minister Theresa May’s favourite. For jewellery, consider getting a bespoke piece made by a local jeweller. Goldsmith Paul Newton in Malmesbury crafts exquisite pendants, earrings and rings set with dazzling jewels (good to know if you’re thinking of making a proposal while you’re away!). Or for sensational silver jewellery, go to Tundra Jewellers in Devizes, or visit Deacons Jewellers in Swindon.

Pictured top left then clockwise: The Oracle, Reading; visitors to Bath; Marlborough High Street; Henley on Thames


There’s no better way to buy a piece of art than direct from the artist - and at Reading’s art events, including Whiteknights Studio Trail, Caversham Arts Trail, and Artline art market, you can do just that. Or why not head to Previous, a wildly eclectic vintage shop (and café) located on Corsham High Street, for one-off homewares and quirky retro items. Then wander across the road to explore Paul Martin from BBC’s Flog It! antiques shop - The Table Gallery. If you’re mainly in the market for antiques, you’re sure to stumble upon more rare finds in Marlborough, Chippenham, Bradford on Avon, Marlow and Tetbury. Head to Pewsey and call in at Crystal Clear – a gemstone of a shop, located on the High Street, and be charmed by unique natural crystal jewellery, crop circle artwork, crystals and minerals, and hand made gifts. There’s also the delightful Woodborough Yard, full of independent shops, workshops and cafés. For original artworks you can’t beat Turville Studios located in the picturesque village of Turville, the filming locations for Midsomer Murders, Vicar of Dibley, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and most recently Killing Eve. If you’re happy to travel a short distance north of the Great West Way, you should definitely have a rummage at Antiques on High, an Oxford institution where you’ll find original oil paintings to adorable writing desks. →


Back in the beautiful city of Bath, their Vintage & Antiques Market, held on the last Sunday of every month at Green Park Station, has a good mix of everything - mid-century furnishings, jazzy retro frocks and one-of-a-kind antiques. While Vintage to Vogue can style you in top quality fashion, from the 1900s onwards, then have it tailored specifically to your shape. Very dapper! And there are exceptional restaurants to stop and refuel wherever the need takes you - keep an eye out for The Circus, Acorn and The Olive Tree at The Queensberry Hotel. Nearby Bristol is known for its alternative outlook, making it a go-to place for vintage and offbeat fashion finds. Established in 1743 St Nicholas Market is the oldest and best loved market in Bristol, famous for some of the best food in the city, or head to Stokes Croft and adjoining Gloucester Road - the longest street of independent shops in the UK.

Pictured top left then clockwise: Parkway Shopping Centre, Newbury; McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon; St Nicholas Market, Bristol; Shopping at The Oracle, Reading


There you’ll discover artfully-curated charity shops alongside intriguing second-hand stores (with lots of hip cafes in between for when you need a coffee break). Love tea? Learn all about the art of tea blending and tea tasting at a Bird & Blend Tea Masterclass. Good to know: If you’re a guy or gal who likes Americana, Uncle Sam’s on Park Street is the best place to find a pair of cowboy boots or classic Levis you can cherish forever.


Try and catch one of the Duck Pond markets, which take place regularly in various scenic locations not far from London such as Henley-on-Thames and Chalfont St Giles. Their ethos is local, ethical and sustainable, so you can feel good about supporting the planet as well as local businesses when you buy.

A SEASON OF SURPRISES Somerset Outlet Shopping; discover up to 60% off gifts, fashion and more.


The Great West Way is home to some of England’s best foodie experiences


HERE’S A TANTALISING buffet of food and drink experiences along the Great West Way. Discover award-winning high-end restaurants and cosy, traditional pubs, with a galaxy of Michelin stars and plenty of local food heroes serving up everything from vegetables hand grown in the kitchen garden to just-baked homemade cakes.


The first pub to achieve two Michelin stars, a relaxed place to settle in for some proper English dishes, including a fabulous Sunday roast. Chef Tom Kerridge serves up sophisticated yet familiar dishes – think half roast chicken with oak gravy and pork belly with roasted pineapple and chorizo mayonnaise.


Overlooking the banks of the River Thames in beautiful Marlow, Sindhu restaurant by twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar offers contemporary Indian cuisine featuring vibrant flavours, subtle blends of spices and incredible aromas. Located in The Compleat Angler Hotel, a stone’s throw from Marlow station. ›


Clayton’s Kitchen is a perennial favourite for local foodies and discerning travellers. Robert Clayton, the restaurant’s Chef Patron, creates uncomplicated dishes that explore and showcase the freshest and very best ingredients. He is inspired by Mediterranean and modern French cuisine. Robert ensures that every dish is prepared, cooked and presented to perfection. ›



A simply superlative restaurant from highly regarded English chef Heston Blumenthal. Awarded three Michelin stars for its creative menu, which takes guests on a sensory journey to the seaside and begins before you even arrive, with a phone consultation. Expect to be dazzled – and to be talking about it for years. Bookings essential, and well in advance. ›


The Dining Room at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa has recently been awarded their second Michelin star, just two years after earning their first. Executive Chef, Niall Keating, who previously worked around the world at some of the finest Michelin starred restaurants was awarded a coveted Michelin star in less than a year of joining Whatley Manor. Niall draws inspiration from many different cuisines, including Korean, Japanese and classic French. Niall’s cuisine is very much ‘of the moment’. ›


An impressive Grade II listed former Victorian hospital on the harbour-side, overlooking Bathurst Basin, at Casamia the menu of seasonal dishes, from Wiltshire rainbow trout to Spanish winter truffle, are regularly changing, and are presented to you at your table by the chefs themselves. Vaulted arches give this innovative restaurant a light, airy feel and the state-of-the-art open kitchen acts as the focal point. ›


Market, Bristol Farmers’ Market St Nicholas every Wed

Bath Farmers’ Market Green Park Station, every Sat

of The Great West Way runs through some so it’s no England’s most fertile agricultural land, markets surprise that you’ll find regular farmers’ for fresh along the route. Check out these markets local food and drink, direct from the producers.

THE THE DOWER HOUSE RESTAURANT, (B4) ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL & SPA 16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS, 01225 823333, both This formal but friendly restaurant serves á la carte tasting menus (one is vegetarian) and cuisine. dishes, with a focus on seasonal British gardens, The dining room overlooks the hotel’s where you can dine al fresco in summer.




THE OLD BELL HOTEL (C3) Malmesbury, SN16 0BW, 01666 822344 • to The Old Bell Hotel & Restaurant is reputed and be the oldest purpose-built hotel in England uses fresh, Grade 1 listed. The Refectory and Bar by a local and seasonal produce accompanied wide selection of drinks.






1st Sat of Wiltshire Farmers’ Market Devizes, of month; month; Royal Wootton Bassett 4th Sat Salisbury 1st & 3rd Wed of month

the You’ll find many of the restaurants along our Great West Way are dining rooms within their Ambassador hotels, many of which source also You’ll ingredients from small local producers. Rick Stein, find several celebrity chefs including There’s Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White. you. also plenty of different cuisines to tempt AT BEAU’S BAR AND RESTAURANT DONNINGTON GROVE HOTEL & COUNTRY CLUB (G4)

Trowbridge Weaver’s Market 2nd Saturday the month (not winter)

Sat & Sun Richmond Duck Pond Markets every Designer Swindon Farmers’ Market Swindon Outlet, every Sun 3rd Sun Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Ascot, Reading 1st of month; Newbury, 1st Sun of month; of month & 3rd Sat of month; Windsor, 1st Sat of







of the south The chalk soils and temperate climate varieties, are pretty perfect for crisp, white, bubbly awards. and English wines are winning international wine producers Take a vineyard tour with one of the on the Great West Way.


WADWORTH DRINK AND EAT, STAY ON THE GRE AT WES T WAY beer Bristol is one of the UK’s leading craft destinations and is brimming with brilliant the breweries – there are more than 20 in city and surrounding countryside. Quench your thirst in tap rooms, fantastic beer the shops and traditional pubs, or follow lead of the local tour guides at Bristol Brewery Tours or Bristol Hoppers.



A’BECKETT’S VINEYARD (D5) 01380 816669 • ALDER RIDGE VINEYARD (F4) 01488 686770 •





CROWN, TOLLDO thecrowntolldow WN (B3)


COBBS FARM SHOP & KITCHEN, HUNGERFORD (F4) 0SP, Cobbs Farm, Bath Rd, Hungerford RG17 01488 686770 • from This excellent farm shop sells produce and the surrounding farm. Expect asparagus rhubarb in spring and soft fruits in summer, while autumn means squash and pumpkin. possible The café uses the same produce where and serves breakfasts and lunches including quiche. Wiltshire cured ham and homemade you will Down the road in Englefield, Reading with find another Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen a whole host of local produce.


GEORGE INN, georgeinnnsp.coNORTON ST PHILIP (C5) .uk





One of the greatest pleasure through the English countryss of a drive at a farm shop café for a cup ide is stopping tasty local produce of tea . You’ll happen and some as you travel upon them along the Great West Way. COBBS FARM HUNGERFORDSHOP & KITCHEN, (F4) Cobbs Farm, Bath Rd, Hungerf 01488 686770 ord RG17 0SP, • cobbsfarmshop This excellen t the surround farm shop sells produce ing from rhubarb in springfarm. Expect asparagu s and while autumn and soft fruits in summer The café uses means squash and pumpkin , the same produce . and serves breakfas where possible ts and lunches Wiltshire cured including Down the road ham and homemade quiche. find another in Englefield, Reading you Cobbs Farm a whole host Shop & Kitchen will of local produce with .


WEST BERKSH The Old Dairy, IRE BREWERY (G3) Frilsham Farm, 0XT, 01635 Yattendon 767090 RG18 A menu of homema • de pizzas, burgers soak up the beers in the Taproom of and salads brewhouse. this You’ll have views into the modern one side and brewery out over the on the other. Berkshire countrys on ide


To discover more, visit



by train Enjoy dining while travelling the route pass. with our Great West Way Discoverer produce Great Western Railway serve delicious classic from their at-seat trolley service, from snacks and sweet treats, to tasty sandwiches drinks, and wraps. Plus, a great range of soft journey. beers, and wines to accompany your


Bristol Airport’s cafes, bars and restaurants day, stay open until the final flight of the off, with so you can fuel up before you take down meal. anything from a tasty snack to a sit with rooftop Our pick is Cabin Bar - premium bar beers terrace. The Cabin, offers fine wine, craft environment and locally sourced food in a relaxing with – and includes a stylish outdoor terrace retractable roof.


George Inn, Norton St Philip, Bath,

THE DINING ROOM, WHATLEY MANOR HOTEL & SPA (C3) Easton Grey, Malmesbury SN16 0RB, 01666 822888 • the kitchen of A Michelin-starred tasting menu from in this friendly executive chef Niall Keating is served charcuterie but formal dining room. There’s often a creative linefrom the manor to start, followed by up of modern British dishes.

Enjoy great food from pub classics to

RED LION FREEHOUSE (E5) East Chisenbury, Pewsey SN9 6AQ, 01980 671124 • it holds a Thatched country pub with food so good ham, egg and Michelin star. There’s pub grub such as menu which chips as well as the more refined main in season. changes daily and focuses on what’s

Bear Hotel, Devizes, Wiltshire

Black Swan, Devizes, Wiltshire

Try beers brewed with passion

Bird in Hand, Knowl Hill, Reading,

THE HAND AND FLOWERS (J3) 126 West St, Marlow SL7 2BP THE FAT DUCK (J3) High St, Bray SL6 2AQ

food and If you can, time your visit for one of the West Way. drink-focused events along the Great Great Bath Some of the bigger ones include the Food and Feast, Bristol Food Connections, Longleat Festival. Music Festival and the Great British Food alongside There are also hundreds of smaller events, in market weekly produce and street food markets You might even towns throughout the touring route. Races! stumble upon Chippenham’s Pancake (C4) BRADFORD ON AVON FOOD FESTIVAL May Victory Field, Bradford on Avon, 30 local artisan One-day event featuring food stalls from professional producers, cookery demonstrations by chefs and a children’s activity area. (A4) BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS Bristol, June • bristolfoodconnection two weeks, A citywide line-up of events over almost boat including talks on food and health, lunchtime trips and cooking demonstrations. THE COFFEE HOUSE PROJECT (A4) The Passenger Shed, Bristol, September local, artisan Bristol’s first coffee festival celebrates retailers over roasters and independent food and drink two days. DEVIZES BEER FESTIVAL (D4) The Wharf, Devizes, July • than more Long-running one-day beer festival with Live 100 real ales and ciders served up canalside. music too.


a special treat

Crown Inn, Tolldown, Dyrham, Somerset





Wadworth Brewery, Devizes, Wiltshire


then you’re If its award-winning you’re looking for chefs in for a treat. There are numerous celebrity pubs such as along the route and top-notch country of the best The Red Lion Freehouse. Listed are some restaurants.

(C5) LONGLEAT FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL Longleat, Warminster 4 and 5 July

One of the greatest pleasures of a drive through the English countryside is stopping some at a farm shop café for a cup of tea and them tasty local produce. You’ll happen upon as you travel along the Great West Way.


Meet our working shire horses 2020 for a Join Longleat on the 4th and 5th July your taste harmonious festival sure to tantalise stalls, buds. You’ll enjoy diverse food and drink live music demonstrations by celebrity chefs, plus stage with from an array of artists taking to the day’s line-up Longleat House as the backdrop; each will be announced closer to the event.


visitbris k/beer Bristol is one of the UK’s destinations leading craft and is brimmin beer breweries – g with brilliant there city and surround are more than 20 in the ing countrys your thirst in ide. Quench tap rooms, fantastic beer shops and tradition al pubs, or follow lead of the local the Brewery Tours tour guides at Bristol or Bristol Hoppers .



The chalk soils and tempera are pretty perfect te climate of the south for crisp, white, and English bubbly wines Take a vineyard are winning internat varieties, ional awards. on the Great tour with one of the wine produce West Way. rs





Corsham, June • food Full-day celebration of Corsham’s local lining the producers, with food and drink stalls High Street, live music and a silent disco.

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EAT READING (H4) June Broad St and Market Place, Reading, best foodie Two-day festival showcasing Reading’s businesses, featuring live cookery demonstrations, and a popstreet food tastings, cocktail mixology up street café. GREAT BRITISH FOOD FESTIVAL Englefield, Reading (H4), June and Westonbirt House (C3), August and This touring festival brings artisan producers or three street food vendors together over two activities. days and includes plenty of child-friendly (F4) HUNGERFORD FOOD FESTIVAL October Hungerford Town Hall and High St, talks Full-day event featuring street food stalls, is a key and live cooking demos. Sustainability theme. J3) PUB IN THE PARK (BATH B4 / MARLOW Bath, Marlow, May and Royal Victoria Park, June • tastings, Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge combines and music chef demonstrations, masterclasses garden’ over from top live acts in his ‘ultimate pub three lively days. THE SURREY FOOD FESTIVAL (L3) Old Deer Park, Richmond, April and A weekend of foodie fun, with talks, tastings line-up demos in the marquee and an extensive and a kids’ of food and drink stalls, plus live music zone. TASTE OF CORSHAM (C4)

(D4) DEVIZES FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL Devizes, September-October drink Week-long celebration of local food and Market products, including a food market in the a goat farm Place and visits to producers including and vineyard. EAT! FOOD FESTIVAL HENLEY (H3) Henley on Thames, June • of events A fortnight of feasting, with a line-up film that includes tastings, chef demonstrations, with screenings and the finale Riverside Fiesta street food and a floating gin bar.


THE PUMP A proper English ROOM RESTAU Roman Baths, a hot beverage afternoon tea is far RANT (B4) more romanbaths.coBath BA1 1LZ 01225 itself, not to . In fact, it can be a whole than just 444477 mention a thoroug .uk/pum meal An elegant while away hly pleasant in space at the p-room-restaurant an afternoo way to Roman Baths range of teas n. where a is There is always to the full tieredserved, from the smaller cream tea stand of treats. by the pot and tea, of course. Usually this is served made from through a strainer tea leaves, poured THE ROSEA into a bone TE cake stand china cup. A is the most roseatehotels.c(H4) tiered tradition accompanying om/reading/th al way to eroseate jam and cream,food: sandwiches, scones serve the ROSEATE HOUSE in that order, and cakes. Most people served with roseatehotels.c (L3) but om/london/ros places will keep since many of the mosteat them eatehouse replenish ing THE ROSEA upmarket switch back each level, you TE and forth for roseatehotels.cVILLA BATH (B4) could hours. om/bath/thero Afternoon tea seatevilla THE ROYAL century when was invented in England, CRESCENT in the 19th 16 Royal Crescen HOTEL & SPA (around 8pm) the fashion for having (B4) dinner 01225 823333 t, Bath BA1 2LS and made the took hold among the upper later • royalcrescent. gap between classes Take a se lon


All rights reserved.


CRICKLADE HOUSE HOTEL cricklad ehotel.c (E2) THE BRIDGE TEA ROOMS thebridgetearo (C4) NO 15 GREAT no15greatpultePULTENEY (B4)


THE BATH BREW thebathbrewho HOUSE (B4)

WADWORTH BREWERY Northgate (D4) Brewery, Devizes 01380 723361 SN10 1JW, Stately red-brick• brewery in producing a range of real Devizes town centre, distributed ales including 6X. for a taste and Call in to the Harness the widely Room the Brewseu don’t leave without checking Bar m. out

PUBS SERVI Beer has been NG REAL ALES of years – a brewed in England for thousands fermented mixture malt and yeast. of water, hops, HELEN BROWN invented here, Althoug h beer itself helenbrownings ING’S ROYAL OAK wasn’t (E3) own unique the English have develop style which ed their yal-oak/ you’ll find in is THE NEWBU other countriequite unlike what RY s. thenewburypub (G4) This is called ‘real 1970s by CAMRA ale’, a name first coined in the (the Campaig THE to describe PRINCE STREET traditional draught n for Real Ale) SOCIAL (B4) princestreetsoci contain live cask beers that yeast. the yeast continui Real ale is a living product, QUEENS ARMS, served – generally ng to ferment until the beer is queensarmseast EAST GARSTON pump mounted from a traditional (F4) hand-pull bags of flavour on the bar. This gives real ale and a natural THE ROYAL that is very different from light carbonation OAK YATTEN royaloakyatten lagers and highly the more ubiquito DON (G3) the large internat carbonated beers produce us ional brewers. d by THE ROYAL WINDSOR You’ll find real theroyalwindso PUB (K3) the Great Westale in almost all pubs along Way. It comes varieties including in THE SWAN IPA (India Pale numerous mild, stout, BRADFORD Ale), bitter, theswanbradford porter and golden. ON AVON vary significa (C4) Flavours can ntly afraid to request within varieties, so don’t be THREE TUNS a taste first – and always for what’s local. FREEHOUSE tunsfreehouse.c ask (F4) om These are some THE WHITE ale along the of the best places to drink real HORSE INN Great West whitehorse-com Way. (D4) uk


Sun of month Maidenhead Farmers’ Market 2nd Market Malmesbury Artisan and Farmers’ every Fri of month Newbury Farmers’ Market 1st Sun

West Way are registered trade marks.

Experience an classic decor authentic Afternoon Tea of in the with historic the Drawing Room. Appoint features, original ed contemporary artwork spot to view furnishings, this is the and perfect our while enjoying landscaped gardens and lake our contemp orary afternoo n tea.

ABBEY HOTEL abbeyhotelbat (B4) APEX HOTEL uk BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL handpickedhote (B4) okhouse BOWOOD HOTEL, SPA Calne, Wiltshi & GOLF RESORT (D4) SN11 9PQ 01249 822228 Finger sandwic wood-hotel-resort served in the hes, scones and colourfu Shelburne Restaura l cakes Library. Fire nt, Bar and in winter.



Great West Way and England’s Great




SHELBURNE RESTAURANT, BOWOOD HOTEL, SPA & GOLF RESORT (D4) 822228 Derry Hill, Calne SN11 9PQ, 01249 has The classy restaurant at this luxury hotel and glorious views of the estate from its windows on lamb loin hearty dishes such as guinea fowl and and vegan its menu. There’s also a full vegetarian roasts. menu and excellent traditional Sunday

-drink GreatWes ST




slice of quinte ssential Englan agricultural d is home to land, some of fruits and vegeta and with that comes excellent local the country’s best breweries experi bles to fine wines. Farms produce, from fresh rear animals veggies. While ment with craft beers, and nurture and kitchen pubs and restau gardens cultiva crops, and family-run rants select te seasonal tea rooms whip the best of it all for their up fresh cakes All of this adds menus, daily. up to one very farm shops, tasty journe internationa y along the Great l cuisine, Miche cookery school lin starred restau West Way. From s and more take a look rants, tours, at our pick tasting of the best places to visit. s,



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With so many great places to savour along the Great West Way, from thatched pubs to beamed tearooms in ancient market towns to quaint villages, you might find you first need one of our food maps explore/maps

THE NEWBU 137 BARTHO RY 5HB, 01635 LOMEW ST, NEWBURY 49000 • thenew RG14 The Newbur y offers an menu and fantastic British à la carte atmosphere. home of 137 It is also the Gin, Lumber’s Bartholowhere multi-award winning mew Gin is distilled. Landlord Pete’s Newbury and vision is at the heart of to the stunning137, from the distinctive The branding décor.

food Join one of the Great West Way’s best the local experiences to really get to grips with try homegrown cuisine. There are plenty of places to along the tipples. Beer, wine and gin are all made vineyard or Great West Way. You can take a brewery, experience like a distillery tour, try a hands-on foodie cookery school, or take a city food tour. AROUND AND ABOUT BATH (B4) (G5) BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DISTILLERY

Great places to savour alo ng the Great West Way. The

Market, Bristol Street Food Market St Nicholas every Tue & Fri month Corsham Farmers’ Market 3rd Sat of Quay, Harbourside Street Food Market Broad Bristol, every Wed & Thur Thur & Henley Farmers’ Market 2nd Sat, 4th 5th Sun of month



A delightful English and French all day dining city centre brasserie created by culinary legends Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White. The menu is homage to their 36 yearold friendship; a culinary combination of the chefs’ personal favourites, careers and homelands. Set within Bath's historic Abbey Hotel, the restaurant boasts an idyllic and classic setting. › →






Pictured left then clockwise: Koffmann & Mr. White’s English and French Brasserie, Bath; Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire; Dessert at The Fat Duck, Bray; Hand and Flowers, Wycombe; Dessert at Hand and Flowers, Wycombe


A’BECKETT’S 01380 816669V • ALDER RIDGE 01488 686770 V • ALDWICK ESTAT 01934 864404 •


AEROSPACE NATIONAL TRUST SEASON Hayes Way, BRISTOL CAFÉ (B3) DRINKING AL EATING Patchway, AND SHOPP , Bristol, BS34 aerospacebristo Did you know ING 5BZ Refuel in the restaurants that 187 of National Trust’s café whilst and tea-room cafés, on Bristol. This Food for Life s light and airy a visit to Aerospace Served Here have received the range of light café serves recognises that Award? The a award locally sourcedmeals, snacks and drinks. delicious is ethically and they serve fresh, local Produce is where possible food sustaina ble are seven Nationa . produced. Therethat THE BRIDGE the Great West l Trust places you can TEA ROOMS thebridgetearoo find on Way and eight (C4) within easy more which reach of it, so GARDEN CAFÉ afternoon tea, if you’re looking are a picnic or a for an AT THE HOLBURNE back there should food MUSEUM (C4) be somethi hamper to take tastebuds. ng to tempt HONEYSTREET your honeystreetmill BOATS AND CAFÉ (E4) AVEBURY, MARLB The New Circles OROUG H (E4) SPRING’S CAFÉ Avebury Manor Restaurant Thermae Bath AND RESTAURANT (B4) Coach House Tearoom 01225 331234Spa, Bath, BA1 1SJ Café Whilst enjoying • DYRHAM PARK, a relaxing Spa, time to your GLOUCESTERS be sure to add The Tea-roo spa session extra HIRE (B3) m and Tea so you can enjoy tea or a tasty Garden meal at your afternoon PRIOR PARK, leisure. THE TUTTI The Tea Shed BATH (C4) POLE (F4) uk TYNTESFIELD, BRISTOL (A4) WESTONBIRT, Cow Barn Restaur THE NATION ant Westonbirt, Tetbury, Glouces AL ARBORETUM 0300 067 4890 (C3) tershire, GL8 • Forestryengland 8QS The Westonb Kennet and .uk/Wes tonbirt irt Avon prepared hot Restaurant offers tasty, with cafés along Canal Trust work in and cold refreshm freshly partnership prepared and ents. Food is Devizes, Crofton the canal at Bradford cooked on Avon, onsite, whilst is from Hobbs so you can be Beam Engines and Newbur the Shipton Mill House Bakery and made fresh bread whenever you sure of some tasty refreshm y, flour from nearby using visit. For more ents Long Newnto local cafés see katrust. informat n. WINDSOR ion on their CASTLE UNDER ns OPENING CROFT CAFÉ ALDERMASTON 2020 (K3) – TEA ROOMS (H4) ttractions Royal Collectio dsor-castle n Trust is in CAN p



The Great West England’s most Way runs through some surprise that fertile agricultural land, of you’ll along the route. find regular farmers’ so it’s no local food and Check out these marketsmarkets drink, direct for fresh from the produce Bath Farmers rs. ’ Market Green every Sat Park Station, Bristol Farmers ’ Market St every Wed Nicholas Market, Bristol Street every Tue & Food Market St Nicholas Fri Market, Corsham Farmers ’ Market 3rd Sat of month Harbourside Bristol, every Street Food Market Broad Wed & Thur Quay, Henley Farmers 5th Sun of month’ Market 2nd Sat, 4th Thur & Maidenhead Farmers’ Market 2nd Sun of Malmesbury month Artisan and every Fri Farmers’ Market Newbury Farmers ’ Market 1st Sun of month


Join one of




Richmond Duck Pond Markets every Swindon Farmers Sat & Sun ’ Market Swindon Outlet, every Designer Sun Thames Valley Farmers’ Market of month; Newbur Ascot, 3rd Sun y, 1st Sun & 3rd Sat of month; Windsorof month; Reading 1st , 1st Sat of month Trowbridge Weaver’s Market the month (not 2nd Saturday winter) of Wiltshire Farmers ’ Market Devizes, month; Royal 1st Salisbury 1st Wootton Bassett 4th Sat Sat of & 3rd Wed of month; of month






You’ll find many of the restaura Great West nts along the Way are dining Ambassador hotels, many rooms within our ingredients of which source from small their local find several celebrity chefs producers. You’ll also Pierre Koffman including Rick n and Marco Stein, also plenty Pierre White. of different cuisines to tempt There’s BEAU’S BAR you. AND RESTAU DONNINGTON RANT GROVE HOTEL AT COUNTRY & CLUB donnington-gro (G4) THE BRASSE WREN HOTELRIE AT SIR CHRISTOPHER sirchristopherw(K3) CEDAR AT THE LANGLEY (K3)



THE OLD BELL Malmesbury, HOTEL (C3) SN16 0BW, 01666 822344 • oldb



Village pubs along the route are a great place to head for tasting British food traditions passed down generations, such as Sunday roasts and Friday fish and chips, or simply bread, cheese and pickles, known as the ‘ploughman’s lunch’. Gastropubs offer newer cuisines and often their restaurants are recognised with a Michelin star or two. And there are also plenty of homegrown tipples to try too. Beer, wine and gin are all made along the Great West Way. Take a brewery, vineyard or distillery tour or just pull up a stool at the village pub and see what’s on tap. The Three Tuns Freehouse, Great Bedwyn is Sawdays “Most Authentic Pub” 2018/19. The Michelin starred Red Lion Freehouse, Pewsey offers private dining with a window into the kitchen to watch the team prep. Pigs, pies, pints and pillows is supplied by Helen Browning's Royal Oak, Bishopstone, set in the middle of an organic farm. Take lunch on a Friday and sample the fish menu at award-winning The Queen’s Arms, East Garston. The Swan, Bradford on Avon offers both Pub Classics or its Thai Chilli


Restaurant. The Crown & Anchor, set at the foot of the North Wessex Downs has recently reopened following a three year refurbishment. Serving Royals and residents alike, be sure to pop into the Royal Windsor pub with spectacular views of Windsor Castle, specialising in handmade liquor and premium craft beers, including a house-brewed Royal Windsor Pint. You could plan your visit with a stay at The Royal Oak, Yattendon, a country inn with traditional British food, to coincide with a drinks festival, and taste their very own gin distilled on the premises in ‘Harry’ their still. There's also a'Beckett's Vineyard making english sparkling and still wines along with cider and apple juice from their vineyard near Devizes in Wiltshire. Or try The West Berkshire Brewery at Yattendon and Wadworth Brewery at Devizes, offering tours and tasting of their award-winning ales. You might also enjoy Wadworth's 'Eat, Drink, Stay' trail from their Brewery in Devizes, to their four pubs along the route - The Bear and The Black Swan in Devizes, The Crown in Tolldown, and The George Inn in Bath. The Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Whitchurch is at the forefront of the English gin resurgence while the Newbury pub is host to Newbury’s first ever gin distillery thanks to a working micro distillery and private dining room open all year for tastings. →

Pictured top-left then clockwise: Red Lion Freehouse; The West Berkshire Brewery at Yattendon; Crown & Anchor, Ham, Wiltshire; The Royal Oak, Yattendon

GIN MAKING Explore the magic of gin-making. We are reinstalling an appreciation for gin-making through a fun, hands-on experience. Enjoy tasting, distilling, and creating your very own bespoke gin blend.

The Newbury is an imposing grade II listed gastro pub in the centre of Newbury. It is a multi-award winning venue which prides itself on its exciting British a la carte menu, a great selection of ales, extensive wine list & fabulous service.



While travelling the Great West Way you are never too far away from a café or farm shop for lunches, afternoon tea or a drink at the end of the day. Drive through the North Wessex Downs AONB to Cobbs Farm Shop for lunch and enjoy a glass of wine from their vineyard, Alder Ridge, Hungerford. For those heading to Bath, stop off at the Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford on Avon. Double winner of the UK Tea Guild's 'Top Tea Place', and one of the UK's finest spots for afternoon tea with a list of regal afternoon teas including the Queen Victoria. A Hansel and Gretel-style exterior leads onto the cosiest of dining rooms, filled with homely trinkets, hefty wooden beams and the soft chink of fine bone china. Clayton’s Kitchen in Bath serves seasonal British fine dining in a traditionally appointed 4-storey Georgian townhouse. In Bristol visit Prince Street Social, a welcoming modern-style British Brasserie located in the centre, or stop for lunch alongside the picturesque harbourside at Spoke & Stringer for a delicious home-made Shakshuka, or at Stokes Croft Restaurant for a quirky Pieminister Pie; everyone from Kate Moss to the Queen has tried one. The Tutti Pole, Hungerford is a tea shop and family restaurant and was originally the place where ‘Tutti Poles’ were made for an historic local ceremony, still continued today. At Whatley Manor, Nr Malmesbury traditional afternoon tea is served with a glass of Champagne Deutz. Other places for indulgent afternoon teas include The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa and The Abbey Hotel, Bath, The Old Bell Hotel, Malmesbury, Monkey Island Estate, Bray or The Langley, Near Windsor. Or why not take tea by the Kennet & Avon Canal, there’s plenty of choice including the Aldermaston Tea Room, Canal Trust Café, Honeystreet Mill Café, The Engineman’s Rest Café, The Tea Shop by the Canal and the Wharf Tea Rooms. Or for a unique culinary experience in Devizes, book yourself a place on one of Vaughan's Kitchen Cookery School Masterclasses.

Pictured top-left then clockwise: Afternoon Tea at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa; Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford on Avon; Cobbs Farm shop & Kitchen, Hungerford; hot chocolates being served at Wharf Tea Rooms, Devizes



The Great West Way offers plenty of choice when it comes to places to stay


HETHER YOU PREFER the excitement of a buzzing city or a more rural countryside retreat, from a stylish boutique hotel, to a cool gastro pub – there’s always a great place to stay along the Great West Way. From 5-star city hotels, country house hotels, to boutique bed and breakfasts, to camping and glamping retreats, we hope you will find what is right for you.


Starting your Great West Way journey from London? You might enjoy a stay at Roseate House London just a short walk from Hyde Park. Roseate Hotels has two further luxury boutique hotels along the Great West Way; The Roseate Reading, described by the Evening Standard as ‘UK’s Sexiest Townhouse Hotel’; and located in the centre of Bath The Roseate Villa Bath. Stopping at Reading? The Bird In Hand Hotel, at Knowl Hill, recently acquired by Wiltshire brewer Wadworth, is a delightful 14th Century Inn with a history that spans 600 years. In Bath you are spoiled for choice of luxury hotels, but it could be claimed, none quite as grand and spectacular as The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. Built between 1767 and 1775 this is a fine example of Georgian architecture, located in the most famous crescent in the world. Effortlessly combining AA Five Red Star service, an award-winning Spa and beautiful gardens. In the heart of Bath, Abbey Hotel Bath is an experiential art-driven hotel, for people seeking true Bathonian encounters - inspired by the city’s most celebrated icons - it blends the new with the old, the refined with the comfortable and the local with the worldly. Guests are immersed in rich history, architectural beauty, regional artistry and craftsmanship. Built in 1739, the building composed part of John Wood’s vision for Bath - essentially the playground for the pleasure-loving visitors of the Georgian haute monde.


The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two Grade II Listed buildings, centred around the natural thermal, mineralrich waters. Dukes Hotel, occupies two magnificent Georgian Townhouses on Great Pulteney Street, or try the Apex Hotel, Bath’s largest hotel, close to Thermae Bath Spa. Bailbrook House Hotel is a Grade II listed hotel, also in the city, set in 20 acres - here you can enjoy the historic Cloisters restaurant or contemporary dining in The Conservatory. Desire your own holiday home? The Apartment Bath is an award-winning two-bedroom luxury property in a fantastic central location, or try Bath Apartment Breaks. For a selection of independently owned holiday properties search online with the help of Stay in Bath, Tucking Mill Holidays in Bath and Bath Area Self Catering. For an elegant and vivacious new boutique townhouse hotel located on the grandest street in Bath head to No. 15 Great Pulteney.

Accommodation in Bristol is as colourful and varied as the city itself. From a city centre hostel attached to a vintage bowling alley to a luxurious lodge in the grounds of a zoo, you’ll find somewhere special to suit you. The city’s distinct neighbourhoods each offer different experiences, so it depends what type of trip you’re hoping for… For something unconventional, check into one of Brooks Guesthouse’s rooftop airstreams for a spot of urban glamping in the Old City. Right next to St Nicholas’ Market, you’ll be in prime position for perusing local craft stalls and tucking into the delicious street food it’s renowned for, from sausage baps to falafel wraps. If it’s dining, drinking and nightlife you’re after, check out Rock & Bowl Motel right in the city centre, The Bristol Wing, a boutique hostel in the Grade II listed old Police Headquarters, or The Full Moon - a backpacker hostel adjoining the lively Attic Bar in arty, alternative Stokes Croft. If you would prefer somewhere more serene, close to University of Bristol Botanic Garden, opt for somewhere in Clifton. Although it has a village feel, independent shops, cosmopolitan restaurants and the iconic Suspension Bridge are all within walking distance. Number Thirty Eight, a boutique hotel in a refurbished Georgian merchant’s house, is in prime position. Relax in a room with a roll top bath or soak up panoramic park views. Alternatively, go for a really wild stay at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The Lodge is a super stylish apartment with safari-themed rooms and a private terrace looking onto the zoo’s glorious gardens. And if you’re just in Bristol for a flying visit - where could be more convenient than Hampton By Hilton Bristol Airport?


Sitting proudly next to the 12th Century Abbey in the centre of the historic, vibrant and charming Wiltshire market town of Malmesbury, England’s oldest hotel The Old Bell Hotel has recently been restored to the height of elegance, glamour and English charm. Beechfield House also in Wiltshire, is a stunning 4 AA red star, 2 AA rosette, relaxed country house hotel offering a truly opulent place to stay. Or try The Manor House, a 14th Century luxury hotel and golf club in Castle Combe, part of the Exclusive Collection along with Pennyhill Park, surrey and Royal Berkshire, on the outskirts of Ascot. Or for a lovely, secluded and unique cottage on a working farm head to Cliffe Farm Dairy with beautiful views of the steep chalk escarpment leading up to Salisbury Plain. Another gorgeous countryside retreat is the five-star Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, in the Southern Cotswolds set in 12 acres of gardens. If you are travelling with children Woolley Grange Hotel in Bradford on Avon → Pictured top-left then clockwise: The Roseate Reading; Brooks Guesthouse, Bristol, rooftop airstreams; Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Cotswolds; Beechfield House; The Abbey Hotel


is a beautiful Jacobean manor house on the edge of the Cotswolds offering a very warm welcome to families. Or try The Langley, Buckinghamshire - the former country estate of the third Duke of Marlborough has a wonderful spa, exceptional dining and Capability Brown designed gardens. Guyers House Hotel & Restaurant, Corsham is a traditional country house with an award-winning restaurant. If you’re looking to stay somewhere quieter, away from the hustle and bustle, with farm-fresh produce on the table, and a ‘home from home’ feel, then a cosy countryside B&B or selfcatering cottage make a great option. The Coachmans Self-Catering Holiday Cottage is an idyllic retreat in the heart of Steeple Ashton - a delightful quintessential village, with award-winning village shop, magnificent church, and beautiful historic architecture spanning 700 years, set amidst beautiful Wiltshire countryside. For an opulent and elegant stay close to the North Wessex Downs, Heritage Luxury B&B is perfectly placed on the Great West Way in Calne. Kingsbury @ No 8 is a boutique-hotel style B&B close to the centre of Marlborough’s historic high street. Stay here and dine at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Lloran House and enjoy a menu that features some of Rick’s most iconic seafood dishes like Indonesian seafood curry, Dover sole a la meunière and turbot hollandaise. Or you could try The White Horse Inn, Calne, a traditional country pub in the Wiltshire countryside with two AA Rosette restaurant and Gold award Bed & Breakfast accommodation. Donnington Grove Hotel & Country Club, Newbury is set in 500 acres of countryside and offers countryside pursuits such as fishing and clay pigeon shooting, while just


a short drive away, in the picturesque farming village of Hampstead Norreys, are Manor Farm Courtyard Holiday Cottages luxuriously-appointed self-catering cottages. Church Farm Country Cottages offer self-catering cottages on a working sheep farm between Bath and Bradford on Avon with an indoor heated pool. Cumberwell Country Cottages, Bradford on Avon, have converted an old Tythe Barn into luxurious self-catering cottages. Or try Beanhill Farm B&B, Chippenham - located on a farm with prize-winning cattle and sheep. Lorne House, near Corsham, the childhood home of Thomas the Tank Engine author, Reverend W.V. Awdry, is today a large Victorian villa with elegant charm. Stay as a B&B guest, or hire the entire house. You might enjoy having your own private Manor House wing? Try Sheephouse Manor Cottages, situated between Maidenhead and Cookham. → Pictured top-left then clockwise: The Langley; Guyers House Hotel & Restaurant; Lorne House B&B

Experience Wiltshire at its Best! Adult-only Glamping in a glorious part of rural England

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Avalon Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Devizes has countryside views and south facing balconies, free ranging hens and ducks and two rescue donkeys. There are also many pubs offering B&B in great locations, such as Troutbeck Guesthouse, East Chisenbury for boutique accommodation by the River Avon and the nearby Red Lion for food. The Royal Oak, Yattendon is a traditional English country pub with Michelin rated food, luxurious bedrooms, award-winning real ales, log fires and a walled garden. The Queens Arms, East Garston, is an award-winning pub, restaurant and hotel with large bar and log fire, dining room and covered terrace and garden. Or try Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Bishopstone, a dining pub with rooms in the middle of an organic farm on the edge of the Wiltshire Downs.


For those who really want to get in touch with their surroundings The Camping and Caravanning Club with sites

in Salisbury, Walton on Thames, Cheddar Mendip Heights, Devizes and Chertsey is a great option - as is The Chilterns View, Wallingford's Luxury lodge accommodation in the village of Ewelme, South Oxfordshire, overlooking the beautiful Chilterns Hills. Mill Farm takes luxury camping to a whole new level with their high end luxury accommodation, set on their organic farm in the heart of the glorious Wiltshire countryside. Or head to The Farm Camp, an off grid, eco-friendly, luxury campsite near Bath offering plenty of activities. Totteridge Farm in the heart of the Vale of Pewsey, is an adult-only campsite with five glamping pods and spectacular views from the hills on either side of the Vale. Buttle Farm, Compton Bassett, has stunning barn conversions on a rare breed pig farm and runs charcuterie experiences. While Shillingridge offer Luxury Glamping Safari Lodges, nestled in the Chiltern Hills by the stunning riverside town of Marlow on Thames in Buckinghamshire. →

Pictured top-left then clockwise: Avalon Lodge Bed & Breakfast; Mill Farm; Helen Browning’s Royal Oak


Pictured top-left then clockwise: Canal boats on the river; Henley Greenlands Hotel; Honeystreet Boats


On the River Thames, Henley Greenlands Hotel, once home to the WH Smith family, is set within the 30 acre Henley Business School estate in the Oxfordshire countryside, while Sir Christopher Wren Hotel and Spa is a 4-star comprising several characterful buildings clustered around a historic cobbled street by Eton Bridge and Windsor Castle, with a gym, spa treatments, outdoor whirlpool and sauna. The stunning hotel is located right on the River Thames, within easy walking distance of Windsor’s restaurants, shops and attractions including Windsor Castle. The world-famous Eton College is a seven-minute walk from the hotel, just over Eton Bridge and down the High Street. Also in Windsor, both Castle Hotel MGallery and Sir Christopher Wren Hotel & Spa offer spectacular views of the Thames and Windsor Castle. Thought boats were just for day trips? Well, along the Great West Way you can sleep on them too. You’ll never forget waking up on the water, peering through portholes at passing ducks as you prepare to rise and shine. Canal boat hire in England is easy to organise and incredibly rewarding, enabling you to fully experience the

pleasures of the wildlife-rich waterways, including such delights as Caen Hill Locks and Bathampton. The Canal and River Trust can give you all the information you need about how to take to the waters. Along the River Thames and the Kennet & Avon Canal you can hire your own boldly painted boat and take the journey at your own pace. Consider a boating holiday on a self-drive barge or motor cruiser, or for a more relaxing break a river cruise on a hotel boat. Honeystreet Boats provides friendly canal boat holidays on the Kennet & Avon Canal. Sally Narrowboats, in the Bradford on Avon Marina, is great to cruise to Bath in a westerly direction and Reading in the east. Hobbs of Henley has 2 luxury Linnsen motor cruisers to cruise from Henley to Oxford or Henley to Reading. While Bruce Boats at Great Bedwyn Wharf, Kennet & Avon Canal, offers canal holidays for older people and Devizes Marina Village offer selfcatering lodges with hot tubs and fantastic views. Or for somewhere where there’s quite literally water, water everywhere, visit the Cotswold Water Park, just a short detour off the route, and enjoy 40 square miles, with more than 150 lakes set in beautiful countryside.

Fun fact: People who like observing England’s canal life from the sidelines are affectionately called ‘gongoozlers’.


Visit Chippenham

Visit and stay in Chippenham as part of your Great West WayÂŽ journey of discovery. Find out more at

Open all day for breakfast, afternoon tea, freeze shakes and dinner.

Bite Me Burger, No 7 Kingsbury Street, Marlborough.

Tel: 01672 514776


From confetti battles to music festivals, canoe races to country shows and big-ticket exhibitions Words: Samantha Rutherford

Pictured left-right: Pub in the Park, Marlow and The Bradford on Avon annual Duck Race


JANUARY / FEBRUARY / MARCH Celebration of light, Bristol FEBRUARY-MARCH This illuminating new annual event will celebrate the creative talents of local, national and international designers and collaborators in a playful outdoor gallery of light installations that will bring vivid colour to Bristol city centre's public spaces at a traditionally quiet and dark time of the year. î


Parties, Portraits and Politics UNTIL EARLY APRIL A new temporary exhibition will give visitors a glimpse of what it was like to be entertained in Blenheim Palace during the 1920s, from the menus and wine to the fashion, music, politics and art. The 9th Duke of Marlborough and his second wife ‘Gladys Deacon’, entertained lavishly throughout the roaring twenties during their glamourous house parties. î

Wonder FEBRUARY A new year-round programme and festival of children’s book events in Bath and beyond that will capture imaginations and inspire future storytellers. î Bath Comedy Festival 31 MARCH–19 APRIL Bath Comedy Festival presents household names in the world of comedy and promotes the big names of tomorrow. î

APRIL / MAY / JUNE Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race 10-13 APRIL This is the world’s longest non-stop canoe race, which starts in Devizes, following the Kennet & Avon Canal and joining The Thames, finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament, a total distance of 125 miles, 77 portages. î Howard’s Day at Castle Combe Circuit 13 APRIL Easter Monday is the traditional start to the motor racing season at Castle Combe Circuit and is marked by this popular race day. î The Bradford on Avon Duck Race, 13 APRIL At this the famous annual Duck Race over a 1000 ducks are launched into the river from the Town Bridge, where Rowing Club kayakers wait at the finish line to retrieve the lucky winners of many amazing prizes to be won! î The Bath Festival 15-24 MAY Having recently celebrated its 70th birthday, this 10-day festival celebrates music and literature, bringing prominent writers, musicians and cultural figures to the city. î

Highclere Country Show 24-25 MAY The estate better known as Downton Abbey, Highclere hosts one of England’s best country shows, with falconry, gundog displays and the chance to have a go at clay shooting. î

The Little Welly Obstacle Course & Festival, Henley on Thames 6-7 JUNE Let your kids Go Wild, Get Muddy and enjoy tackling the 3km landscaped course with over 30 big obstacles – involving water, foam and of course plenty of MUD! î

Pub in the Park Marlow 15-17 MAY Set in the beautiful town of Marlow this is a glorious three day feast of the best food the country has to offer created by some of the world’s best chefs, pop-up pubs and great live music. î

Calne Summer Carnival 27 JUNE The Calne Summer Carnival draws in over 5000 visitors to its historic town centre, with activities from live music to street entertainers, food stalls to local crafters, and the marvellous carnival procession. î

Royal Ascot 16-20 JUNE Arguably England’s most famous – and grandest – horse racing event, with five days of races each kicked off by a royal carriage parade. This is your chance to wave at the Queen and to wear a fabulous hat! î →


JULY / AUGUST / SEPTEMBER Henley Royal Regatta 1-5 JULY Established in 1839, this annual regatta attracts rowing crews from around the world to its five days of head to head knockout competitions and is regarded as an integral part of the English social season. î Kew the Music 8-12 JULY Kew Gardens hosts five nights of laidback picnic concerts, from big names in every genre of music from pop and rock to classical and jazz. Headliners include Craig David, Beverley Knight and Jools Holland. î Bristol Harbour Festival 17-19 JULY Bristol’s largest annual event fills the harbour from the SS Great Britain to the city centre with tall ships, music stages, dance areas and food markets. Expect water displays and circus acts too. î Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford 17-19 JULY Few events can rival the intensity, drama, and spectacle on offer at one of the world's greatest airshows. Over 300 aircraft typically take part in the flypasts and aerial acrobatics. î WOMAD, Malmesbury 23-26 JULY Global fiesta of music, dance, art and food that started in Charlton Park, Malmesbury and has since taken the party to more than 27 countries worldwide including Australia, Chile and Spain. î


Marlborough College Summer School 12 JULY-18 AUGUST Established in 1974, this annual event is one of Europe’s largest multi-generational learning experiences; its popularity underpinned by the phrase “something for everyone”. The College’s historic grounds are conveniently located to enjoy Marlborough’s famous High Street and host over 500 courses encompassing the creative arts, history, science, body and mind, life skills, sport and country pursuits..! î Bath Carnival 11 JULY Bath’s biggest party features a procession of more than 1,000 dancers and musicians through the city plus plenty of world music on the sound systems and at Party in the Park in Sydney Gardens. î Bristol Pride 11 JULY Bristol Pride is an annual celebration of the LGBT+ community. A series of events that take place across Bristol ranging from theatre, comedy, dance and their award winning film festival, Queer Vision. An incredible 40,000 took part in their 10th-anniversary celebrations last year! î Malmesbury Carnival & Festival 20 JULY-1 SEPTEMBER Malmesbury Carnival been going for over 100 years! The Carnival is now a whole month of events. It changes every year, with events ranging from open gardens to open mic, bands to beer festivals, high jinks to history talks, wine tasting to wine bluffing and of course the Carnival Parade! î

Pictured left-right: Marlborough High Street; fun at Devizes Festival; and celebrations at Bristol Pride

Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park 7-9 AUGUST Held at the spectacular home of the Princess Royal and her family, incorporating the British Open, Intermediate and Novice Championships, as well as the Amateur Championship, The Corinthian Cup. î Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 6-9 AUGUST Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons brings colour to the sky above Bristol with twice-daily mass balloon launches and the chance to take a ride yourself. î Reading Festival 28-30 AUGUST One of England’s biggest and best-loved music festivals, featuring big-name acts from around the world – think Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters. î The Colour Rush and Confetti Battle, Devizes 5 SEPTEMBER Nobody knows why it started but Devizes’ Confetti Battle is surely the most fun you can have with torn up bits of coloured paper. Get stuck into the battle in the marketplace and stay for the fireworks! î Jane Austen Festival, Bath 11-20 SEPTEMBER 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of The Jane Austen Festival. Get your top hats, bonnets and lace out for this 10-day celebration of all things Austen to include a costumed Promenade through the city, and the Regency Costumed Masked Ball, with dancing in the Pump Room of the Roman Baths. î

Heritage Open Days 11-20 SEPTEMBER This national event sees normally hidden and closed places throw their doors open to the public. Highlights along the Great West Way include Reading Synagogue, Sevington Victorian School in Wiltshire and the RollsRoyce Heritage Trust in Bristol - with many more besides! î Mini Action Day, Castle Combe Circuit 12 SEPTEMBER Things go pocket-sized for Mini Action Day – the UK’s oldest, best and only track-based Mini event. Prepare to marvel at the hundreds of both old and new examples of this iconic car that make the venue their home for the day. î Henley Literary Festival 26 SEPTEMBER – 4 OCTOBER Bringing together punters and pundits from far and wide, last year’s line-up included Theresa May, Sir Alastair Cook, Kate Atkinson and Mary Berry, so expect an equally diverse and stellar line up for 2020. î Cliveden Literary Festival 14-15 SEPTEMBER Cliveden House has been at the centre of British political, royal and literary life since it was first built, and in the 1960s became notorious as the setting for the Profumo Affair that brought down a government and changed Britain forever. Today Cliveden’s annual literary festival attracts writers from the world. î →


Only 6 Miles From Bristol


ENJOY A FASCINATING DAY EXPLORING THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH ARMY’S ROYAL ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS (REME) ▶ the award winning museum has 8 modern, interactive galleries displays include huge armoured vehicles, medals, uniforms and weapons ▶ discover incredible stories; how reme saved volkswagen, why the museum has the brass boots from mussolini’s statue and so many more. ▶ there is a large free car park and the excellent crowns café for refreshments. ▶



Pictured: Windsor high street at Christmas

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER / DECEMBER LEGOLAND Fireworks Spectacular 1-2 NOVEMBER Make your visit to Legoland even more magical by timing it to coincide with the annual fireworks spectacular, part of the theme park’s spooky Halloween season. î Cary Grant Comes Home Festival 20-22 NOVEMBER Bristol puts on a weekend of events celebrating the life and work of one of the city’s most famous sons: the Hollywood actor and style icon Cary Grant. Cary Comes Home for the Weekend Festival is a celebration of Cary Grant’s Bristol roots, with the aim to develop new audiences for his films and recreate the much loved golden age of cinema-going. î Hobbs of Henley Christmas Party Nights 10-19 DECEMBER Celebrate the start of the festive season in style by setting sail with Hobbs of Henley on a Thames Christmas Party Cruise. Guests are handed a welcome drink on arrival, enjoy a 3 course meal and spend the rest of the night dancing away to their resident DJ. î

Christmas at Kew LATE NOVEMBER-EARLY JANUARY A show-stopping trail of festive light installations. More than a million teeny glittering lights are installed along the route with a fantastic light show grand finale at the iconic Temperate House, plus enjoy festive treats such as spiced cider and toasted marshmallows. î Windsor On Ice DATES TO BE CONFIRMED Alexandra Gardens plays host to two ice rinks – one indoor and one outdoor. You’ll also find the UK’s biggest dodgem, Bungees, Twister, Race-o-Rama, the Waltzer, the Toy ride, Mini planes, Helicopters and Santa's Sleigh roller coaster! î Bath Christmas Market DECEMBER One of the country’s biggest Christmas markets, consisting of 180 stalls, set amongst Bath’s Georgian streets, the market sells hand-made ceramics, glassware, jewellery and local produce and is a must visit for winter. î To discover more events on the Great West Way visit /see-and-do/festivals-and-events


Luxury for the curious

Enjoy your gift card across Bath Food & Drink • Health & Beauty Museums & Galleries • Hotels & Shops

The best of Bath in one little card

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Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of 11/02/2019 Bath using your taste buds on artisanal food & drink sampling experiences

An elegant and vivacious boutique townhouse hotel and spa on the very grandest street in Bath, No.15 Great Pulteney is well known for its curious collections, warm hosting and unique personality.

15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4BR 01225 807015



‘GUILTY PLEASURES’ A naughty but nice tour of the city!

‘FOOD HEROES’ The people & foods who have put Bath on the culinary map of the UK

What our customers say... “If you’re a foodie there isn’t a better way to spend an afternoon…”


Stay in a Jacobean manor on your Great West Way journey! HOTEL | SPA | RESTAU RANT

01225 864705 | Woolley Green, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1TX

Family Days at Stonor House • Play Park • Park & Gardens

Stonor Park Henley-on-Thames RG9 6HF



Chauffeur driven tours with a Blue Badge Guide

■ A small, friendly museum just off the A4 in Calne ■ 100+ exhibits - many are vehicles from the 1920s onwards ■ Apr-Oct (Tues-Sun11-5) Nov, Feb-March (Thurs-Sun 11-4) Dec-Jan (Sat-Sun 11-4)



Tel +44(0)7990 505970 |


ONE OF THE FINEST SPOTS FOR AFTERNOON TEA Step back in time to the glorious Victorian era, double winner UK’s ‘Top Tea Place’, and one of the finest spots for afternoon tea. Based in a former blacksmith’s cottage the Hansel & Gretel-style exterior leads onto the cosiest of dining rooms. A wonderful and atmospheric venue for groups. From morning tea or coffee, mini Cream Tea to an extended visit for Empire Full Afternoon Teas.

Honeystreet Mill Café


Homemade · Freshly Made · Locally Sourced Breakfast · Light lunch · Afternoon Tea Snacks · Drinks · Wine, Beer and Cider

OPEN Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm Sunday 10am-5pm 01672 851155

24a Bridge Street, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1BY

+44 (0)1225 865537

Honeystreet Mill, Honeystreet Village, Pewsey Vale, Wiltshire, SN9 5PS

Queens Where? Windsor, Henley, Reading, Kennet and Avon Canal, River Thames, Chiltern Hills, North Wessex Downs How? Waterways trips, town and countryside walking tours, coach tours, themed tours Who? Graham Horn, GREAT WEST WAY® Ambassador, experienced Blue Badge Guide, local knowledge Contact me to enhance your GREAT WEST WAY® tour • •

Self Drive Classic Car Hire Based in Wiltshire with

Vintage Classics

■ Classic Car Rental ■ Classic Car Tours


View our fine range of classics online:


Perfect place for long, lazy weekends! Daily Telegraph East Garston • Berkshire • RG17 7ET Tel: 01488 648 757 3 miles off J14 of M4 (Hungerford & Lambourn)

TOUR & EXPLORE with Anne Bartlett

Anne is an experienced Cotswold based Blue Badge Tourist Guide and Tour Director who provides a friendly, professional guiding service for groups exploring the Great West Way. Email: Ambassador for The Great West Way



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Greenlands Greenlands Henley-on-Thames Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire Oxfordshire RG9 RG9 3AU 3AU

Over 147 years of River and Boating Service

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The Tutti Pole Tea Shop Hungerford

D I D C OT R A I LWAY C E N T R E Explore the Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

Breakfasts, Morning Coffee, Sunday Roasts, Luncheons, Snacks Cream Teas & Afternoon teas. RG170DN Tel: 01488 682515 Traditional Family Run Tea Shop A Delicious Stop Along the Great West Way

 20 former GWR steam locomotives, including 2 replica broad gauge (7 ft) locomotives, 40+ GWR coaches, 50+ GWR wagons, a working turntable, with demonstrations on steam days, a railway-themed playpark and a small relics museum.


 Original (working) GWR locomotive shed, & many other original GWR buildings and infrastructure.  Special events include Day Out With Thomas (and to meet Father Christmas), special gala events and also non-railway related themed events.


OPEN EVERY WEEKEND DIDCOT, Oxfordshire, England, OX11 7NJ TEL: 01235 817200 E-MAIL:


Entrance at Didcot Parkway rail station signed from M4 (junction 13) & A34


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Inspiring a passion for traditional weaving in Britain’s oldest working silk mill, in beautiful, rural Hampshire

Explore the home of Bombay Sapphire in the heart of Hampshire

BOOK YOUR GIN EXPERIENCE TODAY: DISTILLERY.BOMBAYSAPPHIRE.COM Accessible by train and shuttle bus from Overton and Micheldever Stations.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery | Whitchurch | Hampshire HELLO@BOMBAYSAPPHIRE.COM | 01256 890090





Tarr Farm Inn Tarr Steps, Dulverton, Exmoor, TA22 9PY Telephone: +44 (0)1643 851507 Email:

THANK YOU TO THANK YOUTHOSE TO OUR AMBASSADORS WHO HELPED US ALONG THE WAY Title Ambassadors Bristol Airport Canal & River Trust Great Western Railway National Trust

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Bath Manor Farm B&B Tyntesfield VisitRichmond Bristol Packet Boats Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Marlborough College Summer School of Bristol Botanic Garden Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Salisbury Museum and Village ThamesUniversity Lido, Reading Designated Attraction VisitWiltshire Bristol Tandem Hire The Langley, Slough The Matthew Of Bristol Kitchen & Hotel Ambassadors Bozedown Alpacas, Reading ThamesVaughan’s Rivercruise, Reading Bristol Zoo Gardens Meadowbank House Vintage Classics The Bridge Tea Rooms, Bradford on Avon Liberty Car Tours, Bath Three Tuns Freehouse, Great Bedwyn Aerospace Bristol Brooks Guest House B&B, Bath Merchants House The Watermill Theatre Designated Attraction Bristol Blue Glass Bristol House Tintinhull GardenArch Alder Ridge Vineyard Bruce Branch Boats Lido Spa & Restaurant, Mompesson Wellington & Hotel Ambassadors Bristol Lorne House, Corsham Totteridge Camping Pods, Pewsey Bowood HouseCathedral & Gardens Brunel’s SS Great Britain Montacute House WestFarm Berkshire Museum Aerospace Bristol Bristol Ferry Boats Buttle Farm Lytes Cary Manor The Museum of English Rural Life Tour and Cheddar GorgeCommunity & Caves WeExplore The Curious Bowood House & Garden, Calne McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Swindon Canal Trust Café MVCentre Jubilee Silk Mill Bristol Insight Maidenhead Heritage Tours 2Whitchurch Order Cheddar Gorge & Caves FashionBristol Museum Bath Walking Castle Combe Circuit Manor Farm Courtyard Newark Park Thatcham Wiltshire landscape,Rail Stonehenge Nordic Cottages, TransWilts Community Partner Longleat Cheddar Gorge The Newbury Pub Wiltshire Museum Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, Bristol Packet Boats The Manor House, Castle Combe Troutbeck Guest House, East Chisenbury The Roman Baths The Chilterns View Newbury Racecourse Wiltshire Music Centre Hungerford Bristol Tandem Hire Summer School TuckingWiltshire Mill View, Midford Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa Chippenham Museum Marlborough College No. 1 Royal Crescent Wildlife Trust, Blakehill Farm Longleat, Warminster The Bristol Wing Turner’sWiltshire House,Wildlife Twickenham Stonehenge and Heritage Centre The Matthew of Bristol Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Trust, Lower Moor McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Bristol Merchant’s House, The Tutti Pole, Hungerford Thermae Bath Zoo Spa Gardens Church Farm CountryThe Cottages The Marlborough Old Bell, Malmesbury Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Jones’s Mill Swindon Wadworth Brewery & House Tours B&B, Bath Clifton Suspension Bridge Old Chapel Woolley Grange Hotel Brooks Guest Mill Farm Glamping,The Poulshot Tyntesfield, Wraxall The Old Bell Hotel, Malmesbury West Berkshire Brewery Sarum Brooks Guest House B&B, Bristol& Visitor Centre Mompesson House,Old Salisbury University of Bristol Botanic Garden Westonbirt, The National Arboretum Oldbury Tours The Roman Baths, Bath Bruce Branch Boats, MarlboroughCobbs Farm Shop Monkey Island Estate, Bray Vaughan’s Kitchen, Devizes Whatley Manor Compass Holidays Parkway Shopping, Newbury The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Brunel’s Vintage Classics, Melksham Windsor Castle SS Great Britain, Bristol The Courts Garden Montacute House Pound Arts Bath Buttle Farm, Compton Bassett Cricklade Hotel Museum of East Asian Art, Bath Visit Hillbrush, Mere Practical Car and Motorhome Stonehenge Canal Trust Café, Life, Reading Waddesdon Manor Crofton Beam EnginesThe Museum of English hire,Rural Chippenham Thermae Bath Spa, Bath Cumberwell Country MV Cottages Prince Street on Social Bradford on Avon Barbara McLellan, Bradford Avon Walton on Thames Camping and Wadworth Brewery & Tours, Devizes Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham MV Jubilee, Newbury Caravanning Club Site West Berkshire Brewery, Yattendon Castle Hotel, Windsor MV Kenavon Venture, Devizes The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor Westonbirt, The National Cheddar Camping and Caravanning Club Site National Garden Scheme The Wave, Bristol Arboretum, Tetbury Cheddar Gorge Newark Park, Ozleworth We The Curious, Bristol Discover more about Ambassadors Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Chertsey Camping andour Caravanning Club Siteat: The Newbury Pub Wellington Arch, London Malmesbury The Chilterns View, Wallingford Newbury Racecourse West Berkshire Museum, Newbury Windsor Castle Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath Whitchurch Silk Mill Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm, Salisbury No.15 Great Pulteney, Bath White Horse Inn, Compton Bassett Church Farm Country Cottages, Bradford on Avon Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Wraxall Wild Swim Bike Run Clayton’s Kitchen, Bath Old Sarum, Salisbury Wilton Windmill Cliffe Farm Dairy, West Lavington Oldbury Tours Wiltshire Museum, Devizes Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Original Wild, Bath Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, Englefield Parkway Shopping Centre, Newbury Windsor Carriages Compass Holidays, Cheltenham Pennyhill Park, Bagshot Windsor Duck Tours Cotswold Water Park, South Cerney Postern Hill Campsite, Marlborough Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford on Avon The Courts Garden, Trowbridge The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham WWT Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve, Cricklade House Hotel, Swindon Practical Car & Van Hire, Chippenham Swindon Crofton Beam Engines, Crofton The Prince Street Social, Bristol WWT Jones’s Mill at the Vera Jeans Reserve, The Crown & Anchor, Ham Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath Pewsey Discover more about The Crown, Tolldown The Queens Arms Hotel, East Garston WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes Cumberwell Country Cottages, Bradford on Avon Reading Museum WWT Lower Moor Farm our Ambassadors at: Devizes Camping and Caravanning Club Site Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury Wyvern Theatre, Swindon Devizes Marina REME Museum, Lyneham YMCA, Bath


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