Great West Way® Travel Magazine | 2021

ContistaMedia

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. Our 2021 edition of the Great West Way Travel Magazine is full of yet more inspiration, from Unforgettable Experiences (p42) to Striking Architecture (p56), Gourmet Guide (p84), Museum Gems (p90) and so much more. As we wait for travel restrictions to be lifted, and continue to bring the Great West Way to you, we hope that planning your future staycation will have never been easier - and we look forward to offering you the warmest of welcomes once travel returns.

2021 Annual Edition

TRAVEL MAGAZINE | ISSUE 04

GreatWestWay.co.uk

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


DISCOVER WILTSHIRE

THE GREAT WEST WAY ®

Explore picturesque Pewsey Vale and historic Bradford

on Avon along the Great West Way touring route.

Find out more at GWR.com/GreatWestWay


Pictured Below: Family enjoying the canal life in Newbury;

Couple at Windsor Royal Station planning their journey.

WELCOME TO SAFE TRAVEL

BE CURIOUS. BE RESPONSIBLE.

Before you start planning your next adventure along

the Great West Way, make sure you Know Before

You Go; please plan your trip carefully, check for

restrictions before you travel and book in advance

where necessary. Be curious, but be responsible.

IT HAS BEEN SIX MONTHS since we launched

our first virtual edition of the Great West

Way Travel Magazine, and yet despite the

challenges faced since, businesses along the

route have achieved so much.

From award-winning restoration projects,

new paddle boarding tours along the Bradfordon-Avon

river to the launch of Bridgerton-themed

holiday itineraries. There’s even a new Banksy - unexpectedly

unveiled on the walls of the disused Reading jail - along with yet

many more new immersive, and self-guided, experiences.

Alfresco dining options, and other safety measures have been

introduced at our hotels, attractions, restaurants, and pubs and the

Great West Way team have kept innovating too.

We hope you will enjoy our new Kennet & Avon Canal map,

with 87 miles of magnificent sites and spectacular landscapes to

explore by water. We have new branded signage along the route,

and have just launched a new video campaign travelling the entire

length from London to Bristol virtually.

Our 2021 edition is full of yet more inspiration, from

Unforgettable Experiences (p42) to Striking Architecture (p56),

Gourmet Guide (p84), Museum Gems (p90) and so much more.

As we wait for travel restrictions to be lifted, and continue to

bring the Great West Way to you, we hope that planning your

future staycation will have never been easier - and we look forward

to offering you the warmest of welcomes once travel returns.

Jessica x

Jessica Way

Editor-in-Chief, Great West Way Travel Magazine

Download your Great West Way map:

: GreatWestWay.co.uk/explore/maps

The Chilterns

North Wessex Downs

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Bradford

on Avon

Trowbridge

Iford Manor

Gardens

Westbury

GreatWestWay.co.uk

3


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.

www.bristolairport.co.uk


CONTENTS

2021 Annual | Edition 04

Pictured

left then

clockwise:

The Kennet &

Avon Canal

meanders

through the

market town

of Newbury;

Marlborough

College

Summer

School; and

Burbage

village in

Wiltshire

DISCOVER OUR WAY

EXPLORE THE ROUTE

08 32

THE WAY FORWARD

A look at some of the highlights and

what’s new on the Great West Way for 2021.

13

AERIAL VISTAS

Enjoy the Great West Way from a

bird's-eye view with our selection of scenic

virtual tours and captivating drone footage.

MY GREAT WEST WAY

Discover the Great West Way through the

eyes of a local, Communications Manager in

charge of the UK's largest town, Alex Brannen.

ENJOYING THE RIVER

The Great West Way flows along with

wonderful waterways, offering plenty of opportunities

to splash about in the water.

39

26 42

SMART PHONE TOURS

Discover the Great West Way at your own

pace with these easy-to-follow smartphone apps.

10 UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES

Packed with hidden gems and unexpected

treasures, there’s something for everyone to

experience along the Great West Way.

GreatWestWay.co.uk

5


PUBLISHED BY

Contista Media Ltd

Mitchell House, Brook Avenue,

Warsash, Southampton,

Hampshire, SO31 9HP

contistamedia.co.uk

Brought to you by the Great West Way

COVER IMAGE

Woodland walk in Wiltshire

Family and their dog enjoy a picturesque walk along

the river in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.

With a special thanks to:

Bristol Airport, Canal & River Trust,

GWR, and National Trust

Image copyright credits: Throughout ©GreatWestWay.co.uk /

Marlborough College p5: Pete Davies Photography. Windsor, p12,

Bath, p45, STEAM, p90: @nicksmithphotography.com. SS Great

Britain, p92: © Adam Gasson. Stonor p21: Paul Upward Photography.

Bath, p50: ©VisitBritain/Simon Winnall. Architecture p59: Great

Pagoda Jeff Eden © RBG Kew. Playing croquet on the lawn at

Tyntesfield, Somerset, p72: ©National Trust Images/Trevor Ray

Hart. Bristol Science Centre: P93 ©VisitBritain / Pawel Libera.

Wellness p98: Getty Images/iStockphoto. Thermae Bath Spa, p101:

©jon@attenborough.net. Hotel Stays, p108: ©VisitBritain / Joanna

Henderson. Monkey Island Estate, p113: Credit: Isabelle Plasschaert /

Alamy Stock Photo.

Follow us on

Twitter @theGreatWestWay

Facebook @GreatWestWay

Instagram.com/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.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

52

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!

56

STRIKING ARCHITECTURE ON THE GREAT WEST WAY

There are many impressive styles of architecture to see on the

Great West Way. How many in our list have you visited?

72

GARDENS THROUGH THE SEASONS

The gardens of the Great West Way are beautiful whatever the

season, but here are the must-sees throughout the year..

78

HISTORIC STOPS: TRAIN TRAVEL

Making tracks on the Great West Way can point you at endless

amounts of history and fun facts to be discovered

along its length from London to Bristol.

YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

84

GOURMET GUIDE: FOOD & DRINK

Discover a wealth of hidden culinary delights and epicurean

experiences on the Great West Way.

90

MUSEUM GEMS

The Great West Way is home to some of England’s most

fascinating heritage sites and unmissable museums to visit on your

journey.

96

MIND, BODY AND SOUL

Take some time out for yourself and re-energise by adding

some wellness to your trip.

108

Pictured:

Cyclists at

Windsor

Castle

POST-COVID HOTEL STAYS

From the city, riverside, to the countryside - a safe and warm

welcome awaits.


Wonders await

those who venture

off the beaten path...

Royal patronage, rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture and beautiful natural

scenery along a 20 mile stretch of the River Thames. Add to this an abundance of

places to stay from 5 star resorts to riverside camping, quaint villages, one-of-a-kind

shops and a culinary scene headed by the likes of Heston Blumenthal and you’ll have a

reasonable idea of the treats in store for you in and around Windsor.

#WindsorIsWaiting

www.windsor.gov.uk


THE WAY FORWARD

A look at some of the highlights and

what’s new on the Great West Way

LOCKDOWN MIGHT HAVE PUT A STOP TO MANY

THINGS, BUT IT HASN’T STOPPED HOTELIERS

PREPARING TO ENSURE A VERY WARM WELCOME

ONCE IT IS SAFE FOR VISITORS TO RETURN.

For the ultimate city break you would be hard pushed to

find a better place to stay than the new Townhouse at the

Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. The TV series Bridgerton had us

swooning over the ravishing city of Bath, used as a location,

and now there’s this. Offering the best of both worlds – ultra

luxurious self-catering for up to five people, plus the hotel next

door for dining out or using the spa. The real wow factor facility

here, however, is private access to the Cross Bath. This sacred

open-air bath taps in to the city’s thermal waters and beats a

hot tub any day! Prices start from £183 per night.

thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

Look out for the new official UK “We’re

Good To Go” mark to signal that a business

has implemented Government and industry

COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in

place to maintain cleanliness and aid social

distancing. Many tourist attractions, shops,

places to stay, activities and places to eat and

drink on the Great West Way have now been

awarded the mark, with many more in the

process of applying.

8 GreatWestWay.co.uk


IN NEED OF A LUXURY SPA BREAK IN A REMARKABLE LOCATION TO

RECOVER THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT?

Perfectly sited adjacent to Windsor Great Park and The Savill Garden, this regal

country estate is destined to be the UK’s leading wellness retreat comprising

a sprawling world-class spa spanning 2,500 square metres with indoor and

outdoor pools, 18 treatments rooms, a salt room, Hamman and Japanese foot

spa. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, the new hotel resembles an English

countryside sanctuary following a multi-million-pound redevelopment of

the former Savill Court Hotel. A home away from home, with 200 spacious

guestrooms and suites with modern interiors using natural stone and soft

textures, and with many offering sweeping views of the surrounding gardens.

There’s also a Library club and even a barbershop under license from the iconic

St. James’s based Truefitt & Hill – the oldest Barbershop in the world.

fairmont-windsorpark.com

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

BE PREPARED

Businesses on the Great West Way

have been working hard to make sure

everything is safe before opening

their doors and welcoming visitors

back once more. Things may look

slightly different though, so please

be patient as we all get used to new

ways of doing things. Check for

restrictions before you travel and

book in advance where necessary.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

› If you want to visit a particular

attraction, you may need to pre-book

a time slot (even if you are a member).

Check online before you set off.

› When planning your trip, check that

important facilities like toilets and car

parks are open before you travel.

› Some of the best known beauty

spots on the Great West Way are

likely to be extremely popular. Don't

follow the herd - get off the beaten

track and discover our hidden gems to

avoid the crowds.

› Keep 1 metre + apart from anyone

outside your household – this not

only applies to walking, but running,

cycling, sitting and sunbathing too.

› Wear your face covering at all times

when on public transport including

buses, trains, taxis, and minicabs.

› Make sure you have a bank card

as many outlets are currently not

accepting cash.

THE LUNA DRIVE-IN CINEMA IS BACK FOR THE SUMMER!

With the government roadmap in place, The Luna Cinema is giving movie

lovers the chance to experience new and classic movies in a nostalgic, socially

distanced setting. From May, hosted at Blenheim Palace, everyone’s favourite

cult films from Legally Blonde to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as classics like

The Goonies, Grease, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing will be screening.

For further details and screen times visit:

lunadriveincinema.com/blenheim-palace

› Take hand sanitiser with you – you

don’t know where will be open for

you to wash your hands.

› Leave the car behind where possible

and visit nearby attractions by

walking or cycling.

GreatWestWay.co.uk 9


Take your

time on the

Kennet &

Avon Canal


FANCY AN URBAN ADVENTURE TO ONE OF

THE COUNTRY'S HIPPEST CITIES, STAYING IN A

BOUTIQUE HOTEL WITH A DIFFERENCE?

Arty micro chain Artist Residence is set to open its fifth

hotel in a former boot factory in Bristol’s Portland Square.

An eclectic mix of art and vintage, the new venue includes

28 quirky bedrooms alongside a café, bar and events

space. Your home from home in the heart of creative

Bristol, with comfy beds and a stylish decor of industrial,

vintage and bohemian collections. Book the spacious

Artist Suite – it features original Georgian cornicing, super

king size bed, open bathroom with free-standing roll-top

bathtub and powerful rainfall shower.

artistresidence.co.uk/our-hotels/bristol

VISIT THE WORLDS FIRST AND ONLY HORROR

EXPERIENCE DEDICATED TO AUTHOR MARY

SHELLEY AND HER CREATION, FRANKENSTEIN!

Extending over four atmospheric floors, including a

dank foreboding basement, Mary Shelley’s House

of Frankenstein is a new visitor attraction located in

Bath's Gay Street. The experience promises to be scarily

atmospheric, multi-sensory and fully immersive, "If I

cannot inspire love, I will cause fear" Shelley once said.

Afterwards, take a short (8-10 minutes) stroll down to

the Abbey Churchyard, where she wrote the majority of

Frankenstein, whilst living in lodgings - now home to the

iconic Pump Room (next to The Roman Baths).

houseoffrankenstein.com

STAY CONNECTED

BANKSY ARTWORK ON THE WALL OF READING PRISON

Reading’s former Grade II-listed prison, where Wilde was held between 1895

and 1897, has been causing a bit of a media stir. It is yet to be decided if the

site is going to be knocked down for a housing or redeveloped into an exciting

new cultural hub for the town. We are hopeful for the latter, and it seems

both Banksy, whose prisoner artwork appeared on the side of the prison wall,

possibly resembling famous inmate Oscar Wilde - escaping on a rope made

of bedsheets tied to a typewriter – and Kate Winslet, who grew up in Reading,

are too. Kate has been showing her support by supporting theatre company

Rabble who have plans for an immersive new theatre space.

livingreading.co.uk

CLICK

HERE

TO SUBSCRIBE TO

OUR E-NEWSLETTER

GreatWestWay.co.uk 11


Booking online

essential

Explore ancient chambers

and sacred springs in the

heart of Bath.

Book your slot online at:

romanbaths.co.uk


VIRTUAL SPECIAL

AERIAL VISTAS

Enjoy the Great West Way from a bird's-eye view

with our selection of stunning panoramic virtual

tours and captivating drone footage!

Words: Samantha Rutherford


GreatWestWay.co.uk 13


CLICK

HERE

WINDSOR

14 GreatWestWay.co.uk



GreatWestWay.co.uk

15


16 GreatWestWay.co.uk


CLICK

HERE

OLD SARUM


GreatWestWay.co.uk 17


CLICK

HERE

READING

18 GreatWestWay.co.uk


CLICK

HERE

BATH


GreatWestWay.co.uk 19


CLICK

HERE

BAILEY BALLOONS

20 GreatWestWay.co.uk


CLICK

HERE

STONOR


GreatWestWay.co.uk 21


22


CLICK

HERE

BRISTOL


23


CLICK

HERE

BLENHEIM

PALACE

24 GreatWestWay.co.uk


GreatWestWay.co.uk 25


26


MY GREAT WEST WAY:

ALEX

BRANNEN

Discover the Great West Way

through the eyes of a local, the

Communications Manager in

charge of the UK's largest town

So, we hear it is an exciting year for Reading with plans for a potential new

cultural hub and an anniversary to celebrate – tell us more?

Alex: Yes, Reading’s disused Victorian prison, where Oscar Wilde was convicted

after his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas was exposed, is hopefully going to be given

approval for an exciting redevelopment plan of the area into a new diverse cultural

and arts hub.

The prison is also part of the Abbey Quarter area, which celebrates 900 years this

year and it is possible that King Henry I of England is buried under what is the car

park of the Prison. The Abbey Ruins are separated from the Prison by one high wall,

so this is part of a huge cultural area's potential regeneration.

You must be busy then?!

Alex: Always! However, there has been plenty of support from passionate locals and

artists too. The prison has been used for cultural events for a number of years now,

with many celebrities performing in 2016 including Ralph Fiennes and Patti Smith,

as well as our ArtAngel exhibition which features the work →of people such as Steve

McQueen. Professional theatre company Rabble have some exciting ideas to bring

to the redevelopment – Banksy has recently claimed a new piece of wall art on the

side of the Prison wall and Kate Winslet has already promised to perform on opening

night if the plans became a reality. →

GreatWestWay.co.uk

27


Pictured left-right: Maiwand Lion - - one of the biggest cast iron statues in the world. Reading's Abbey Quarter;

The Oracle Shopping Centre, Reading's Riverside; Reading Prison: the restored Edwardian Thames Lido.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Alex: I work with hotels, museums, river boat

companies, shops and other tourism businesses to

make sure Reading puts on its best face for visitors.

Reading is a bit of an undiscovered gem, but through

the Great West Way, visitors are beginning to see

the breadth of what we have to offer. We are blessed

with the rivers Thames and Kennet and surrounding

lakes used for boating, swimming, SUP, jet ski-ing and

inflatable fun. Reading is a great outdoor destination as

well as a historic urban stopover.

What do you love most about your job?

Alex: I love taking people around Reading and telling

them the story of this fascinating place. Many people

don’t know that Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen have

strong links with Reading or that England’s last

undiscovered King, Henry I, was buried here. The

UK’s most famous biscuit manufacturer, Huntley and

Palmers, owned half the town in Victorian times and

we have glorious stretches of the River Thames and

Kennet flowing through the heart of the town. And

there’s loads more…not least a vibrant cultural scene.

How did you get started?

Alex: I started off my working life in tourism in London

in the 1990s, which was such an exciting time for the

Capital. After doing a variety of other jobs, I am really

enjoying sharing my enthusiasm again for the place in

which I live. Living and working in one place means you

really get the measure of what makes it tick.

What achievements are you most proud of?

Alex: I trained for the 2018 Reading Half Marathon,

a race that attracts 14,000 people to run through

the streets of the town every spring. I had never

been a runner but the whole of Reading turns out

to support the runners on Marathon Day – there’s

a great atmosphere - and you get the chance to

run round many of Reading’s main streets closed

to traffic and finish in the Madejski Stadium, home

of the Royals, Reading Football Club. Sadly, freak

snow led to the cancellation of the race and I had

to use my training to run the 22 km elsewhere, but I

managed it!

What do you find inspiring day-to-day? What

keeps the enthusiasm going?

Alex: There is a real sense of pride in Reading about

our town – our heritage - both the buildings and

the people, our cultural scene, dynamic business

environment and neighbourliness. We are a

welcoming place that wants to share what we have

with people more widely. We think visitors will agree.

Any interesting or funny anecdotes related to

your role or your experiences with visitors that

you can share?

Alex: Not funny but maybe useful when you get here.

The pronunciation of Reading is like the colour Red in

‘Redding’ not like ‘reading’ a book. Locals sometimes

refer to the town as ‘the Ding’ and if you are looking

for Reading on twitter, search #rdguk.

28 GreatWestWay.co.uk


What does slow travel mean to you?

Alex: I cycle to work in Reading town centre every

day – Reading is a good scale for cycling. We also have

lovely footpaths along the Thames and Kennet, river

boat companies, the UK’s best bus company and a

£900 million train station in the heart of the town. For

me, slow travel is any journey where you don’t have to

take the car. Any of those would be THE BEST way to

visit Reading.

What do you think makes the Great West Way

special?

Alex: I know when I travel on holiday that a trail type

itinerary that brings together a diverse experience

and range of places really helps me explore under my

own steam. I think the Great West Way will provide

great ideas for exploring a special part of England and

allow visitors to see a number of different sides of our

country, from charming countryside and villages to

gritty multicultural urban landscapes – all within really

easy travelling distance of each other.

Do you have any insider tips or advice for travellers

who want to experience the touring route ‘like a

local’?

Alex: Chat to people when you are visiting/travelling.

Diffident British people probably won’t make the first

move to talk to you but if you ask their opinion or

start the ball rolling they’ll be delighted to share their

knowledge and experience with you. My best holiday

memories have always involved local people so treat

every pub, train journey or shopping trip as a chance to

make a new friend.

Describe your perfect adventure on the Great West

Way:

Alex: I think it is the diversity of any one day on the

Great West Way that makes it special. If you were in

Reading, that could involve a guided tour of the Abbey

Ruins, open air swimming at the restored Edwardian

Thames Lido, watching Reading FC in action at the

‘Mad Stad’, afternoon tea at The Roseate or a great live

band at one of Reading’s many live music venues.

What’s your favourite thing to eat or drink along the

touring route, a meal, a local delicacy or a favourite

tipple perhaps? And any cafes, restaurants or pubs

you can recommend?

Alex: Many first time visitors to the UK are surprised

by how multicultural our country is. 150 languages

are spoken in Reading schools, for example. For food

and drink fans, one of the benefits of our multicultural

society is the amazing choice of food on offer. In

Reading, you could try the Spanish/North African

influence at Thames Lido, the new Ethiopean café in

Palmer Park, Modern Indian at Clays Hyderabadi or

the non-licensed Lebanese Bakery House or take your

pick on the Wednesday/Friday street food markets.

Fans of ‘bitter’ (British ale/beer) should head for one

of the best pubs in the south of England, the Nags

Head or one of the new taprooms springing up around

Reading. →

GreatWestWay.co.uk

29


Connecting Wiltshire’s Communities

NEW! TransWilts

Walking and Cycling

leaflets from

transwilts.org

Bike hire available from

Melksham

Station

arrowdow

CLICK

HERE

TO

DOWNLOAD


The joy of the

Great West Way is

that every traveller’s

experience is

different.

Every journey is

exceptional in its

own way.

Are you a city, town or country person?

Alex: Definitely a city person. Having said that, as a

family we walk in the nearby lovely Chiltern Hills just

north of Reading whenever we can, and we enjoy a

ramble round the walls of the abandoned Roman city

of Silchester, south of Reading. But I never tire of the

buzz of people so it’s a city life for me.

Can you pick a place along the Great West Way that

best represents you and what you do?

Alex: I have lived and worked in London, Wiltshire

and Reading along the Great West Way so I know the

territory well. I’ve travelled much further afield too

but London remains for me the greatest city I have

ever explored. If the scale of London might be a bit

overwhelming, Reading offers many of the advantages

of big city life without the drawbacks. If I were to

choose a weekend away on the trail, I’d head to Bristol.

A great maritime history, University city and urban grit,

Bristol wears its green credentials proudly and is a great

cultural destination as well.

Are there any English stereotypes or traditions

you’d like to set straight?

Alex: I think visitors sometime have an outdated

concept of what England and the English are like. Like

every country, our history and culture has evolved

in recent decades, but we have done a good job

in protecting the best of our countryside and built

heritage. On the Great West Way, you’ll be able to find

a traditional view of England often depicted in films,

but you will also find a vibrant, cosmopolitan place

that celebrates the best of the world in a harmonious

co-existence.

If you could choose one must-visit attraction along

the Great West Way, what would it be and why?

Alex: Perhaps not strictly an attraction, but the

River Thames from London to Reading is a majestic

waterway and its many twists and turns tell the story

of this part of the world. Take some time to walk, cycle,

take a cruise, hire a boat, row or even swim!

What do you think will surprise first-time visitors

about the Great West Way?

Alex: The Great West Way is dense with things to

do and places to visit. You might think you are going

to ‘skate’ through it in no time, but you could easily

spend several weeks! The route is particularly rich in

great specialist museums. In Reading, try the museum

of food and the countryside - the Museum of English

Rural Life, or seek out the Huntley Palmer biscuit tin

collection at the Reading Museum.

What’s your preferred mode of transport: train, car,

bus or boat? Why?

Alex: I would choose bike – you can set your own pace,

stop where you like, get off the beaten track and you

just see so much more than you do through a window.

Oh, and it’s good for you!

Read more interviews with

the people who make the

Great West Way so special

- chefs, gardeners, tour

guides and more.

CLICK

HERE

GreatWestWay.co.uk 31


32 GreatWestWay.co.uk


ENJOYING THE RIVER

Since the Great West Way flows along

with wonderful waterways, opportunities

to splash about in the water abound

Words: Samantha Rutherford

ALONG THE GREAT WEST WAY there are plentiful

opportunities to mess about in boats – or in

canoes, or on a paddle board perhaps. And,

with the Kennet & Avon Canal linking the River

Thames in the east with the River Avon in the west, the

Great West Way can even be travelled without setting foot

on dry land!

For a sedate sort of water sport, try one of the many

types of boating trips. You could hire a rowing boat at

Henley-on-Thames and gently row downstream, past rafts

of fluffy ducklings. Or kayak carefully down the Thames,

past the Houses of Parliament and other equally big sites,

on an alternative tour of London. Or even go stand-up

paddle boarding on Bristol's Floating Harbour.

Water sports aren’t just for lakes or oceans, the rivers

and harbours along the way are ideal waterways to cool

down in and try something new. Paddle past Brunel’s SS

Great Britain whilst on a tour of Bristol Harbour - or tackle

the Giant SUP from Original Wild which fits up to 9 people,

as well as kayaking, canoeing and raft building. It’s a great

bonding experience and totally hilarious, there’s nothing

like a bit of laughter therapy! You can also swim in the river

at designated places such as Warleigh Weir near Bath and

north of Dundas Aqueduct.

The Great West Way’s scenic waterways support various

water sports too. Canoeing, kayaking, canal boat riding,

stand-up paddle boarding… Viewing the touring route

from the water will give you a whole different perspective

on the landscape and its natural inhabitants. Just watch out

for the blue flash of a kingfisher as it dips down to catch a

fish. (Speaking of which, there are many places in the Great

West Way to go fishing too.)

There are some more heart-pumping options as well,

such as Cotswolds Water Park, comprised of 150 lakes,

ideal for people who like being by - or more specifically on

or in - the water. You can kayak, canoe, windsurf, waterski,

wakeboard, sail or brave the chilly waters and go for a

refreshing open water swim. Or you can just hire a great

big inflatable and have a laugh in the water with family and

friends.

The Thames might be London’s river, but it is away

from the city, further west on the Great West Way, that

the waterway is at its most beautiful. The River Thames

flows through Windsor, Henley-on-Thames, Reading and

Oxford (where it is called the Isis). Did you know that at

215 miles, it is the longest river entirely in England and the

second-longest in the UK, after the River Severn? Climb

aboard one of the Thames River Boat’s vessels at Kew to →

GreatWestWay.co.uk

33


“Cruise upsteam through Boveney Lock passing

The Willows, Bray Film Studios and Monkey Island

enjoying the wonderful views of Windsor Castle.”

Richmond and Hampton Court and

spot wildlife while cruising down the

river. On this relaxed journey you’ll

pass Kew Gardens and Richmond

Park before sailing on through the

locks at Richmond, past the imposing

Palladian villa of Marble Hill House

and the splendid 17th-century Ham

House, to reach the historic royal

palace at Hampton Court.

Further upriver, there are boat trips

with French Brothers departing

from Windsor Promenade. You’ll

cruise upsteam through Boveney

Lock passing The Willows, Bray Film

Studios and Monkey Island enjoying

the wonderful views of Windsor

Castle during the return journey.

Or, you might enjoy hiring a boat in

Henley or join Salters Steamers along

the Thames from Reading to Henley,

Wind in the Willows style. Or why not

head along the Kennet & Avon Canal

on a Canadian canoe from Towpath

Canoe Hire, Bradford on Avon?

The Kennet & Avon Canal is 87 miles

of beautiful waterway from Reading

to Bristol. No matter where you are

along the stretch, there are plenty of

chances to get out on the water. Hop

on Jubilee, The Rose of Hungerford,

Kenavon Venture or Barbara Mclellan

for a relaxing boat trip. If you want

to have a go at being captain and

explore the canal for longer, you

can hire you own canal boat at

Honeystreet Mill Boats and Café,

Bruce Accessible Boats and Sally

Narrowboats.

Cyclists might prefer flowing

along the Kennet & Avon Canal on

two wheels along the cycle paths


from Bath to Reading. The 85-

mile cycle route is packed with

amazing attractions, incredible

countryside and an abundance of

wildlife. Highlights along the way

include Bradford on Avon’s Tithe

Barn, the Pewsey White Horse

and the dramatic flight of locks at

Caen Hill. For a day ride that’s not

overly challenging, the Bath to

Devizes section (22 miles) is almost

completely traffic-free. Why not

start your bike ride in Reading and

finish in the spa city of Bath where

you can treat yourself to a hot soak

at Thermae Bath Spa!

If you don’t want to travel the Great

West Way entirely by canal and river,

there are numerous places along the

route for getting out on the water

for the day or even just for an hour

or two. South Oxfordshire is an area

full of natural beauty, picturesque

villages, shops to browse and places

to stay and to eat. Book a stay in

Henley-on-Thames, home to the

world’s most famous rowing event,

the annual Henley Royal Regatta.

The regatta first took place in 1839

and now every July the stretch of →


the river that runs through this attractive town on

the Berkshire-Oxfordshire border hosts races that

attract the very best international crews. A channel

of the river stays open to spectators throughout the

event – this is a great time to take to the water and

see world-class rowing up close.

The rest of the year there are cruises with Hobbs

of Henley on the same stretch of water, including

short sightseeing cruises, wildlife spotting trips, gin

and jazz nights and even Christmas cruises to meet

Santa.

The other side of the North Wessex Downs you

will come to the Caen Hill Lock Flight, known in

narrowboating circles as one of the biggest and best

challenges in English canal cruising. This flight of

locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal runs for just over

two miles up the eponymous hill into the market

town of Devizes. On this stretch the canal rises 237

feet (72 metres), using 29 locks to manoeuvre boats

up and down the hill. Tackling the lock flight – in

either direction – takes at least half a day. Each lock

must be manually opened and closed using heavy

wooden gates, each time allowing the water to

either fill the lock or drain away from it to change the

water level and keep you climbing up or down.

Standing atop your boat and feeling the water

rise or fall around you is one of any narrowboating

holiday’s most memorable moments – that and

mooring up at the pub afterwards, of course. You

can visit or stay at the nearby Devizes Marina

Village, where you hire a canal boat to tackle the

locks yourself. If you don’t fancy doing the grunt

work yourself, you can leave your narrowboat at

Foxhangers at the bottom of the hill and walk up to

the town along the towpath, watching others hard at

work as you go.

The Kennet & Avon Canal continues to travel

along the Great West Way from Newbury in the east

to Bath in the west. One of the prettiest sections

of this historic waterway is the section between

the delightful Wiltshire town of Bradford on Avon

and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath. Bath

Narrowboats have electric boat and canoe hire from

Brassknocker Basin, five miles outside Bath, and one

day is ample time for exploring this quiet stretch of

water with its canalside pubs and tea gardens. Allow

some time in Bradford on Avon itself too, this pretty

town has Medieval and Georgian buildings tumbling

down the hillside to the water’s edge, many of them

now excellent delis, cafés and boutiques.

36 GreatWestWay.co.uk


In the south of The Cotswolds and just north of

Swindon is an extensive area of watery playground.

Over some 40 square miles, more than 150 lakes

pool across the landscape, offering myriad ways to

get out on the water. This is the best place on the

Great West Way to try your hand at waterskiing,

wakeboarding or windsurfing or to have a go at the

latest watersports craze, stand up paddleboarding.

You can learn to sail here too, and there are canoes,

kayaks and rowing boats for hire, as well as thrilling

rides atop massive inflatables that are sure to put a

smile on your face.

Rather just have a swim? Head to Cotswold

Country Park and Beach where the South Lake has

an extensive beach and a paddling area for children,

plus pedalos and rowing boats for hire.

In Bath, Original Wild has stand up paddle

boarding tours leaving from Pulteney Bridge, which

will introduce the city from a very different angle,

standing on a board afloat in the Avon.

Along the river at Forester Road, Bath Boating

Station hire out canoes, kayaks, skiffs and punts so

that you can explore at your own pace.

Or, you could cruise along the River Avon to

Bathampton, a pretty village just two miles east

of Bath, or into the city as far as Pulteney Bridge. If

you’d rather stick to easier waters, the more placid

Kennet & Avon Canal meets the Avon in Bath and

there are narrowboats for hire by the day from Bath

Narrowboats.

At the end of the route Bristol’s Floating Harbour

offers not only one of the best ways to get around

the city by ferry, with boats running from Temple

Meads train station into and around the city centre

and Floating Harbour, but there are also cream

tea cruises on the River Avon with Bristol Packet.

Bristol Ferries run cruises out to Beese’s Tea Garden

for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, and you can also

paddle board around with SUP Bristol.

Bristol Packet and Bristol Ferries also offer cruises

from the Floating Harbour to Avon Gorge and

Wapping Wharf, where you’ll sail along the River

Avon beside Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great

Britain, and beneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge,

another of the great engineer’s imposing and

unmissable designs.

Have you a copy of our new Kennet & Avon Canal map?

Slow down and enjoy 87 miles of the Kennet & Avon Canal

with our Great West Way map to include places to visit,

recommended accommodation, waterside restaurants and more.

GreatWestWay.co.uk/explore/maps

GreatWestWay.co.uk

37


MADE OF

ENGLAND

AT THE HEART OF

THE GREAT WEST WAY

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.

#EscapeTheEveryday

It’s Time for Wiltshire

www.visitwiltshire.co.uk


FIVE OF THE BEST

SMART PHONE

TOURS

Discover the Great West Way at your own pace

with these easy-to-follow smartphone apps

1BANKSY BRISTOL TRAIL

Fans of street art will love this new

self-guided smart phone tour in Bristol

dedicated to the famous pseudonymous

street artist, Banksy. The tour takes

you to see his works of art around the

Floating Harbour, Park Street, Stokes

Croft and Montpelier, and includes

Valentine, the new artwork that only

appeared in Bristol last year.

CLICK

HERE

TO DOWNLOAD ON THE

APP STORE OR GET IT ON

GOOGLE PLAY


GreatWestWay.co.uk

39


CLICK

HERE

TO FIND OUT MORE

AND TO BOOK THE BATH

AND WILTSHIRE TOUR

2WALKING TOURS, BATH

Lose yourself without getting lost with

the must-have app when visiting Bath.

Available from the iTunes App Store or

Google Play to your mobile phone or

tablet this app offers a large choice of

themed sightseeing walks to include Bath’s

museums, coffee shops and shopping

gems, to where to find Jane Austen.

3BRUNEL TOUR, BRISTOL

When in Bristol, The Boat and the Bridge:

an audio tour about the creations and

genius of Brunel, offers a fantastic selfguided

insight into the creations and

genius of Brunel. Wind your way along the

river Avon, on a route that’s almost entirely

pedestrianised, and end at the Clifton

Suspension Bridge’s official viewpoint.

CLICK

HERE

TO DOWNLOAD

GPSMYCITY

CLICK

HERE

TO DOWNLOAD THE

BOAT AND THE BRIDGE

40 GreatWestWay.co.uk


4 5

SELF-GUIDED WALKS

Take your self-guided exploration to the

next level with an organised walking

holiday. Socially distancing yourself from

others is made easy when you are going

solo, and with the experts taking care of

your itinerary, maps and downloadable

tours all you need to worry about is

enjoying the journey. Try Cotswolds Walks

self-guided five night Bath and Wiltshire

tour, visit the World Heritage Site of Bath

with Roman Baths and Spa, and see the

iconic villages of Castle Combe and Lacock

with its magnificent Abbey.

NATIONAL TRUST APP

If you plan to visit one of the beautiful

National Trust properties on the Great

West Way, Basildon Park, The Courts

Garden or Tyntesfield perhaps, then be sure

to download the free National Trust - Days

Out App. Plan and enhance your visit by

staying up to date with events throughout

the year, download maps, keep a record of

the places you’ve visited, and make a wish

list for where to go next. Plus, everything

you need is available offline, so you can

use the app even in the most remote and

off-grid locations!

CLICK

HERE

TO DOWNLOAD THE

NATIONAL TRUST APP

ON THE APP STORE OR

GET IT ON GOOGLE PLAY

GreatWestWay.co.uk

41


TEN OF THE BEST

UNFORGETTABLE

EXPERIENCES

The Great West Way is packed with hidden

gems and unexpected treasures. There’s

something for everyone, and we hope you

enjoy our top ten unmissable adventures

1

FOR THE CYCLIST

Did you know the National Cycle Network route

can take you the entire length of the Great West

Way, and beyond? In total, from Greenwich,

London to Fishguard, Wales it’s an epic 432 miles.

Whether you choose to challenge yourself to a

week-long tour of the entire route from London

to Bristol (Route 4) or prefer to explore sections

of the Great West Way at a more leisurely pace,

you will be sure to find your perfect ride. The rural

charm of the touring route, including three Areas

of Outstanding Natural Beauty, makes it a dreamy

destination for any bike tour. There are plenty of

family-friendly woodland paths, long distance

cycle routes and exhilarating downhill mountain

bike trails. There are even lots of cute bike-friendly

B&Bs to stay in on your way. Experiencing the

route on a bike or e-bike is a fabulous option for a

charity challenge, a rewarding solo adventure or

an unforgettable family day out.

42 GreatWestWay.co.uk


VISIT SAFELY

Protect yourself and others

Businesses have been working

hard to make sure everything is

safe for both staff and visitors.

Things may look slightly different,

so please be patient as we all get

used to new ways of doing things.

Websites and businesses will

be displaying new certification,

including the nationallyrecognised

"We're Good to

Go" mark to demonstrate the

measures they have in place to

protect us all from COVID-19.


43


Did you know?

The Great West Way

route passes through

three Areas of

Outstanding Natural

Beauty. In London,

the southern section

of The Chilterns’

324-miles makes a

great start to the

route, The Wiltshire

White Horses and

the White Horse at

Uffington will be a

joy to spot ambling

in the North Wessex

Downs, or start your

tour from Bath and

follow The Cotswold

Way north, for 102

more, glorious miles.

2

FOR THE WALKER

Why not try the Great West Way six-day walking

and sightseeing tour? If you love nothing more

than exploring by foot then this fabulous themed

itinerary, taking you to some of the very best

locations along the route, will be sure not to

disappoint. Highlights include walking to Ancient

Avebury and Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve, through

pretty villages including Calne and Devizes, and

visiting attractions to include Westonbirt, The

National Arboretum, The Roman Baths’ Great

Bath by the light of flickering torches and Brunel’s

SS Great Britain. Worried you won’t keep up?

The walks are mainly flat and vary in length from

a reasonable four-nine miles. There are plenty

of pubs and cafés along the route for lunches,

afternoon tea or a drink at the end of the day. You

can book this tour with Great West Way Official

Tour Operators, Active England, Alison Howell’s

Foot Trails or Compass Holidays.

44 GreatWestWay.co.uk


3FOR THE BOOKWORM

Fancy stepping into the scene from one of your

favourite classic novels by getting dressed up and

joining in the fun of the Jane Austen Festival? This

annual celebration of everything Austen lures

Janeites from all over to the beautiful city of Bath

each September. It’s definitely one of the more

eccentric things to do in Bath, but don’t be shy -

come with your frilliest frock, reticule and parasol

and prepare to be thrilled (in a most elegant

way, naturally). The programme is different each

year, but past events have included costumed

promenades, etiquette talks, book readings, dance

workshops and masked balls. Surrounded by Bath’s

historic golden architecture you’ll feel totally

immersed in the era


GreatWestWay.co.uk

45


4FOR THE MOTORIST

Car enthusiasts will love the experience of going

behind the wheel of a Formula Ford 1600 or

Lotus Elise and driving laps of the Castle Combe

circuit racetrack, or for something extra special,

consider hiring a classic car. Some much-adored,

iconic choices include the Jaguar E-Type, the

nippy MGB Convertible and the Austin-Healey.

You can choose and hire your special wheels

from Vintage Classics and spend your day driving

stylishly through some of the prettiest villages

in England. Take your time as you cruise past the

quaint limestone cottages of Castle Combe, play

spot the chalky White Horse as you head to the

characterful village of Pewsey, and pass through

Tiddleywink, an adorable Wiltshire hamlet

consisting of just eight cottages - one of which is

historically known to serve beer to passing cattle

drovers. Don’t forget your camera, this will be a

day to remember.

46 GreatWestWay.co.uk


5

FOR THE

HORTICULTURALIST

For an unforgettable horticultural experience,

make a beeline for Kew Gardens. For a quick and

easy way to see the vast 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.

Did you know?

At Kew you can travel

the world with ‘The

Huntress of Flowers’,

Marianne North? The

boundary-breaking

Victorian botanist

who travelled solo

around the world

faithfully recording

the exotics plants

she encountered

has an exhibition

showing displaying

extraordinary oil

paintings - 833 of

them, in geographical

order - at her

eponymous gallery.


GreatWestWay.co.uk

47


6

FOR THE FOODIE

Bons vivants will love the Great West Way for its

superior gourmet offering – especially given it is

the only place where you can experience all five of

the UK's Three Michelin Starred restaurants. Now

there’s a tasty challenge to add to the bucket list!

This incredible gastronomic journey will take you

on a special and indulgent tour sampling signature

dishes from some of the world’s finest chefs, with

equally impressive hospitality, at their British

restaurants. If you are starting your journey in

West London, your first stop should be Restaurant

Gordon Ramsay, followed by Alain Ducasse at the

Dorchester, and Sketch Lecture Room and Library.

Next head to Berkshire for an incredible fine dining

experience at The Waterside Inn. Then last, but by

no means least, Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck will

be unforgettable too – although this depends on

if you have been fortunate enough to book a table

reservation. Be sure to book in advance.

For the ultimate epicurean

experience, book a stay at

Bray Cottages Lavender

House, and enjoy Heston

Blumenthal’s son, Jack

Blumenthal and Scott

Perkins as your own private

chefs! Yes, that’s right, the

talented pair launched

their delicious private

dining experiences at Bray

Cottages in the heart of the

village, during lockdown.

You might wish to stay

for a few extra nights, as

there are seven Michelin

starred restaurants within

walking distance of the

cottage, to include, Heston

Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and

The Waterside Inn, Alain

Roux’s The Waterside Inn

and Roux at Skindles, plus

The Crown at Bray and

Caldesi in Campagna.

braycottages.com and

jackandscott.com

48 GreatWestWay.co.uk


7FOR THE ZOOPHILIST

For the ultimate overnight wildlife experience,

the recently opened Camp Baboon at Wild Place

Project is an absolute must. Think behind-thescenes

animal encounters, twilight tours of the

park and fully heated cosy wood cabins. Head into

the woods for a range of fun and exciting bush

craft activities, spot the native wildlife, and when

the gates close and you’re the only guests on-site,

toast marshmallows round a crackling fire before

settling down for sleep surrounded by amazing

animals from all around the world, including the

flamboyantly-furred Gelada Baboons! Wake up to

a special sunrise tour of the enclosures, and enjoy

feeding animals breakfast - just watch out for

those cheeky ring-tailed lemurs! Then enjoy free

entry to Camp Baboon’s sister property Bristol

Zoo Gardens, home to over 400 species set within

12 acres of beautiful gardens, including undercover

animal houses and wonderful picnic spots.

GreatWestWay.co.uk

49


8

FOR THE STYLIST

The fashion-conscious won’t want to miss a

trip to one of the designer shopping outlets,

McArthur Glen, Swindon, Kilver Court Designer

Village, or a short detour off the route, Clarks

Village. While lovers of homeware, book worms

and art collectors should keep their eyes open for

one-of-a-kind pieces in the many independent

boutiques, gift shops and museums along the

route. From a glass bauble at Bristol Blue Glass,

a stylish sarsen necklaces at Stonehenge to Rose

Nisbet handmade ceramics in Bristol, it is very

easy to come away with something unique and

special as a momentum of your Great West Way

holiday. For an all-encompassing super special

stylist shopping treat however Bath is the place to

be. The high street is made for fashion gurus, while

the smaller independent shops offer an eclectic

selection of unique finds. Mark the moment with

a unique piece of jewellery from Nicholas Wylde,

stop off at the Roman Baths to pick up a souvenir

or admire fashion through the ages at the Fashion

Museum Bath.

50 GreatWestWay.co.uk


9

FOR THE CHILDREN

Little ones will love the experience of getting lost

(and found) in the world’s largest hedge maze!

Longleat’s epic hedge maze is a short journey south

of the Great West Way (so parents please try not

to get lost before you get there). It was created

with 16,000 English yew trees, and more than two

miles of pathways, so it’s no easy feat reaching the

central observation tower. It’s a strangely satisfying

challenge to set yourself, but don’t take too long

- there’s a whole safari park to explore, not to

mention a glorious Elizabethan stately home.

10

FOR THE COMPETITOR

If you love a challenge then why not try your hand

at playing a game of Aunt Sally?! The Cotswolds

remains a stronghold for this traditional English

game that can be traced back to the 17th century.

The skittle-like lark is popular in country pubs,

especially in Oxfordshire, and involves teams

aiming wooden batons at a ‘doll’, which used

to resemble an old aunt. It can get competitive,

there’s even a world championship (singles knock

out) competition for it which takes place annually

(although not in 2020) a little north of the Great

West Way at Charlbury Beer Festival. Just don’t try

this one at home folks.

GreatWestWay.co.uk 51


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 prize to go here!

THANK 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 2022

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

instagram.com/GreatWestWay

of finalists. Readers - I hope these images

and tag @GreatWestWay

inspire you and thank you for helping us to

choose our Capturing the Moment

or use the hashtag

Photography Competition 2021 winner!

#GreatWestWay

52 GreatWestWay.co.uk


1

2

3

4

5

6

GreatWestWay.co.uk 53


7

8

9

10

WINNERS PRIZE

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!

PICTURE CREDITS

îThe Roman Bath

1 @ni.co.let.ta 6

îBath

2 @daragh_cuthbert 7

îThe Circus, Bath

3 @her.grand.tour 8

îWiltshire

4 @dansramblings 9

îSunflowers

5 @casperfarrellphoto 10

îMarlborough

@pixiemarmalade

îPulteney Bridge

@emilymckay90

îVale of Pewsey

@stephen_davis_photos

îBristol

@matthewpriceartist

îAvebury Stones

@eagleeyeaerialphotography

54 GreatWestWay.co.uk


CAST YOUR VOTE FOR A

CHANCE TO WIN A PRIZE!

îVote for your favourite finalist

and you will be automatically entered

into our competition to win a luxury

weekend in Bath for two staying

overnight with breakfast in a Superior

Room at Apex City of Bath Hotel!

SIMPLY VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

îGreatWestWay.co.uk/competition

Closing date for all entries is 31 December

2021. The winner will be announced in

January 2022. Terms and conditions apply,

please see website page for details.

CAPTURING

THE MOMENT

PHOTOGRAPHY

WINNER

2020

WIN!

Bradford on Avon @wordyelaine

OUR 2020 WINNER!

îCongratulations to Elaine Abbott,

(@wordyelaine on Instagram) the

talented winner of our Capturing the

Moment Photography Competition

2020! Elaine has won free family tickets

to a host of iconic attractions along the

Great West Way, plus a Bombay Sapphire

Cocktail Masterclass experience!

The winner of our 2021 competition

will win free tickets to include Noah’s Ark

Zoo Farm and an afternoon tea for two at

The Reading Room, situated within The

Roseate Reading hotel.

GreatWestWay.co.uk 55


56


STRIKING

ARCHITECTURE

TO SEE ON THE ROUTE

There are many impressive styles of architecture to see on the

Great West Way. How many in our list here have you visited?

Words: Samantha Rutherford

57


CLIFTON

SUSPENSION

BRIDGE

BRISTOL

Be sure to stroll across

Bristol's famous Clifton

Suspension Bridge. One of

Victorian engineer Isambard

Kingdom Brunel’s most

striking works, it straddles

the dramatic Avon Gorge.

Pop into the Visitor Centre in

Leigh Woods to find out more

about the people who built,

maintain and treasure it.

Entrance to the Visitor Centre

is free, although donations

are appreciated.

58

GreatWestWay.co.uk


GREAT

PAGODA

KEW

Kew’s Pagoda was completed

in 1762 as a gift for Princess

Augusta, the founder of

the Gardens. It was one of

several Chinese buildings

designed for Kew by Sir

William Chambers, who had

spent time travelling and

studying the architecture of

East Asia. A popular ‘folly’ of

the age, it offered one of the

earliest and finest bird’s eye

views of London – which you

can enjoy today, thanks to a

major restoration project. The

Great Pagoda will re-open

for pre-booked guided tours

from 5 June 2021 - so enjoy

climbing up the Great Pagoda

and seeing those spectacular

views across the capital.


GreatWestWay.co.uk 59


BOMBAY

SAPPHIRE

DISTILLERY

HAMPSHIRE

Based at Laverstoke Mill

in rural Hampshire, just 15

miles from Winchester, the

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

is in a conservation area

with over 1000 years

of history. For over 225

years, the Victorian and

Georgian buildings set

astride the crystal-clear

River Test produced bank

note paper for the Bank

of England and the British

Empire. Now, Laverstoke

Mill is a state-of-the-art

sustainable distillery,

which produces every drop

of Bombay Sapphire gin.

Chart hundreds of years of

Laverstoke Mill’s illustrious

history, married with the

fascinating heritage of gin

and Bombay Sapphire.

Watch the production of

gin behind the scenes in

the Dakin Still House, and

uncover the secrets of

Bombay Sapphire’s unique

vapour-infusion distillation

process.

Discover your personal

taste profile in the

Dry Room, then use

your profile to order a

complimentary cocktail

from the Mill Bar suited to

your tastes.

60 GreatWestWay.co.uk


BRISTOL

CATHEDRAL

BRISTOL

Bristol’s beautiful and

historic Cathedral is located

on College Green in the

West End of the city. A

church has almost certainly

stood on the site for over a

thousand years, but it came

to prominence in 1140 when

Robert Fitzhardinge founded

the Abbey of St Augustine.

The Chapter House and

Abbey Gatehouse remain

clear to see, and the other

remains are to be found

within Bristol Cathedral

School. The eastern end of

the Cathedral, especially

in the choir, gives Bristol

Cathedral a unique place in

the development of British

and European architecture.

The nave, choir and aisles are

all the same height, making

Bristol Cathedral the major

example of a hall church in

Great Britain and one of the

finest to be found anywhere

in the world.


GreatWestWay.co.uk

61


THE CIRCUS

BATH

Designated by UNESCO as a

World Heritage Site, Bath is

home to some of the most

impressive architectural

sights in the world including

the Royal Crescent, the Circus

and Pulteney Bridge. It is no

wonder then that this golden

city has been welcoming

visitors for over 2,000 years

62

GreatWestWay.co.uk


CABOT TOWER

BRISTOL

If you’d like to experience

a slightly less well-known

architectural experience, take

a trek up Brandon Hill to the

105ft Cabot Tower - then

climb up the tower’s spiral

staircase, where you’ll be

rewarded with panoramic

views of the city and further

architectural delights, to

include Clifton Suspension

Bridge and Bristol Cathedral.

Cabot Tower was built to

commemorate John Cabot’s

voyage from Bristol to the

continent of North America

over four hundred years ago.


GreatWestWay.co.uk 63


WILTON

WINDMILL

WILTSHIRE

Enjoy a guided tour and find

out about how a Victorian

miller would have lived and

how the windmill works.

Built in 1821 and set high in

the North Wessex Downs

Area of Outstanding Natural

Beauty, Wilton Windmill is

the only working windmill

in the Wessex region. Picnic

area and site accessible all

year round. Guided tours,

refreshments and stone

ground flour available during

opening times. Fabulous

walking and great views – a

very special place.

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THE BRIDGE

TEAROOMS

BRADFORD

ON AVON

The afternoon ritual of

serving tea has been

developed to a fine art here,

and is so accomplished that

the Bridge Tea Rooms has

been recognized as excellent

by the prestigious UK Tea

Guild for many years. Delicate

bone china, the finest leaf

teas, and friendly staff in

Victorian costumes serving

home-made cakes, pastries

and sandwiches. Housed in a

former blacksmith's cottage

dating from 1502, the Bridge

Tea Rooms positively oozes

atmosphere, and the classical

music playing gently in the

background sets a tranquil

tone.

66 GreatWestWay.co.uk


THE PUMPKIN

TOWER

TROWBRIDGE

The Pumpkin Tower is in

the heart of Trowbridge, the

county town of Wiltshire,

with a rich industrial heritage.

As well as visiting the intriguing

Pumpkin Tower, said to be the

creation of local business owner

Thomas Rothschild, named

after the nickname he had

for his daughter, pop into the

Information Centre and pick up

a copy of the Trowbridge Ted’s

Terrible Town Trail. The team can

offer advice on how to get the

most out of your stay, and the

map will take you around the

town, exploring the more gory

side of Trowbridge’s history!


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BRISTOL

OLD VIC

BRISTOL

The oldest continuallyrunning

theatre in the

English-speaking world

can be found, perhaps

unsurprisingly, down

the cobbled King Street

of Bristol. Yet despite

its storied, tiered

interior, the shows here

are as contemporary

as they come. Be

challenged by modernday

interpretations of

Shakespeare classics, hear

top thinkers talk and see

fresh ideas expressed

through dance. A whole

cast of famous actors

learnt to walk the boards

at the Old Vic Theatre

School, including Daniel

Day-Lewis and Peter

O’Toole. Did you know?

Since autumn 2018 you’ve

been able to enjoy a pretheatre

meal in front of the

theatre’s original facade at

the 1766 Bar & Kitchen.

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STRAWBERRY

HILL HOUSE

TWICKENHAM

Strawberry Hill House &

Garden has been open to

visitors for over 250 years.

Created by Horace Walpole in

the 18th century, Strawberry

Hill is internationally famous

as Britain's finest example

of Georgian Gothic revival

architecture.


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THE ROMAN

BATHS

BATH

Bath was founded upon

natural hot springs with

the steaming water playing

a key role throughout its

history. Lying in the heart

of the city the Roman Baths

were constructed around 70

AD as a grand bathing and

socialising complex. It is now

one of the best preserved

Roman remains in the world.

1,170,000 litres of steaming

spring water reaching 46°C

still fill the bathing site every

single day. The Romans

believed that this was the

mystical work of the Gods but

we now know that the water

source, which comes from

the King’s Spring, fell as rain

water around 10,000 BC.

Visit The Great Bath, the

magnificent epicentre to

the complex and walk on

the ancient pavements as

the Romans did 2,000 years

ago. The Great Bath that lies

below street level can also

be viewed from the Terrace,

which is adorned with statues

and shadowed by the great

Abbey. Other chambers to

explore include the remains

of the ancient heated rooms

and changing rooms as well

as tepid and plunge pools.

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YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

CASTLES ON THE GREAT WEST WAY

› Highclere Castle, or ‘The Real Downton

Abbey’ as it is now known, is where most of

Downton Abbey the TV series and movie were

filmed. Highclere Castle is currently home to

the eighth Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

Throughout the year, Highclere Castle holds

tours and events open to the public where you

can explore the Estate and the various filming

locations that have appeared on our screens.

› Berkeley Castle is considered by many as a

hidden gem; it was built in 1153 by the Berkeley

family, who still live there. Over the centuries

it has changed from a foreboding fortress to

a welcoming family home. 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. Featured in The White Princess, Wolf

Hall, Poldark, The Hollow Crown, The Spanish

Princess and Johnny English Strikes Again.

› Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest

inhabited castle in the world. It has been the

family home of British kings and queens for

almost 1,000 years and is today one of the

official residences of Her Majesty The Queen.

In 2018, the Castle provided a spectacular

backdrop to two royal weddings, which took

place in St George’s Chapel.

Find more inspiration from our website:

greatwestway.co.uk/see-and-do/attractions

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Pictured above: The Savill Building, Savill Garden, Windsor Pictured below left-right: Stonor Park, Wonder Woods;

Playing croquet on the lawn at National Trust's Tyntesfield, Somerset

72


GARDENS THROUGH

THE SEASONS

The gardens of the Great West Way are

beautiful whatever the season, but here are

the must-sees throughout the year

Words: Adrienne Wyper

SPRING SPLENDOURS

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!

• SAVILL GARDEN

This 35-acre garden in Windsor Great Park’s

grounds is home to a glorious spring display

of award-winning rhododendrons, in the

sunken woodland garden. Trumpet-like

flowers appear in every shade: pure white,

pale cream, lemon, apricot, shocking pink,

purple and flaming scarlet – many of them

scented.

• BLENHEIM PALACE

Formal gardens include Water Terraces,

an Italian Garden, and the Rose Garden.

Gardens manager Hilary Wood says:

‘The Secret Garden bursts with fresh life

and colour, from narcissus, snowdrops,

hellebores and magnolias. Vastly different

from the main formal gardens, the

tranquillity of this garden, with its winding

pathways and waterways, is a lovely place

to sit, listen to the birds singing and take

time to just relax.’

• TYNTESFIELD

Cocooned in the Somerset countryside,

Tyntesfield is a Victorian Gothic country

house and estate. Spring is special: in the

naturalistic orchard, apple, pear and plum

blossom appears, and tulips brighten

urns and beds along the terraces. And in

the kitchen garden, says Senior Gardener

Marianne Closius, ‘a spring highlight for me

is the blossom covering the wall-trained

fruit.’

• STONOR PARK

Set in a valley in the Chilterns, described

by Lord Gibson, former National Trust

Chairman, as: ‘Possibly the most beautiful

setting for any house in England’, there’s a

lush mix of ponds, fountains and pleasure

gardens. Stroll amid neat box hedges, and

seek out the hidden Japanese retreat. The

estate’s arboretum is a treat during spring

when the cherry blossom appears. →

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Pictured left-right: Bowood House and Gardens roses and fountain on The Terrace; Flowers at Bowood;

Bowood House, The Courts Gardens, National Trust; Stourhead; and Westonbirt Arboretum

SUMMER SENSATIONS

• CLIVEDEN HOUSE

The gardens of 300-year-old Cliveden House

hold as much interest as the house – 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 flowers and classical statues in the Long

Garden and come over all romantic amid 900

roses in the heavenly scented Rose Garden.

• BOWOOD HOUSE

Fashionable 18th-century gardener

‘Capability’ Brown worked his magic on 100

acres of parkland here, widely hailed as his

best-preserved masterpiece. Sit by the

mile-long lake, admire sweeping lawns

from the terrace and learn more about

the designer on a summer tour with head

gardener David Glass. Other highlights

include an arboretum, woodland gardens

and Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s secret walled

garden – swathed in early summer with

fragrant lavender, honeysuckle and peonies.

• BERKELEY CASTLE

Henry II gave the Castle to the Berkeley

family in 1153. Below the gatehouse is a

bowling green, where Queen Elizabeth I

is believed to have played. In the terraced

gardens the focus is on fragrance, and

June’s roses are a delight. Seize the rare

opportunity to walk among free-flying

butterflies in the Tropical Butterfly House.

• HAMPTON COURT PALACE

Beside the Thames, at Henry VIII’s

residence, the Royal Horticultural Society's

Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

(5-11 July 2021) is the world’s largest

annual horticultural show. This year’s

design themes include Scandinavian and

sustainable.

Make time for the rose marquee, where

the rose of the year is revealed.

The setting for the Festival is a product

of the Palace’s rich history - the Baroquestyle

Great Fountain Garden, The Maze,

and Royal Kitchen Garden with its heritage

vegetables.

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AUTUMN GLOWS

• WESTONBIRT

ARBORETUM

With 15,000 trees from around

the world, including five national

collections, autumn is spectacular

here. Dendrologist Michal Dvorak

says: ‘With our world-renowned

maples taking centre stage, it’s

easy to miss lesser-known gems.

The smoke bush is a feast of

colour, including fiery yellows, reds,

peaches and purples. The Persian

ironwood is another one not to

miss in autumn as its leaves turn

crimson and gold.’ Don’t miss the

step-free STIHL Treetop Walkway,

and download a fun kids’ activity

booklet, including creating leaf

crowns and hunting acorns.

• STOURHEAD

In south Wiltshire, Stourhead

is one of the Great West Way’s

most famous gardens. Described

as ‘a living work of art’ when it

opened in the 1740s, its classical

architecture includes a grotto, a

gothic cottage and its own Temple

of Apollo. For Alan Power, head

gardener, his favourite time of year

here is autumn: ‘the garden, the

architecture, the plants and the

trees all perform perfectly together.

It’s like an encore before the rest for

winter.’

• BRISTOL BOTANIC

GARDEN

Fascinating displays tell the story

of plants in several zones. The

evolution collection boasts species

dating back 200 million years. Two

medicinal herb gardens – Chinese

and Western – display useful plants.

On chilly days, take shelter in the

tropical zone glasshouse, marvel at

giant waterlilies, and admire edible

crops such as cocoa, vanilla, sugar

cane, banana, pineapple and ginger.

• THE COURTS

GARDEN

Poet-in-residence John Bond (2018-

2019) summed up the beauty of

the season in this English country

style garden, open until the end of

October in Melksham: ‘…death,

for once, shows nature at its best,

and leaves outdo the flowers by

a mile in beauty’. As well as the

arboretum, topiary treats include

the line of yews called ‘the dancing

bears’ plus peaceful water gardens

and unexpected vistas.→

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75


www.corsham.gov.uk/visit

Come

and

discover

Wiltshire’s

hidden treasure

History, heritage, arts and crafts, great places to

eat and drink and lots of independent shops –

plus Poldark was filmed here too.

Just 8 miles from Bath on the A4, 4 miles from the

M4 (J17), or 3 miles from Chippenham Station.

IMAGE CREDIT: MAMMOTH MEDIA


Pictured left-right: Christmas at Kew;

and The Hidden Gardens of Bath

WINTER WONDERS

• ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW

See the stunning gardens in a whole new light with

Christmas at Kew, a show-stopping annual trail of

festive light installations. More than a million tiny

bulbs and flickering flames light up the night, as

rainbow reflections shimmer on the water and trees are

drenched in dazzling hues. Along the route try festive

hot food and treats such as spiced winter warmers and

hot chocolate.

• MONTACUTE HOUSE

One of very few Elizabethan gardens retaining the

compartmentalised design of the period, each with a

distinct feel, from the East Court’s stone balustrades

and foliage planting, to yews and views in the North

Garden, and wide-open spaces on the Cedar Lawn.

• PRIOR PARK LANDSCAPE GARDEN

At this elegant 18th-century landscape garden south

of Bath, designed by Capability Brown, the Palladian

bridge and waterway are a focal point. In winter the

bare branches reveal views that aren’t visible at other

times of year, but greenery still abounds, with glossy

laurels and evergreen shrubs, succeeded by drifts of

delicate snowdrops.

• WADDESDON MANOR

In winter the grounds are transformed by dazzling

colour and light displays, bathing trees and manor

alike in beautiful hues. Wrap up warm and follow the

trail, wending its way past imaginative illuminated

installations.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

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 you will also be contributing

to charity. Simply go to their website (ngs.

org.uk) and search for your perfect garden -

pre-booking is essential. Fancy having it all to

yourself? Following the coronavirus pandemic

a number of gardens are offering private visits.

One of the safest, most comfortable and most

enjoyable places for a a family get-together, or

meet up with friends.

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!

Find out more about all the gardens on the

Great West Way and and inspiration from Head

Gardeners from our website:

greatwestway.co.uk/discover-our-way/

gardens

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77


HISTORIC STOPS

TRAIN TRAVEL

Making tracks on the Great West Way

can point you at endless amounts of

history and fun facts to be discovered

along its length from London to Bristol

Words: Geoff Moore

TAKING TO THE TRACKS is certainly one way to

explore locations and the history of the Great

West Way. In one go the journey is just 1hr

40min, but stopping en route to explore the

route in your own time is 'slow travel' at its best.

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.

Setting out west from Paddington, how about

making the first stop at Windsor and Eton Central?

It was here where a race to impress a real Royal took

place just outside her castle in the town. Two opposing

rail companies ‘The Great Western’ and ‘The London

and South Western Railway’ set out to be the first to

provide the monarch with a rail service.

In 1840 Queen Victoria encouraged by Prince Albert

took a trip from Slough - which was then the nearest

station to the castle - to Paddington. And today

parts of the original elegant façade can still be seen

indicating its former short lived Royal connection.

The GWR line extension was built to almost within

touching distance of the castle walls. With the two

companies frantically making progress to Windsor it

was the Great Western that finally won the race.

Although they had to build a massive curving brick

arch viaduct over the ‘playing fields of Eton’, plus bridge

the Thames in order to get into the centre.

For the London and South Western Railway, a bridge

failure disrupted their attempt to win and still the town

has two stations within 600 metres of each other.

Windsor and Eton Central and Windsor Eton Riverside.

GWR’s central station has an expansive metal and

glass roof that almost mimic’s Paddington’s. This was to

allow the Queen’s mounted soldiers to wait undercover

before escorting her back to the castle.

Today, you can enjoy an alfresco cocktail in the

stations All Bar One restaurant and bar, the exact

location where in March 1882 the last (of eight)

assassination attempts on Queen Victoria took place.

78 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Pictured:

The Great

Western

Railway built

the grand

Windsor &

Eton Railway

Station in

1897.

THE DISCOVER PASS

ROUTE MAP


GreatWestWay.co.uk

79


Pictured:

It might be possible

that Isambard

Kingdom Brunel

designed his two-mile

long Box Tunnel with

his own birthday in

mind! It is claimed

that on the 9th April,

the sun shines directly

down the length of the

tunnel - a theory which

was tested a few years

ago by Great Western

Railway and Network

Rail when a rare chance

to observe it came

about due to the line

being shut on the date

because of upgrade

work.

Trains from London Paddington also call at

Twyford, changing onto the line to Henley-on-

Thames, home to the famous regatta.

Disembark in Reading and enjoy 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.

Here you have a choice, you might like to take the

south-west route (see opposite page), or travel the

route via 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 – next stop on the

line is 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.

Heading further west passing Chippenham on

the train to Bath there is the renowned ‘Box Tunnel’.

Here the rail line dives underground through Box Hill

for nearly two miles. Another of Brunel’s great feats

on the GWR. Located on the outskirts of Corsham

the tunnel project was thought to be impossible

to build by fellow engineers of the time. However,

after starting in December 1838 the one mile and

three quarters long subterranean construction was

completed by Brunel in June 1841.

The entrance to it on the Bath side is ornate and

built of Bath Stone in a grand classical style but the

eastern entrance quite austere.

The tunnel itself also hides, adjacent to its dank

darkness, a Cold War secret. Constructed alongside

underground is a series of subterranean roads and

passages. Complete with communication bunkers,

offices, food and fuel storage, the complex was

designed in the 1950’s and 60’s to house the Prime

Minister and the Government plus military officials

in case of a nuclear attack.

80 GreatWestWay.co.uk


When Isambard Kingdom Brunel's

Box Tunnel was first built, despite

his own certainty, there were many

who feared disaster, believing

that the Box Tunnel was a health

hazard, likely to prove fatal, that

the noise of two trains passing

each other in the tunnel would

shake your nerves, and that if you

travelled over a certain speed you

wouldn't be able to breathe!

There was talk that this huge bomb proof selfsufficient

complex was in fact a ruse to fool the Russians,

and that the real contingency plan had the Government

spread around England, Wales, Scotland and Northern

Ireland under the code name Python!

The final stop on this route before reaching Bath is

the glorious Bradford-on-Avon. This small town sits on

the edge of The Cotswolds and straddles the River Avon.

Cross the waters in ancient footsteps, on the 13thcentury

town bridge, and stand dwarfed in the 14thcentury

Tithe Barn, its lattice of timbers soaring for over

50 metres far above your head.

SOUTH WEST ROUTE

Rather than taking the north-west route to Swindon

from Reading, you might choose to take the southwest

route towards Bath via Newbury and Hungerford,

travelling through the North Wessex Downs Area of

Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Great Western Railway is far from just one main

line – and this line is a perfect example of an alternative

rail journey where you can get off the beaten track and

out into more rural areas.

There are several short loop walks from Hungerford,

an ancient town also known for its antique shops, or you

could get off the train a stop earlier and walk the nine

miles from Newbury along the canal, stopping first for a

flutter – there’s a world-class racecourse here.

At Hungerford a short walk from the station will

find you at the Hungerford Wharf. Here the ‘Rose of

Hungerford’ operates canal boat trips with dedicated

volunteers of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust with their

trips starting May 22nd. Their passenger barge can take

around 50 people (in non Covid-19 times) complete with

wheelchair lift.

You might enjoy a scenic boat trip to Kintbury or

Great Bedwyn gliding through several locks. With an

onboard café and toilets too. →

Pictured:

Visiting Bradford

on Avon means the

visitor gets the best of

everything, shopping,

accommodation;

restaurants and inns;

river; canal and most

of all an amazing

history that can be

found at every turn.

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81


Make time in Great Bedwyn to visit the world’s oldest

operating steam driven beam engines, still in their

original building. 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 in order to keep the barges and boats moving and

the locks full.

The next stop on this line is Pewsey. From the station

it is a half mile walk north to Pewsey Wharf. Take the

towpath to the west (left) for a charming easy flat walk

to what has become the UK’s crop circle central! Or, The

Barge Inn at Honeystreet. A sign at the pub proclaims

‘twinned with Roswell, New Mexico’!

The Barge Inn has been a meeting place for ‘Crop

Circle’ enthusiasts as many have appeared in the

surrounding valley over the years. The inn plans to open

from April 12th. This delightful circular rural stroll will

take you back past Lady’s Bridge at Wilcot, a grand stone

regency bridge built by the canal engineer John Rennie in

order to placate the land owner for letting the canal pass

over his land.

Returning to Pewsey, you may spot a series of World

War II pill boxes and tank defences on some crossing

points like at Church Lane Bridge. This was all part of

what was called the GHQ line where if there had been

an invasion in World War 2 a major defensive action was

planned.

Today the towpath carries 21st century

communication too. Fibre optic cables run along much of

it. You may spot the ‘Fibreway ’signs.

Change at Westbury and head to 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.

Your final calling point en route to Bristol, whichever

direction you have taken to get here, is Bath - a city so

beautiful its centre has been UNESCO World Heritage

listed. 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.

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) and clamber up the

rigging of one of Brunel’s other famous creations, the SS

Great Britain. His Clifton Suspension Bridge is here too,

beckoning you along the River Avon and out to Avon

Gorge to set foot atop this world-famous bridge and

quietly thank Brunel for the journey he made possible –

along the Great West Way by rail.

82 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Pictured left:

Walk along the Kennet

& Avon Canal and

you'll encounter a

surprise - the world's

oldest working steam

engines. The Crofton

Beam Engines fed by a

hand-stoked coal-fired

boiler are still plugging

away at the same job

they were designed

to do more than 200

years ago - pumping

water up at the highest

point of the canal.

Right: Passenger on the

Avon Valley Railway;

Steam train; Swindon

and Cricklade Railway.

Did you know? Popular urban myth was

that if you travelled faster than a horse

could gallop, your head would explode! It

took Prince Albert, who himself was a keen

engineer, one year to persuade Queen Victoria

to go on a train. Once she had experienced

the 25 minute journey from Windsor to

Paddington she was charmed and impressed

CLICK

HERE

FOR FURTHER

INFORMATION AND

TO DOWNLOAD THE

GREAT WEST WAY

DISCOVERER PASS

STEAM ENGINES

Although England has lost many of its

railways over the years, the country has

long been ensconced in a love affair with

steam and there are passionate volunteers

still running heritage steam railways on

the Great West Way.

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

there, the number 15 from the centre of

Swindon stops at the Tawny Owl pub,

close to Taw Valley Halt.

GreatWestWay.co.uk

83


Pictured:

Making a toast

at The Newbury,

Berkshire over

cocktails and

homemade pizzas.

84


GOURMET GUIDE

FOOD & DRINK

Discover a wealth of hidden culinary

delights and epicurean experiences on

the Great West Way

Words: Karyn Noble

Sure, you could travel the Great West Way

from London to Bristol in an afternoon, but

epicureans know the reward is in the discovery,

and we’ve got 500 miles of delicious detours

for you! Linger as long as you can, because this stretch

of English countryside needs to be savoured, and slow

travel is the best way to experience it.

This slice of quintessential England is home to

some of the country’s best agricultural land, and with

that comes excellent local produce, from fresh fruits

and vegetables to fine wines. Farms rear animals and

nurture crops, breweries experiment with craft beers,

and kitchen gardens cultivate seasonal veggies. While

pubs, hotels and restaurants select the best of it all

for their menus, and family-run tea rooms whip up

fresh cakes daily. All of this adds up to one very tasty

journey along the Great West Way.

From thatched pubs to beamed tearooms, farm

shops to Michelin starred restaurants, and food tours

to cookery schools – we hope you enjoy our pick of the

best places to visit along the route from east to west.

Starting the route from London and heading

towards Windsor, thoughts may immediately turn to

stately matters. Apart from admiring Windsor Castle,

it’s only proper to take an elegant afternoon tea here.

Push the boat out (or watch the Windsor Duck Tours

and French Brothers boat cruises) from the terrace

overlooking the Thames River at Sir Christopher Wren

Hotel & Spa, with warm scones, jam and Cornish

clotted cream. Or you could nibble your Highland oak

smoked salmon and cream cheese finger sandwiches by

the roaring fire in their Drawing Room.

For hearty pub food, The Bird in Hand at Knowl Hill

beckons. Renowned for its 28-day dry-aged-on-thebone

steaks, this is the kind of place that reverentially

namechecks all its local suppliers; the Great British

Sunday Roast is definitely worth booking. If you fancy

climbing the gastronomic echelons, Bray-on-Thames

is a must - truly the most exciting ‘foodie’ village to

visit in the UK, home to The Fat Duck (yes, of Heston

Blumenthal fame) The Waterside Inn, and other

Michelin starred gems you will want to add to your

special-night-out list. (see page 48).

Cap it off with a reservation at Monkey Island

Estate, a luxury hotel on a private island in Bray,

perhaps with a nightcap in the Whisky Snug accessed

via a secret staircase.

In the counties of Buckinghamshire and North

Hampshire, head for The Five Arrows restaurant,

located at the gates of the grand Waddesdon Manor →

GreatWestWay.co.uk

85


Pictured left-right:

The Red Lion

Freehouse,

Pewsey; The

Carpenters

Arms, Windsor;

Wadworth

Brewery Shires.

in Aylesbury for a taste of beef from the estate, its

very own ale, and seasonal vegetables from the

kitchen garden. If you’re still in the mood for luxury,

then the Grade-II listed Langley Hotel in Iver is the

place to retire to its Churchill bar for cosy Cognacs.

Gin fans will want to deviate to the Bombay

Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch, where there has

been a mill since AD903. Here you can drink the likes

of Vespear Martinis alongside the River Test, or take a

masterclass to expand your cocktail repertoire. Finish

up with a Hampshire Charcuterie and Cheese platter

at the Mill Café for a tasty introduction to local

produce.

Next county stop along the route is Wiltshire. If

your ambition is to eat ham in the village of Ham,

then consider it done. Perhaps pressed ham hock

and pigeon terrine at the stylishly refurbished Crown

& Anchor pub with rooms, a traditional inn dating

back to the 1840s. Or a Michelin-starred version of

ham, egg and chips from the Red Lion Freehouse (a

thatched country pub with a boutique guest house)

in Pewsey. Extend yourself to ham in Chippenham,

with a sandwich from the tea room at Dyrham Park

before strolling 270-acre ancient parkland around the

baroque beauty of its mansion house at the western

edge of the Cotswolds. Don’t miss picking up some

of ‘the Wiltshire cure’ at Buttle Farm in Compton

Bassett: a traditional technique for curing their freerange

rare-breed pork and ham.

Farm shops are not only a highlight of the Great

West Way, but your source of excellent edible

souvenirs. At Roves Farm in Sevenhampton, you

can indulge in farm-raised fare at the Woolly Sheep

Café and also take home free-range eggs, sausages,

pies and other treats. True gourmands should head

straight to the butchery for the highest quality homereared

meats.

86 GreatWestWay.co.uk


DID YOU KNOW? IN THEIR

HEYDAY, MORE THAN 40 SHIRES

WERE USED BY WADWORTH

BREWERY TO DELIVER THEIR

ALREADY FAMOUS BEERS TO

LOCAL INNS AND HOSTELRIES?

A TRADITION AT WADWORTH

– AND THEIR GENTLE GIANTS

ARE AS MUCH A PART OF THE

WADWORTH HERITAGE AS THE

CLOSELY GUARDED REAL ALE

RECIPES!

VISIT SAFELY

Protect yourself and others

Businesses have been working

hard to make sure everything is

safe for both staff and visitors.

Things may look slightly different,

so please be patient as we all get

used to new ways of doing things.

Websites and businesses will

be displaying new certification,

including the Nationallyrecognised

"We're Good to

Go" mark to demonstrate the

measures they have in place to

protect us all from COVID-19.

Renowned for its apples

and magnificent dairy produce,

Somerset is where you simply

must eat cheese in the village of

Cheddar, either before or after

(or both!) exploring the famous

Cheddar Gorge & Caves. The city

of Bath will easily enchant with

its Roman and Georgian charms,

but set aside plenty of time for

gastronomic exploration too.

One of the youngest chefs to

win a Michelin star, Rob Clayton

of Clayton’s Kitchen, prepares

delicate Mediterranean-influenced

dishes, with some good-value

set menus. You can also dine in

style in the neo-classical salon of

the Roman Baths’ Pump Room

Restaurant or in the opulent

surrounds of The Gainsborough

Bath Spa, the only hotel in the

country where you can experience

Bath’s thermal waters.

Pack an extra stomach for

Bristol: the city has had quite the

renaissance in the food world,

with its many multicultural

influences, and an especially

thriving street food scene. Pick up

a coffee at Prince Street Social or

head to Bristol Lido, where you

could really kickstart your day

with breakfast at the poolside

restaurant, enjoying hot smoked

salmon and soft-boiled eggs,

served with a Mimosa of Prosecco

and Chase marmalade vodka (best

not to swim afterwards!).

If you need a relaxing

afternoon tea, you can glide down

the River Avon on Bristol Packet

Boat Tours’ two-hour Cream Tea

Cruise. But to ensure your trip

is truly ship-shape and Bristol

fashion, try to time your visit for a

Wednesday, Thursday or weekend,

when the Harbourside Street

Food Market is in full swing. →

GreatWestWay.co.uk

87


FUN FACTS • IT TAKES 36 PIECES OF

FRUIT TO MAKE ONE GALLON OF

APPLE CIDER.

• IN A YEAR WEST BERKSHIRE

BREWERY BREW AN IMPRESSIVE

2.6 MILLION PINTS.

• THERE HAS BEEN A MILL WHERE

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DISTILLERY IS

SINCE AT LEAST AD903.

FABULOUS FOOD &

DRINK FESTIVALS

If you can, time your visit for one of

the food and drink-focused events

along the Great West Way.

MAY

• BRADFORD ON AVON

FOOD FESTIVAL

One-day event featuring food stalls

from local artisan producers, cookery

demonstrations by professional

chefs and a children’s activity area.

JUNE

• BRISTOL FOOD

CONNECTIONS

A citywide line-up of events over

almost two weeks, including talks

on food and health, lunchtime boat

trips and cooking demonstrations.

• EAT! FOOD FESTIVAL

HENLEY

A fortnight of feasting, with a line-up

of events that includes tastings, chef

demonstrations, film screenings and

the finale Riverside Fiesta with street

food and a floating gin bar.

• PUB IN THE PARK

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge

combines tastings, chef

demonstrations, masterclasses

and music from top live acts in his

‘ultimate pub garden’ over three

lively days.

• EAT READING

Two-day festival showcasing

Reading’s best foodie businesses,

featuring live cookery

demonstrations, street food tastings,

cocktail mixology and a pop-up

street café.

• GREAT BRITISH FOOD

FESTIVAL

June (Englefield, Reading) and

August (Westonbirt House)

This touring festival brings artisan

producers and street food vendors

together over two or three days and

includes plenty of child-friendly

activities.

• TASTE OF CORSHAM

Full-day celebration of Corsham’s

local food producers, with food and

drink stalls lining the High Street, live

music and a silent disco.

JULY

• THE SURREY FOOD

FESTIVAL

A weekend of foodie fun, with talks,

tastings and demos in the marquee

and an extensive line-up of food and

drink stalls, plus live music and a

kids’ zone.

• DEVIZES BEER FESTIVAL

One-day beer festival with more

than 100 real ales and ciders served

up canalside. Live music too.

• LONGLEAT FOOD & MUSIC

FESTIVAL

A harmonious festival sure to

tantalise your taste buds with diverse

food and drink stalls, demonstrations

by celebrity chefs and live music from

an array of artists taking to the stage.

SEPTEMBER

• THE COFFEE HOUSE

PROJECT

Bristol’s first coffee festival

celebrates local, artisan roasters and

independent food and drink retailers

over two days.

• DEVIZES FOOD AND DRINK

FESTIVAL

Week-long celebration of local food

and drink products, including a

food market and visits to producers

including a goat farm and vineyard.

OCTOBER

• HUNGERFORD FOOD

FESTIVAL

Full-day event featuring street food

stalls, talks and live cooking demos.

Sustainability is a key theme.

There are also hundreds of smaller

events, alongside weekly produce

and street food markets in market

towns throughout the touring route.

You might even stumble upon

Chippenham’s Pancake Races!

88 GreatWestWay.co.uk


89

GreatWestWay.co.uk

AFTERNOON TEA

A cream tea is a must on your journey

and there are many options for partaking

in this beloved English ritual as you travel

the route. Tables piled high with cake

stands, tea pots and pretty china cups.

Scones smothered in thick, sweet cream.

Dainty sandwiches layered with smoked

salmon, or Wiltshire ham, or West

Country cheese. Fresh homemade cakes

and pastries. Copious refills of herbal teas

or classic English Breakfast. Traditionally,

the jam is strawberry but choose from

raspberry or even blackcurrant!

Some of the best cream teas along the

way are at The Royal Crescent Hotel &

Spa, Honeystreet Mill Café, The Tutti Pole,

Whatley Manor, Woolley Grange Hotel

and the traditional Bridge Tea Rooms.

Experience an authentic afternoon tea

whilst enjoying views over the landscaped

gardens and lakes from the Drawing Room

at The Langley or surrounded by glorious

Cotswold gardens on the terrace at

Whatley Manor. Enjoy a quintessentially

English afternoon tea at Bowood House

or delve into the decadence of yesteryear

at boutique hotel Roseate House - or

head to the grand Pump Room to feel like

Jane Austen and take your tea where high

society has been meeting since the 18th

century. Whether you’re spending weeks

exploring the length of the Great West

Way, or you’re here for a day trip, there’s

always time for afternoon tea.

greatwestway.co.uk/see-and-do/foodand-drink/afternoon-tea

l

gs,

Great West Way and England’s Great West Way are registered trade marks. A l rights reserved.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

DEVIZES FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL (D4)

Devizes, September-October

devizesfoodanddrinkfestival.info

Week-long celebration of local food and drink

products, including a food market in the Market

Place and visits to producers including a goat farm

and vineyard.

EAT! FOOD FESTIVAL HENLEY (H3)

Henley on Thames, June • eatfoodfest.co.uk

A fortnight of feasting, with a line-up of events

that includes tastings, chef demonstrations, film

screenings and the finale Riverside Fiesta with

street food and a floating gin bar.

EAT READING (H4)

Broad St and Market Place, Reading, June

livingreading.co.uk

Two-day festival showcasing Reading’s best foodie

businesses, featuring live cookery demonstrations,

street food tastings, cocktail mixology and a popup

street café.

GREAT BRITISH FOOD FESTIVAL

Englefield, Reading (H4), June and

Westonbirt House (C3), August

greatbritishfoodfestival.com

This touring festival brings artisan producers and

street food vendors together over two or three

days and includes plenty of child-friendly activities.

HUNGERFORD FOOD FESTIVAL (F4)

Hungerford Town Hall and High St, October

hungerfordfoodfestival.com

Full-day event featuring street food stalls, talks

and live cooking demos. Sustainability is a key

theme.

PUB IN THE PARK (BATH B4 / MARLOW J3)

Marlow, May and Royal Victoria Park, Bath,

June • pubintheparkuk.com

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge combines tastings,

chef demonstrations, masterclasses and music

from top live acts in his ‘ultimate pub garden’ over

three lively days.

THE SURREY FOOD FESTIVAL (L3)

Old Deer Park, Richmond, April

surreyfoodfestival.com

A weekend o foodie fun, with talks, tastings and

demos in the marquee and an extensive line-up

o food and drink stalls, plus live music and a kids’

zone.

TASTE OF CORSHAM (C4)

Corsham, June • corsham.gov.uk

Full-day celebration of Corsham’s local food

producers, with food and drink stalls lining the

High Street, live music and a silent disco.

If you can, time your visit for one of the food and

drink-focused events along the Great West Way.

Some of the bigger ones include the Great Bath

Feast, Bristol Food Connections, Longleat Food and

Music Festival and the Great British Food Festival.

There are also hundreds of smaller events, alongside

weekly produce and street food markets in market

towns throughou the touring route. You might even

stumble upon Chippenham’s Pancake Races!

BRADFORD ON AVON FOOD FESTIVAL (C4)

Victory Field, Bradford on Avon, 30 May

scrumptiousfoodfestivals.co.uk

One-day event featuring food stalls from local artisan

producers, cookery demonstrations by professional

chefs and a children’s activity area.

BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS (A4)

Bristol, June • bristolfoodconnections.com

A citywide line-up of events over almos two weeks,

including talks on food and health, lunchtime boat

trips and cooking demonstrations.

THE COFFEE HOUSE PROJECT (A4)

The Passenger Shed, Bristol, September

thecoffeehouseproject.co.uk

Bristol’s first coffee festival celebrates local, artisan

roasters and independent food and drink retailers over

two days.

DEVIZES BEER FESTIVAL (D4)

The Wharf, Devizes, July • camra.org.uk

Long-running one-day beer festival with more than

100 real ales and ciders served up canalside. Live

music too.

FOOD ON THE MOVE

Enjoy dining while travelling the route by train

with our Great West Way Discoverer pass.

Great Western Railway serve delicious produce

from their at-seat trolley service, from classic

snacks and sweet treats, to tasty sandwiches

and wraps. Plus, a great range of soft drinks,

beers, and wines to accompany your journey.

FABULOUS FOOD &

DRINK FESTIVALS

TEA ROOMS & CAFÉS

BEER & BREWERIES

WADWORTH EAT,

DRINK AND STAY

ON THE GREAT

WEST WAY

BRISTOL

THE NEWBURY

137 BARTHOLOMEW ST, NEWBURY RG14

5HB, 01635 49000 • thenewburypub.co.uk

The Newbury offers an exciting British à la carte

menu and fantastic atmosphere. It is also the

home of 137 Gin, where multi-award winning

Lumber’s Bartholomew Gin is distilled.

Landlord Pete’s vision is a the heart of The

Newbury and 137, from the distinctive branding

to the stunning décor.

LONGLEAT FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL (C5)

Longleat, Warminster 4 and 5 July

longleat.co.uk

Join Longleat on the 4th and 5th July 2020 for a

harmonious festival sure to tantalise your taste

buds. You’ll enjoy diverse food and drink stalls,

demonstrations by celebrity chefs, plus live music

from an array of artists taking to the stage with

Longleat House as the backdrop; each day’s line-up

will be announced closer to the event.

AEROSPACE BRISTOL CAFÉ (B3)

Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5BZ

aerospacebristol.org/cafe

Refuel in the café whilst on a visi to Aerospace

Bristol. This light and airy café serves a delicious

range of light meals, snacks and drinks. Produce is

locally sourced where possible.

THE BRIDGE TEA ROOMS (C4)

thebridgetearooms.co.uk

GARDEN CAFÉ AT THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM (C4)

holburne.org

HONEYSTREET BOATS AND CAFÉ (E4)

honeystreetmillcafe.co.uk

SPRING’S CAFÉ AND RESTAURANT (B4)

Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, BA1 1SJ

01225 331234 • thermaebathspa.com

Whilst enjoying a relaxing Spa, be sure to add extra

time to your spa session so you can enjoy afternoon

tea or a tasty meal at your leisure.

THE TUTTI POLE (F4)

thetuttipole.co.uk

WESTONBIRT, THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM (C3)

Westonbirt, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS

0300 067 4890 • Forestryengland.uk/Westonbirt

The Westonbirt Restaurant offers tasty, freshly

prepared hot and cold refreshments. Food is

prepared and cooked onsite, whils the fresh bread

is from Hobbs House Bakery and made using local

Shipton Mill flour from nearby Long Newnton.

WINDSOR CASTLE UNDERCROFT CAFÉ –

OPENING 2020 (K3)

rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle

Royal Collection Trust is investing in a series of

projects at Windsor Castle that will transform the

experience of visiting this royal residence. Work is

underway to evolve the medieval Undercroft into

the Castle’s first permanent café. One of the few

remaining parts of Edward III’s majo renovations in

the 1360s, the Undercroft is among the oldest

surviving parts of the Castle and during the 14th

century served as the principal cellar and larder.

BREWERIES

THE BATH BREW HOUSE (B4)

thebathbrewhouse.com

WADWORTH BREWERY (D4)

Northgate Brewery, Devizes SN10 1JW,

01380 723361 • wadworth.co.uk

Stately red-brick brewery in Devizes town centre,

producing a range of real ales including the widely

distributed 6X. Call in to the Harness Room Bar

for a taste and don’t leave without checking out

the Brewseum.

WEST BERKSHIRE BREWERY (G3)

The Old Dairy, Frilsham Farm, Yattendon RG18

0XT, 01635 767090 • wbbrew.com

A menu of homemade pizzas, burgers and salads

soak up the beers in the Taproom of this modern

brewhouse. You’ll have views into the brewery on

one side and out over the Berkshire countryside

on the other.

BARS AND PUBS SERVING

REAL ALES

HELEN BROWNING’S ROYAL OAK (E3)

helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk/royal-oak/

THE NEWBURY (G4)

thenewburypub.co.uk

THE PRINCE STREET SOCIAL (B4)

princestreetsocial.com

QUEENS ARMS, EAST GARSTON (F4)

queensarmseastgarston.co.uk

THE ROYAL OAK YATTENDON (G3)

royaloakyattendon.co.uk

THE ROYAL WINDSOR PUB (K3)

theroyalwindsor.co.uk

THE SWAN BRADFORD ON AVON (C4)

theswanbradford.co.uk

THREE TUNS FREEHOUSE (F4)

tunsfreehouse.com

THE WHITE HORSE INN (D4)

whitehorse-comptonbassett.co.uk

4)

tea

4)

r

ore

ren’s

e

Hall, or

NATIONAL TRUST SEASONAL EATING,

DRINKING AND SHOPPING

Did you know that 187 of National Trust’s cafés,

restaurants and tea-rooms have received the

Food for Life Served Here Award? The award

recognises tha they serve fresh, local food that

is ethically and sustainable produced. There

are seven National Trust places you can find on

the Great West Way and eight more which are

within easy reach of it, so if you’re looking for an

afternoon tea, a picnic or a food hamper to take

back there should be something to tempt your

tastebuds.

AVEBURY, MARLBOROUGH (E4)

The New Circles Restaurant

Avebury Manor Tearoom

Coach House Café

DYRHAM PARK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE (B3)

The Tea-room and Tea Garden

PRIOR PARK, BATH (C4)

The Tea Shed

TYNTESFIELD, BRISTOL (A4)

Cow Barn Restaurant

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust work in partnership

with cafés along the canal at Bradford on Avon,

Devizes, Crofton Beam Engines and Newbury,

so you can be sure of some tasty refreshments

whenever you visit. For more information on their

cafés see katrust.org.uk/attractions

ALDERMASTON TEA ROOMS (H4)

katrust.org.uk/attractions

CANAL TRUST CAFÉ (C4)

canaltrustcafe.co.uk

DEVIZES WHARF TEA ROOM (D4)

katrust.org.uk/attractions

THE ENGINEMAN’S REST CAFÉ (E4)

croftonbeamengines.org/cafe/

TEASHOP BY THE CANAL (G4)

teashopbythecanal.co.uk

Or take a look a these welcoming spots perfect

to stop and plan the next part of your Great

West Way journey while enjoying a cake and a

nice cup of tea.

Beer has been brewed in England for thousands

of years – a fermented mixture of water, hops,

malt and yeast. Although beer itself wasn’t

invented here, the English have developed their

own unique style which is quite unlike what

you’ll find in other countries.

This is called ‘real ale’, a name first coined in the

1970s by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale)

to describe traditional draught cask beers that

contain live yeast. Real ale is a living product,

the yeast continuing to ferment until the beer is

served – generally from a traditional hand-pull

pump mounted on the bar. This gives real ale

bags o flavour and a natura light carbonation

that is very different from the more ubiquitous

lagers and highly carbonated beers produced by

the large international brewers.

You’ll find real ale in almost all pubs along

the Great West Way. It comes in numerous

varieties including IPA (India Pale Ale), bitter,

mild, stout, porter and golden. Flavours can

vary significantly within varieties, so don’t be

afraid to request a taste first – and always ask

for what’s local.

These are some of the best places to drink real

ale along the Great West Way.

BEAR, DEVIZES (D4)

thebearhoteldevizes.co.uk

BIRD IN HAND, KNOWL HILL (J3)

birdinhand.co.uk

BLACK SWAN, DEVIZES (D4)

blackswandevizes.co.uk

CROWN, TOLLDOWN (B3)

thecrowntolldown.co.uk

GEORGE INN, NORTON ST PHILIP (C5)

georgeinnnsp.co.uk

visitbristol.co.uk/beer

Bristol is one of the UK’s leading craft beer

destinations and is brimming with brilliant

breweries – there are more than 20 in the

city and surrounding countryside. Quench

your thirst in tap rooms, fantastic beer

shops and traditional pubs, or follow the

lead of the local tour guides at Bristol

Brewery Tours or Bristol Hoppers.

Join one of the Great West Way’s best food

experiences to really ge to grips with the local

cuisine. There are plenty of places to try homegrown

tipples. Beer, wine and gin are all made along the

Great West Way. You can take a brewery, vineyard or

distillery tour, try a hands-on foodie experience like a

cookery school, or take a city food tour.

AROUND AND ABOUT BATH (B4)

aroundandaboutbath.com

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DISTILLERY (G5)

distillery.bombaysapphire.com

BRISTOL PACKET BOAT TRIPS (A4)

bristolpacket.co.uk

FRENCH BROTHERS (K3)

frenchbrothers.co.uk

HOBBS OF HENLEY (H3)

hobbsofhenley.com

LIDO BRISTOL (A4)

lidobristol.com

The chalk soils and temperate climate of the south

are pretty perfect for crisp, white, bubbly varieties,

and English wines are winning international awards.

Take a vineyard tour with one of the wine producers

on the Great West Way.

DINING RESTAURANTS

You’ll find many of the restaurants along the

Great West Way are dining rooms within our

Ambassador hotels, many of which source their

ingredients from smal local producers. You’ll also

find several celebrity chefs including Rick Stein,

Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White. There’s

also plenty of different cuisines to tempt you.

BEAU’S BAR AND RESTAURANT AT

DONNINGTON GROVE HOTEL &

COUNTRY CLUB (G4)

donnington-grove.com

THE BRASSERIE AT SIR CHRISTOPHER

WREN HOTEL (K3)

sirchristopherwren.co.uk

CEDAR AT THE LANGLEY (K3)

thelangley.com

CLAYTON’S KITCHEN (B4)

claytonskitchen.com

CLOISTERS RESTAURANT,

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL (C4)

handpickedhotels.co.uk

DAN MOON AT THE GAINSBOROUGH

RESTAURANT (B4)

thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

THE DISPENSARY, NO 15 GREAT

PULTENEY (B4)

no15greatpulteney.co.uk

THE DOWER HOUSE RESTAURANT, THE

ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL & SPA (B4)

16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS,

01225 823333, royalcrescent.co.uk

This formal but friendly restaurant serves both

tasting menus (one is vegetarian) and á la carte

dishes, with a focus on seasonal British cuisine.

The dining room overlooks the hotel’s gardens,

where you can dine al fresco in summer.

GUYERS HOUSE HOTEL

& RESTAURANT (C4)

guyershouse.com

THE HARROW AT LITTLE BEDWYN (F4)

theharrowatlittlebedwyn.com

HEYWORTH RESTAURANT, HENLEY

GREENLAND’S HOTEL (H3)

hospitalityuor.co.uk

If its award-winning you’re looking for then you’re

in for a treat. There are numerous celebrity chefs

along the route and top-notch country pubs such as

The Red Lion Freehouse. Listed are some of the best

restaurants.

RED LION FREEHOUSE (E5)

East Chisenbury, Pewsey SN9 6AQ,

01980 671124 • redlionfreehouse.com

Thatched country pub with food so good it holds a

Michelin star. There’s pub grub such as ham, egg and

chips as well as the more refined main menu which

changes daily and focuses on what’s in season.

THE DINING ROOM, WHATLEY MANOR

HOTEL & SPA (C3)

Easton Grey, Malmesbury SN16 0RB,

01666 822888 • whatleymanor.com

A Michelin-starred tasting menu from the kitchen of

executive chef Niall Keating is served in this friendly

but formal dining room. There’s often charcuterie

from the manor to start, followed by a creative lineup

of modern British dishes.

Bristol Airport’s cafes, bars and restaurants

stay open until the final flight of the day,

so you can fuel up before you take off, with

anything from a tasty snack to a sit down meal.

Our pick is Cabin Bar - premium bar with rooftop

terrace. The Cabin, offers fine wine, craft beers

and locally sourced food in a relaxing environment

– and includes a stylish outdoor terrace with

retractable roof.

SAVOURING BATH (B4)

savouringbath.com

THAMES LIDO (H4)

thameslido.com

THAMES RIVERCRUISE (H4)

thamesrivercruise.co.uk

VAUGHAN’S KITCHEN (D4)

vaughanskitchen.co.uk

WILTON WINDMILL (F4)

wiltonwindmill.co.uk

A’BECKETT’S VINEYARD (D5)

01380 816669 • abecketts.co.uk

ALDER RIDGE VINEYARD (F4)

01488 686770 • alderridge.co.uk

ALDWICK ESTATE VINEYARD (A4)

01934 864404 • aldwickestate.co.uk

KOFFMANN & MR WHITE’S ENGLISH AND

FRENCH BRASSERIE (B4)

mpwrestaurants.co.uk

THE MARCO PIERRE WHITE RESTAURANT

AT THE CASTLE HOTEL (K3)

castlehotelwindsor.com

THE MONKEY ISLAND BRASSERIE AT THE

MONKEY ISLAND ESTATE (J3)

monkeyislandestate.co.uk

THE MOONRAKER HOTEL (C4)

moonrakerhotel.com

THE OLD BELL HOTEL (C3)

Malmesbury, SN16 0BW,

01666 822344 • oldbellhotel.co.uk

The Old Bell Hotel & Restaurant is reputed to

be the oldest purpose-built hotel in England and

Grade 1 listed. The Refectory and Bar uses fresh,

local and seasonal produce accompanied by a

wide selection of drinks.

PLUM + SPILT MILK, GREAT NORTHERN

HOTEL (M3)

gnhlondon.com

RICK STEIN, MARLBOROUGH (E4)

rickstein.com/eat-with-us/marlborough

SHELBURNE RESTAURANT, BOWOOD

HOTEL, SPA & GOLF RESORT (D4)

Derry Hill, Calne SN11 9PQ, 01249 822228

bowood.org/bowood-hotel-resort

The classy restaurant a this luxury hotel has

glorious views of the estate from its windows and

hearty dishes such as guinea fowl and lamb loin on

its menu. There’s also a full vegetarian and vegan

menu and excellen traditional Sunday roasts.

THE SWAN BRADFORD ON AVON (C4)

theswanbradford.co.uk

WOOLLEY GRANGE HOTEL (C4)

woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

THE FAT DUCK (J3)

High St, Bray SL6 2AQ

THE HAND AND FLOWERS (J3)

126 West St, Marlow SL7 2BP

FOOD & DRINK TOURS & TASTINGS

ENGLISH WINE

CULINARY DELIGHTS

IN MICHELIN STARRED

RESTAURANTS

The Great West Way runs through some of

England’s most fertile agricultura land, so it’s no

surprise that you’ll find regular farmers’ markets

along the route. Check ou these markets for fresh

local food and drink, direct from the producers.

Bath Farmers’ Market Green Park Station,

every Sat

Bristol Farmers’ Market St Nicholas Market,

every Wed

Bristol Street Food Market St Nicholas Market,

every Tue & Fri

Corsham Farmers’ Market 3rd Sat of month

Harbourside Street Food Market Broad Quay,

Bristol, every Wed & Thur

Henley Farmers’ Market 2nd Sat, 4th Thur &

5th Sun of month

Maidenhead Farmers’ Market 2nd Sun of month

Malmesbury Artisan and Farmers’ Market

every Fri

Newbury Farmers’ Market 1st Sun of month

One of the greatest pleasures of a drive

through the English countryside is stopping

at a farm shop café for a cup of tea and some

tasty local produce. You’ll happen upon them

as you travel along the Great West Way.

COBBS FARM SHOP & KITCHEN,

HUNGERFORD (F4)

Cobbs Farm, Bath Rd, Hungerford RG17 0SP,

01488 686770 • cobbsfarmshops.co.uk

This excellent farm shop sells produce from

the surrounding farm. Expect asparagus and

rhubarb in spring and soft fruits in summer,

while autumn means squash and pumpkin.

The café uses the same produce where possible

and serves breakfasts and lunches including

Wiltshire cured ham and homemade quiche.

Down the road in Englefield, Reading you will

find another Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen with

a whole host of local produce.

BUTTLE FARM (D4)

buttlefarm.co.uk

CHOLDERTON CHARLIE’S FARM SHOP

(E5)

Choldertoncharliesfarm.com/farm-shop

COBBS FARM SHOP & KITCHEN,

ENGLEFIELD (H4)

cobbsfarmshops.co.uk

ROVES FARM SHOP (E3)

Rovesfarm.co.uk/farmshop

Richmond Duck Pond Markets every Sat & Sun

Swindon Farmers’ Market Swindon Designer

Outlet, every Sun

Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Ascot, 3rd Sun

of month; Newbury, 1st Sun of month; Reading 1st

& 3rd Sat of month; Windsor, 1st Sat of month

Trowbridge Weaver’s Market 2nd Saturday of

the month (not winter)

Wiltshire Farmers’ Market Devizes, 1st Sat of

month; Royal Wootton Bassett 4th Sat of month;

Salisbury 1st & 3rd Wed of month

MARVELLOUS FOOD MARKETS

FARM SHOPS

ALDWICK ESTATE VINEYARD

COBBS FARM SHOP

THE NEWBURY

WINDSOR CASTLE UNDERCROFT CAFÉ

WHATLEY MANOR

BATH ARTISANS MARKET

WEST BERKSHIRE BREWERY

TASTE HERE.

GreatWestWay.co.uk/food-and-drink

BRISTOL BEER FACTORY

MOOR BEER

To discover more, visit GreatWestWay.co.uk

W W W.WA D W O R T H.C O.U K

EAT, DRINK & STAY WITH

ALONG THE GREAT WEST WAY ®

Enjoy great food from pub cla sics to a special treat

George Inn, Norton St Philip, Bath, Somerset

Meet our working shire horses

Bird in Hand, Knowl Hi l, Reading, Berkshire

Try beers brewed with pa sion

Crown Inn, To ldown, Dyrham, Somerset

Wadworth Brewery, Devizes, Wiltshire

Black Swan, Devizes, Wiltshire

Bear Hotel, Devizes, Wiltshire

GGW advert.qxp_Layout 1 19/11/2019 15:26 Page 1

The Great West Way roams between London and

Bristol, passing through some of England’s most

idyllic countryside and weaving a pathway from

ancient market town to quaint village, thatched pub

to beamed tearoom.

This slice of quintessential England is home to some of the country’s best

agricultural land, and with that comes excellent local produce, from fresh

fruits and vegetables to fine wines. Farms rear animals and nurture crops,

breweries experiment with craft beers, and kitchen gardens cultivate seasonal

veggies. While pubs and restaurants select the best of it all for their menus,

and family-run tea rooms whip up fresh cakes daily.

All of this adds up to one very tasty journey along the Great West Way. From

farm shops, international cuisine, Michelin starred restaurants, tours, tastings,

cookery schools and more take a look at our pick of the best places to visit.

START HERE.

Great places to savour along the

Great West Way.

FOOD &

DRINK

DEVIZES FOOD AND DRINK FES

Devizes, September-October

devizesfoodanddrinkfestival.info

Week-long celebration of local food a

products, including a food market in t

Place and visits to producers including

and vineyard.

EAT! FOOD FESTIVAL HENLEY (H3

Henley on Thames, June • eatfoodfe

A fortnight o feasting, with a line-up o

that includes tastings, chef demonstrat

screenings and the finale Riverside Fiest

street food and a floating gin bar.

EAT READING (H4)

Broad St and Market Place, Reading, Ju

livingreading.co.uk

Two-day festival showcasing Reading’s be

businesses, featuring live cookery demons

street food tastings, cocktail mixology and

up street café.

GREAT BRITISH FOOD FESTIVAL

Englefield, Reading (H4), June and

Westonbirt House (C3), August

greatbritishfoodfestival.com

This touring festival brings artisan producers

street food vendors together over two or thre

days and includes plenty of child-friendly act

HUNGERFORD FOOD FESTIVAL (F4)

Hungerford Town Hall and High St, Octob

hungerfordfoodfestival.com

Fu l-day event featuring street food stalls, talk

and live cooking demos. Sustainability is a key

theme.

PUB IN THE PARK (BATH B4 / MARLOW J3)

Marlow, May and Royal Victoria Park, Bath,

June • pubintheparkuk.com

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge combines tastings,

chef demonstrations, masterclasses and music

from top live acts in his ‘ultimate pub garden’ ove

three lively days.

THE SURREY FOOD FESTIVAL (L3)

Old Deer Park, Richmond, April

surreyfoodfestival.com

A weekend o foodie fun, with talks, tastings and

demos in the marquee and an extensive line-up

o food and drink sta ls, plus live music and a kids’

zone.

TASTE OF CORSHAM (C4)

Corsham, June • corsham.gov.uk

Fu l-day celebration of Corsham’s local food

producers, with food and drink sta ls lining the

High Street, live music and a silent disco.

If you can, time your visit for one of the food and

drink-focused events along the Great West Way.

Some of the bigger ones include the Great Bath

Feast, Bristol Food Connections, Longleat Food and

Music Festival and the Great British Food Festival.

There are also hundreds of sma ler events, alongside

weekly produce and street food markets in market

towns throughout the touring route. You might even

stumble upon Chippenham’s Pancake Races!

BRADFORD ON AVON FOOD FESTIVAL (C4)

Victory Field, Bradford on Avon, 30 May

scrumptiousfoodfestivals.co.uk

One-day event featuring food stalls from local artisan

producers, cookery demonstrations by professional

chefs and a children’s activity area.

BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS (A4)

Bristol, June • bristolfoodconnections.com

A citywide line-up of events over almos two weeks,

including talks on food and health, lunchtime boat

trips and cooking demonstrations.

THE COFFEE HOUSE PROJECT (A4)

The Passenger Shed, Bristol, September

thecoffeehouseproject.co.uk

Bristol’s first coffee festival celebrates local, artisan

roasters and independent food and drink retailers over

two days.

DEVIZES BEER FESTIVAL (D4)

The Wharf, Devizes, July • camra.org.uk

Long-running one-day beer festival with more than

100 real ales and ciders served up canalside. Live

music too.

FABULOUS FOOD &

DRINK FESTIVALS

TEA ROOMS & CAFÉS

BEER & BREWERIES

WADWORTH EAT,

DRINK AND STAY

ON THE GREAT

WEST WAY

BRISTOL

THE NEWBURY

137 BARTHOLOMEW ST, NEWBURY RG14

5HB, 01635 49000 • thenewburypub.co.uk

The Newbury offers an exciting British à la carte

menu and fantastic atmosphere. It is also the

home of 137 Gin, where multi-award winning

Lumber’s Bartholomew Gin is disti led.

Landlord Pete’s vision is a the heart of The

Newbury and 137, from the distinctive branding

to the stunning décor.

LONGLEAT FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL (C5)

Longleat, Warminster 4 and 5 July

longleat.co.uk

Join Longleat on the 4th and 5th July 2020 for a

harmonious festival sure to tantalise your taste

buds. You’ l enjoy diverse food and drink sta ls,

demonstrations by celebrity chefs, plus live music

from an array of artists taking to the stage with

Longleat House as the backdrop; each day’s line-up

wi l be announced closer to the event.

AEROSPACE BRISTOL CAFÉ (B3)

Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5BZ

aerospacebristol.org/cafe

Refuel in the café whilst on a visi to Aerospace

Bristol. This light and airy café serves a delicious

range of light meals, snacks and drinks. Produce is

locally sourced where possible.

THE BRIDGE TEA ROOMS (C4)

thebridgetearooms.co.uk

GARDEN CAFÉ AT THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM (C4)

holburne.org

HONEYSTREET BOATS AND CAFÉ (E4)

honeystreetmillcafe.co.uk

SPRING’S CAFÉ AND RESTAURANT (B4)

Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, BA1 1SJ

01225 331234 • thermaebathspa.com

Whilst enjoying a relaxing Spa, be sure to add extra

time to your spa session so you can enjoy afternoon

tea or a tasty meal at your leisure.

THE TUTTI POLE (F4)

thetuttipole.co.uk

WESTONBIRT, THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM (C3)

Westonbirt, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS

0300 067 4890 • Forestryengland.uk/Westonbirt

The Westonbirt Restaurant offers tasty, freshly

prepared hot and cold refreshments. Food is

prepared and cooked onsite, whils the fresh bread

is from Hobbs House Bakery and made using local

Shipton Mi l flour from nearby Long Newnton.

WINDSO

BREWERIES

THE BATH BREW HOUSE (B4)

thebathbrewhouse.com

WADWORTH BREWERY (D4)

Northgate Brewery, Devizes SN10 1JW,

01380 723361 • wadworth.co.uk

Stately red-brick brewery in Devizes town centre,

producing a range of real ales including the widely

distributed 6X. Ca l in to the Harness Room Bar

for a taste and don’t leave without checking out

the Brewseum.

WEST BERKSHIRE BREWERY (G3)

The Old Dairy, Frilsham Farm, Yattendon RG18

0XT, 01635 767090 • wbbrew.com

A menu of homemade pizzas, burgers and salads

soak up the beers in the Taproom of this modern

brewhouse. You’ l have views into the brewery on

one side and out over the Berkshire countryside

on the other.

BARS AND PUBS SERVING

REAL ALES

HELEN BROWNING’S ROYAL OAK (E3)

helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk/royal-oak/

THE NEWBURY (G4)

thenewburypub.co.uk

THE PRINCE STREET SOCIAL (B4)

princestreetsocial.com

QUEENS ARMS, EAST GARSTON (F4)

queensarmseastgarston.co.uk

THE ROYAL OAK YATTENDON (G3)

royaloakyattendon.co.uk

THE ROYAL WINDSOR PUB (K3)

theroyalwindsor.co.uk

THE SWAN BRADFORD ON AVON (C4)

theswanbradford.co.uk

THREE TUNS FREEHOUSE (F4)

tunsfreehouse.com

THE WHITE HORSE INN (D4)

whitehorse-comptonbassett.co.uk

ABBEY HOTEL (B4)

abbeyhotelbath.co.uk

APEX HOTEL (B4)

apexhotels.co.uk

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL (B4)

handpickedhotels.co.uk/bailbrookhouse

BOWOOD HOTEL, SPA & GOLF RESORT (D4)

Calne, Wiltshire SN11 9PQ 01249 822228

bowood.org/bowood-hotel-resort

Finger sandwiches, scones and colourful cakes

served in the Shelburne Restaurant, Bar and

Library. Fire in winter.

CRICKLADE HOUSE HOTEL (E2)

crickladehotel.co.uk

THE BRIDGE TEA ROOMS (C4)

thebridgetearooms.co.uk

NO 15 GREAT PULTENEY (B4)

no15greatpulteney.co.uk

THE PUMP ROOM RESTAURANT (B4)

Roman Baths, Bath BA1 1LZ 01225 444477

romanbaths.co.uk/pump-room-restaurant

An elegant space a the Roman Baths where a

range of teas is served, from the sma ler cream tea

to the fu l tiered stand of treats.

THE ROSEATE (H4)

roseatehotels.com/reading/theroseate

ROSEATE HOUSE (L3)

roseatehotels.com/london/roseatehouse

THE ROSEATE VILLA BATH (B4)

roseatehotels.com/bath/theros

NATIONAL TRUST SEASONAL EATING,

DRINKING AND SHOPPING

Did you know that 187 of National Trust’s cafés,

restaurants and tea-rooms have received the

Food for Life Served Here Award? The award

recognises tha they serve fresh, local food that

is ethically and sustainable produced. There

are seven National Trust places you can find on

the Great West Way and eight more which are

within easy reach of it, so if you’re looking for an

afternoon tea, a picnic or a food hamper to take

back there should be something to tempt your

tastebuds.

AVEBURY, MARLBOROUGH (E4)

The New Circles Restaurant

Avebury Manor Tearoom

Coach House Café

DYRHAM PARK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE (B3)

The Tea-room and Tea Garden

PRIOR PARK, BATH (C4)

The Tea Shed

TYNTESFIELD, BRISTOL (A4)

Cow Barn Restaurant

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust work in partnership

with cafés along the canal at Bradford on Avon,

Devizes, Crofton Beam Engines and Newbury,

so you can be sure of some tasty refreshments

whenever you visit. For more information on their

cafés see katrust.org.uk

Beer has been brewed in England for thousands

of years – a fermented mixture of water, hops,

malt and yeast. Although beer itself wasn’t

invented here, the English have developed their

own unique style which is quite unlike what

you’ l find in other countries.

This is ca led ‘real ale’, a name first coined in the

1970s by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale)

to describe traditional draught cask beers that

contain live yeast. Real ale is a living product,

the yeast continuing to ferment until the beer is

served – genera ly from a traditional hand-pull

pump mounted on the bar. This gives real ale

bags o flavour and a natural light carbonation

that is very different from the more ubiquitous

lagers and highly carbonated beers produced by

the large international brewers.

You’ l find real ale in almost a l pubs along

the Great West Way. It comes in numerous

varieties including IPA (India Pale Ale), bitter,

mild, stout, porter and golden. Flavours can

vary significantly within varieties, so don’t be

afraid to request a taste first – and always ask

for what’s local.

These are some of the best places to drink real

ale along the Great West Way.

BEAR, DEVIZES (D4)

thebearhoteldevizes.co.uk

BIRD IN HAND, KNOWL HILL (J3)

birdinhand.co.uk

BLACK SWAN, DEVIZES (D4)

blackswandevizes.co.uk

CROWN, TOLLDOWN (B3)

thecrowntolldown.co.uk

GEORGE INN, NORTON ST PHILIP (C5)

georgeinnnsp.co.uk

visitbristol.co.uk/beer

Bristol is one of the UK’s leading craft beer

destinations and is brimming with brilliant

breweries – there are more than 20 in the

city and surrounding countryside. Quench

your thirst in tap rooms, fantastic beer

shops and traditional pubs, or fo low the

lead of the local tour guides at Bristol

Brewery Tours or Bristol Hoppers.

The chalk soils and temperate climate of the south

are pretty perfect for crisp, white, bubbly varieties,

and English wines are winning international awards.

Take a vineyard tour with one of the wine producers

on the Great West Way.

DINING RESTAURANTS

You’ll find many of the restaurants along the

Great West Way are dining rooms within our

Ambassador hotels, many of which source their

ingredients from sma local producers. You’ l also

find several celebrity chefs including Rick Stein,

Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White. There’s

also plenty of different cuisines to tempt you.

BEAU’S BAR AND RESTAURANT AT

DONNINGTON GROVE HOTEL &

COUNTRY CLUB (G4)

donnington-grove.com

THE BRASSERIE AT SIR CHRISTOPHER

WREN HOTEL (K3)

sirchristopherwren.co.uk

CEDAR AT THE LANGLEY (K3)

thelangley.com

CLAYTON’S KITCHEN (B4)

claytonskitchen.com

CLOISTERS RESTAURANT,

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL (C4)

handpickedhot

If its award-winning you’re looking for then you’re

in for a treat. There are numerous celebrity chefs

along the route and top-notch country pubs such as

The Red Lion Freehouse. Listed are some of the best

restaurants.

RED LION FREEHOUSE (E5)

East Chisenbury, Pewsey SN9 6AQ,

01980 671124 • redlionfreehouse.com

Thatched country pub with food so good it holds a

Michelin star. There’s pub grub such as ham, egg and

chips as we l as the more refined main menu which

changes daily and focuses on what’s in season.

THE DIN

A’BECKETT’S VINEYARD (D5)

01380 816669 • abecketts.co.uk

ALDER RIDGE VINEYARD (F4)

01488 686770 • alderridge.co.uk

ALDWICK ESTATE VINEYARD (A4)

01934 864404 • aldwickestate.co.uk

KOFFMANN & MR WHITE’S ENGLISH AND

FRENCH BRASSERIE (B4)

mpwrestaurants.co.uk

THE MARCO PIERRE WHITE RESTAURANT

AT THE CASTLE HOTEL (K3)

castlehotelwindsor.com

THE MONKEY ISLAND BRASSERIE AT THE

MONKEY ISLAND ESTATE (J3)

monkeyislandestate.co.uk

THE MOONRAKER HOTEL (C4)

moonrakerhotel.com

THE FAT DUCK (J3)

High St, Bray SL6 2AQ

THE HAND AND FLOWERS (J3)

126 West St, Marlow SL7 2BP

AFTERNOON TEA

A proper English afternoon tea is far more than just

a hot beverage. In fact, it can be a whole meal in

itself, no to mention a thoroughly pleasant way to

while away an afternoon.

There is always tea, of course. Usua ly this is served

by the pot and made from tea leaves, poured

through a strainer into a bone china cup. A tiered

cake stand is the mos traditional way to serve the

accompanying food: sandwiches, scones served with

jam and cream, and cakes. Most people ea them

in that order, but since many of the most upmarket

places wi l keep replenishing each level, you could

switch back and forth for hours.

Afternoon

ENGLISH WINE

CULINARY DELIGHTS

IN MICHELIN STARRED

RESTAURANTS

The Great West Way runs through some of

England’s most fertile agricultural land, so it’s no

surprise that you’ l find regular farmers’ markets

along the route. Check ou these markets for fresh

local food and drink, direct from the producers.

Bath Farmers’ Market Green Park Station,

every Sat

Bristol Farmers’ Market St Nicholas Market,

every Wed

Bristol Street Food Market St Nicholas Market,

every Tue & Fri

Corsham Farmers’ Market 3rd Sat of month

Harbourside Street Food Market Broad Quay,

Bristol, every Wed & Thur

Henley Farmers’ Market 2nd Sat, 4th Thur &

5th Sun of month

Maidenhead Farmers’ Market 2nd Sun of month

Malmesbury Artisan and Farmers’ Market

every Fri

Newbury Farmers’ Market 1st Sun of month

One of the greatest pleasures of a drive

through the English countryside is stopping

at a farm shop café for a cup of tea and some

tasty local produce. You’ l happen upon them

as you travel along the Great West Way.

COBBS FARM SHOP & KITCHEN,

HUNGERFORD (F4)

Cobbs Farm, Bath Rd, Hungerford RG17 0SP,

01488 686770 • cobbsfarmshops.co.uk

This exce lent farm shop se ls produce from

the surrounding farm. Expect asparagus and

rhubarb in spring and soft fruits in summer,

while autumn means squash and pumpkin.

The café uses the same produce where possible

and serves breakfasts and lunches including

Wiltshire cured ham and homemade quiche.

Down the road in Englefield, Reading you wi l

find another Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen with

a whole host of local produce.

BUTTLE FARM (D4)

buttlefarm.co.uk

CHOLDERTON CHARLIE’S FARM SHOP

(E5)

Choldertoncharliesfarm.com/farm-shop

COBBS FARM SHOP & KITCHEN,

ENGLEFIELD (H4)

cobbsfarmshops.co.uk

ROVES FARM SHOP (E3)

Rovesfarm.co.uk/farmshop

Richmond Duck Pond Markets every Sat & Sun

Swindon Farmers’ Market Swindon Designer

Outlet, every Sun

Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Ascot, 3rd Sun

of month; Newbury, 1st Sun of month; Reading 1st

& 3rd Sat of month; Windsor, 1st Sat of month

Trowbridge Weaver’s Market 2nd Saturday of

the month (not winter)

Wiltshire Farmers’ Market Devizes, 1st Sat of

month; Royal Wootton Bassett 4th Sat of month;

Salisbury 1st & 3rd Wed of month

MARVELLOUS FOOD MARKETS

FARM SHOPS

THE LANGLEY (K3)

thelangley.com

Experience an authentic Afternoon Tea in the

classic decor of the Drawing Room. Appointed

with historic features, original artwork and

contemporary furnishings, this is the perfect

spo to view our landscaped gardens and lake

while enjoying our contemporary afternoon tea.

ALDWICK ESTATE VINEYARD

COBBS FARM SHOP

THE NEWBURY

WHATLEY MANOR

BATH ARTISANS MARKET

BRISTOL BEER FACTORY

MOOR BEER

CLICK

HERE

TO

DOWNLOAD

With so many great experiences to savour

along the Great West Way food lovers should

download our Food & Drink map!

VINEYARD TOURS AND TASTINGS

• ALDER RIDGE

Tours happen between June and September at this 8-acre vineyard

specialising in sparkling wine, conveniently located at Cobbs Farm Shop, a

food-lovers’ destination in its own right, on the Berkshire/Wiltshire border.

• A’BECKETT’S VINEYARD

Tours (1 hour or 90 minutes) can be arranged for groups (minimum of 10

people or the cost thereof). In addition to trying English sparkling wine, or

cider or apple juice from the orchards, don’t miss the Penruddocke’s Red

Pinot Noir, a bronze-medal winner in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020.

• ALDWICK ESTATE

Take a 90-minute tour from March to October in Somerset’s lush Yeo Valley.

Try the award-winning Seyval Salute sparkling English wine, first released in

2020: a ‘salute’ to the NHS key workers during COVID-19. There’s sumptuous

accommodation on the estate if you imbibe extra enthusiastically.

Pictured leftright:

Family fun

at Pub in the

Park; Vineyard

at the Aldwick

Estate, a

sumptious

afternoon tea

at Whatley

Manor

Hotel & Spa,

Malmesbury


90 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Pictured in

a clockwise

direction: STEAM

Museum of the

Great Western

Railway; STEAM

Museum's

Pattern Shop; The

Merchant's House;

Crofton Beam

Engines; Jane

Austen Centre;

We The Curious.


MUSEUM GEMS

The Great West Way is home to some of

England’s most fascinating heritage sites and

unmissable museums to visit on your journey

Words: Robin Glover

TRAVELLERS ALONG THE Great West Way, whether

driving, cycling, boating or walking, will be amazed

by the many opportunities to visit sites of national

and international importance. If you think London

has a monopoly on arts and culture in England, think again!

The world is well aware of the magnificent Windsor

Castle, majestic Salisbury Cathedral, mystical Stonehenge

and the Roman Baths in Georgian Bath – and each

demands a visit – but there are also many less well-known

finds to discover on your way.

Even in the quaintest of villages you can find a thriving

cultural life, from annual festivals that have been faithfully

recreated for hundreds of years to pop-up art galleries in

repurposed phone boxes.

The market towns and cities along the Great West Way

also reach well beyond their geographical limits in terms

of the quality and breadth of their artistic output. While

some showcase the work of celebrated local artists, each

inspired in unique ways by their remarkable surroundings,

others attract national and international talent. This is a joy

for travellers as it means a variety of art galleries, theatres,

music venues, literary events, comedy nights and more to

explore.

Along the touring route you’ll find big name theatres

rubbing shoulders with smaller - but just as interesting

- backroom gig venues. And one-off woodland poetry

readings that prove as soul-stirring as star-studded book

festivals. Because on the Great West Way, art and culture

happens anywhere and everywhere.

There’s such a rich respect for the arts along the route,

we know you’ll find something to arouse even your most

niche interests.

Before leaving behind the Thames-side delights of Henry

VIII’s Hampton Court, historic Runnymede, notorious

Cliveden and Royal Windsor, seek out the Windsor &

Royal Borough Museum, unassuming but full of interesting

exhibits illustrating the thousands of years of the

settlement’s existence and royal patronage.

By contrast, just a few minutes away, at Eton Wick, is

an absorbing, privately-owned collection of civilian and

military motor vehicles and militaria, The History on

Wheels Museum.

Head a little further upstream and you will come to

the Maidenhead Heritage Centre where you can both

trace the two thousand years of the town’s history and,

unforgettably for enthusiasts of all ages, ‘fly’ in a WWII

Spitfire simulator. Arrive in the town of Reading and there

are many visitor attractions.

Make your next stop the historic village of Cookham

in Berkshire's north-easternmost corner, home to the

Stanley Spencer Gallery, an art museum dedicated to his

life and work as an artist. Pick up a map and continue the

experience on an hour-long walking trail from the centre of

Cookham down to the Thames and back, past the location

of a number of Spencer’s paintings. Our next cultural gem

along the route is the pretty riverside village of Hurley, with

its half-timbered houses, old church and exciting past as

one of the last great secrets of D Day! →

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“In Newbury the West Berkshire Museum is a treasure trove of information

and exhibits illustrating the origins of the county and its people.”

Unknown to its residents, for 75 years, Station Victor was

in fact a radio centre run by the secret intelligence branch

of the American Office of Strategic Services. There's a blue

commemorative plaque, which was unveiled in 2019 to

mark the site of the secret communication stations, (which

were codenamed VICTOR) - find it at the entrance to

Hurley Manor.

Whitchurch Silk Mill is a gem of industrial heritage

in beautiful, rural Hampshire. Pop into The Mill Shop

following your visit to buy exclusive silk gifts that have

been woven right there at the Mill.

Further west, Reading Museum, is full of fascinating

regional history and artefacts, a 70-metre long, woven

replica of the famous Bayeux Tapestry and the Huntley

& Palmer exhibition, reflecting on the 150 years of local

biscuit manufacture. The Museum of English Rural Life is

where agriculture, through the ages, is brilliantly brought

to life with interactive exhibits as well as comprehensive

displays of implements, machinery and vehicles, and the

Abbey Galleries are a great introduction to exploring the

ruins of Reading Abbey, which is also celebrating a 900

year anniversary in 2021, and finding out more about

Henry I, England’s last ‘unfound’ king.

In Newbury the West Berkshire Museum is a treasure

trove of information and exhibits illustrating the origins

of the county and its people. By contrast, just a few miles

further west, in Wiltshire, is a pair of remarkable survivors

from the early days of the Industrial Revolution.

The Crofton Beam Engines were built over 200 years

ago to maintain water-levels in the nearby Kennet & Avon

Canal and, amazingly, those great steam engines are still in

working order, doing the job for which they were designed!

Negotiating the pretty lanes of the Vale of Pewsey brings

the happy traveller to Devizes, home of the independent

craft brewers, Wadworth Brewery, featuring a ‘Brewseum’ of

memorabilia, and of the county’s Wiltshire Museum, telling

the 500,000 years story of the county through its awardwinning

galleries, exhibits, high-quality graphics and striking

reconstructions. In order to maximise their enjoyment,

visitors en route to such prehistoric sites as Avebury and

Stonehenge are urged to visit this museum first.

And in Wiltshire’s county town, the Trowbridge Museum

offers insight into the rich textile related heritage in

the heart of the town. The museum has recently seen a

fantastic multi-million pound expansion, doubling the size

of the museum for its 2021 re-opening!

Moving forward in time, the history of 19th and 20th

century steam railways is retold at STEAM - Museum of

the Great Western Railway and, if historic aeroplanes are

a ‘must-see’ for you or your children, you need look no

further than the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at

Old Sarum, Salisbury, where cockpits are mostly open and

you can sit in and use the controls.

Since its formation in 1942, the Corps of Royal Electrical

and Mechanical Engineers has been the driving-force of the

British Army and the inspiring story of the unit is told at

the REME Museum through their collections of armoured

vehicles and weaponry and child-friendly interactive

displays.

When you reach Bristol, be prepared for even more,

as Aerospace Bristol houses an awesome collection of

aeroplanes and space vehicles spanning the centuries, →

92 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Pictured left-right: West

Berkshire Museum;

Brunel's SS Great Britain;

the last Concorde to be

built at Aerospace Bristol;

We the Curious; and

Trowbridge Museum

DID YOU KNOW? STONEHENGE AND

AVEBURY ENIGMATIC STONES FORM

ONE OF THE UK’S FIRST EVER UNESCO

WORLD HERITAGE SITES?

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DISCOVER THE UNEXPECTED IN 2021

DISCOVER READING

A unique place in history, Reading is a surprise at every turn

Reading Abbey celebrates 900 years of history

The Museum of English Rural Life – the museum of food, farming and the countryside

Britain’s Bayeux Tapestry is 70m long – the only full-scale replica is housed in Reading Museum

livingreading.co.uk

Discover

Calne

From A to B

Calne

Town

Council

Plan your visit at

VisitCalne.co.uk


including the last Concorde to be built and to fly. Also in Bristol, don’t miss

Brunel's SS Great Britain, one of the most important historic ships in the

world or We The Curious on Bristol’s harbourside, with all sorts of different

experiences and exhibits for you to interact with, and experiments you can

take part in.

Our next ports-of-call are altogether more restful, starting at the charming

Georgian town of Chippenham, there's the Chippenham Museum &

Heritage Centre, set in an immaculate 18th century townhouse and relating

the story of the town’s development since the prehistoric era. On the way

to the nearby market town of Corsham, a small detour will bring you to the

picture-perfect village of Lacock, and National Trust’s Lacock Abbey, Fox

Talbot Museum and Village.

Here, in 1835, William Fox Talbot created the world’s first photographic

negative and it is only proper that the Museum of Photography is established

here.

Pretty Corsham offers two museum ‘treats’, a moving historical experience

in the original 17th century Corsham Schoolroom and Almshouse and The

Pound Arts Centre, a North Wiltshire hub for the performing and visual arts.

The City of Bath, in its entirety, has been awarded UNESCO World

Heritage status and this modest feature cannot do it full justice. Explore it

for yourself, at leisure, and marvel at the splendour and grace of its Georgian

beauty. 2021 is the year to immerse in English history and Bath is offering it

in abundance.

The city was built up around its mineral rich hot springs, so you’ll want to

explore the Roman Baths, where it all began - walking on the very ground

bathers did more than 2,000 years ago.

The Archway Project has recently converted the former Victorian spa

buildings close to the Roman Baths into a World Heritage Centre, exploring

the internationally recognised historic city, and opened previously unseen

areas of the Roman Baths themselves – including a Roman sauna!

Other impressive museums and exhibitions include the imaginative

recreations at No. 1 Royal Crescent and the Jane Austen Centre and the

superb collection of fine and decorative arts to be viewed at the Grade I listed

The Holburne Museum. Plus don't miss the brand new Mary Shelley's House

of Frankenstein, the world's first horror experience dedicated to author Mary

Shelley and her most infamous creation, Frankenstein.

VIDEOS AND MULTIMEDIA

› Keep busy at home with Wiltshire

Museum's new At Home programme

featuring do-it-yourself craft activities,

learning resources for kids, stories about

intriguing objects and documents from

their collections and libraries:

wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/donations/at-home

› Take a Google Street View tour of

the Roman Baths: romanbaths.co.uk/

walkthrough Or have a go at these online

games: romanbaths.co.uk/online-games

› Test your fashion knowledge with the

Fashion Museum and Assembly Rooms

online quiz: www.fashionmuseum.

co.uk/quiz and download some children's

activities: fashionmuseum.co.uk/

childrens-page

› Keep an eye on the Youtube account for

The Pounds Art Centre, where they post

videos of performances and readings:

youtube.com/user/PoundArts/videos

› For any foodies out there, you can now

book a virtual food tour of Bath to enjoy

from your own home thanks to Savouring

Bath. You can even purchase a box of tasty

samples to eat during the tour, which will

be delivered to your door: savouringbath.

com/tours/virtual-food-heroes

› Enjoy a live view of the ancient

standing stones at Stonehenge with

their Stonehenge Skyscape tool. Watch

the sun rise and set and experience the

atmosphere and mystery of the iconic

stone circle: english-heritage.org.uk/

visit/places/stonehenge/things-to-do/

stone-circle/skyscape/

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WAYS TO REJUVENATE THE

MIND, BODY

AND SOUL

Take some time out for yourself along

the Great West Way and re-energise your

mind, body and soul. Whether you’re keen

on keeping fit or prefer taking it easy in a

luxury spa, we hope you enjoy our top 10

ways to add some wellness to your trip

1

CONNECT WITH

NATURE

You just can’t beat pulling on your walking boots,

getting out into the English countryside and

breathing in that fresh, fresh air. The whole length

of the route boasts wide, open landscapes just

calling out to be explored. Rolling green downland.

Fields of spring wildflowers. Tranquil lakes. Get

away from the crowds and head out into these

quintessentially English landscapes for some

ultimate restorative me-time. Explore Richmond

Park, London’s largest site of Special Scientific

Interest and European Special Area of Conservation

or visit one of the Great West Way’s Areas of

Outstanding Natural Beauty, from the North

Wessex Downs, The Cotswolds to The Chilterns.

Or why not take a walk around the grounds of one

of the Great West Way’s National Trust gardens

including Tyntesfield, Prior Park Landscape Garden

and Lacock. For a faster pace join a Nordic Walking

event with Bristol Nordic Walking. Or you might

enjoy Alison Howell’s Foot Trails, Oldbury Tours or

Tour & Explore with Anne Bartlett.

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97


2

JOIN IN WITH A

WELLNESS CLASS

No matter where you are on the Great

West Way chances are you won’t be

too far from a yoga or mindfulness class

where you can join in the spirit with

others. Luxury hotels and Health Retreats

including Casterley Barn, Danesfield House

and Hungerford’s Herongate Club all run

regular classes. If staying in Bath you

might enjoy a one-day introductory session

at the Bath School of Shiatsu & Yoga, and

in Bristol yoga and holistic therapies are

hugely popular. Wild Wolf’s Yoga, Bristol

City Yoga and Bristol Yoga Space are all

fairly central. You can even take part in a

yoga session with SUP Bristol while on a

paddleboard floating on the waterways of

Bristol Harbourside.

98 GreatWestWay.co.uk


3STAY ON A FARM

To get an authentic feel for life on the

land, wake up to the sound of cockerels

at one of the fabulous farms along the

Great West Way. Depending on what sort

of experience you want, you could stay

at a lovely luxurious farmhouse B&B like

Marshwood Farm near Salisbury or Great

Ashley Farm in Bradford-on-Avon. For the

ultimate luxury experience stay in one of

Buttle Farm’s beautiful barn conversions,

awarded VisitEngland’s highest rating –

5*Gold, or for rustic-romance in a snuggly

shepherd hut on rolling farmland head to

Rushall Organics Farm. You could get stuck

in with a full-on farm stay at Mill Farm

in Devizes, offering lots of farm-based

experiences alongside its accommodation,

from badger watching to donkey rides.


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4

BOOK A LUXURY

SPA BREAK

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 what you

need then there’s plenty of choice on the

Great West Way. Some of the best include

The Roseate Reading, Monkey Island in Bray,

The Langley in Buckinghamshire, Pennyhill

Park in Surrey, Whatley Manor in Malmesbury

and The Royal Crescent in Bath. Cricklade

House and Woolley Grange Hotel in Wiltshire

both have scenic locations ideal for that after

dinner evening stroll. Or if you really want to

splash out, make like a princess (or prince)

for a spa retreat at Cliveden House. 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 and to help you combat any fatigue

caused from lockdown.

100 GreatWestWay.co.uk


5

BRAVE A DIP

There are some magical places to go wild

swimming along the Great West Way such

as Avoncliff, a luscious river pool with a

rope swing in Bradford-on-Avon, or Cock

Marsh near Cookham where you’ll find

sandy beaches to paddle out from and

clear, clean waters. You might prefer to

plunge into one of the historic lidos en route

such as Clifton’s Victorian Lido in Bristol, and

enjoy the invigorating feel of an outdoor swim,

or with the luxury of changing rooms, Bristol

Lido and the Thames Lido in Reading are

much-loved by locals. You might also enjoy a

refreshing soak in the natural thermal waters

of the rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa.


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Moments to to

remember

made with the

National Trust

Visit Visit the the National Trust Trust places along the the the

Great West West Way® for for for spaces to to to relax, relax, gardens

and and countryside to to to explore and and and stories stories to to discover. discover.

These are the places that make us.

These These are are the the places places that that make make us. us.

nationaltrust.org.uk/south-west

nationaltrust.org.uk/south-west

© National

© National

Trust

Trust

2019

2019

. Registered

. Registered

charity,

charity,

No.

No.

205846.

205846. ©

National

National

Trust

Trust

Images

Images

\Alana

\Alana

Wright.

Wright.

© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \Alana Wright.


6

HAVE A ‘ZOO’PER

TIME

Whether your favourite animal is a monkey,

lion, pig or a giraffe, you’re guaranteed to

enjoy your day and re-energise exploring

one of the many zoos or wildlife parks along

the way. Visit Longleat, home to England’s

only Koalas at Koala Creek, and meet their

colourful macaws in an impressive parrot

show display, explore rare breeds at Avon

Valley Wildlife Park, become a ranger for the

day at Bristol Zoo Gardens (the world’s 5th

oldest zoo!), or celebrate World Lion Day on

10 August at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

At Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm the little

ones will love feeding, cuddling and petting

the rabbits, pigs, goats, chickens, ponies,

sheep and more, or just a short detour off the

route at Cotswold Wildlife Park you can walk

the Giraffe Walkway and be eye-to-eye with

these amazing creatures.


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7

GLAMP OR CAMP

For wellness you can’t beat sleeping in a

yurt, glamping pod, rustic cabin or luxury

treehouse. There’s no doubt, camping in the

countryside along the Great West Way can

be a magical experience, sitting round a fire

pit, toasting marshmallows until they’re so

gooey they nearly fall off the stick. Listening

for the twit-twoooo of owls after dark.

Sleeping under a dazzling blanket of stars. If

you enjoy going off-grid then try The Farm

Camp near Bath, or for a unique city stay

try Uplands Treehouse in Bristol. If in search

of some precious couples-only time head

to Totteridge Farm in the heart of Vale of

Pewsey. In what amounts to a Great British

Glamp-off, some sites even offer experiences

like mindfulness walks, guided birdwatching

tours and cooking classes and most have

outdoor spaces where you can sit and read

a book or enjoy a sundowner cider with

mesmerising views.

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8TRY YOUR HAND AT

SOMETHING NEW

You might enjoy a bushcraft course with

Survival School, Bristol, or learning about

bee keeping with Wiltshire Beekeepers

Association. Book a foraging experience

with Experience Nomadic for a woodland

foraging feast inspired by the wild ingredients

that grow there in abundance. Take a

creative course such as learning to weave

at Whitchurch Silk Mill – or take part in a

wellbeing summer course at Marlborough

College in Wiltshire, once home to the

Duchess of Cambridge during her school

days. They run a wide range of workshops

including a burgeoning selection of rural

craft courses, an introduction to bee keeping,

drawing and painting the landscape, code

breaking and many more. If you’re interested

in organic farming and happy to volunteer,

WWOOF can even connect you with local

smallholdings where you can learn new skills

helping out around the farm.

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9

GET IN TOUCH WITH

YOUR SPIRITUAL SIDE

If the wellness you seek is spiritual, you’ll find plenty

of absorbing sacred spaces along the Great West Way,

and where better to start than one of the almighty

cathedrals? There’s the inimitable Bath Abbey, perfect

for pondering higher spiritual planes, as well as Bristol,

Salisbury and Gloucester cathedrals. Amid those you’ll

also find churches, temples and mosques. A growing

interest in mindfulness techniques means you can find

meditation courses and retreats too. Tarastone near

Salisbury offers Buddhist teachings as well as peaceful

accommodation in a beautiful setting. Finally, you can

feel the power of England’s pagan past at Stonehenge

and Avebury - or, for a lesser-known experience, Stanton

Drew. Sunset or sunrise at summer and winter solstice -

signalling the longest and shortest days of the year - are

when most of the celebrations take place, but they’re

magical places of reflection whenever you visit. 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 highwayman

and unforeseen hazards.

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10

TREAT YOURSELF

All sorts of delicious foods and drinks are

produced along the Great West Way – fresh

fruit and vegetables are grown, meat is reared,

beer is brewed and gin is distilled. Sample some

delicious local produce as you explore the

wonderful farm shops. Pile your basket high with

free range eggs, punnets of fresh strawberries,

West Country cider, Cheddar cheese, Wiltshire

smoked ham and more. Why not pack it all up

in a hamper and find a spot to enjoy a leisurely

picnic besides the canal or on a flower-strewn

hillside? At Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen in

Hungerford you will find a traditional butchery

counter, delicatessen, fishmongers, and shelves

stacked with locally-grown produce. Or dine in,

with outdoors hospitality expected to reopen

mid-April and indoors hospitality from mid-

May, places will be welcoming you back to enjoy

their pubs, restaurants and cafés along the

route. Linger over an indulgent afternoon tea

in a quaint country café. Sit down to a gourmet

meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Sip local

beer in sunny beer gardens... Whatever your

tastes, there’s many a tantalising buffet foodie

experience waiting to be savoured.

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POST-COVID

HOTEL STAYS

From the city, riverside, to

the countryside - a safe and

warm welcome awaits

Words: Jessica Way

HOTELIERS ALONG THE GREAT WEST WAY have been busy

preparing to reopen their doors, and welcome you back

safely, on the 17 May 2021, covid restrictions permitting.

Whether you are looking for a city break in a luxury spa

hotel, a countryside manor house offering rambles in acres of

outdoor space, or a boutique hotel on the banks of the river, there

is a hotel for every occasion. Hospitality teams have been working

hard behind the scenes to ensure enhanced safety procedures to

offer you peace of mind during your stay, so here’s a look at some

of the best hotels, getting you ready for your summer staycation.

HOTELS IN THE CITY

If you are starting your Great West Way journey in London

The Great Northern Hotel is an exquisitely designed, luxurious

boutique hotel relevant and central to today's reborn King's Cross

St Pancras. Opened in 1854, the hotel embraces its heritage while

moving gracefully with the times. Dress to impress and head to

the cocktail bar and glamourous martini lounge. Roseate House

London is just a short walk from Hyde Park offering stunning views

over leafy Westbourne Terrace. If you are arriving from overseas

and need a convenient place to stay in Central London for your 14

days quarantine, the Roseate House London has launched a special

quarantine package, based on a minimum 14-night stay, with →

108 GreatWestWay.co.uk


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Catch The Stonehenge Tour bus in Salisbury:

bus stop U or Salisbury railway station

THE BEST WAY TO DISCOVER THE MYSTERY OF THE STONES

buy tickets

online or

from the

driver

thestonehengetour.info

thestonehengetour

SHT_Great-West-Way-Mag_Advert_195x133_0121_V2.indd 1 20/01/2021 11:07:41


“Why not stay in the most famous crescent in the world, take a dip in

their award-winning spa, then let the tension of the last twelve months

melt away while making a toast to a brighter future?”

discounted room rates and a complimentary upgrade to

a luxury Suite. Good to know - 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' (see p112); and located

in the centre of Bath The Roseate Villa Bath.

Why not combine your city stay with a spa break?

Because who doesn’t enjoy a morning filled with shopping

followed by an afternoon of luxury pampering? The

Great West Way has some of the country’s best and

most unique spa hotels, many of which are located in

convenient proximity to a city centre. The Gainsborough

Bath Spa for example, is located in the heart of Bath,

famed for its Georgian-era architecture. Guests of the

hotel have exclusive access to the Spa Village, set beneath

a glass atrium within the hotel, the spa draws on the city’s

natural thermal waters. A short walk away The Royal

Crescent Hotel & Spa built between 1767 and 1775 is

located in the most famous crescent in the world. For the

re-opening they have launched a special midweek new

package where you will enjoy a night’s stay in a luxury

room or suite including full English breakfast, plus a

Taittinger Champagne gift set. Why not take a dip in their

award-winning spa, then let the tension of the last twelve

months melt away while making a toast to a brighter future?

If it’s culture, dining and nightlife you’re after, you won’t

find better than Abbey Hotel Bath, home to Koffmann &

Mr. White's brasserie-style English and French restaurant,

for its location. An experiential art-driven hotel, for

people seeking true Bathonian encounters, close to all

the main attractions, museums and after-dark venues.

Meanwhile, Dukes Hotel occupies two magnificent

Georgian townhouses on Great Pulteney Street.

You could try the Apex Hotel, Bath’s largest hotel, or

for an elegant and vivacious boutique townhouse hotel

located on the grandest street in Bath head to No. 15

Great Pulteney.

Taking your dog on holiday with you? Just a short drive

from the centre of Bath, Grade II listed Bailbrook House

Hotel, (a Hand Picked Hotel), is dog friendly and set in 20

acres - here you can enjoy the historic Cloisters restaurant

or contemporary dining in The Conservatory.

If Bristol is your chosen destination for a citybreak

full of culture, hotels don’t get more arty than the new

Artist Residence in Bristol’s Portland Square, or more

central than Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, a historic

hotel with restored family-friendly accommodation. You

might also enjoy the Rock & Bowl Motel, or The Bristol

Wing, a boutique hostel in the Grade II listed old Police

Headquarters. Alternatively, The Full Moon →

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111


Pictured in

a clockwise

direction:

Bailbrook House

reception and

freestanding bath;

The Mitre Hotel;

sumptious four

poster bedroom

at The Roseate

Reading.

is 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. And if you’re just in Bristol

for a flying visit - where could be more convenient than

Hampton By Hilton Bristol Airport – the only hotel

within walking distance of the terminal?

Reading is technically the UK's largest town, but with

so much buzz and excitement around the town, with

plenty to see and do, it makes for a fabulous destination

to rival any UK city. There is yet more excellent choice of

hotels here to stay in too. Malmaison Reading has stayed

open through much of the pandemic offering a reduced

service to key workers and business travel. Built in 1844,

the hotel is the oldest surviving station hotel in the

world - perfectly retaining the style and decadence of the

golden age of rail travel. Think luxe decor, roll-top baths,

and gigantic, soft beds. The Novotel Reading Centre also

sits in the heart of the town just a stone's throw from

many of Reading's best restaurants, bars and shops – or

head to artful luxury townhouse, The Roseate Reading,

originally Shire Hall. Marvel over the impressive Italian

chandelier complete with 86,000 Italian-glass beads

and original lift shaft that has been lovingly restored

running the full height of the building. The Roseate

Hotel is the perfect place to spend a glamorous evening

contemplating the next stage of your journey on the

Great West Way.

112 GreatWestWay.co.uk


HOTELS BY THE RIVER

Want to slow down your pace and find your own

story on the Great West Way staying near the

river? With so many absorbing things to see and

do along the Royal River Thames, from watching

the historic tradition of Swan Upping to splashing

about in boats, you might want to combine and

enhance your mini-break to one of these fabulous

hotels with some of the suggestions made in our

Enjoy the River article (see p32)?

Start with one of the oldest inns in the world,

The Olde Bell in Hursely. Full of warmth, history

and charm, this quintessential English coaching

inn, with some parts dating back to 1135, offers a

variety of bedrooms in barns and lodges ranging

from the sublime…to the ridiculously sublime!

One of the newest hotels located on the banks

of the River Thames is The Mitre, a stylish boutique

hotel in East Molesey boasting balconies, private

courtyards, fire pits, jacuzzis and stunning river vistas.

Sir Christopher Wren Hotel & Spa is another

with a Thames riverside location. The hotel

comprises several characterful buildings clustered

around a historic cobbled street by Eton Bridge

“One of the newest hotels located

on the banks of the River Thames

is The Mitre with private

courtyards, fire pits, jacuzzis and

stunning river vistas”

and Windsor Castle, with a gym, spa treatments,

outdoor whirlpool and sauna.

Also in Windsor, both Castle Hotel MGallery

and Sir Christopher Wren Hotel & Spa offer

spectacular views of both the Thames and Windsor

Castle. There are also some fantastic foodie stays

to be had in the Thames area. From Hotel du Vin

in Henley, housed in a former brewery, to The

Hand & Flowers in Marlow - a 3 Michelin-starred

pub by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge. You’ll find the

rooms in nearby cottages almost as sensational as

the fine dining, with their 4-poster beds and deep,

double-ended baths.

If it is a riverside break with luxury spa you

desire, the Runnymede-on-Thames is a hotel

with swimming pool, whirlpool bath, saunas and

eucalyptus steam room, and endless pampering

with a range of treatments. History-rich Magna

Carta country and all manner of outdoor pursuits

are also on the doorstep here.

Speaking of spas, they don’t come much

better than the Monkey Island Estate. Located

on a picturesque island in the historic village →

Pictured left to

right: Afternoon

Tea at The Mitre;

garden at the

Monkey Island

Estate.

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Pictured left-right:

Venue Henley;

Pennyhill Park &

Spa; The Langley;

Cliveden House

Hotel; and Luxury

Family Hotel,

Woolley Grange.

“In Henley, you might enjoy an

overnight stay at Venue Henley,

a 30 acre estate once home to the

WH Smith family set in the heart

of the glorious Oxfordshire

countryside.”

of Bray in Berkshire, on the River Thames. 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 on the Great West Way.

Further along the river, in Henley, you might enjoy

Venue Henley. Once home to the WH Smith family, this 30

acre estate enjoys both views of the river and the glorious

Oxfordshire countryside. It lies less than three miles from

the centre of Henley-on-Thames, a market town full of

historic buildings and home to the famous annual event the

Henley Royal Regatta, five miles from the riverside Georgian

market town of Marlow and a short car journey to Windsor

and the University City of Oxford.

In Wiltshire’s Bradford on Avon, The Swan Hotel is a

charming inn in the centre of town, by the river, full of

character combining the traditions of an old inn, dating

back to the 16th and 17th Century.

HOTELS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

If your walking boots are the most important item you

have packed, and you are looking to reach places that

only they can take you, then one of the Great West Way’s

beautiful countryside hotels is waiting to welcome you!

North of the Thames, The Langley, Buckinghamshire

is the former country estate of the third Duke of

Marlborough. The hotel has a wonderful spa, exceptional

dining and rooms retaining exquisite period features, such

as Baroque fireplaces, and grounds designed by England’s

most famous landscape gardener, Lancelot Capability

Brown.

If you are looking to stay in Ascot, there’s an

abundance of bedrooms and charming grounds, including

a private walled garden and beautiful fountain plaza at

the Royal Berkshire.

Just over five miles away Pennyhill Park in Bagshot is

set in 123 acres of Surrey countryside offering Michelin

starred dining and an award-winning spa.

As a county with an impressive landscape of castles,

country houses and sprawling estates, it’s a fine place to

get a taste for how the English aristocracy live. It doesn’t

get much more luxurious - or traditionally English - than

the Cliveden House Hotel, where the Duchess of Sussex

114 GreatWestWay.co.uk


chose to stay the night before her wedding.

For quaint and cozy, try the Queens Arms,

East Garston, an award-winning hotel, pub and

restaurant with its own private lodge right in the

heart of the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural

Beauty.

Also in Berkshire, there’s Donnington Grove

near Newbury, an impressive 18th-century Gothic

house which was once home to Daisy Fellowes, a

socialite and fashionista said to have owned the

largest jewellery collection in the world. This hotel

and country club is set in 500 acres of countryside

offering countryside pursuits such as fishing and

clay pigeon shooting.

Or perhaps you’re keen to be close to the

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, if so head

to five-star Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, in the

Southern Cotswolds set in 12 acres of gardens

this is a ‘grown up getaway’ with a cinema, spa,

restaurants and more.

Cotswolds villages such as Castle Combe,

Lacock, Badminton and Malmesbury all make

idyllic destinations for countryside rambles.

Why not stay in the nearby market town of

Chippenham, where you’ll find lots more options,

like Best Western Angel Hotel - a 17th-century

coaching inn, standing in over 30 acres of peaceful,

secluded grounds on the edge of the Cotswolds, or

head to The Lygon Arms, a luxury spa hotel set in

the quintessential Cotswold village of Broadway.

For the ultimate tranquility of a countryside

escape with views in all directions, head to the

beautiful county of Wiltshire. This predominantly

green landscape is a wayfarers' paradise - an

ancient, rural county full of excellent walking

routes and intriguing places to stay.

Start with England’s oldest hotel - sitting

proudly next to the 12th Century Abbey in the

centre of the historic, vibrant and charming market

town of Malmesbury, The Old Bell Hotel has

been restored to the height of elegance, glamour

and English charm. Grade I-listed, it’s thought to

date back to the 13th century when it was built to

house visitors to Malmesbury Abbey next door.

For a luxury family experience, Woolley

Grange Hotel in Bradford-on-Avon is another

superb choice. Guests of all ages are indulged

at this Jacobean Manor House. There’s even →

GreatWestWay.co.uk

115


TOUR & EXPLORE

with Anne Bartlett

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

• www.tours2order.com • graham@tours2order.com

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: anne@tourandexplore.com

visit: www.tourandexplore.com

Ambassador for The Great West Way

THE BRIDGE TEA ROOMS

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.

Stay in a Jacobean

manor on your Great

West Way journey!

24a Bridge Street, Bradford on Avon,

Wiltshire, BA15 1BY

+44 (0)1225 865537

www.thebridgetearooms.co.uk

HOTEL | SPA | RESTAURANT

01225 864705 | woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

Woolley Green, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1TX


Pictured:

Cricklade

House

Hotel.

“Cricklade House Hotel is a beautiful and dignified country house,

built at the turn of the last century with a most impressive magnificent

Victorian-style glass conservatory”

complimentary childcare at Woolley Bears Den, so little

ones can get stuck into seasonal activities, like making

butterfly sun catchers, while adults head off for a welldeserved

spa treatment.

With a name like this who could refuse a stay (and

if you’re lucky, a hug too) at The Bear Hotel? Set in

the heart of the quaint historic traditional market town

of Devizes, the hotel is run by Wadworth Brewery. An

original 16th century Coaching Inn with many beams

and other original features, the Bear’s en-suite bedrooms

include grand 4-poster suites with front views of the

Market Square.

Cricklade House Hotel is a beautiful and dignified

country house, built at the turn of the last century with

a most impressive magnificent Victorian-style glass

conservatory which runs the full length of the original

building, making the most of the hotel's elevated position.

Sit out on the terrace and enjoy wonderful panoramic

views over Wiltshire countryside. Beechfield House, also

in Wiltshire, is a stunning 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).

For a unique concept of keyless entry and no reception,

meaning you’re able to stay safely and privately without

having to interact with any other guests book yourself a

room at No.7 & No.8 Kingsbury Street, Marlborough.

Arrive hungry - they also have a fabulous burger

restaurant. Further west, 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, or head to nearby Guyers House Hotel &

Restaurant, a traditional country house with an awardwinning

restaurant.

And if you’re looking for somewhere quick and

convenient for visiting top attractions, you’ll love

Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge, the closest hotel to

Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.

DoubleTree By Hilton Swindon is ideal for resting

tired feet after a different type of day spent walking – a

shopping spree at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet

Swindon.

Find more places to stay,

including bed & breakfasts,

farm stays, self-catering,

pubs, camping and boats

from our website.

CLICK

HERE

GreatWestWay.co.uk

117


THANK YOU TO

THANK YOU THOSE TO OUR WHO AMBASSADORS

HELPED

US ALONG THE WAY

Title Ambassadors

Bristol Airport

Canal & River Trust

Great Western Railway

National Trust

Destination Ambassadors

Bath Business Improvement District

Bradford on Avon Town

Calne Town

Chippenham Town

Corsham Town

Devizes Town

Henley on Thames Town

Hungerford Town

Malmesbury Town

Marlborough Town

Marlow Town

North Wessex Downs AONB

Reading UK

Royal Borough of

Windsor & Maidenhead

Steeple Ashton Village

Swindon Town

Trowbridge Town

Uncover The Cotswolds

Vale of Pewsey

Visit Bath

Visit Bristol

Visit Thames

VisitNewbury

VisitWiltshire

Designated Attraction

& Hotel Ambassadors

Aerospace Bristol

Bowood House & Garden, Calne

Cheddar Gorge & Caves

Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen,

Hungerford

Longleat, Warminster

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet,

Swindon

The Roman Baths, Bath

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa,

Bath

Stonehenge

Thermae Bath Spa, Bath

West Berkshire Brewery, Yattendon

Westonbirt, The National

Arboretum, Tetbury

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa,

Malmesbury

Windsor Castle

Gateway Ambassadors

Dukes Hotel, Bath

The Roseate Reading

Title Ambassadors

Gateway Ambassadors

Devizes Marina

Prior Park Landscape Garden

American Museum & Gardens

Dyrham Park, Chippenham Devizes Marina Day Boat Hire The Roseate Queens Villa Arms, Bath East Garston

Bristol Airport A Taste of England

Abbey Hotel Fashion Museum, Bath Devizes Wharf Tea room Roves Reading Farm, Sevenhampton

Museum

Canal & River a’Beckett’s Trust Vineyard, Devizes The Abbey Quarter French Brothers, Windsor Didcot Railway Centre

Royal Berkshire, The Red Lion Sunninghill East, Chisenbury

Great Western Abbey Railway Hotel, Bath

a’Beckett’s Vineyard The Gainsborough Donnington Bath Spa Grove

The Royal REME Oak, Museum Yattendon

National Trust The Abbey Quarter, Reading Active England Norton St Philip DoubleTree by Hilton, Swindon The Royal River Windsor & Rowing Pub Museum

Aldermaston Tea Rooms,

Dyrham Park

Roseate House London

Active England

Glenside Hospital Museum, Bristol

Salisbury Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Destination Ambassadors

Visitor Centre, & Shop

The Engineman’s Rest Café

The Roseate Villa, Bath

Alder Ridge Vineyard, Hungerford Aldwick Estate Guyers House Hotel, The Corsham Farm Camp

Salisbury The Cathedral Roseate Reading

Bath Business Aldwick Improvement Estate, Bristol District Alison Howell’s Foottrails Hampton by Hilton French Bristol Brothers Airport

Salisbury, Rose Stonehenge of Hungerford and Sarum Tours

Bradford Alison Avon Howell’s Town Foottrails Alton Priors Church Hampton Court Palace, Glenside East Hospital Molesey Museum Sally Narrowboats, Roves Farm Bradford on Avon

Calne Town All Saints Church, Alton Priors Apex Hotel, Bath Helen Browning’s Royal Great Northern Oak, Bishopstone Hotel

Salters Royal Steamers, Oak, Yattendon Reading

Chippenham The Town Apartment Bath Arnos Vale Cemetery Venue Henley, Henley-on-Thames

Hampton by Hilton Bristol Airport Savouring Salisbury BathCathedral

Corsham

Around and About Bath

Hampton Court Palace

Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum Tours

Apex Hotel, Bath

Henley Rowing Association

Shaw House

Cotswolds Tourism

Aspley House

Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Salters Steamers

Destination Apsley Bristol House, London Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum Heritage Bed & Breakfast, Helen Browning’s Calne Royal Oak Sir Christopher Savouring Wren Bath Hotel & Spa, Windsor

Devizes Town Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol Avalon Lodge Bed and Breakfast Herongate Fitness Henley & Wellbeing, Greenlands Hungerford Hotel Skydive Shaw Netheravon House

Henley on Atwell-Wilson Thames Motor Museum, Avebury Calne Landscape Wiltshire The Hidden Gardens Heritage of Bath Bed & Breakfast South Skydive Western Netheravon Railway

Hungerford Avebury Town Landscape

Avon Valley Adventure Hobbs & Wildlife of Park Henley Hobbs of Henley

Stay in Stonor Bath Park

Malmesbury Avon Town Valley Adventure & Wildlife Bailey Park, Balloons Bristol The Holburne Museum, The Holburne Bath Museum

Stonehenge South West Landscape Heritage Tours

Marlborough Town

Bainton Bikes

Holiday Inn, Salisbury - Stonehenge South Western Railway

Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath

Holiday Inn, Salisbury – Stonehenge

Stonor Park, Henley on Thames

Marlow

Barbara McLellan

Honey Street Boats & Café

Stourhead

North Wessex Bailey Downs Balloons, AONBBristol

The Barn Theatre Honey Street Mill Café Hungerford Wharf and Kintbury Stourhead, SUP Bristol Stourton

Reading UK Barrington Court, Ilminster Barrington Court Hotel Novotel Reading Iford Manor CentreGardens

Strawberry The Swan, Hill House Bradford & on Garden, Avon Twickenham

Royal Borough Bath of Apartment Windsor & Breaks Bath Apartment BreaksIford Manor Gardens, Inspirock Bradford on Avon

Sulis Guides Swinley Bike Hub

Maidenhead Bath Area Self Catering The Bath Brew House The Jane Austen Centre, Jane Austen Bath Centre

The Swan Thames Hotel, Lido Bradford on Avon

Stonehenge Bath & Avebury Bus Company WHS

Bath Bus Company The Kennet & Avon Kenavon Trade Association

Venture

Swinley Thames Bike Hub Rivercruise Swinley Forest’s Trail Centre,

Swindon Town

Bath Self Catering

Koffmann & Mr. Whites

Three Tuns Freehouse

Beanhill Farm B&B, Chippenham

The Kingsbury @ No.8, Marlborough

Bracknell

Tourism South East

Beanhill Farm B&B

English and French Brasserie

Tintinhull Garden

Trowbridge Berkeley Town Castle

Berkeley Castle Lacock Abbey, Fox Lacock Talbot Abbey, Museum Fox and Talbot Village Thames Totteridge Lido, Reading Farm

Vale of Pewsey Best Western Plus Angel Hotel, Best Chippenham Western Plus Angel The Hotel, Langley, Slough Museum and village

Thames Tour Rivercruise, and Explore Reading

Visit Bath Blenheim Palace, Woodstock Chippenham

Visit Thames Bombay Sapphire, Whitchurch Bombay Sapphire

Liberty Car Tours, Bath The Langley

Lido Spa & Restaurant, Lido Bristol

Three Tuns Tours Freehouse, 2 Order Great Bedwyn

Tintinhull TransWilts GardenCommunity Rail Partnership

Visit Newbury Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Bozedown Salisbury Alpacas Lorne House, Corsham Lytes Cary Manor

Totteridge Troutbeck Farm Camping Pods, Pewsey

Visit Richmond

Bristol Blue Glass

Macdonald Hotel & Spa Bath

Tucking Mill Self catering

Bozedown Alpacas, Reading

Lytes Cary Manor

Tour and Explore

VisitWiltshire

Bristol Cathedral

Maidenhead Heritage Centre

Tutti Pole

The Bridge Tea Rooms, Bradford Bristol on Avon Community Ferry Maidenhead Boats Heritage Manor Centre Farm B&B

Tours 2 Tyntesfield Order

Designated Bristol Attraction Cathedral

Bristol Packet Boats Manor Farm Courtyard Marlborough Cottages, College Thatcham Summer School TransWilts University Community of Bristol Rail Botanic Partner Garden

& Hotel Bristol Ambassadors Community Ferry BoatsBristol Tandem Hire The Manor House, The Castle Matthew Combe Of Bristol

Troutbeck Vaughan’s Guest Kitchen House, East Chisenbury

Bristol Nordic Walking Bristol Zoo Gardens Marlborough College Meadowbank Summer School House

Tucking Vintage Mill View, Classics Midford

Aerospace Bristol Packet Boats

Brooks Guest House B&B, The Bath Matthew of Bristol Merchants House

Turner’s The House, Watermill Twickenham Theatre

Alder Ridge Vineyard

Bruce Branch Boats

Mompesson House

Wellington Arch

Bristol Tandem Hire

The Merchant’s House, Marlborough

The Tutti Pole, Hungerford

Bowood House & Gardens

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Montacute House

West Berkshire Museum

Cheddar Gorge The Bristol & Caves Wing

Buttle Farm Mill Farm Glamping, The Poulshot Museum of English Rural Life Tyntesfield, We The Wraxall Curious

McArthurGlen Bristol Designer Zoo Gardens Outlet, Swindon Canal Trust Café Mompesson House, MV Salisbury Jubilee

University Whitchurch of Bristol Silk Botanic Mill Garden

Fashion Museum Britain’s Bath Best Heritage Tours Castle Combe Circuit Monkey Island Estate, Newark Bray Park

Vaughan’s Wiltshire Kitchen, landscape, Devizes Stonehenge

Longleat Brooks Guest House B&B, Bath Cheddar Gorge Montacute HouseThe Newbury Pub

Vintage Wiltshire Classics, Museum Melksham

The Roman Brooks Baths Guest House B&B, Bristol The Chilterns View Museum of East Asian Newbury Art, Bath Racecourse

Visit Hillbrush, Wiltshire Music MereCentre

Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

Chippenham Museum

No. 1 Royal Crescent

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Blakehill Farm

Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol

The Museum of English Rural Life, Reading Waddesdon Manor

Stonehenge

and Heritage Centre

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Lower Moor

Thermae Bath Buttle Spa Farm, Compton BassettChurch Farm Country Cottages National Garden Scheme The Old Bell, Malmesbury Walton Wiltshire on Thames Wildlife Camping Trust, Jones’s and Mill

Wadworth Crop Brewery Circle & Tours Visitors Centre & Exhibition Clifton Suspension Bridge Newark Park, Ozleworth The Old Chapel

Caravanning Woolley Club Grange Site Hotel

West Berkshire Bradford Brewery on Avon

& Visitor Centre The Newbury Pub Old Sarum

Westonbirt, Castle The National Combe Arboretum Circuit, Chippenham Cobbs Farm Shop Newbury Racecourse Oldbury Tours

Whatley Manor

Castle Hotel, Windsor

Compass Holidays

No. 1 Royal Crescent,

Parkway

Bath

Shopping, Newbury

Windsor Castle

The Courts Garden

Pound Arts

Cheddar Camping and Caravanning Club Site No.15 Great Pulteney, Bath

Cricklade Hotel

Practical Car and Motorhome

Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Crofton Club Beam Site Engines Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, hire, Wraxall Chippenham

The Chilterns View, Wallingford Cumberwell Country Cottages The Old Bell Hotel, Prince Malmesbury Street Social

Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre Old Sarum, Salisbury

Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm, Salisbury Oldbury Tours

Church Farm Country Cottages, Bradford on Avon Original Wild, Bath

Clayton’s Kitchen, Bath

Parkway Shopping Centre, Newbury

Discover Cliffe more Farm about Dairy, West our Lavington Ambassadors at: GreatWestWay.co.uk

Pennyhill Park, Bagshot

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, Englefield

Compass Holidays, Cheltenham

Cotswold Water Park, South Cerney

The Courts Garden, Trowbridge

Cricklade House Hotel, Swindon

The Crown & Anchor, Ham

Cumberwell Country Cottages, Bradford on Avon

Devizes Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Donnington Grove, Newbury

DoubleTree by Hilton, Swindon

Postern Hill Campsite, Marlborough

The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham

Practical Car & Van Hire, Chippenham

The Prince Street Social, Bristol

Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath

The Queens Arms Hotel, East Garston

Reading Museum

Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury

REME Museum, Lyneham

River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames

Roseate House London, Tyburnia

Wanderlust Camper Co

The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor

The Wave, Bristol

We The Curious, Bristol

Wellington Arch, London

West Berkshire Museum, Newbury

Whitchurch Silk Mill

White Horse Inn, Compton Bassett

Wilton Windmill

Wiltshire Museum, Devizes

Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Windsor Carriages

Windsor Duck Tours

Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford on Avon

WWT Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve,

Swindon

WWT Jones’s Mill at the Vera Jeans Reserve,

Pewsey

WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes

WWT Lower Moor Farm

Wyvern Theatre, Swindon

YMCA, Bath

Discover more about our Ambassadors at: GreatWestWay.co.uk


Magical Marlborough

The ancient market town that

packs a postcard-perfect punch

www.marlborough-tc.gov.uk/visitors

visitmarlborough


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