Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum & Village
The Abbey, located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. Visitors can experience the atmosphere of the medieval rooms and cloister court, giving a sense of the Abbey’s monastic past. The museum celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography.
Bowood House & Gardens
Discover the rich and fascinating history of Bowood House and the Lansdowne family, set within 100 acres of beautifully landscaped ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland. Surrounding the Georgian House is the Italian-inspired Terrace Garden, the Private Walled Gardens, and the herbaceous border, all radiating colour throughout the seasons. Children will be thrilled with the adrenaline-fuelled Adventure Playground featuring a life-size pirate ship!
Castle Combe is a quintessentially English village often named as the ‘prettiest village in England.’ The village sits in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village has a rich history, and the houses are made up of the honey-coloured Cotswold stone, typical for a village of this area. Castle Combe has featured regularly as a film location, most recently in The Wolf Man, Stardust and Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse. It was also used in the original Dr Doolittle film. There are 2 excellent pubs in the village!
City of Bath
Beautiful Bath has been a well-being destination since Roman times! The waters are still a big draw, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in. Bath is overflowing with places to eat and drink. Bath’s stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture is straight from a Jane Austen novel –highlights include the iconic Royal Crescent, the majestic Circus and Pulteney Bridge
The world-famous landscape garden has at its centrepiece a magnificent lake reflecting classical temples, mystical grottoes, and rare and exotic trees, and offers a day of fresh air and discovery. Uncover the fascinating history of Stourhead house with an Italian ‘Grand Tour’ adventure and enjoy the unique Regency library, Chippendale furniture and inspirational paintings. The Palladian house is set amid ‘picnic perfect’ lawns and extensive parkland. Explore the 2,650-acre Stourhead estate where chalk downs, ancient woods and farmland are managed for wildlife.
Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages; the first monument was an early henge monument built about 5000 years ago. The unique stone circle was built in the late Neolithic period about 2,500BC. In the early Bronze Age, many burial grounds were built nearby. It is believed that Stonehenge may have been a ‘calendar’ linked to the study of the stars or perhaps a place of healing where sick people flocked in hope of being cured by the monument’s miraculous powers.
Longleat House & Safari Park
The house today is widely regarded as one of the best examples of high Elizabethan architecture in Britain and is one of the most beautiful stately homes open to the public. Substantially completed by 1580 and now occupied by the 7th Marquess of Bath. Although Longleat may be best known for its Capability Brown landscape, it also has a rich tradition of more formal gardens.
Longleat Safari and Adventure Park is one of the oldest zoos in England. It stands out as one of the best zoos in England as you can go on safari among the animals and really get up close. Longleat is a great activity for a rainy day, as you can stay in your car and cruise around. Longleat is known as the UK’s number one safari park.
Avebury henge and stone circles are one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain. Built and much altered during the Neolithic period, roughly between 2850 BC and 2200 BC, the henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch, encircling an area that includes part of Avebury village. Avebury is part of an extraordinary set of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites that seemingly formed a vast sacred landscape. They include West Kennet Avenue, West Kennet Long Barrow, The Sanctuary, Windmill Hill, and the mysterious Silbury Hill. Many can be reached on foot from the village.
Caen Hill Locks, Devizes
The Kennet & Avon Canal has some awesome examples of canal engineering. The 16 locks that form the steepest part of the flight at Caen Hill are not only a scheduled ancient monument, but they are also an Olympic sized challenge every boater must do! Caen Hill is one of the longest continuous flight of locks in the country – a total of 29 locks with a rise of 237 feet over 2 miles with a 1 in 44 gradient for anyone who is counting!
Bradford on Avon
One of the most compelling features about the beautiful town of Bradford on Avon is its unique position on the edge of the Cotswolds facing the River Avon. The ancient bridge in the centre of the town remains its natural focus and the bridge still retains two of its original 13th-century arches. Visiting Bradford on Avon means the visitor gets the best of everything, shopping, restaurants, inns; river; canal and most of all an amazing history that can be found at every turn.