As one last fling at staycation before the onset of winter, my partner and I spent a few days in north Wiltshire. What an inspired and fortuitous choice! Not only were we treated to some exquisite scenery but we were also blessed with sunny autumnal weather!
Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
I normally decide on a location for my trips before finding accommodation. This time round I stumbled across Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort and found it irresistible, although I have no interest in spa or golf.
Have a look at the photos of the hotel and it’s obvious why!
It’s not cheap to stay at Bowood Hotel. However it’s worth it for that feel-good factor which comes with staying somewhere special and feeling pampered.
If first impression counts for anything, the entrance through the imposing gate that opens up to an endless avenue of trees before reaching the hotel complex could not fail to impress!!
Although the hotel was purpose-built in the 2000’s on the Bowood House and Gardens Estate which dated back to the 1700’s, the interiors echo the elegance of ”the good old days” with a modern twist.
What really stole my heart was watching sunrise as I had my breakfast on the first morning. The changing colours of the sky with mist drifting across the woodland at the back of the hotel was rather magical !
Bowood House & Gardens
A bonus for staying at the Bowood Resort was the free entry to Bowood House & Gardens. It’s a 20-minute walk from the hotel but I gather that a free buggy ride to get there could be provided on request.
We were too late to visit the house (the last entrance was 15.00) but the gardens more than made up for it. The formal garden that led to an expansive lawn at the back right down to the lake was perfect for a leisurely stroll in the late afternoon sunshine
Lacock is only about 5 miles from Bowood Hotel & Resort so it’s a perfect place for a visit after breakfast
Lacock village is owned almost entirely by the National Trust which preserves its bucolic charm. The size and style of the houses are random rather than formulaic. If not for the parked cars it could be from a bygone era. In fact it has been used as a filming location for period dramas such as Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Downton Abbey as well as films for a more recent time such as Harry Potter!
Lovers’ Walk at Lacock
I was intrigued to read about Lovers’ Walk, so I dragged my partner for a walk while we waited for Lacock Abbey to open at 10.00. I am afraid to say that it’s really nothing to write home about!
The start of the walk around the village to Packhorse Bridge was pretty enough. It led to open farmland before turning into a path which was so narrow and overgrown with vegetation that it was definitely not wide enough for a hand-in-hand stroll. I couldn’t wait to get back to the open!! The most memorable part of the walk was in fact the amazing spider webs everywhere!!
For years National Trust’s Lacock Abbey has been famous for being the former home of William Henry Fox Talbot, the photography pioneer who invented the photographic negative. In recent years, it has found fame with a new generation of visitors after the cloisters were used for the filming of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone! There’s so much to see here…
…. the Fox Talbot Museum & Astrophotography Exhibition
…. the now more renowned cloisters
… the imposing Abbey and grounds
… the simple but stylish interiors
Bradford-on-Avon is about 9 miles from Lacock. It’s a delightful town on the banks of River Avon with sandstone-coloured buildings. It’s a smaller version of Bath and less hectic.
Savernake Forest, south of Marlborough, stands in North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s vast!
We finished our jaunt to north Wiltshire with a walk in the Forest. While the majestic lush green tall trees framed the sky, the smaller ones started to provide a touch of autumnal colours. In a few weeks, the Forest will be immersed in a riotous mix of autumnal colours
Finally, with beautiful scenery like these it makes a change to be in the pictures rather than just taking them!