Nestled in the picturesque Wiltshire countryside, Bradford on Avon is a hidden gem that offers a delightful escape from the bustling streets of London. With its winding cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and scenic canal views, this charming town is a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
To reach Bradford on Avon from London, you can take a direct train from London Paddington or London Waterloo to Bradford on Avon Station. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, making it an easy and convenient day trip. You an book your tickets here.
Things to See and Do
- Tithe Barn: Start your exploration with a visit to the awe-inspiring Tithe Barn, a medieval masterpiece that showcases impressive architecture and a fascinating history. The barn often hosts events and exhibitions, providing a unique insight into the town’s heritage.
- Bradford on Avon Bridge: Stroll across the iconic Town Bridge, a historic structure with charming views of the River Avon. Admire the surrounding countryside and watch as narrowboats leisurely pass through the canal locks.
- The Saxon Church of St. Laurence: Explore the Saxon Church of St. Laurence, a stunning church dating back over a thousand years. The churchyard offers a peaceful spot to reflect on the town’s rich history.
- Bradford on Avon Museum: Immerse yourself in the local history by visiting the Bradford on Avon Museum. Learn about the town’s evolution from its Roman origins through to the Industrial Revolution.
- Iford Manor and Gardens: For a tranquil retreat, venture to Iford Manor and Gardens, located just outside Bradford upon Avon. These Italianate gardens, designed by Harold Peto, provide a serene setting for a leisurely stroll.
Best Places to Eat and Drink
- The Weaving Shed: Indulge in a delicious meal at The Weaving Shed, a popular riverside restaurant offering a diverse menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy your meal while taking in picturesque views of the River Avon.
- Timbrell’s Yard: For a mix of modern and traditional, head to Timbrell’s Yard. This stylish pub and restaurant boast a welcoming atmosphere, a fantastic menu, and a great selection of local ales.
- Bunch of Grapes: Sample the culinary delights at the Bunch of Grapes, a historic pub known for its warm ambiance and delectable pub fare. The charming courtyard is an ideal spot for al fresco dining.
Tea Rooms with Instagrammable Charm
- The Bridge Tea Rooms: Transport yourself back in time at The Bridge Tea Rooms, a quintessential English tea room with a vintage charm. From delicate pastries to traditional afternoon tea, this spot is not only delightful but also perfect for your Instagram feed.
- Dotties Tea House: Discover the whimsical world of Dotties Tea House, a cozy and eclectic tea room known for its delightful decor and an extensive selection of teas. Capture the vintage-inspired ambiance as you enjoy a spot of tea and scrumptious treats.
Boutique and Independent Shops
- Lavender Blue: Uncover unique gifts and treasures at Lavender Blue, a boutique that showcases handmade crafts, locally produced goods, and charming home decor items. It’s the perfect place to find a special souvenir or gift.
- The Shambles: Wander through The Shambles, a historic shopping area with a variety of independent shops, boutiques, and antique stores. From quirky trinkets to handmade jewelry, you’re sure to find something special here.
Where to next?
- Bath: Just a short train or bus ride away, the historic city of Bath is a must-visit. Explore the Roman Baths, marvel at the Georgian architecture, and relax in the Thermae Bath Spa.
- Longleat Safari Park: A short drive from Bradford upon Avon, Longleat Safari Park offers an exciting day out for families. Encounter exotic animals, explore the stately home, and enjoy the sprawling grounds.
- Stonehenge: Extend your journey to the ancient marvel of Stonehenge, located about an hour’s drive from Bradford upon Avon. Marvel at the mysterious stone circle and explore the visitor center for in-depth insights.
Final thoughts on Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon provides a serene retreat steeped in history and natural beauty. Whether you’re captivated by medieval architecture, tranquil canal walks, or nearby attractions, this charming town is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, hop on a train from London and embark on a journey to discover the timeless allure of Bradford on Avon.