Great West Way Travel Magazine | Issue 07

Follow the paths through England’s idyllic countryside, quaint villages and elegant towns where our best-kept secrets from the past meet twenty-first-century hospitality.

Follow the paths through England’s idyllic countryside, quaint villages and elegant towns where our best-kept secrets from the past meet twenty-first-century hospitality.


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Expect history, adventure, natural

beauty and excitement on an

eco-friendly trip between London and

Bristol along the Great West Way

Follow the paths through England’s idyllic countryside, quaint villages and elegant towns

where our best kept secrets from the past meet twenty-first-century hospitality





20 - 24 JUNE 2023

Royal Ascot best price ends on 21st October 2022.

Tickets from £29 | Book at ascot.com today

Group rates available when you book for 15 or more.



As the earlier nights draw in, be sure to have an

outdoorsy Great West Way escape to look

forward to – some time spent rambling

through fallen golden leaves in one of our

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty,

swooning over pretty villages and losing

yourself in the festivities at an attraction or

Christmas markets. Unwind with mellow evenings

playing board games in a pub by a roaring log fire, or treat yourself

to a pampering spa treatment in one of our luxury hotels.

Take care of your carbon footprint discovering greener travel

(page 14) when planning your trip, and don’t forget days out spent

at one of your favourite Houses and Gardens (page 36). Wildlife

enthusiasts will love our article on the best places to hide out with

your binoculars (page 24) and we hope you will feel inspired by our

best days out for shopping (page 58) ideas for celebrating special

occasions (page 64) and places to visit along the canals (page 68).

We hope you enjoy our seasonal selection of articles, latest

news (page 8) and events (page 74) best read with a cup of

hot chocolate topped with cinnamon sprinkles, or if you fancy

something stronger, our rise of alco-tourism article (p30) should

have the answer! Wishing you a lovely season.

Cover Image: Mother and sons enjoying the outdoors in

Wiltshire © VisitBritain/Jess Barfield. Pictured Above: The Jessica

illuminated trail at Blenheim Palace; Snow at Avebury

England’s Great West Way is one of the world’s

premier touring routes, bringing together many of

England’s most famous destinations and attractions

along a corridor between London and Bristol


Jessica Way

Editor-in-Chief, Great West Way Travel Magazine

Download our Great West Way map to discover

the hundreds of places to visit, things to do,

sites to see and places to stay along the route:

: GreatWestWay.co.uk/explore/maps




AUTUMN/WINTER 2022 | Edition 07




07 Interview with Great West Way local, Kirstine

who works at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and shares her

highlights of living on the Great West Way


08 From 18th century underground Vault rooms and

palatial Roman villas to brand new Lodge Retreats on the

Blenheim Palace estate we take a look at what’s new on

the route


14 With award-winning green practices including

zero-food waste, recycled glass and solar power being

applied by so many hotels, restaurants and attractions

along the Great West Way, plus with so many options

to travel the route in an environmentally friendly way,

planning your trip sustainably has never been easier



The Great West Way is lined with open countryside,

picturesque woodlands, rolling hills, nature reserves and

glorious gardens – if you enjoy spotting wildlife you will

be spoilt for choice along the route


30 There’s a thriving trend of alco-tourism – with

plenty of places along the Great West Way to learn the

crafts behind some delicious homegrown tipples



On the Great West Way you travel past some of England’s

most spectacular palaces and historic houses – a chance to

stop and admire some of the country’s most outstanding

examples of architecture, art and landscape design

4 GreatWestWay.co.uk




With the return of ice-skating rinks, spa treatments

and horse drawn carriage tours, not to mention fine

seasonal fare, theatre productions and markets, there

are so many reasons to plan your trip this winter



With McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon, the

UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath, Reading (the

largest town in England) and everywhere in-between

even shopaholics will not be disappointed here!


64 There are many ways to celebrate your most

special occasions on the Great West Way from hot air

balloon rides to luxury spa hotels, skydiving and more


68 Enjoy life cruising along the historic Kennet &

Avon Canal from Devizes to Kintbury stopping off in

the glorious Vale of Pewsey in the heart of the North

Wessex Downs


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Southampton, SO14 5FE


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74 As well as its natural scenery, cultural scene and lovely

locals, the Great West Way is known for its many festivals and

events – don't miss our cultural calendar highlights


80 The route has been designed to be travelled in a

variety of different ways: by road, by rail, on water via the

Kennet and Avon Canal and River Thames, by bike or on foot


84 There are many ways to enjoy food and drink on the

Great West Way from fine dining and cookery schools to

vineyard tours and quaint tea rooms and cafés


96 Stay overnight on the Great West Way, whether on a

romantic weekend away or a week-long adventure

ISSN: 2632-3540

Image copyright credits: Throughout © GreatWestWay.co.uk

Page 1 © Visit Britain/Jess Barfield / Page 4 © Anna Stowe / Page

13 © Dirk Lindner Photography / Page 15 © Ioan Said Photography

/ Page 21 ©VisitBritain / Jon Spaull / Page 39 © Richard Haughton

/ Page 41 © Society of Antiquaries of London (Kelmscott Manor) /

Page 74 © National Trust /Justin Minns / Page 75 ©National Trust

Images/Arnhel de Serra/Chris Lacey / Page 78 © Phil Wilkinson / Page

26/60 © Getty Images/iStockphoto / Page 80 © Jon Attenborough

Photography Ltd / Page 87 © Lynk Photography / Page 89

©nicksmithphotography.com /

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in Hampshire

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Kirstine Bowen, Marketing and Communications Manager at Wiltshire

Wildlife Trust, talks to us about her role and life on the way. From helping

with fundraising projects protecting wildlife and habitats in Wiltshire (and

beyond) to connecting people with nature and more sustainable living

What do you love most about your job and Wiltshire

Wildlife Trust?

Sending out a press release about an important project the

Trust is undertaking, which then gets picked up by local or

national media is an incredible feeling.

How did you get started in your career?

I started my marketing career in the English language teaching

sector and then the book publishing sector. However, my

passion has always been for wildlife conservation and environmental

causes, and so I made the decision last year to make a change.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I keep up-to-date on any projects my colleagues are working

on and look for opportunities to get media coverage wherever

possible. Most weeks, I’ll be writing press releases, arranging

radio interviews, but no two days are ever the same.

Are you a city, town or country person?

I am definitely a country person, as I love to be out enjoying

nature, going for walks and spotting wildlife. It can do wonders

for my mental health.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

Travelling in a way that limits the negative impact on the local

environment and the planet. I always prefer to walk or cycle if

I’m travelling shorter distances and for long journeys, whenever

possible, I enjoy taking the train.

Describe your perfect adventure on the Great West Way?

Combining some walking and wildlife spotting with some water

sports. A weekend spent near the lakes in the north of Wiltshire

sounds perfect to me. I would visit somewhere like Cotswold

Water Park to do some kayaking, followed by a visit to Wiltshire

Wildlife Trust’s Lower Moor nature reserve to get out in nature.

If you could choose one must-visit attraction along the

Great West Way, what would it be and why?

I would spend an afternoon exploring Wiltshire Wildlife

Trust’s Lower Moor nature reserve. The reserve complex has

three lakes, two brooks, ponds and wetland scrapes, all linked

together by boardwalks, ancient hedges, woodland and


What do you think will surprise first-time visitors about the

Great West Way?

There are so many interesting and beautiful places to discover!

There are also lots of different activities to choose from too, to

suit different tastes and budgets. I love the ‘Top 10’ lists on the

Great West Way website, from the top 10 spectacular views to

the top 10 short walks.




A look at the highlights and what’s new on the Great West Way

Underground 18th century Vault rooms are

unveiled at Hotel Indigo Bath

Hotel Indigo Bath, set in a beautiful honey coloured

Georgian Terrace, has recently opened its 18th century

underground Vault rooms completing the final stage of

its multi-million-pound major restoration project.

The 18th century, Grade 1 listed building is the first

global boutique hotel in Bath. The 12 Vault rooms are

an amazing example of historical architecture and are

both spacious and stunning in design. They feature

exposed brickwork with soft lighting, timber finishing,

vaulted bath stone ceilings, underfloor heating, and

high-end crafted furniture. The rooms are equipped

with a King-size Hypnos bed with luxury Egyptian

cotton linen, a spa-inspired bathroom with roll-top

bath and separate walk-in rainfall shower, a Nespresso

coffee machine, high speed Wi-Fi and a variety of

channels on a 43” flat screen TV. As well as ‘The

Vaults’, there are 154 additional guest rooms designed

around four beautiful themes reflecting the history and

locality of Bath. These include ‘Romance & Mischief’

rooms, ‘Literary Hideaway’ rooms, ‘Architectural

Beauty’ rooms and ‘Garden’ rooms. The Vault rooms

start from £299 per night for bed and breakfast.

8 GreatWestWay.co.uk

We the Curious reopening

We the Curious science museum had to close

in April 2022 after a devastating fire on its roof.

Repairs to resulting water damage are under way

and the plans are to reopen in 2023. Brimming

with exhibits to inspire your curiosity and home

to the UK’s only 3D planetarium, We the Curious

is the place to ask questions and get creative.

Aerospace Bristol celebrate 20th anniversary of

the last Concorde to ever fly in 2023

Housed at Aerospace Bristol in a purpose-built hangar,

Concorde Alpha Foxtrot was the last Concorde to be

built and the last to fly – and next year the museum

will be celebrating 20 years since her final flight in

2003. The incredible story of Bristol’s amazing aviation

achievements are told at Aerospace Bristol – and

there's loads to discover – starting from the earliest

days of powered flight, through to today’s cutting-edge

aerospace technology. There's aeroplanes, helicopters,

missiles, satellites, engines and more to see and lots

of interactive exhibits for all ages. The highlight is

the iconic Concorde. You’ll have the chance to step

aboard the world's fastest passenger jet, glimpse into

the cockpit, and walk through the passenger cabin to

discover how Concorde passengers would travel in style.

Plus, enjoy an amazing show projected on to the outside

of the aeroplane. Great West Way visitors will find

Aerospace Bristol just off the M5, near Cribbs Causeway,

and with plenty of free parking.

Roman Villa at The Newt, Somerset

A short detour off the main route The Newt, a

luxury hotel in Somerset, has opened a palatial

Roman villa on its estate, reimagined to the

original villa ruins found there. Visit the superb

interactive museum before wandering through

Villa Ventorum, with working Roman baths and

formal dining room with frescoes of The Three

Graces and intricate mosaics on the floor.



Best Boutique Spa in the UK

The buzzing city of Bristol is home to the

Aztec Hotel Spa, recent Good Spa awards

2022 winner of the Best Boutique Spa in the

UK. Visit for a spa day or an overnight break at

the Aztec Hotel and take some time to enjoy

the recently refurbished spa and brand new

Relax Lounge. Other spa facilities include the

beautiful sauna, hot tub, steam room and both

a spa pool and swimming pool.

Blenheim Palace Lodge Retreat

A short detour from the main Great West Way route

and construction of the eagerly anticipated Blenheim

Palace Lodge Retreats have begun and are set to be

completed and open for Easter 2023.

The collection of one, two and three-bedroom luxury

staycation lodges will offer a new way to experience

Blenheim Palace, one of the UK’s most historic

country estates.

Situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Blenheim Palace

is one of England’s most popular and recognisable

attractions. Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough

and his family, the 18th-century venue was the

birthplace of legendary British prime minister Sir

Winston Churchill and was designated a UNESCO

World Heritage Site in 1987.

Set beside the estate’s vast 2000-acre grounds and

ideal for couples, friends and families, the lodges will

come equipped with fully equipped kitchens, dining

and living areas and will offer the perfect homeaway-from-home

to enjoy a break in the Oxfordshire


10 GreatWestWay.co.uk

photo - English Heritage

Tour buses


regularly from


City Centre

& Salisbury

Railway Station

experience the

magical &


with our

onboard commentary

as we guide you through the

glorious landscape.

Tickets can be

bought from

the driver with






the Salisbury Reds


seasonal prices apply as

set by English Heritage

Available in 10 languages


Riverside Hotel, Salisbury

Built in the 1800s by the Wort

family, to whom the current

owner’s father was an apprentice

carpenter, the riverside property

with cathedral views (previously

Grasmere House Hotel) has been

completely restored by new owners

as a luxury 38-bedroom hotel.

The official residences of His

Majesty The King

Windsor Castle and The Queen’s

Gallery at Buckingham Palace have

now reopened. The special displays at

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle

and the Palace of Holyroodhouse

marking the Platinum Jubilee of

Queen Elizabeth II remain closed.

Leighton House reopens

Leighton House, the remarkable

studio-house of Victorian artist

and former President of the Royal

Academy, Frederic, Lord Leighton

has reopened to the public following

a major redevelopment. Situated

in Holland Park, Kensington on the

east side of the Great West Way.

The ultimate party

house, Wiltshire

Situated on the edge of the pretty

village of Kington Langley, Kin

House is a super-luxe 12-bedroom

Grade II listed house is set within

walled gardens and private woodland

and has been sensitively restored

to its former glory. There are three

lounges and a bar (named the Fitz

Bar after Kington Langley’s original

Medieval alias, Langley Fitzurse),

and a talented in-house team of

chefs. Prices from £12,500 per night.

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If sustainable tourism is important to you then you will be

pleased to know the Great West Way is the perfect option for

a more environmentally responsible holiday. Plan your Great

West Way adventure with a carbon friendly footprint in mind,

from the way you travel to the places you visit on the way

Words | Samantha Campbell

Help achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier

world for us, our families and future

generations by staying in eco-friendly

locations and visiting eco-conscious

venues with award-winning green practices along

the route. Offset your environmental footprint

by leaving the car at home, hiring an electric bike

or perhaps taking a cruise on a horse drawn trip

along the Kennet and Avon Canal instead.

Dine in a restaurant with Michelin Green Star

status and enjoy a night under the stars wild

glamping in an eco-friendly shepherds hut or

stay in a cosy carbon neutral farm cottage with

countryside views.

Hotels are now striving to reduce emissions

and become more sustainable, from achieving

zero food waste and removing single-use plastics

from guest rooms to winning sustainability

awards. Plus, there are a wealth of eco-friendly

destinations, attractions and restaurants along

the route to discover, not to mention greener

ways to get there. It is now easier than ever to

plan your journey more eco-consciously. So, for a

travel experience that not only leaves you feeling

fulfilled but has a positive impact on the planet,

we hope you enjoy our selection of outstanding

sustainable businesses along the Great West Way.

Ways to travel sustainably

Perhaps one of the biggest impacts on our plant

is the way we choose to get from A to B. Many

hotels and accommodation providers have

electric-car charging points if you are travelling

by electric car. Alternatively, you might decide to

plan your entire journey using public transport.

Getting about by bike, foot, boat and train is

made easy on the Great West Way thanks to the

Great Western Railway, the River Thames, the →

14 GreatWestWay.co.uk

GreatWestWay.co.uk 15

Did you know?

If every person

in Great Britain

switched just over

one car trip to bus

or coach per month

each year (13 per

year) by 2030 it

would create a

cumulative reduction

of 2 million tons of


Kennet and Avon Canal, and a magnitude of foot and cycle

paths. Arrive at any of the Great West Way’s cities by train,

and wander on foot to explore at your own speed, or hire a

bike for the day to whizz around town seeing all the sights.

In Bristol, you can even hop on a bicycle-for-two with

Bristol Tandem Hire. If you fancy taking a cycle ride between

some of the cities on the Great West Way, the 13-mile

Railway Path between Bristol and Bath offers a flat, easy ride

away from the roads.

The Great Western Railway runs throughout the touring

route, stopping at cities like Bristol, Bath and London, as

well as some of the area’s major towns including Reading,

Windsor and Swindon. There are also convenient rail links to

nearby cities Salisbury and Gloucester, which are just off the

Great West Way. You can use our Great West Way Discoverer

pass for unlimited off-peak train and bus travel to make life

even easier, with options from £139 for a seven-day pass.

Bristol Airport has also been recently recognised for its

sustainability efforts, winning the Eco-Innovation Award

for the easyJet low emissions initiative – a step towards

becoming one of the UK's most sustainable airports.

And you can’t get much greener than travelling by horsedrawn

boat! The Kennet Horse Boat Company operate from

Easter to the end of September, and you can just hop on

when they have spare seats – or book a barge by charter.

At the east side of the route you can enjoy a delightful

electric boat cruise along the River Thames with Pure

Boating. Surrounded by abundant beautiful unspoilt scenery

16 GreatWestWay.co.uk

“Surrounded by abundant beautiful unspoilt scenery and natural

beauty, their fully electric fleet is perfect for spotting the occasional

kingfisher or heron, without a noisy, smelly petrol or diesel engine.”

Pictured left to right: The Kennet Horse Boat Company horse drawn

boat along the Kennet & Avon Canal; Pure Boating's fully electric fleet

and natural beauty, their fully electric fleet is perfect for

spotting the occasional kingfisher or heron, without a

noisy, smelly petrol or diesel engine.

Buses are another way to help ease congestion and

improve air quality. Just one double decker bus has

the potential to take 75 cars off the road. Go South

Coast have three fully electric zero emission vehicles

collecting visitors from Salisbury Park and Ride sites.

Plus, there are multiple coach services between London

and Bristol by companies including National Express,

Megabus, Stagecoach and Eurolines.

You could take in the route on a private coach

tour, from the royal sights of Windsor to the charming

villages of the Cotswolds – many of these depart from

central London. You’ll also find coach connections to

other cities and towns along the touring route from

London Victoria, including Marlow, Reading, Swindon,

Chippenham, Bath and more.

Towns, villages and cities

Destinations along the route are improving their

shopping high streets and popular visitor districts in

innovative environmentally conscious ways.

Henley have just hosted their Big Green

Week event for local businesses to promote their

sustainable products – and in an effort towards

becoming 100% Net Zero the towns park vehicles

are moving across to a greener fuel source of →

GreatWestWay.co.uk 17

hydrotreated vegetable oil. They are offering sustainability

advice for market stallholders and recently hosted a seminar

on green tactics at the local Town Hall.

In the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead they are

reducing the need for carbon intensive travel by encouraging

walking and cycling, investing in digital infrastructure,

protecting and enhancing their natural environment and

aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Marlborough have encouraged businesses in the town,

including Bunces, The Parade Cinema and Slate Hill Charcoal,

to sign a ‘Business Green Pledge’ to switch to cleaner

products, to collect rainwater for using on plants, promote

the use of biochar as a carbon negative soil improver, and

offer discounts for customers bringing bottles and growlers

(big refillable flasks) in for refills.

Local producers are stocked on the high street, hotels

and restaurants in Malmesbury, and green adventures at the

internationally famous Westonbirt Arboretum are close by. With

its beautiful ancient hilltop town surrounded by picturesque

rivers and countryside visitors are reminded of the benefits

and importance of a greener more sustainable way of living.

In Calne you will see many perennials planted to bring

more biodiversity to the town. The National Cycle Network

passes through Calne and the centre will soon have bike

chargers accessible to visitors.

As you travel through the cities of the Great West Way,

you will discover all kinds of exciting eco initiatives too.

Bristol is often regarded as the 'greenest' city in the UK,

having been the first city in the UK to win the 'European

Green Capital' award in 2015, as well as being named the

18 GreatWestWay.co.uk

UK's first official Cycling City. Here you will find a

thriving sustainability movement, from zero-refill

shops to electric scooters for hire, and local awardwinning

pie company Pieminister's ‘eat pies, plant

trees’ scheme.

Just down the road in Bath, a clean-air zone

has recently been introduced to reduce fumes and

emissions in the city. Bath was built on England’s only

natural thermal springs, and if you visit Thermae Bath

Spa or Gainsborough Bath Spa you can enjoy these

naturally heated waters for yourself – lovely and

warm without the need for any non-renewables to

heat them.

Attractions and museums

If you’re a lover of nature, you’ll be keen to discover

some of the conservation charities and nature reserves

along the Great West Way which are working hard to

protect biodiversity and wildlife.

While many of the Great West Way’s nature

reserves are found in the quiet of the countryside,

our cities have some surprising offers. WWT London

Wetland Centre on the west of London is a huge awardwinning

nature reserve.

Providing safe haven from wildlife of all kins –

birds, bats, amphibians and more – London’s first

large-scale, man-made, inner city wetland reserve is

well worth a visit.

At the other end of the touring route, visit the

University Of Bristol Botanic Garden to see their huge

variety of cultivated plants; the five-acre site is home

to around 4,500 plant species.

The Great West Way has its fair share of ecofriendly

farms too, which you could argue have had a

head start on most when it comes to adapting to be

more socially and environmentally aware.

The Farm at Avebury produce more energy than

they consume, including their holiday lets, from their

solar panels and they don’t use any fossil fuels for

heating thanks to air source heat pumps. On the farm,

they work with The Small Robot Company who are at

the forefront of agricultural sustainability, increasing

productivity whilst protecting soil health, water

quality and biodiversity – and over the last 10 years

they have planted thousands of trees. They sell their

produce locally and to guests, with all their food being

grown within one mile of the farm.

Visit Roves Farm in Swindon and you will see

their sheep and hens grazing the grass beneath solar

farm panels – accounting for almost 40% of their

electricity required to run their 400-acre estate. Plus,

they use wood chip biomass boilers heating the visitor

centre during the colder months.

They produce all of their own beef, lamb and

pork on the farm, including supplying their café with

handmade sausages, beef burgers and mince. →

Pictured left to right: Clifton Suspension Bridge,

Bristol; Rams at The Farm at Avebury, Beckhampton



“The Wave inland surf destination

use solar thermal panels to

pre-heat their water and have

plans to plant 16,000 trees...”

Within their Farm Shop, meat is prepared and sold in their

own Butchery, and they also offer ‘Roves Refills’, a zerowaste

pantry with pasta, beans, pulses, nuts, oil, fruit,

grains, seeds, chocolate and sweets all without unnecessary

packaging – you simply bring your own containers from

home (or buy reusable ones from the shop).

Fresh whole and semi-skimmed milk can be dispensed

from the ‘Moo Station’ straight into glass bottles or cartons

brought from home, reducing single use plastic whilst also

supporting local dairy farmers.

Major attractions along the route are doing their bit

as well. Blenheim is leading the way with a ‘Gold’ Green

Tourism award rating the palace within the top 5% greenest

attractions in the UK. Stonehenge has launched a new fleet

of green shuttle buses to take visitors to see the stones, and

the visitor centre is not connected to a mains water supply;

instead, water is drawn from a borehole. The land around

the visitor centre and stone circle is maintained as chalk

grassland meaning it is not improved with products such as

fertilisers but instead cut and cleared once a year. They are

maximising recycling with zero waste going to landfill.

In the Stonehenge gift shop they stock products made

and sourced locally including honey from Salisbury Plain,

wine from Lyme Bay and a Christmas card range using cornstarch

biodegradable bags and sustainably sourced board

and envelopes.

The Roman Baths and Pump Room are working on an

innovative scheme to harvest heat from the naturally hot spa

water to use it to heat their buildings. Sixteen three-metrelong

energy exchange blades have been inserted into the

King’s Bath, and a new plant room is being created beneath

the street. The idea is that heat from the King’s Spring will be

used to heat the Roman Baths and Pump Room, as well as

the new Bath World Heritage Centre and Roman Baths Clore

Learning Centre.

The historic landscapes of Hampton Court Palace

and Kensington Palace support a wide range of wildlife

communities and projects to conserve biodiversity at the

royal palaces, and where possible they have created new

habitats or enhance existing ones to encourage local wildlife

to flourish.

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire was

awarded the prestigious BREEAM Award for Industrial Design

in 2014 – they have a biomass boiler providing heat and hot

water using local, sustainably sourced wood chips as a fuel

source and a hydroelectric turbine in the River Test, giving

carbon savings of 38% and providing renewable and low

carbon energy.

SS Great Britain, Bristol have reduced their energy

consumption of the pioneering conservation system which

protects the ship’s fragile iron hull by 25% – part of their

commitment to become carbon neutral in our operations

by 2030. Also in Bristol, The Wave inland surf destination

use solar thermal panels to pre-heat their water and have

plans to plant 16,000 trees and 13 acres of wildflower

meadowland, while Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park

have 265 solar panels placed on their roof generating 90%

of their power, and they are working with Great Western

Recycling Ltd which means they have zero waste to landfill.

The Museum of English Rural Life and Reading

Museum are launching a new campaign called 'Our Green

Stories' which draws on the collections of both museums

highlighting and engaging visitors and local people with

environmental issues.

Chippenham Museum has been engaging people around

issues of climate change through an exhibition display

exploring the local landscape through imagery and a series

of interviews with the local community about their climate


At the Jane Austen Museum, Bath they have switched

to LED lights throughout the building, use a fully renewable

electricity provider and have plans for solar panels on their

roof and at Maidenhead Heritage Museum they have just

started to stock a range of eco-friendly, sustainable products

from Wild & Stone in their shop.

20 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Pictured above to right: The Wave; Bristol; Roman Baths,

The Sacred Spring

The REME Museum are creating a wildflower and sensory

garden in their grounds, designed to keep environmental

impacts to a minimum. The wildflowers are species

commonly found in Wiltshire, while the vegetables grown in

the allotment will be used by the museum’s café.

And although you can’t visit the factory, the Great West

Way is proud to be home to the Birchall Tea Factory – the

only wholly solar-powered tea factory in the UK and the first

tea company in the world to be entirely Carbon Neutral.

Located in Amesbury, the factory generates more electricity

than they use with 460 rooftop solar panels. Discover their

award-winning Great Rift Breakfast Tea stocked in a number

of restaurants and cafes along the Great West Way route. →

Insider Tip

Enjoy greener travel by cycling, walking or

riding along the new Pewsey Vale Circular

Way – a 77 mile marked route (72 mile cycling),

with the Vale of Pewsey at its heart. Dramatic

downland, secluded woodland, sweeping

valleys and the Kennet & Avon Canal provide a

rich variety of landscapes for the walker, rider

or cyclist to enjoy.

▶ Click here to download the the Circular Way




“The Great West Way is proud to have three restaurants

with Michelin Green Star status – an award designed to recognise

restaurants offering dining experiences combining culinary

excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments.”

Eco-friendly hotels and restaurants

Many hotels along the Great West Way route are now ecocertified,

achieved by performing zero food waste, using

biodegradable packaging, and focusing on local produce.

There are too many to mention them all, but in Bath they

include the DoubleTree by Hilton, Apex City of Bath Hotel, and

The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa. There are at least five in

Bristol to include The Bristol Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel, Hilton

Garden Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Hampton by Hilton

in Bristol. There's also the DoubleTree by Hilton in Swindon,

Homestay Reading and many more.

Pioneering in the sustainability is Whatley Manor in

Malmesbury. They have recently been awarded a Silver

accreditation by EarthCheck and were amongst the first 23 UK

properties to be awarded a Green Michelin Star recognising

sustainable gastronomy.

These awards have not been without hard work from the

dedicated team, whose best practices include sourcing organic

beef from their farmer next door; coffee ground logs for their

indoor fires; building a Bird Hide from upcycled materials sited

by the river; employing a zero-use policy of single-use plastics

in guest rooms; having a paperless account office, and reducing

their fresh flower points replacing them with rooted plants.

Danesfield House Hotel & Spa have employed a ‘green

team’ to help the business move towards sustainability,

climate change measures and efforts to save the planet.

Measures include LED lighting and only running their garden

water features at the weekends.

And small changes are making a significant difference at

Wiltshire Inn’s, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon and The Old

Bell, Warminster. As well as recycling with no waste going to

landfill they have invested in their own water bottling system

for still and sparkling water in reusable glass bottles in the

bedrooms. They recycle coffee beans into coffee logs to be

used on log fires, have ‘one cup kettles’ to produce instant hot

water on demand and encourage their guests to explore the

local attractions by bicycle or on foot by providing information

on walks, cycle routes and cycle hire at reception.

We all know that in catering there can be a huge amount

of waste, but many of the restaurants on the Great West Way

are achieving zero food waste going into landfill.

Vaughan’s Kitchen in Devises is one example. They even

use ‘vegware’ packaging made from plants – a system saves

around a tonne of waste which would otherwise be going to

landfill each month.

The Great West Way is proud to have three restaurants

with Michelin Green Star status – an award designed

to recognise restaurants offering dining experiences

combining culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly

commitments: Oak Restaurant, Bath; The Dining Room at

22 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Whatley Manor, Malmesbury; and Wilsons, Bristol.

There are just 31 restaurants across England, Scotland,

Wales and Ireland awarded a new Green Star award in

total. Just a short detour from the route: Heckfield Place,

Hampshire; Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Great

Milton; and Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond, have also

made it onto the Green Star list.

There are many other eco-certified restaurants along the

route, perhaps on their way to the prestigious Green Star

award, some of our favourites include: Wilding, Salisbury;

Pythouse Kitchen Garden, Tisbury; Honest Burgers in

Windsor, Reading and Bristol; and The Elder Restaurant, Bath.

Pictured left to right: The Dining Room at Whatley Manor; Festive

treats; Kitchen Garden at Whatley Manor Hotel

Click here to find out more

about sustainable tourism

and eco-friendly holidays on

the Great West Way





Get away from the crowds and wander through England’s beautiful

landscapes full of interesting wildlife. There are many open spaces and

beautiful countryside to enjoy along the Great West Way route, ideal for

walking, cycling, or even horse-riding amidst the wildlife

Words | Lucy Bond

As you travel between Bristol and London you will be

spoilt for choice spotting wildlife; the route is lined

with open countryside, picturesque woodlands,

rolling hills, nature reserves and glorious gardens.

WWT London Wetland Centre

A unique, man-made inner city nature reserve, the WWT

London Wetland Centre is a haven of wide, open spaces

full of wetland nature. Birds, bats, water voles, otters and

amphibians make their home in the reserve's wetland

habitats. Stretch your legs and see which creatures you can

spot as you walk between the meadows, lakes and pools. The

London Wetland Centre is the ideal spot to find some peace

and quiet during the London stretch of your Great West Way


Arnos Vale Cemetery

Arnos Vale is a unique green, open space to enjoy in the heart

of Bristol; a 45-acre Victorian Garden Cemetery. Discover

fascinating nature walks, peaceful green spaces and nearly

200 years of history and heritage at Arnos Vale. Follow one

of the self-guided walks around the site and look out for wild

flowers and wildlife. →

Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve

Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve in North Wiltshire is a haven

of wildlife, nature and calmness. Once a former military

airfield, the site is now run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust who

are restoring it to wildlife-rich hay meadow. Expect to

see summer wildflowers surrounded by butterflies and

dragonflies. The grassland of the nature reserve is also home

to brown hare, roe deer, kestrel, skylarks and if you’re lucky

enough to see them, tawny owls.



The North Wessex Downs

Officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural

Beauty, the North Wessex Downs covers nearly 700 square

miles and encompasses parts of Berkshire, Hampshire,

Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. If you're looking for wide horizons

and quiet walks where you can stretch your legs, enjoy

classic English countryside views, and feel your troubles float

away – the North Wessex Downs is a good choice. Situated

in the centre of the Great West Way route, the countryside of

the North Wessex Downs ranges from heaths to river valleys

and ancient woodland to arable farmland.

Cotswold Water Park

Slightly north of the main Great West Way route, where

Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire meet, you will

find the Cotswold Water Park. Here there are 150 tranquil

lakes interspersed with peaceful countryside. There are miles

of off-road paths to explore on foot or by bike, and lots of

wildlife to spot, including a huge variety of migrating birds.

While some of the lakes are devoted to leisure pursuits, like

boating and wakeboarding, others are designated nature

reserves. Cleveland Lakes for example, home to otters, water

voles, lapwings, teals and tufted ducks.

Windsor Great Park

At nearly 30 square kilometres, Windsor Great Park is the

largest public park in the whole of the UK. Which means

that while this is a popular location with visitors and locals,

there’s plenty of space to stretch your legs and get away

from the crowds. From ancient forest to sweeping parkland

to formal gardens, there's lots to discover in Windsor Great

Park. Walk along the shore of Virginia Water for impressive

views of the lake and waterfall, spot the red deer that roam

through the deer park enclosure, or admire hilltop views of

Windsor Castle.

“If you're looking for wide horizons... classic English countryside

views...the North Wessex Downs is a good choice.”

Trooper’s Hill

Cities need sanctuaries for nature and wildlife too. In

Bristol, a local favourite is Trooper’s Hill. Tucked away amid

a housing estate behind the River Avon, its acidic soils –

unusual in Bristol – support a blaze of bright yellow gorse in

early summer and hot pink heather in late summer. It also

attracts a dazzling array of bird species including whitethroat,

willow warblers, goldcrests, long-tailed tits and even green

woodpeckers. There are excellent views of the city from this

hilltop hideaway, too, best appreciated in the warm glow of

sunrise or sunset.

West Woods

Come spring time these beautiful beech woods just outside

Marlborough put on a spectacular display of bluebells, a

quintessential British scene. Take along your camera for

some souvenir shots or just take it all in via your senses – the

delicate perfume, the flutter of the tree canopy overhead, the

carpet of colour before you. The bluebells are at their best

26 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Did you know?

The Great West Way

is home to many

zoos and wildlife

parks – so whether

your favourite animal

is a monkey, lion

or a giraffe, you’re

guaranteed a great

day out. Don't miss

Longleat, the home

to England’s only

Koalas, and spotting

rare breads at Avon

Valley Wildlife Park

and children can

get behind-thescenes

access to a

fascinating range of

animals at Noah’s

Ark Zoo Farm.

here at the end of April, beginning of May, but there’s always

other pretty plants and wildflowers to see, like primroses

with their mellow yellow petals and sweet scent. Good to

know: If you’re looking for more nature-based things to do in

Marlborough, Stonebridge Wild River Reserve is a nice water

meadow nearby.

Pictured previous page: Roe deer; Comma Butterfly Clockwise from

above: Horses in the North Wessex Downs; Noah's Ark Zoo Farm; Lamb;

Bird watching through binoculars Next page left to right:

Otter; Roe Deer Swimming Lower Moor Farm; London Wetland Centre

Lydiard Park

Snowdrops, which often poke their dainty heads above

ground amid the freeze of January, are one of the highlights

of a British winter. There are many places to see them along

the Great West Way, including the 260-acre parkland of

this striking Palladian house near Swindon. There’s also a

walled garden where you can see some more curated spring

plantings including a 17th-century variety of jewel-like tulips.

In summer, the beds are full of traditional English flowers

such as roses and sweet peas. Top tip: Keep an eye on the

Lydiard Park events pages as they sometimes run botanicalthemed

rambles and tours. →



Take your

time on the

Kennet &

Avon Canal

“Among more than 400 plants

you’ll find bee orchids,

pyramidal orchids and even

monkey orchids, which are

extremely rare in the UK.”

Jones’s Mill

Boardwalks traverse this enchanting fen in Pewsey, flooded

through by the Salisbury Avon. Once farmed for watercress,

it’s now a haven for animals who like getting wet such as

water voles and occasionally water shrews. It’s also a prime

place to spot blue-green kingfishers swooping low over

the water to find fish to feed on. You’re also likely to see

heron, with their long legs and beaks. For the most colourful

displays of flora and fauna, visit in spring and summer – see

if you can identify water avens, sometimes referred to as

chocolate root. Their purply-orange, nodding flowers attract

a flurry of dragonflies, bumble bees and butterflies.

Hartslock Reserve

As well as terrific River Thames views, the chalk grasslands

of this reserve near Reading are fertile ground for a diverse

collection of wild orchids. Among more than 400 plants

you’ll find bee orchids, pyramidal orchids and even monkey

orchids, which are extremely rare in the UK. Seen on a

summer’s day, with chalkhill blue and green hairstreak

butterflies fluttering among them, it’s hard to imagine a

prettier site. Other highlights: watch magnificent red kites

overhead and visit in July to see meadows full of marjoram.

Richmond Park

If you’re visiting Kew Gardens, don’t miss nearby Richmond

Park. It’s the largest of the eight Royal Parks, a National

Nature Reserve and one of London’s most scenic spots. It’s

most famous for its hundreds of red and fallow deer that

roam the parkland, but it has plenty more to recommend it.

Ancient oak trees, for one – some thought to date back to the

time of the Magna Carta. Precious species of bats, birds and

beetles are also found here, including the endangered stag

beetle. Stop at the park’s highest point, Pembroke Lodge, for

Thames Valley views and a delicious cream tea.

Winterbourne Downs

A little south of the Great West Way, near Salisbury, you’ll

find Winterbourne Downs, an RSPB site that seasoned

birders as well as beginners will love. Linnets, corn buntings,

yellowhammers and stone curlews are frequently spotted

here. If you visit early on a spring morning you might hear

the mesmerising dawn chorus of the skylarks. In summer,

take a picnic and feast on views of wildflower meadows and

gently rolling Wiltshire hills. Winter meanwhile is a fine time

for some serious bird watching, as fluffed-up feathers are

more visible on bare branches, plus buzzards, red kites and

possibly peregrine falcons often fly into view.

Folly Farm

Just south of the Great West Way, in between Bristol and

Bath, lies Avon Valley Wildlife Trust’s 250-acre reserve. It’s an

ideal spot for a nature walk, with timeless Somerset views of

the Mendips, Chew Valley Lake and traditionally-managed

meadows. Its wooded paths also make it a great place to

watch the leaves turn auburn and gold in the autumn (and

there might be some plump blackberries ready for picking

on the brambles too). There’s also an access-for-all trail,

complete with badger-viewing platform.





Slow down, fill your boots and quench your thirst while enjoying the

thriving trend of alco-tourism – with plenty of places along the Great

West Way to learn the crafts behind some delicious homegrown tipples.

Words | Susan Wright

With so many impressive drink establishments

along the Great West Way route, from beer

and real ales to wine and spirits, you could base

your entire journey – east to west or west to

east – learning the crafts behind some of the finest beverages

in southern England, while also sampling a few along the

way too. Here are some of the best distilleries, breweries and

vineyards you can visit along the way.


Beer has been brewed in this area of England for thousands

of years. Many delicious craft beers, IPAs and real ales are

still produced right here on the Great West Way. From tiny

microbreweries with their own taprooms to Great West

Way institutions like Wadworth Brewery and West Berkshire

Brewery, there are lots of opportunities to try our local beers.

Before you leave London learn what goes into making

Fuller's ales taste so good at the Griffin Brewery, or for live

music and cocktails pop into The Tap on the Line, Kew on the

second Thursday of the month. For a night of jazz Fuller's host

a different trio or quartet at The Old Fish Market, Bristol on

Sunday evenings.

One of the oldest steam breweries still in existence and

one of the finest examples of a Victorian steam brewery

anywhere in the world, Arkell's Brewery is a fully-functioning

brewery today and Swindon's oldest established company.

The ten-acre site is located in Kingsdown on the outskirts

of the town behind the original Kingsdown Inn. Actual tours

of the site are very limited and usually by invitation only,

however you can enjoy a virtual tour from the link here. You

can also visit many Arkell's along the route including The

Cross Keys in Newbury, The Downgate in Hungerford and The

Lansdowne in Calne.

At Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre you can sample the

delights and learn about the traditional brewing methods used

at the site since 1875. Take yourself on a self-guided tour →

GreatWestWay.co.uk 31

Previous page left to right: West Berkshire Brewery;

Wadworth Brewery Left to right: Lavestoke Mill Bombay

Sapphire; Abbey Hotel, Bath Art Bar Cocktails

through their exhibition before reaching the sample bar where

there are traditional pub games and five cask ales on draught.

West Berkshire Brewery is an independent brewery

nestled in the heart of Berkshire with over 23 years of brewing

experience. With a new state of the art brewery and packaging

line they are the proud producers of many traditional cask ales

and innovative craft beers.

The Flying Monk Brewery is a forward-thinking brewery

based at Hullavington, near Malmesbury, is focused on

producing great beer for the local area - as well as offering a

unique Cafe & Tap in a 200 year-old Cotswold stone barn, with

a breakfast and lunch menu.

Bristol is also one of the UK’s leading craft beer destinations

and is brimming with brilliant breweries. Head to a local

brewery to sample the delights of real, local English beers

and learn about the history of this ubiquitous English drink.


Bombay Sapphire Distillery is based at Laverstoke Mill in

rural Hampshire, just 15 miles from Winchester and 60

miles from London, 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 enjoyed

from around the globe.

The distillery showcases the care, skill and artistry behind

Bombay Sapphire, and allows you to discover the flavours of

the botanicals which make Bombay Sapphire gin so unique.

Start your experience with a trip to the Turbine Bar to choose

a Bombay gin to make a gin and tonic before heading to the

cinema room to be immersed in all things Bombay Sapphire

in preparation for a tour of Laverstoke Mill.

Learn about the ten botanicals which make Bombay

Sapphire so exquisite in the iconic glasshouses designed by

Thomas Heatherwick, chart hundreds of years of Laverstoke

Mill’s illustrious history, married with the fascinating heritage

of gin and Bombay Sapphire and uncover the secrets of

Bombay Sapphire’s unique vapour-infusion distillation process.

Enjoy classic rum cocktails and learn of their colourful

histories at the Bristol Rum Distillery. Learn about new ways

to understand rum, and approach the spirit through fresh

informed eyes while also being entertained with rum’s rags

to riches story. Before you go, choose your own rum from

over 40 types made at the school, then spice and re-distil

your own 70cl bottle, including naming your rum with a

personalised label and waxing the top.

Learn more about Bath gin at The Bath Distillery located

on Queen Street in the heart of Bath’s city centre (just

moments from Bath Abbey, Bath Thermae Spa and the →

32 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Left to right: Enjoying the tour at a'Beckett's

Vineyard; a'Beckett's Vineyard

“Take a vineyard tour or attend a wine

sampling session and you'll see for

yourself why English wines are winning

prestigious international awards...”

Roman Baths). Bath gin is distilled using eleven of the finest botanicals from across

the world, including bitter orange, kaffir lime leaf and English coriander. Floral,

exotic citrus and deep spice notes are followed by a mild sweetness, creating a light,

aromatic and balanced gin.

There's also the delightful (and tiny!) distillery Scout & Sage to visit in the village

of Semington, Wiltshire. Join a master class and sip a delicious Scout & Sage G&T

crafted using a tradional hand made copper pot still named Maud. Hear all about the

history of gin, how it’s made and the process they use. There’s a tasting session of

three Scout & Sage Gins and a Scout & Sage Gin cocktail – before making a shot of

your very own gin from pre-distilled botanicals.


The chalk soils and temperate climate of the south of England are perfect for creating

crisp, white, bubbly wines. Take a vineyard tour or attend a wine sampling session and

you'll see for yourself why English wines are winning prestigious international awards.

Discover the local wines of the Great West Way with a tour and tasting at Alder

Ridge Vineyard, nestled into the chalky slopes of the North Wessex Downs between

Hungerford and Marlborough. A'Beckett's Vineyard near Devzies also offer wine tastings

and walks around their impressive 20-acre site.

Bluestone Vineyards based just outside of Salisbury run morning and evening

walking and wine tasting tours with one of their resident experts, Nat or Jack. Following

an in-depth stroll around the vineyards learning about growing grapes in the UK, the

challenges, and what it takes to produce high quality English sparkling wines, you’ll

then be wowed with an expertly tutored wine tasting of four wines; two of Bluestone’s

sparkling and two local still wines.

Aldwick is a 300-acre family-run farm nestled serenely beneath the northern

slopes of the famous Mendip Hills - the largest vineyard in Somerset. The team on the

estate are devoted to producing quality wine and offer tours of their 11 acres of grape

vines. Witness the development of grapes from which their wine will be made before

sampling a selection of their available vintages.





A journey along the route takes the traveller past some of

England’s most spectacular palaces and historic houses – a chance to

admire outstanding examples of architecture, art and landscape

design, and discover how different people have lived throughout history

There are over 30 National Trust properties alone

along the Great West Way route, such as Cliveden,

Mompesson House, Montacute House and Runnymede,

the site of the sealing of the Magna Carta, to name

but a few. Almost before you leave London, you pass the

royal palaces at Kew, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle, the

oldest occupied castle in the World.

Then further west as the countryside opens up, and the

landscape is scattered with an array of stately homes, two

further castles, Highclere and Berkeley, and with many of

these properties still owned by the aristocratic families who

first built them. Wander Great Halls hung with tapestries, feel

the heat of a Tudor kitchen, admire the craftsmanship of an

elaborately carved 4-poster bed... or plan your visit during the

festive season and join a Christmas wreath making masterclass

or magical light trail. Whether you’re about to set off, or you’re

looking ahead to your next holiday we hope you feel inspired

by our selection of houses and gardens you must visit.

American Museum & Gardens, Bath

Housed in a fine Georgian manor house with outstanding

views over the Limpley Stoke Valley on the edge of Bath, the

American Museum takes you on a journey through American

history, with its remarkable collection of folk, decorative arts

and cultural objects. The only museum of Americana outside

of the United States, it was founded to bring American history

and cultures to the people of Britain and Europe. There are

winding paths and woodlands to enjoy in The New American

Garden, Mount Vernon Garden, and The Children’s Garden

play area. Visit during the festive season (1 to 31 December)

for a sparkling trail of illuminations in a magical after-dark

adventure which will emblazon the entire house, gardens and

woodland in glorious colour.

Apsley House

Standing in the heart of London, Apsley House is the former

home of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, victor of

Waterloo. Designed and built by Robert Adam in the 1770s,

the house was bought by the duke in 1817. He transformed

it into a palatial residence to befit his status and filled it with

works of art and gifts from grateful rulers across Europe.

Wellington died in 1852. The following year his son Arthur,

the 2nd Duke, decided to open Apsley House to the public. A

‘Museum Room’ was created where Wellington’s magnificent

silver trophies, military memorabilia and gifts of porcelain

were exhibited. During the 20th century, the family suffered

many losses. The 5th Duke died in 1941 and two years later

his son and heir, Henry, died from battle wounds received

during the Second World War. Gerald, the 7th Duke, decided

to offer Apsley House to the nation, together with a significant

38 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Previous page: Syon Park Left to right: Christmas

Fair at Waddesdon; Christmas at Blenheim

portion of the 1st Duke’s art collection. Today visitors can be

awed by the palatial wonder of the gilded, glittering interiors

and stunning artwork of Apsley House as they admire the

gifts from emperors, tsars, and kings to the Iron Duke. There

are nearly 3,000 fine paintings, sculptures and works of art in

silver and porcelain, given to Britain's greatest military hero.

Visit on the 25 November for a special evening made

of dancing, etiquette and gossip – the Regency Evening

experience includes a dance caller (to explain the steps and

dances), Regency costumes, gowns, wine and fine dining.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Just a short detour off the main route Blenheim Palace is

a vast confection of pinnacles, pilasters and porticos built

in golden stone, owned by the 12th Duke of Marlborough.

Sarah, the notoriously difficult wife of John Churchill, the 1st

Duke of Marlborough, took charge of the building project,

and managed to fall out with the architect John Vanbrugh

and with the queen herself. However, in spite of the rows,

Sarah oversaw the creation of one of England’s finest Baroque

palaces which includes the magnificent state rooms with

their painted ceilings glorifying John Churchill. Formal

gardens include Water Terraces, an Italian Garden, and the

Rose Garden. Don’t miss the magical Ice Kingdom Themed

Afternoon Tea (18 November 2022–2 January 2023) at the


Bowood House & Gardens, Wiltshire

Bowood House, famed for its gardens, is owned by the

Marquis of Lansdowne. Be enchanted by the herbaceous

borders and the Italianate terrace gardens with their formal

beds and fountains, and don’t miss the 30-acre Woodland

Walk, with massed beds of rhododendrons.

The 100 acres of parkland here were designed by ‘Capability’

Brown, widely hailed as his best-preserved masterpiece,

scattered with lawns and picturesque clumps of trees

sweeping down to a gently curving artificial lake, it is a

quintessentially English landscape. Other highlights include an

arboretum, woodland gardens and Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s

secret walled garden. Inside the house, which is open to the →



public from March to November, there is an unusual stately

home laboratory. This is because it was here that Joseph

Priestley, while working as the family tutor, discovered oxygen

in 1774. You can visit the state rooms, library and chapel as

well as the Orangery designed by Robert Adam in the 1760s,

and the room he originally created as a small zoo which is

now a sculpture gallery. Don’t miss their fantastic Halloween

Outdoor Cinema Experiences this October with screenings of

the Disney classic Hocus Pocus, Stanley Kubrick classic, The

Shining and the vampire classic, The Lost Boys.

Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire

Just half an hour north of Bristol, Berkeley Castle makes an

excellent day out for stays based west of the Great West Way

route. Another impressive history, having been lived in by the

same family for nearly 900 years, it is the longest lived-in

family fortress in England.

Surrounded by eight acres of landscaped gardens, including

Queen Elizabeth I’s bowling green and the 8th Earl’s swimming

pool, now an ornamental lily pond with plume fountain.

Explore the Norman Keep complete with the cell in which

King Edward II was held captive and reputedly murdered,

walk through medieval kitchens and the imposing Great Hall

and marvel at the elegant State Apartments. See magnificent

furniture, rare paintings by English and Dutch Masters,

Elizabethan tapestries and the world famous Berkeley silver.

There are free guided tours, a Tropical Butterfly House, a host

of seasonal events and you could even stay overnight in their

characterful 9 bedroom town house located on the estate.

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. During Christmas Craft Week (5–7

December) there are many festive workshops including luxury

wreath making and creating your very own Christmas Glitter


Cliveden House, Maidenhead

Few hotels are as famous as 300-year-old Cliveden House

– setting of the Profumo affair – or as romantic. Known for

exuberant high-society parties, political scandals and, most

recently, its connection to a certain royal wedding.

Take a room in the Garden Wing and you’ll get views over the

spa garden and – in some – a hot tub tucked privately into

your terrace. There’s also a wonderful restaurant from chef

André Garrett, where English ingredients star on the eightcourse

tasting menu. The trump card here though is the 376-

acre National Trust estate that surrounds the hotel, its formal

gardens the sort of place you could happily lose yourself in

for days. There’s direct access to the River Thames for a jaunt

and a spot of lunch on a vintage boat, and plenty of pleasant

40 GreatWestWay.co.uk

walks to work off the essential afternoon tea, served in the

imposing Great Hall. 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.

Make your visit even more special with a New Year House

Party (31 December 2022–2 January 2023). Glamorous

gatherings, indulgent feasts and, of course, plenty of

Champagne to kick-start 2023 in the most stylish way.

Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire

As well as these aristocratic super stars, there are many

smaller historic houses dotted across the Great West Way.

Great Chalfield Manor is a late medieval manor house, built by

the self-made Thomas Tropenell to proclaim his arrival into the

landed gentry. He gave his new house all the necessary mod

cons of the day including a gate house, moat, great hall and

fashionable oriel windows, features which can still be seen, as

the house has hardly been touched since his time. This relative

neglect accounts for the house’s gentle charm and explains

why it’s a popular film location: the BBC series Poldark and

Wolf Hall were both filmed here. Visit on the 17 December to

join in the fun and festivities during their annual Christmas fair.

Iford Manor Gardens, near Bath

For garden-lovers, a perfect day out on your Great West Way

journey could be the wonderful Iford Manor, close to Bath and

the idyllic Frome River valley. Here you can dreamily wander

around 2.5 acres of historic gardens that sit at the heart of

the Grade-1 listed gardens designed by Harold Peto during

his tenure at Iford from 1899-1933. Explore freely getting lost

amongst the colonnades, pools and steps, as you enjoy the

magnificent rural views over the valley. The garden contains

many steep, narrow and uneven paths, as well as long flights

of steps without handrails – very much part of the garden’s

charm and design. There are a host of lovely Christmas events

happening across the Iford Manor Estate this December

including wine tasting and Christmas wreath making

workshops, followed by a delicious lunch.

Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire

Kelmscott Manor, a short detour off the route, was the iconic

country home of William Morris; poet, designer, craftsman,

socialist and founding father of the Arts and Crafts movement.

This Grade I listed house was loved by Morris as a survival of

traditional craftsmanship in harmony with the nearby village

and surrounding landscape, which lies towards the very upper

reaches of the Thames, inspiring many of his most important →

Left to right: Cliveden House bar; The summer

home of William Morris, Kelmscott Manor



designs and writings, including the world-famous Willow

pattern. Today, visitors will find an outstanding collection,

from early 17th Century furniture to a unique collection of

furnishings chosen by Pre-Raphaelite painter-poet Dante

Gabriel Rossetti and pieces from each of Morris’ London

homes, including several designed especially for the iconic

Red House. Kelmscott Manor also boasts enchanting riverside

gardens and the River Thames is located just a few hundred

yards away. Beyond the walls of the formal garden stand the

impressive farm barns – two of them house the Tearoom and

beautiful Shop. The Tearoom is a must, with its friendly staff

and delicious home-made meals and cakes, whilst the Shop

is packed with decorative and unusual items ideal for gifts or


Longleat, Wiltshire

Home of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat is one of the finest

examples of Elizabethan architecture in England, and since

1580, up until today, has been owned by 16 generations of

the Thynn family. The House is open to the public throughout

most of the year. Inside this 450-year-old treasure trove, you

will find the original Elizabethan Great Hall, the spectacular

Grand Staircase, the impressive Saloon stretching 90 feet long

with exquisite Flemish tapestries, beautiful antique furniture

and a staggering collection of more than 40,000 books.

In total there are 15 breathtaking rooms, together with

stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds. Famously

known for being the first drive-through safari park outside

of Africa in 1966, home to, amongst other animals, majestic

lions, a troop of mischievous macaque monkeys, a pack of grey

wolves plus, the only animal collection in Europe to exhibit

Southern koalas. In November, the UK's original, biggest and

most exciting lantern festival is the showstopper at Longleat –

The Festival of Light, and the theme for this year? You will be

stepping into The Wondrous Worlds of Roald Dahl.

Then, in December, Longleat becomes even more magical with

a Santa Train, Winter Safari Drive-through and Britain's biggest

singing Christmas tree – at 20 metres tall, it will sing your

favourite carols and flurries with snow!

The Merchant's House, Marlborough

A glorious restoration of a 17th Century silk merchant's house

The House of Thomas Bayly was built following the Great

Fire of Marlborough in 1653. Over the years 1653-1700 a

fine timber and brick building was constructed, its interior

panelled, brilliant with wall paintings and with a commanding

oak staircase. A substantial amount of this fabric survives and

hidden painted decoration is still being revealed.

Many of us are familiar with homes of the aristocracy; here is

a rare opportunity to view a 17th century house of the type

42 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Left to right: Longleat and Britain's biggest singing

Christmas tree; Kew Gardens Palm House in the snow

many of us might have lived in. Thomas was a prosperous silk

mercer whose lifestyle is reflected in the spacious and elegant

rooms on show. The house is a living place. Throughout

the season there are demonstrations of costume making,

needlework and historic paint conservation. Musicians often

play music appropriate to the period.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey

For an unforgettable horticultural experience, make a beeline

for Kew Gardens. By day you can see the vast UNESCO World

Heritage Site by walking or 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.

Visit in the evening on selected dates between 16 November

2022 and 8 January 2023 for Christmas at Kew when the

stunning gardens are decorated in 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 there's festive hot food and treats such as

spiced winter warmers and hot chocolate.

The Savill Garden, Windsor

The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park has been a tranquil

place to discover rare plants from around the world since

its creation in the 1930s. This natural haven of beautifully

designed gardens and woodland can be enjoyed by everyone,

from dedicated horticulturists to those who just want to spend

a relaxing day out with family or friends. There are 35 acres

of interconnected gardens including the Hidden Gardens,

Spring Wood, the Summer Gardens, the New Zealand Garden,

Summer Wood, The Glades, Autumn Wood and the Winter

Beds. Don’t leave before visiting The Christmas Tree Shop to

pick up some natural decorations for your home including

wreaths and fresh boughs of holly and mistletoe. →



Left to right: Stourhead in autumn;

Bristol Botanic Garden Evolutionary Dell

The Christmas Tree Shop also stocks a selection of food and

drink, including our very own Windsor Great Park Sparkling

Wine, grown in a vineyard on the Estate.

Stourhead, Wiltshire

A little way off the Great West Way in south Wiltshire, but a

must-visit if you’re in the area, Stourhead is one of the 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.’

The after-dark illuminated trail through the garden at

Stourhead returns for its fourth year on selected dates

between 25 November 2022 – 1 January 2023 with over a

million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds fill the air with

festive fun.

Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham

Strawberry Hill House has been open to visitors for over

250 years, it is the former summer residence of Horace

Walpole, author of ‘The Castle of Ontranto’ and is famous

for being Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival

architecture. Inspired by William Kent and the ideas behind

the English Landscape Movement, Horace Walpole created

a romantic garden to complement his Gothic castle. Formal

borders mixed with groves of trees and shrubs crossed by

winding paths, and flowers and fragrance, a fine lawn, an open

terrace and meadows that led straight to the River Thames.

The five-acre garden has been, as far as possible, restored to

its original appearance using Eighteenth-Century maps and

paintings as well as Walpole’s own writing. It is Grade II listed

and of national importance as a reminder of a fascinating

period in garden history. It is a charming, compact garden

full of a variety of beds, borders, walks, groves, lawns and


Visit on the 21 November to join the discussions around

Charles Dicken’s most famous novel, A Christmas Carol a

festive tale of redemption and compassion.

Turner’s House, Twickenham

Looking at the blue plaque on the front of Sandycombe Lodge

you can imagine Turner living there – it was his retreat from

the London art world. The architecture of this little building is

quirky, reflecting Turner’s own designs but also the influence

of his good friend, John Soane. Turner made many sketches

before finally arriving at his final design, and these are now

brought together in single facsimile sketchbook.

44 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Some of the beautiful etchings from his Liber Studiorum are

on display, several of them responding to troubled years when

England was under threat of invasion, along with beautifully

crafted models of ships, variations on those which Turner had.

In Turner’s time, Sandycombe stood on a large plot of land,

bordered by two huge estates. His grounds have now been

built over, as have the estates – so the open views he would

have had are shown by digital technology. The small remains

of the once-large gardens has been beautifully planted. On

the 27 October St Margaret’s Wine are hosting a Whiskey

Tasting at Turner’s House event. Tickets include a selection of

three whiskeys, food, admission to the house, and a tour of the

exhibition, Between the Sheets: Turner’s Nudes.

University of Bristol Botanic Garden, Bristol

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. Visit on the 24 November for a special autumn-themed

lecture by Poppy Okotcha; Growing a better world.

Stonor Park, South Oxfordshire

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. Stonor Park is one of the longest lived-in family

homes in England, owned by the Stonor family for over 850

years. Located near Henley, Stonor is a beautiful place to visit,

especially if you are staying east of the Great West Way route.

The historic building and sweeping grounds are breathtaking

and inside there is a fascinating family collection of art and

artefacts. Open to visitors between April-September and at

Christmas, (gardens are open April-October), you can view

the work of St. Edmund Campion, created when he was given

refuge there in 1581, and outside sits their oldest resident, a

perfectly preserved prehistoric stone circle.

Visit Stonor House when it has been beautifully decorated

for Christmas and experience a Candle Lit Christmas where,

walking from room to room, you will be able to imagine the

many family members and friends who would have celebrated

this festive season here through the centuries. Delicious

seasonal fare will be served in the Stonor Pantry and the Gift

Shop will be overflowing with goodies for all the family. →



Syon Park, London

The London home of the Dukes of Northumberland, the

Percy family, for over 400 years – Syon is one of the last great

houses of London. Profoundly historic, the House holds a

wealth of art within its grand classical interiors, while the Park

and Gardens feel like deep countryside, although barely nine

miles from Charing Cross. As the nights draw in, Syon Park

once again hosts the Enchanted Woodland during November,

which sees the 600-year-old gardens transformed by a display

of lights and music. Now in its 16th year the trail winds

through the arboretum, passing the sixteenth century Syon

House, and ends at the spectacular Great Conservatory. An

array of lighting effects – from high-tech lasers to low tech

candles – illuminate the visitor’s way through the trees.

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

A former Rothschild, French Renaissance chateau brimming

with priceless treasures and a contemporary exhibition space.

There are also restaurants and cafes, a boutique hotel, a gift

and Rothschild wine shop and wine cellars with access to wine

tastings, not to mention acres of landscaped gardens. During

the 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.

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

center 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. Father Christmas’ elves have made their way

to the arboretum to decorate the trees in twinkly lights for

Christmas. Visit between the 25 November and 21 December

2022 and be one of the first to experience their brand-new

illuminated trail.

Click here to find out

more about exploring

Houses and Gardens on the

Great West Way

Pictured: Chritmas illuminations

light up the woodlands at Syon Park

46 GreatWestWay.co.uk

A full-size Victorian replica

Bayeux Tapestry and three

hundred biscuit tins?

The ruins of a breathtaking

12th-century royal abbey

that attracted pilgrims

from across Europe?

A nationally significant

collection of English farm

wagons and the most

famous ram on the Internet?

And all of it’s free.






There are plenty of reasons to plan a trip to the

Great West Way this season, from indulgent spa

weekends, picturesque countryside walks to

Christmas markets and classics at the theatre.



Lined with grand stately homes, gentle green countryside,

cute stone cottages and pretty thatched pubs, the Great West

Way is the perfect place to discover the real England. And

what could be more traditionally English than a roast

dinner on a Sunday lunchtime?

A classic English roast dinner has succulent meat, crispy roast

potatoes, fluffy Yorkshire puddings, lashings of gravy, lots of fresh

seasonal veg, and a side of cauliflower cheese if you’re lucky. You’ll

find this traditional Sunday lunchtime meal at many of the pubs and

restaurants along the Great West Way route – often accompanied

by more modern takes on the classic roast dinner, such as Coq au vin

with mash & bourguignon garnish.

Enjoy a tasty Sunday lunch while admiring the spectacular views

of Windsor Castle at the Royal Windsor Pub, head to The Red Lion

Freehouse in the Vale of Pewsey – a picture-perfect English pub,

complete with thatched roof and pretty beer garden. It is also a

Michelin-starred restaurant – so you can expect your Sunday lunch to

be utterly delicious.

48 GreatWestWay.co.uk




Kick off your festive season with the

Christmas Fair at Ascot from the 24

November (until the 27 November) with

top quality gift companies you won’t usually find on

the high street. Knowing you are going to delight your

family and friends with the best Christmas presents

wrapped and ready, you might want to celebrate by in

an evening that’s exclusively yours to enjoy – or in a

shared Christmas party with others.

Either way you will be made to feel like royalty at a

party hosted in the iconic surroundings of the world’s

most famous racecourse. →

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.




Just because the weather is often wet and wild this time

of the year it doesn't mean you have to hide away inside.

On a winters day on the Great West Way, why not grab

your wellies and head off to splash through the puddles and enjoy

our beautiful countryside. Along the touring route there are 3

Areas Of Natural Beauty (North Wessex Downs, The Cotswolds

and The Chilterns) – each remarkable in its own way, from the

landscapes to the people who live and work there.




Windsor Carriages have been running tours of Windsor

for over 170 years, offering a unique way to experience

magnificent Windsor Great Park. Take in views of

stunning Windsor Castle as you are whisked down the Long Walk

in a picture-perfect horse drawn carriage as a tour guide shares

invaluable knowledge, stories and events passed down through

the generations of coachmen of Windsor Carriages since 1849. →

50 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Magical Marlborough

The ancient market town that

packs a postcard-perfect punch





For some well needed Winter pampering, why not book

yourself a sumptuous couple’s spa session as you travel

along the Great West Way route? There are many options

to choose from, including the spa at award-winning

Whatley Manor near Malmesbury, or Bath's famous Thermae Bath

Spa with its rooftop pool, or one of the incredible reclaimed lidos

along the route; Thames Lido in Reading or the Lido in Bristol. If

you’ve got kids, head to Woolley Grange near Bradford on Avon

and take advantage of the 90 minutes free childcare each day of

your stay while you relax in the spa.



A Christmas Show or pantomime is an essential part of

any traditional English Christmas, and there are plenty

of options to choose from along the Great West Way

route. RAPUNZEL will be showing from 18 November

at the gorgeous Watermill Theatre. The Christmas programme at

Pound Arts Centre in Corsham includes Christmas Gothic by Dyad

Productions. Head to Wyvern Theatre in Swindon for side-splitting

comedy, fun songs and festive magic with A Christmas Carol and The

Ho Ho Ho Mrs Christmas Show. And the Great West Way's newest

theatre, the Barn Theatre in Cirencester, will be showing yet more

Christmas classics.

52 GreatWestWay.co.uk




The Ice Rink is back and, with 1000 square

metres of smooth ice, it’s bigger than ever!

Glowing in an array of atmospheric lights,

it’s the ideal spot to practice those skating skills and

simultaneously the perfect stage for avid skaters to

show off their moves. With music to set the wintery

scene, a cozy bar area and seasonal drinks you will be

transported to a dreamy winter wonderland. →



Wonders await

those who venture off the beaten path

A unique royal connection,

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.







Buy beautiful gifts for your friends and family as you

explore the Great West Way in the run-up to the

holidays. Christmas at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet

Swindon means a winter wonderland springing up amongst their

many designer and high street shops. Read our article on best days

out for shopping on the Great West Way by clicking here.

There will also be many Christmas Markets appearing along

the route, with the Bath Christmas Market and Bristol Christmas

Market both making lovely festive locations for an afternoon of

Christmas shopping. Think sweet little chalets selling handmade

gifts and serving hot drinks.




At the far east of the Great West Way, in bustling central

London, is Wellington Arch. Originally built as an entrance

to Buckingham Palace, the structure later became a victory

arch proclaiming Wellington's defeat of Napoleon. Climb up to the

arch's balconies for glorious wintery panoramas over London.

Also, in the capital don’t miss The British Museum, the first national

public museum in the world. The children will love meeting Santa and

his elf at the London Transport Museum (from 25 November) – at their

Christmas at the Museum season there’s also card-making workshops

and an interactive Routemaster-inspired sleigh!

Tucked away in the Hampshire countryside alongside the

peaceful River Test is Whitchurch Silk Mill, the oldest silk mill that is

still weaving silk in its original building. In Wiltshire visit Stourhead,

Lacock and the Fox-Talbot museum, the birthplace of photography

– and motoring enthusiasts will love the Atwell-Wilson Motor

Museum, located near the historic town of Calne, an interesting and

unusual stopping-off point along the route. Perfect for a Christmas

party, in Salisbury revellers can lose themselves in a game of Spectre

in the award-winning Live Escape Room on Castle Street.

Explore the unique collection of vehicles, uniforms, and weapons

and learn more about the proud history of the Royal Electrical and

Mechanical Engineers at the REME Museum in Lyneham – a short

drive from Chippenham. Reading Museum displays an array of

historical artefacts waiting to be explored while Reading's Museum

of English Rural Life is England’s most extensive museum dedicated

to farming, food, craft, rural life and countryside issues.

Maidenhead Heritage Centre explores the history of the Berkshire

town of Maidenhead by telling the stories of its river, roads and

railway. The centre's spitfire simulator is one of the most unusual

historic experiences on the Great West Way. Experience for yourself

what it must have been like for a 1940s spitfire pilot in an authentic

simulator with replica flight controls and wide screen pilot view.

Plus, you can even step on board Concorde Alpha Foxtrot,

the last supersonic jets to ever fly, or discover the earliest days of

powered flight at Aerospace Bristol. →







There are many Royal connections along

the Great West Way; especially the historic

Berkshire town of Windsor, which has seen

many royal nuptials throughout the years. Prince Harry and

Meghan Markle were married at St George's Chapel in 2018,

and the royal town has also hosted the marriages of the likes

of Princess Beatrice and Prince Edward to their respective

spouses. While you’re here, visit Windsor Castle – our beloved

former Queen’s favourite weekend residence.

56 GreatWestWay.co.uk

This Way for

a Journey

Through Time

The Great West Way weaves through

the timeless county of Wiltshire.

The Ancient Briton, Romans, Normans and

Saxons have all left their mark.

Now it’s time for you to follow in

their footsteps.

It’s Time for Wiltshire





In the towns, villages and cities along the Great West Way route you’ll

find an abundance of antique stores and independent shops as well as

super-handy shopping centres and malls. There are also some

marvellous markets selling everything from local crafts to artisan

delicacies. Here are some ideas for a great shopping day out…

Words | Samantha Rutherford



McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet is housed in the

beautifully renovated Grade II listed buildings of the Great

Western Railway Works and is one of the largest covered

designer outlets in Europe. There is a mixture of high-street

and designer brands with reduced prices of up to 60 per

cent. Stores include Guess, Reiss, Joules, Kurt Geiger, Ted

Baker, Calvin Klein and bringing out the inner child in all

of us, new for 2022, a HARIBO Store is due to open before

Christmas – the ninth store of its kind to open in the UK.

Swindon Designer Outlet has a variety of restaurants

around the centre, open until late most weeknights,

including Five Guys, Wagamama, Pizza Express, Giraffe,

Patisserie Valerie, Krispy Kreme, KFC and Subway. As well

as many dining options, Swindon Designer Outlet also

houses a great selection of cafes including Starbucks, Soho

Coffee and Costa.

The on-site STEAM Museum of The Great Western Railway

offers families the chance to learn about the men and women

who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western

Railway and National Trust has its own café and shop.

Other shopping centres you might enjoy…

The recently rebranded Town Centre inSwindon is home

to many top retail names as well as local and independent

stores – it has been re-modernised with many new

remarkable makers, designer, artisans and pioneers.

The Guild in Wiltshire is set in a rural and historic setting

of regenerated carpet factory buildings. Here you’ll discover

a distinctive mix of independent and national brands and

don't miss their creative workshops, including Christmas

Wreath making and Tumbleweed Gig and Christmas BBQ.

Fisherton Mill is a shopping destination, gallery, cafe and

artist studios based in Salisbury, within easy reach of the

Great West Way – originally built in 1880 as a grain mill.

At the west end of the route Kilver Court Designer

Village, a short distance south of Bath, is home to an array

of luxurious lifestyle brands including Liberty London, known

for its iconic floral prints. →



Pictured previous page: Friends enjoy shopping in Bristol Shopping Quarter Pictured clockwise from

left: Bartlett Street, a picturesque pedestrian side street in Georgian Bath’s favourite shopping district;

Parkway Shopping Centre; Great West Way signage at Parkway Shopping Centre; The Oracle, Reading



The golden city of Bath has been welcoming visitors for

over 2,000 years and is a shopper’s haven, with a reputation

for fashion that goes back to Georgian times. Set within a

compact city centre Bath has a large range of independent

and well-known stores as well as some off-the-beaten-track

finds too.

Whether it’s 40s glamour or Edwardian furniture you’re

in to, you’ll find some lovely, preloved treasures in the city

of Bath. Bath Vintage & Antiques Market, on the last Sunday

of every month at Green Park Station, has a good mix of

everything – mid-century furnishings, jazzy retro frocks and

one-of-a-kind antiques.

Elsewhere, Vintage to Vogue can style you in top quality

fashion, from the 1900s onwards, then have it tailored

specifically to your shape. Shopping in Bath is a real treat,

high street fashion gurus, book worms and art collectors

alike will enjoy the buzzing city and its eclectic selection of

unique gifts.

Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Bath

is home to some of the most impressive architectural sights

in the world such as the Royal Crescent, the Circus and

Pulteney Bridge.

At the heart of Bath city centre, next to Bath’s imposing

Abbey is the Roman Baths Museum, which gives a fascinating

insight into the original bathing complex and the great

Roman temple of Sulis Minerva. Above the Museum in the

18th century Pump Room you can taste the waters, enjoy a

meal and listen to music from the Pump Room Trio.

Bath has a wide variety of museums and galleries

including the Holburne Museum, No 1. Royal Crescent, the

Jane Austen Centre and the Musuem of Bath Architecture.

There are stunning gardens and landscapes a-plenty – don’t

miss the stunning Palladian bridge at the National Trust’s

Prior Park, just outside the city.

Don’t forget to stop off at the Roman Baths and pick up

a souvenir to share with friends and family. When you are

feeling hungry or thirsty there is a mouth-watering selection

of restaurants, pubs, cafes and delis to choose from or a

number of places to stay in Bath to settle down for the


60 GreatWestWay.co.uk



Reading is located near the centre of the Great West Way,

making it a great base from which to explore the many

delights of the route. Located in the heart of Reading, The

Oracle boasts more than 80 stores to cater for all your

fashion and lifestyle needs – including Next, House of Fraser

and Zara. There’s plenty of choice on Riverside with flavours

from around the world in more than 20 restaurants.


Alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal, Newbury has a bustling

high street with many interesting shops, which include

unique stores such as family-run department store Camp

Hopson. Located in the heart of the town centre, Parkway

Shopping is anchored by M&S and NEXT and includes a

number of essential shopping needs from fashion such as

H&M, Superdry, Fat Face, New Look, The Entertainer and

more, with many cafes and restaurants to choose from. →

GreatWestWay.co.uk 61

Discover Gloucestershire’s best attractions, tours,

shops, restaurants, accommodation and venues

home of The Cotswolds & ancient Forest of Dean

discovergloucestershire visitglosuk DiscoverGlos

Pictured: Bristol's historic harbourside, Salt & Malt at Cargo is part of a

bustling new food hub in the newly regenerated Wapping Wharf

Other Great West Way towns you might enjoy…

For a spot of souvenir hunting or Christmas gift shopping head

to our smaller Great West Way towns including Marlborough,

Malmesbury, Chippenham, Bradford on Avon, Pewsey,

Marlow and Tetbury. Plus, don’t miss pop-up boutiques such

as We Make Bristol in Westbury-on-Trym, which only stocks

products by local artists and designers, or head to the gift

shops at top tourist attractions or tourist information offices,

Stonehenge gift shop, for instance, sells striking lino prints of

the stones by local artist Caroline Day.


Cabot Circus is the ultimate shopping destination in the heart

of Bristol, with over 120 high-street and designer brands,

including Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Zara, &Other

Stories, H&M and Apple. Covered by a unique shell-shaped

glass roof, Cabot Circus is also home to a Showcase Cinema de

Lux, Escape Hunt and crazy golf venue, Jungle Rumble.

Bristol is known for its alternative outlook, making it a

go-to place for vintage and offbeat fashion finds. For quirky

places in Bristol head straight to Stokes Croft and adjoining

Gloucester Road – the longest street of independent shops

in the UK. There you’ll discover artfully curated charity shops

alongside intriguing second-hand stores (with lots of hip

cafes in between for when you need a coffee break).

For award-winning fish and chips with a view head to Salt &

Malt at Bristol’s historic harbourside. If you’re a guy or gal

who likes Americana, Uncle Sam’s on Park Street is the best

place to find a pair of cowboy boots or classic Levis you can

cherish forever. The Christmas Steps Arts Quarter is a hiddenaway

haven for one-offs including musical instruments,

herbal remedies and fine spirits (the medieval steps

themselves make the perfect Insta-snap too). Plus, be sure to

visit St Nick’s Market in Bristol (every day except Sunday).

Looking ahead…

Set to open in Autumn 2023, Bristol Beacon, Bristol’s

largest concert hall (formerly known as Colston Hall) has

undergone a complete refurbishment and redevelopment.

The £48.8m transformation will turn the venue into one the

best performance and music learning spaces in Europe – a

modern, accessible, state-of-the-art facility.

Shop around for

something extra special

Click here to find out more and

to read our Itinerary Planner






Tours, wine-tastings, hot air balloon rides, watersports,

spas, luxury hotels, skydiving and more... There are many

ways to celebrate your most special occasions on

the Great West Way

There are many ways to celebrate and mark a special

occasion between London to Bristol, adding some

memorable magic to your Great West Way experience.

Getting friends and family together for a party to

commemorate a special milestone such as a special birthday

or silver wedding anniversary perhaps? You are spoiled for

choice along the route.

Since the covid pandemic we have seen a rise in beautiful

exclusive use accommodation and options for multi-generation

group stays. Take the new private country cottages located on

the Lucknam Park Estate, near Bath for example – your very own

private haven of luxury set in the 500-acre estate.

Lucknam Park is the sort of hotel you mean to use as a

base for exploring but end up not leaving for several days.

There’s so much to do at this five-star, from classes at the

cookery school and horse riding to hydrotherapy in the spa,

as well as one of the Great West Way’s best restaurants –

Restaurant Hywel Jones.

Time slows right down here, as you make your way up the

mile-long drive between the beech trees and settle into the

drawing room for cocktails. The signature tasting menu has Loch

Duart salmon, braised halibut and pork from nearby Roundway

Hill and there’s a vegetarian tasting menu and wine matching

to boot. It has held a Michelin star since 2006. Rooms in this

Palladian mansion are supremely comfortable and the whole

experience feels like staying with (very wealthy) friends.

If your style is more relaxed country chic, the Pear Tree Inn

Farmhouse Kitchen with Bar & Rooms is tucked away in rural

Whitley near Melksham. Book the new Potting Sheds located

into the fabulous grounds with fully equipped kitchenette for a

romantic glamping setting and evening under the stars.

For something super-stylish the modern Berkeley Suite

apartments with cinema projectors located in the desirable

Clifton area of Bristol are perfect for impressive get-togethers

too. Self-contained with open plan living area with a bespoke

kitchen and all the benefits of a fully serviced hotel, including a

chic restaurant and cocktail bar.

From Michelin star dining rooms in elegant country house

hotels to soothing spas with crystal-lit swimming pools and

natural thermal waters, you could celebrate your special

occasion with some five-star pampering.

The stunning Gainsborough Bath Spa in the centre of

Bath for example offers a very special guest experience – set

beneath a glass atrium here you can "take the waters" in

luxury. There are three thermal baths, traditional and infrared

Saunas, a steam room and eleven treatment rooms.

Once the headquarters of Lloyds Bank, and with a

gorgeously ornate exterior inspired by a 16th century Venetian

library Bristol Harbour Hotel is another seriously opulent city

address. The 42 bedrooms have views out over the historic

city centre, luxurious drapes and bedding and complimentary

decanters of gin and sherry. Some also have rolltop baths and

all guests have use of the HarSpa down in the vaults, with its

hydrotherapy pool. The Jetty restaurant serves an afternoon tea

of just-baked homemade scones, clotted cream and jam, then

in the evenings brings out an a la carte menu of fresh seafood

dishes such as moules marinere and South Coast crab on toast.

Coworth Park is five-star from its crystal-lit swimming

pool right down to its impeccable service. This is a 21stcentury

country house hotel and rooms are beautifully chic,

with a cream colour palette and contemporary furniture.

The grounds are extensive and there’s a Polo Academy and

Equestrian Centre offering riding lessons and off-road hacks.

The spa is one of England’s best, set into the countryside and

offering dreamy treatments, and the Drawing Room serves a

fabulous afternoon tea of scones and freshly made cakes from

the pastry team. For dinner, elegant Restaurant Coworth Park

has a Michelin star and a showcase of a tasting menu, which

features dishes such as Cornish turbot with salted grapes and

Highland wagyu short rib.

Sample the delights on offer at the Langley Hotel in

Buckinghamshire, one of the newest hotel on the Great West

Way. This hotel and spa sits in a former royal hunting ground

surrounded by formal gardens and landscaped parklands,

offering guests a truly luxurious stay. At the opulent spa you

can enjoy the plunge pools, steam room and a whole host of

sumptuous treatments. →



With a fascinating history dating back to the Edwardian

era, the Thames Lido is a unique urban retreat in the heart

of Reading, situated in a Grade II listed building which was

painstakingly renovated before the lido reopened – it’s another

great place to base yourself for a celebration. You can swim

year-round in the open-air swimming pool and book with

spa packages such as a holistic massage included, as well as a

delicious meal at the restaurant, overlooking the open-air pool.

Take the glamour with you into the day time with private

day tours from Bath throughout the South West with your

own guide in a luxury Mercedes V-Class vehicle with Galahad

Tours. To see the Great West Way from a bird's eye view you

might even enjoy a hot-air balloon ride with Bailey Balloons,

offering exclusive balloon flights for up to 6 people across the

South West.

From the road to the sky, did you know you can also travel

in style along our Great West Way rivers and canals? Private

harbour tours and river trips can be booked with Bristol Packet

Boat Trips, or take a Thames Rivercruise (based at the heart

of the Upper Thames) and cruise through some of the most

stunning reaches of the Thames from Henley and Sonning up

to Goring and Streatley.

For something more thrilling on the water enjoy

an unforgettable outdoors activity such as stand up

paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking with Original Wild.

Or step outside your comfort zone thrill-chasing with an

adrenaline-fuelled driving experience at Castle Combe Circuit,

watersports at Cotswold Water Park, or by jumping out of a

plane with Skydive Neteravon. Or, from the social whirl of

Royal Ascot to Ascot Racedays there is something to suit every

occasion and ensure a day to remember at Ascot Racecourse

throughout the year.

Perhaps learning a new skill is a more appealing way of

marking an occasion? You might like to rustle up a special

treat in the kitchen with a hands-on course at Vaughan’s

Cookery School in Devizes. Or, have a go at glassblowing at

Bristol Blue Glass.

While in Bristol you might also enjoy a stop in urban

oasis at The Lido. Tucked away amongst a courtyard of

Georgian Terraces in the heart of historic Clifton, the Lido

features a spa, restaurant, outdoor heated pool, sauna, hot

tub and steam room within a characterful Victorian building.

Here you can enjoy a tailor-made massage using bespoke

own-brand Lido oils or take a refreshing dip in the open-air

pool before enjoying lunch in the building's historic viewing


66 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Pictured previous page left to right: Hot Air Balloon over Wiltshire; Champagne celebrations at the

Gainsborough Bath Spa Pictured clockwise from left: Bedroom at The Langley; Cross Bath by candlelight;

Swimming at Bristol Lido

Just 10 minutes by train from Bristol in Bath you can enjoy

a private tour of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city

with Insider Tours. Or, discover Bath’s food scene using your

taste buds on a Savouring Bath tour, while strolling through its

elegant 18th century streets and alleyways.

For a special occasion in addition to the open-air rooftop

pool with spectacular views over the city of Bath at Thermae

Bath Spa next door is its more exclusive sister – The Cross

Baths. Housed in a separate building with its own open-air

thermal bath The Cross Baths provides an alternative to the

more extensive spa facilities in the New Royal Bath. Fed by

its own natural spring, this beautiful building with its own

changing facilities can be enjoyed as a unique venue for an

exclusive spa break for a group up to 10 people.

Christmas is always a golden time to visit, with twinkly

festive markets sprinkled throughout the route – none more

well-known than Bath Christmas Market, with its magical

Regency backdrop providing the perfect setting for a mulled

wine and a mince pie. Elsewhere along the touring route you

can celebrate the season with ice skating, festivals of light,

slapstick pantomime shows, and glitzy New Year’s parties.

Now is the perfect time for a memorable adventure through

the real England.

Evening entertainment

along the Great West Way

Click here for our Itinerary

Planner for night owls






Enjoy life cruising in the slow lane on a canal boat break along the

historic Kennet & Avon Canal from Devizes via Hungerford to Kintbury in

West Berkshire with the option of stopping off in the glorious Vale of

Pewsey in the heart of the North Wessex Downs

Words | Poppy Ryan

Pictured previous page: Kennet & Avon Canal Pictured clockwise from

below: The Canal Tavern; Bradford on Avon Canal; autumn berries on

the Bradford on Avon Canal

The Kennet & Avon Canal runs all the way from the

River Thames to the River Avon, connecting the town

of Reading with the World Heritage Site of Bath and

Bristol. It is 87-miles (140km) long and is made up

of two lengths of navigable river linked by a 57-mile (92km)

canal section. It passes through some of the loveliest scenery

you could hope to see.

When you travel down the Kennet & Avon Canal you are

hitting the rewind button on life. Wonderful views, tranquil

waters, charming villages, quaint canal side pubs, impressive

locks – all of them looking much the same as they always did.

Not forgetting Bath's Georgian architecture of golden stone

and the rich maritime history of Bristol.

Started in 1794, the canal was completed in 1810 to the

designs of engineer John Rennie. It became an important trade

route bustling with boats carrying a variety of goods. As it

snaked its way across country the canal brought prosperity

and employment to rural towns and villages. Wharves and all

the infrastructure necessary for handling goods were built,

and today you can still see this fascinating industrial heritage

scattered along the canal banks. The canal needed many locks

and engineering solutions to climb up and down the Wiltshire

and Somerset hills. Engineers were innovators and designed

remarkable canal architecture such as the Crofton Pumping

Station, Claverton Water Mill and the Dundas and Avoncliffe


The canal's locks are wide enough to take two

narrowboats side by side or a large beamed boat. Most

spectacular of all is the famous Caen Hill Lock Flight in

Devizes, considered one of the wonders of the waterways. In

order that boats could climb or descend the steep hill, 29 locks

were built between Town Bridge and the bottom lock at Lower

Foxhangers. In the middle of this is the 'staircase' of 16 locks

70 GreatWestWay.co.uk

with enormous side pounds that hold water to fill the locks.

If you're taking a boat through them, it's best to give yourself

ample time.

The canal was a busy thoroughfare until the Great

Western Railway Act of 1835 led to the building of the railway

from London to Bristol. Faster and more efficient, the railway

began to steal trade away from the canal which gradually


By the mid-1950s the canal was derelict and on the point

of abandonment when a group of waterways enthusiasts

decided to act. In 1962, they formed the Kennet and Avon

Canal Trust, determined to rescue the canal and make

it navigable once more. Working with the then British

Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) and local authorities

they plugged the leaks, fitted new lock gates, restored the

towpaths and bridges and after a grant of £25 million from the

Lottery Fund it finally reopened in 1990.

Today this ribbon of water provides pleasure for thousands

of tourist boaters, walkers and cyclists, as well as a home for

'liveaboards' – those who choose to live permanently on their

boats. Every Easter the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

challenges paddlers to race the 125 miles to London via the

canal and the Thames. A broad array of businesses make their

money from the canal, ranging from hire boats, marinas and

chandleries to floating cafes and hairdressers.

It is also hugely important for all sorts of animals and

plants. You will see swans, ducks and heron, and if you're lucky

catch the flash of kingfishers. Water voles and otters are more

secretive, but they are here too. Curious cows come down to

the banks to drink and watch you chug on by. The water teems

with fish such as roach, pike, perch, bream, tench and small

minnows. The aggressive pike is the largest of all canal fish and

often lurks among weed beds bursting out to catch smaller


There are lots of plants to spot as you visit – the wide,

leathery leaves of water lilies float on the surface, and you can

see their attractive flowers from mid-May until the first frosts.

In summer, brightly-coloured purple loosestrife provides food

for long-tongued insects such as brimstone butterflies and

elephant hawk moths and the towpath vegetation attracts

many more species of insects. The rustle of common reed will

provide a soundscape to your walk and a summer home for →

GreatWestWay.co.uk 71

Pictured left to right: Bradford on Avon Canal; locks on the

Bradford on Avon Canal

reed and sedge warblers. The fact that by boat you cannot

travel faster than 4mph, forces you to embrace that wonderful

antidote to modern life-slow time. If you are on the towpath,

take time to observe the changing seasons and give a friendly

greeting to all who pass by. So please, when you visit, slow

down and linger a while, there is so much to enjoy about the

spectacular Kennet & Avon Canal.

The Canal & River Trust cares for 2,000 miles of canals

and rivers across England and Wales. Every year, around 15

million people visit these waterways, a 200-year old national



Caen Hill is one of the greatest examples of canal engineering

in England and is a great place to start your journey along this

historic canal. Hire a boat at Devizes from the Kennet & Avon

Canal Trust or from one of the many operators that are listed

with the Canal and River Trust. Alternatively, you could start a

little further east along the canal and hire a boat with

Honeystreet Boats and on your return from Kintbury you

could do an extra leg to Devizes and then back to Honeystreet.

This round trip is about 55 miles and includes 56 locks and you

could easily do it all in a week.

Have lunch at Honeystreet Café or at the Waterfront

Bar and Bistro by Pewsey Wharf then follow the towpath to

Crofton Beam Engine – the oldest working beam engine in the

world. Further along the trail you come to Wilton Windmill,

built in 1821, it is the only working windmill in Wessex. Just a

few miles further along the canal is the Three Tuns Freehouse

pub in Great Bedwyn.


Spend the day exploring the lush green water meadows of

the market town of Hungerford with its quirky canal bridges

and famous antique shops. A great place for lunch is the Tutti

Pole, a quaint restaurant on the high street selling everything

from lights snacks to a full English Breakfast served all day,

three-course meals and afternoon teas. The name Tutti Pole

72 GreatWestWay.co.uk

derives from the ancient traditions of Hocktide, an English

ceremonial rite dating back to 1365 and is still celebrated

in Hungerford each year, when, on the second Tuesday

after Easter, two tithing men visit the homes of commoners

carrying Tutti poles dressed with spring flowers.

There are replica Tutti poles outside the restaurant,

while inside there are many photographs of the Hocktide

celebrations through the years. Alternatively, you could take

a day off your own boat and go on a popular half-day round

trip on the Rose of Hungerford boat, travelling east from

Hungerford Wharf through Dun Mill Lock Wire Locks.


Highworth is an ancient hill top market town situated on the

edge of the Cotswolds close to Lechlade-on-Thames which

is the last navigable section of the River Thames and the

Thames Path. The town centre is a remarkable conservation

area containing 84 listed buildings and a Grade l listed

church. There's also the Highworth Museum in the unusual

setting of a Bank’s strong room, featuring a permanent

display on the history of the town as well as temporary

exhibitions. The Visitor’ Centre is also an Arts and Craft

centre showcasing handmade pieces by local artists and

makers, and the town is perfectly placed to explore Wiltshire,

Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Insider Tip

Looking to plan a trip by canal but unsure of

the route and timings? Check out Canalplan –

a handy route planner for canal journeys that

you follow virtually before the trip. It helps

you plan your journey or holiday, calculates

the length (distance, number of locks, time

taken and so on) of your trip and shows

gazetteer information on places along the

way (pubs, shops etc). ▶ canalplan.org.uk

Click here to

download the Great

West Way guide to the

Kennet & Avon Canal

Did you know?

Caen Hill (produced

‘cane’) is one of the

longest continuous

flight of locks in

England with a total

of 29 locks rising

237 feet over 2

miles, with a 1 in 44




Arts and Events

Cultural Calendar

As well as its natural scenery, cultural scene and lovely locals, the

Great West Way is known for its many festivals and events


Pumpkin picking patches

Bristol has a wide range of

pumpkin patches where

you can pick your own

pumpkin this Halloween.

Try the Pumpkin Fest at

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm where

you can pick your own,

there are talks about creepy

crawlies, and the Owl of

the World Trail. Head east

of the city to Avon Valley

Wildlife and Adventure

Park for the Pumpkin Patch

Nights where there are fair

rides, or south of the city is

Pumpkins at Farrington’s





Wake The Tiger: Danse Macabre

Visit Bristol’s newest attraction this

Halloween for a special event with

live bands, DJs, and performances

Terrifying Turnip Trail at Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Reveal truths about ‘All Hallows Eve’ customs and traditions

from Victorian times as Gothic characters and horror monsters

roam the ship with extra gruesome sights, sounds and smells



Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein –

After Dark: Purgatory

An intense multi-sensory horror

event for those aged 15 and above

74 GreatWestWay.co.uk




FEAR, Avon Valley Scream


Award-winning event

FEAR is gearing up for its

biggest scare experience

this year called


along with thrilling

fair rides, street

entertainment, and the

famous fire display


Visit Dyrham Park this

October half term to

find scarecrows through

the parkland and collect

All Hallows' Eve clues

©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra



Halloween Spooktacular at

Wookey Hole

Get into the spirit of Halloween

at the Home of the Witch





Photography Fortnight

Learn about Henry Fox

Talbot's photographic

discoveries through a trail


During October half term

Prior Park Landscape

Garden will be offering a

Halloween inspired trail.

Find the clue hidden in

the pumpkin patch!





Chauffeur driven tours with a Blue Badge Guide





www.bbhtours.co.uk | hello@bbhtours.co.uk | 01985 840049

Arts and Events Cultural Calendar





Christmas at Blenheim


Three unmissable

experiences in one iconic

Oxfordshire setting; The

story of The Snow Queen,

Christmas Market and

Illuminated trail are back

with stunning trails in the

Palace and the worldrenowned


05 Nov – 31 Dec

Don't miss the Christmas

exhibition at Fisherton

Mill featuring 18 artists

and makers and other

festivities and fun



Sarum Lights – Renaissance

Jaw-dropping light displays,

evocative music and breathtaking

Renaissance art




Bath Adventures Ghost Hunters

Silent Disco Tour

join Bath Adventures through

the streets of Bath and dance!

01 Nov – 31 Jan 2023

Jump aboard a festive tea

cruise with French

Brothers for a 2½ hour

christmas journey

complete with a luxurious

afternoon tea



Arts and Events Cultural Calendar






Christmas at Kew

A botanical world filled with seasonal

cheer. The magical trail will light up Kew

Gardens as you’ve never seen before,

making the perfect festive winter evening

– as one of the UK’s leading Christmas

experiences. Discover sparkling tunnels of

light, dancing waterside reflections, glitter

balls and trees drenched in jewel-like colour

on your way to the panoramic Palm House

light display





Christmas at Stourhead illuminated tour

Stourhead is a Palladian house and

garden described as a ‘living work of art’.

The curated trail features the stunning

Christmas Cathedral, in which more than

a thousand pea lights will be woven into

the forest landscape. Marvel at the ‘Sea

of Light’, neon stars wrapping trees and a

brilliant super nova, providing plenty of

selfie moments along the way

78 GreatWestWay.co.uk






RHS Glow 2022 at Wisley

Wander the new trail

around the garden

and see some of

Wisley’s iconic sights in

breathtaking beauty as

amazing illuminations

light your way. This year

there will be more light,

fire and fountain displays

than ever before.

4-10 December

Sail with Hobbs of Henley

on a Thames Christmas

Party Cruise enjoying a 3

course meal and dancing

away to their resident DJ





The Festival of Light, Longleat

Meet characters from the Roald

Dahl stories and watch the

enchanted Christmas Tree show





Christmas at Waddesdon

A festive extravaganza returns to

Buckinghamshire with magical

lights and the gardens aglow

Find out more

Click here to stay

up-to-date with our

festivals and events



Ways to travel the

Great West Way

It’s fun to travel under your own steam. Welcome to a journey

through time – an adventure across England by car, rail, boat, foot, bike

or a combination of all. Start planning your journey of discovery here...

80 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Hiring a bike and cycling along the canal, countryside

paths and trails, taking a walk through picturesque

villages and visiting our three Areas of Outstanding

Natural Beauty and three UNESCO World Heritage

sites by foot is a beautifully scenic experience.

Whether you’re up for a lengthy hike in the

Cotswolds, a cycle ride racing down the 13.7km (8.5

miles) steeply twisting Swinley Red trail with its

berms, drops and white-knuckle descents, or just

fancy a potter around some village antique shops,

walking and cycling is a wonderful way to explore.

You can cycle the entire length of the Great West

Way via National Cycle Route 4, which links up

regional cycle routes such as the Thames Valley Cycle

Route and the Kennet & Avon Cycle Route.

The National Trails website gives details of longdistance

walking trails along the route: The Cotswold

Way, The Ridgeway and the Thames Path.

Go to Sustrans for more (shorter) cycle routes on the

National Cycle Network, in and around the touring

route. There are also some excellent routes along the

Wiltshire Cycleway, including a picturesque 15.3k

between Corsham and Bradford on Avon.

Be sure to read the Information Points page to find

out where to pick up local maps and walking trails.

Plus, download our Great West Way map before you

set off.

Did you know? Bristol was officially Britain’s first

cycling city. Join the locals with a ride on a

pay-as-you-go YoBike, hire a tandem or go on a

Cycle the City tour of Bristol's best landmarks.


The Kennet & Avon Canal is a wonderful way to

travel along part of the Great West Way. This ribbon

of beauty and history stretches between Reading and

Bristol and is looked after by the Canal & River Trust.

Slow down and enjoy all 87 miles of the Kennet

& Avon Canal as part of your Great West Way

adventure, using our Kennet & Avon Canal map.

Hire a boat or hop on a barge tour for the ultimate

experience in slow travel. Multiple companies

operate along the River Thames and the Kennet &

Avon Canal. Visit Thames and The Kennet & Avon

Canal Trust are useful places to start.

You can canoe, kayak or book one of the numerous

boat trips. Passing through countryside, market

towns and picturesque villages, the canal offers an

abundance of natural beauty, fascinating wildlife,

outstanding canal structures, fabulous vistas and

heritage galore. The lazy pop pop pop of the engine

while you travel slowly through attractive towns like

Hungerford, quaint villages such as Wootton Rivers

and architectural masterpieces like Bath.

Of course, the famous Caen Hill Lock Flight in

Devizes is a real wow – look up from the bottom of

the 16 locks that form the main ‘staircase’ – now

that’s one way to get boats to travel uphill.

Take a look at our Marina page for hire boats and

boat tours and find details of river transport options

in the capital on the Transport for London website.

Did you know? Queen Elizabeth II reopened the

Kennet & Avon Canal in 1990 after a passionate

band of volunteers gave it an impressive revamp.



Ways to travel the Great West Way


A road trip adventure along the Great West Way

allows you to linger as long as you want in each

destination, and even venture off on a complete

tangent if the mood takes you – take a look at our

suggested itineraries to help you make a start.

The main road between London and Bristol is the A4

Great West Road, based on an ancient horse track

and later, one of King Charles I’s Great Roads, which

facilitated the establishment of the British postal

service – The Royal Mail.

The A4 cuts a fairly direct path between the two

cities, allowing you to travel the distance in less than

2 hours 30 minutes if you wanted to. Of course, if

you’re travelling by car, half the pleasure is being

able to pull off and explore whenever you like.

Wherever you decide to base yourself along the

touring route, there’ll also be charming country lanes

and winding rural roads to enjoy. Jump in the car and

see where you end up.

You may find the AA’s Route Planner tool useful for

planning your road trip. Also, our pages on car hire

and travel tips could be of interest – especially if this

is your first time driving in the UK.

If you want to hire a car for your Great West Way

adventure, you’ll find plenty of car hire companies

in just the places you’d expect – airports, larger train

stations, cities and towns, for example Auto Europe

and Practical Car & Van Rental.

Did you know? The first mail coach was introduced

between Bristol and London in 1784.


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. In

one go the journey is just 1hr 40min, but by stopping

off you can explore the route in your own time

turning it into a holiday adventure of a lifetime.

Relax and journey along the Great West Way using

the Great West Way Discoverer pass. It includes

unlimited Off-Peak train travel from London

Paddington with Great Western Railway along the

route to Bristol Temple Meads via Reading and

Swindon, or Newbury and Pewsey, with options

to branch off towards Salisbury via Westbury (or

London Waterloo to Salisbury with South Western

Railway). It also includes unlimited travel on listed

bus services along the routes. The rail route is

marked on the map with a green line. Choose from

an East, West or Global one-day or seven-day ticket

to enjoy your Great West Way adventure.

You can purchase the Great West Way Discoverer

pass online at GWR.com or from your local station.

They come in the form of a standard orange ticket,

clearly showing the route you have purchased

and whether it is valid for one day or seven. If you

are travelling from overseas, international passes

(similar to a BritRail pass) can be purchased online

at ACPRail.com or via your travel agent, where

discounted international rates apply and with no offpeak

travel time restrictions.

Did you know? The Great Western Railway runs

along the full distance of the Great West Way

– from London’s Paddington station to Bristol

Temple Meads.

82 GreatWestWay.co.uk




North Wessex Downs

Marvel at the prehistoric stones of

Stonehenge and Avebury, the Wiltshire

White Horses and the White Horse

at Uffington. Take time to visit

Highclere Castle, where Downton

Abbey was filmed, and get lost in the

mysterious hillforts, neolithic burial

mounds and genteel country houses.

The Chilterns

Characterised by neat farmland,

ancient woodland and chalk downland.

The Chilterns is a haven for wildlife

including red kites. Explore the

fabulous trails of The Ridgeway and

the Chiltern Way Circular passing

sparkling-clear chalk streams.

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds Way starts in Bath

and follows north for 102 miles,

to the well-to-do market town of

Chipping Campden. Explore Corsham,

Castle Combe and Dyrham Park,

or just take in the views: gentle

hills, sweeping valleys and summer

wildflower meadows dotted with

warm limestone homes. This is

England at its prettiest.



Gourmet Guide to

Food and Drink

From the wild creativity of Bristol’s street food scene, to the glamour of

London’s high profile restaurants, there’s a tantalising buffet of food and

drink experiences along the Great West Way.

84 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Michelin Starred and Fine Dining

Sit down to a meal of gastronomical delights at one

of the award-winning fine-dining establishments

along the Great West Way. Sample sumptuous

tasting menus created by Michelin-starred chefs,

innovative dishes featuring local produce, and

traditional English delicacies cooked to perfection.

The Vineyard, Stockcross, Berkshire

Not only is The Vineyard a luxury five-star hotel

and spa, it also has a fine dining restaurant and

30,000-bottle wine cellar. Head chef Robby Jenks is

at the helm of this 3AA Rosette restaurant. Diners can

choose from an à la carte or tasting menu where they

can enjoy dishes such as veal sweetbread ravioli with

pumpkin seeds in a pumpkin and brown butter sauce

or roast brill, brassicas, caper berries and almond.

Stockcross, Newbury

Bulrush, Bristol

One of the recent additions to the Michelin Guide,

Bristol-based restaurant Bulrush is certainly on many

a foodie’s ‘must visit’ list. Chef Proprietor George

Livesey’s imaginative and well-balanced menu is

chock-full of seasonal ingredients which are either

organic or have been foraged.

21 Cotham Rd S, Bristol

THE PIG-near Bath

You don't have to be staying at THE-PIG-near Bath

to book a table at their impressive Kitchen Garden

restaurant. Home to quite a few four-legged and

feathered friends, it is the farm to fork experience

that has made the PIGs so successful. THE-PIG-near

Bath rear their our own chickens and pigs for eggs

and pork meaning they can be sure of their quality

and provenance, ensuring they lead happy lives.

Hunstrete, Pensford, Bath

Olive Tree Restaurant, Bath

Located in the renowned Queensberry Hotel, Olive

Tree is a 3 AA Rosette restaurant in the heart of the

beautiful city of Bath. It is a contemporary British

restaurant offering informal fine dining under the

direction of award-winning head chef, Chris Cleghorn.

This is the only restaurant in the city to be awarded a

Michelin Star. Chris’ menu is quintessentially British

with Mediterranean influences.

4-7 Russell St, Bath

The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire

If you love theatre, Heston Blumenthal’s renowned

eatery in Bray offers the perfect destination, serving

innovative modern British cuisine in the most

spectacular of settings. Heston has previously been

described as the ‘Willy Wonka of British gastronomy’

and diners who would like to eat at his three-Michelinstarred

wonderland pay £325 up front for a ‘ticket’ –

providing them with access to the 17-courses on offer

that showcase his multi sensory cuisine.

High St, Bray

The Dining Room, Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Michelin’s European Young Chef of the Year Niall

Keating showcases his skills as Executive Chef at this

one Michelin star dining room restaurant at Whatley

Manor Hotel. Serving seasonal British produce

influenced by his world wide travels.

Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Easton Grey,

Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons,

South Oxfordshire

Described as ‘Oxfordshire heritage meets French

flair’, Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin-starred chic

restaurant has earned itself a global reputation



Gourmet Guide to Food and Drink

for fine gastronomy and creative cooking. Diners

continue to be charmed by both the setting

(country-house luxe) and the delicious treats on

offer which includes the likes of spiced monkfish,

ravioli of pumpkin and smoked trout amongst others.

Church Road, Great Milton, South Oxfordshire

The Miller of Mansfield, Berkshire

Despite its intriguing name, the Miller of Mansfield

is situated in the sweet village of Goring-on-Thames.

This 18th-century country pub has been given a

contemporary twist and can be defined as ‘Modern

European’ which has earned two AA Rosettes

and offers refined modern British dishes from the

freshest seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.

High Street, Goring on Thames, Reading

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Nr. Marlborough

Owned and run by Sue and Roger Jones, this Michelin

Star gem has received worldwide accolades for its

food and has also been critically acclaimed for its

900 bin Wine List. Offering three menus, to include

an eight course evening gourmet which changes daily

to reflect the best seasonal ingredients.

Little Bedwyn, Nr. Marlborough, Wiltshire

The Hand and Flowers, Marlow

The Hand and Flowers is the only pub in the UK

with two Michelin stars and with celebrated chef

Tom Kerridge at the helm it is easy to see why. The

restaurant has a rustic feel which is complemented

by the refined British cuisine on offer.

126 West St, Marlow

Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire

Chef André Garrett’s innovative dishes, meticulous

preparation and elaborate finishes showcase his

exquisitely crafted creation. Produce is locally

sourced and is highly seasonal – guests can choose

between an à la carte menu or an eight-course

tasting menu.

Cliveden Rd, Taplow, Berkshire

Paco Tapas, Bristol

An ever changing menu combining traditional tapas

with personal interpretations from Michelin starred

Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias. Staying true to the

vibrant and comforting flavours of his heritage, with

jamón ready to carve, padrón peppers roasting over

the wood fire and sherry straight from the barrel.

3a Lower Guinea Street, Bristol BS1 6FU

Queens Arms, East Garston, Berkshire

Perfectly placed as a stop-over destination within

an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This award

winning, pub, restaurant and hotel (with its own

private lodge) serves seasonal British cuisine.

East Garston, Berkshire

The Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire

Bray is the place for foodies to be! The Waterside Inn

which is under the leadership of chef patron Alain

Roux has held three Michelin stars for over thirty

years. Expect the most exquisite Classic French

cooking coupled with the most impeccable service.

Ferry Rd, Bray, Berkshire

Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury

Husband and wife team, Guy and Brittany Manning

modestly describe themselves as “just a couple

of chefs working to create a place with real soul”.

Sourcing from the best possible producers, talent

and hard work has earned the duo, and their team,

one Michelin star status and a restaurant “where the

food has personality, the surroundings are relaxed

and the hospitality is warm and sincere”.

86 GreatWestWay.co.uk



The Great West Way is the only place

where you can experience all five of the

UK's Three Michelin Starred restaurants.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Royal Hospital Road, London



Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

Park Lane, London


Sketch – the Lecture Room & Library

9 Conduit Street, London


The Waterside Inn

Ferry Rd, Bray


Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck

High Street, Bray



The Dining Room, Whatley Manor

Easton Grey, Malmesbury


Red Lion Freehouse

East Chisenbury, Pewsey




Gourmet Guide to Food and Drink

Dining Restaurants

You’ll find many of the restaurants along the

Great West Way are dining rooms within our

Ambassador hotels. You’ll also find several celebrity

chefs including Rick Stein, Pierre Koffmann and

Marco Pierre White.

Abbey Hotel Kitchen, The Abbey Hotel Bath

Under the helm of Head Chef Marcus Bradley, Abbey

Hotel Kitchen is in the perfect central Bath location.

This relaxing and vibrant space offers high energy,

attentive service and delicious fresh food and drinks


The Orange Artichoke, Apex Hotel, Bath

Perfectly placed in the heart of Bath, you’ll never

be far from the action when you eat at The Orange

Artichoke. Allow them to curb your cravings with

locally sourced food, drink and delicious delicacies in

contemporary, chic surroundings.


Beau’s Bar and Restaurant at Donnington

Grove Hotel & Country Club

Set amidst beautiful parkland with the River

Lambourn winding through the grounds, this

Newbury restaurant has large picture windows to

make the most of the picturesque river views.


The Brasserie at Sir Christopher Wren Hotel

With glorious river views and a stunning bar and

terrace, The Brasserie offers upscale dining in the

heart of Windsor. Large windows let you watch boats

and swans glide down the Thames as you enjoy the

delicious all day menu and fine wines.


Cedar at the Langley

Dining experiences here are inspired by the bountiful

English countryside. Savour delicious cuisine in

our elevated restaurant overlooking the grounds,

featuring sumptuous meals crafted with natural



Clayton’s Kitchen

Uncomplicated dishes that explore and showcase

the freshest and very best ingredients. Chef Patron,

Robert Clayton ensures that every dish is prepared,

cooked and presented to perfection.


Cloisters Restaurant, Bailbrook House Hotel

Tucked away in the historic mansion is Cloisters

restaurant where the heritage of this country house

hotel in Bath really comes into its own, with original

archways made from traditional Bath stone.


Cricklade House & Spa

The chefs at Crickdale are passionate about using

great local produce and change their menu monthly.

Enjoy a three course meal, a traditional Sunday Roast

or Afternoon Tea of finger sandwiches, homemade

scones with jam and cream and a selection of cakes.


The Gainsborough Brasserie

The Restaurant with its Georgian architecture,

original artwork and impressive wine wall is open to

hotel guests and non-residents. Enjoy contemporary

British cuisine inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients

in a stylish and relaxed environment.


88 GreatWestWay.co.uk


There are many ways to sample the best

local cuisine on the Great West Way,

from city tours and hands-on cookery

classes to nostalgic river cruising.


A Taste of England


Around and about Bath


Savouring Bath



Vaughan’s Kitchen

White Horse Business Centre, Devizes



Hobbs of Henley


Bristol Packet Boat Trips


Thames Rivercruise


French Brothers




Gourmet Guide to Food and Drink

The Restaurant, No 15 Great Pulteney

Open for a show-stopping supper or lovely lunch

while you’re exploring the city of Bath. Seasonal

local meat, fresh fruit and veg are sourced from

Buxton Butchers and family-run grocers, Lovejoys,

and as for bread and baked goodies, there’s nowhere

better than beloved Bath institution, Bertinet Bakery.


The Dower House Restaurant, The Royal

Crescent Hotel & Spa

Award winning dishes are created with passion and

served with pride by award-winning Head Chef

Martin Blake and his team.


Guyers House Hotel & Restaurant, Chippenham

Set in a lovely old house with its own kitchen garden

and orchard the pretty dining room restaurant offers

a menu of finely cooked modern British cuisine.


Heyworth Restaurant, Henley

Greenland’s Hotel

Here you can enjoy an evening meal prepared by

passionate chefs with menus designed using seasonal

produce and locally sourced ingredients.


Windsor & Eton Brewery, Leaf

at The Castle Hotel

From comforting classics to light bites and

delectable vegan options, British artisan cheeses and

local beers visit Leaf, serves dishes made from the

finest locally sourced produce with a wide-ranging,

modern menu.


The Moonraker Hotel Brasserie

Like the seasons, menus change as Xavier and his

team use fresh local produce to create and showcase

some old-fashioned classics, putting the hotel

Brasserie firmly on the culinary map. They have a

walled garden used as the setting for their smokery

which they use to smoke their meat and fish.


The Old Bell Hotel, Saints & Sinners

Home to some of the most delicious food in the

Cotswolds serveing a menu of dishes made from

deliciously fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The Old Bell Hotel is a Grade I listed hotel, rumoured

to be England’s oldest hotel, located next door to

Malmesbury Abbey.


Plum + Spilt Milk, Great Northern Hotel

An award-winning restaurant in the heart of King's

Cross, offering a beautiful seasonal modern-British

menu, with locally sourced ingredients. In an elegant

yet cosy atmosphere, surrounded by the views of

King’s Cross and St Pancras.


Rick Stein, Marlborough

Rick Stein’s Marlborough restaurant brings a taste

of Cornwall to the Great West Way. Located on

Marlborough High Street, serving a combination

of classic seafood dishes, excellent wines and with

plenty of coastal charm.


The Roseate Hotels, London, Reading and Bath

All three of The Roseate Hotels, Roseate House in

London, near Hyde Park, The Roseate in Reading and

90 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Discover crisp, white, award-winning

bubbly varieties

Alder Ridge Vineyard

Between Hungerford and Marlborough


Aldwick Estate Vineyard

Nestled beneath the famous Mendip Hills


Bluestone Vineyards at Cholderton

Rare Breeds Farm

10 acre on-site boutique vineyard on the

McConnell family farm in Wiltshire



Enjoy wine tastings, taprooms and tours

Bristol Brewery Tours

Mardyke Wharf, Bristol


Bristol Hoppers

Walking Tours of Bristol's Craft Beer Scene


The Bath Brew House

14 James Street West, Bath


Wadworth Brewery

Northgate Brewery, Devizes, Wiltshire


West Berkshire Brewery

The Old Dairy, Yattendon




Gourmet Guide to Food and Drink

The Roseate Villa in Bath, located in a quiet corner of

the city, offer exceptional dining in their restaurants.


Shelburne Restaurant, Bowood Hotel, Spa &

Golf Resort

Laid-back, countryside dining with picture perfect

views. The Two AA Rosette Shelburne Restaurant

serves delicious food from seasonal menus every day.

From long, lazy lunches to romantic moments over

cocktails, you will enjoy a range of mouth-watering

dishes prepared with passion and served with flair.


The Swan Bradford On Avon

Locally sourced produce, beautifully prepared and

cooked to perfection.Open for breakfast, lunch,

dinner, Sunday carvery, coffee, or a light snack and a

glass of wine or pint of local ale.


Woolley Grange Hotel

With so many ingredients plucked from their own

kitchen garden, it’s more about wheelbarrow yards

than food miles at Woolley Grange. Visit for fine

dining or family dining.


Mark’s Bar, Riverside Hotel, Salisbury

Mark’s Bar is truly a fabulous place to enjoy a

relaxing drink, lunch or dinner with friends. Opening

out on to a terrace overlooking the river and

Salisbury Cathedral, on a summers day, it certainly

will be the place to be - with a great choice of wines,

Champagnes, premium spirits and cocktails.


Pubs and Inns

From traditional thatched village inns to modern

gastropubs with spacious beer gardens perfect for

families to enjoy the summer sunshine

Red Lion Freehouse

East Chisenbury, Pewsey


The Bear Hotel, Devizes

2-3 The Market Pl, Devizes


The Black Swan in Devizes

The Market Place, Devizes


The Bird in Hand, Knowl Hill

Bath Road, Knowl Hill, Reading


Crown & Anchor Inn

Ham, Wiltshire


The Crown, Tolldown

Toll Down Way, Dyrham, Chippenham


The George Inn, Norton St Philip

High Street, Norton St Philip, Bath


West Berkshire Brewery Taproom and Kitchen

The Old Dairy Frilsham Farm, Yattendon


92 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Helen Browning’s Royal Oak

Cues Ln, Bishopstone, Swindon


The Newbury

137 Bartholomew St, Newbury


The Prince Street Social

Crown House, 37-41 Prince St, Bristol


Queens Arms, East Garston

Newbury Rd, East Garston, Hungerford


The Royal Oak Yattendon

The Square, Yattendon RG18 0UG


The Royal Windsor Pub

Datchet Rd, Windsor


The Swan Bradford On Avon

1 Church St, Bradford-on-Avon


Three Tuns Freehouse

1 High St, Great Bedwyn, Marlborough




Gourmet Guide to Food and Drink

Tea Rooms & Cafés

Whether it’s a quick cuppa with breakfast or a

full-blown afternoon tea with dainty sandwiches,

indulgent cakes and tasty scones, you'll find plenty

of lovely cafes and tea rooms to enjoy along the

Great West Way.

Aldermaston Tea Rooms

Traditional Tea Rooms in a lovely setting by the

Kennet & Avon Canal. Leaf tea, cream teas, apple pie,

canalman's lunch, whippy ice cream and more.


Canal Trust Café

A beautiful tea rooms and licensed cafe situated in

Bradford on Avon along the Kennet & Avon Canal.

with lovely gardens and delicious food and cakes.


Teashop by the Canal

Set in a unique grade II listed building by the Kennet

& Avon Canal, blending the warmth of Italian culture,

with fine and splendid rituals of English Cream Teas.


The Bridge Tea Rooms

Housed in a former blacksmith's cottage dating

from 1502, this quintessentially English tea room

offers the very best in traditionally British afternoon

tea. With delicate bone china, the finest leaf teas,

and friendly staff in Victorian costumes serving

homemade cakes, pastries and sandwiches.


Honeystreet Mill Cafe

Situated in Pewsey Vale, Honeystreet Mill Cafe offers

a range of delicious fresh and local food open for

breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Treat yourself to

a chilled glass of prosecco on the terrace, and watch

the world go by Wiltshire-style.


Spring's Café and Restaurant

Located at Thermae Bath Spa, Springs Café and

Restaurant combines beautiful Georgian architecture

with classic, contemporary style. Throughout the day

and evening, spa users can enjoy delicious dishes and

interesting drinks from an extensive menu.


The Tutti Pole

A family run restaurant close to the Kennet & Avon

Canal in a grade ll listed building, serving quality

homemade food and luxury afternoon teas.


Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

During your visit to Westonbirt The National

Arboretum stop off at the restaurant for freshly

prepared hot and cold refreshments including soups,

sandwiches, savoury snacks, cakes and pastries.


Windsor Castle Undercroft Café

The first café for visitors to Windsor Castle has

opened in Edward III’s medieval Undercroft, which

for centuries served as the Castle’s main wine cellar

and is one of the oldest surviving spaces in the

1,000-year-old royal residence.


Lido Spa & Restaurant, Bristol Lido

Spanish and Mediterranean menus, open kitchen

with hot blazing Italian clay oven and bespoke

charcoal grill by the grade 2 listed outdoor pool.


94 GreatWestWay.co.uk


Abbey Hotel, Bath

North Parade, Bath


Cricklade House

Common Hill, Cricklade, Swindon


The Bridge Tea Rooms

Bridge Street, Bradford on Avon


No15 Great Pulteney, Bath

15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath


The Pump Room Restaurant

Searcys at the Pump Room, Stall Street, Bath


The Roseate Hotel, Reading

26 The Forbury, Reading


The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

16 Royal Crescent, Bath


Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa

Easton Grey, Malmesbury




Where to Stay on

the Great West Way

Staying overnight on the Great West Way makes for a wonderful trip,

whether on a romantic weekend away or a week-long adventure


Abbey Hotel, Bath

Abbey Hotel is located perfectly central in the city of

Bath, making it an ideal place to stay to when exploring

the city. Independantly owned, this unique hotel offers

an intriguing blend of stylish comfort, vibrant and

eccentric contemporary art, and historic character.


Dukes Hotel

One of Bath’s most prestigious streets, this beautiful,

boutique, guest house stands on Great Pulteney

Street. Whether it is the high ceilings, sash windows

or hand crafted Sanitan bathroom suites, each room

uniquely reflects an era of Georgian elegance and charm.


The Apartment Bath

From Nespresso to Nintendo, The Apartment, Bath

is a two-bedroom apartment in central Bath on

Widcombe Parade, and the perfect home from home

for guests exploring the Great West Way.


The Roseate Villa Bath

The Roseate Villa Bath occupies a quiet corner of

the city, overlooking the tranquil Henrietta Park.

Encompassing two characterful converted Victorian

houses, the Villa offers 21 rooms with exclusive

features. The Villa also has a private garden where

you can relax and enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea.


Tucking Mill, Bath Apartments and Cottages

Family owned range of award-winning luxurious

properties including three cottages at Tucking Mill

with outstanding views, and two apartments just 10

minutes’ walk from Bath city centre.


YMCA Bath Hostel

YMCA Bath Hostel is a city centre hostel with all

the attractions located within walking distance;

The Roman Baths, Royal Crescent, Bath Rugby

Ground, The Circus and Bath Abbey to name a few.

Affordable, clean accommodation ideal for families,

couples, and backpackers on a budget.


Bath Apartment Breaks

Two luxurious self-catering apartments in Bath, each

perfect for four guests. One apartment is on the

ground floor and has its own sun-trap patio area with

outside seating, whilst the other is on the first floor

and has two small balconies off the living area.


Bath Area Self Catering

High quality, luxury self-catering holiday cottages

and apartments in Bath and the surrounding areas

of Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. These

properties are ideal for exploring the Western part

of the Great West Way including Wiltshire, the

Cotswolds, Bath and Bristol


96 GreatWestWay.co.uk

No.15 Great Pulteney

No.15 Great Pulteney

To be found at the heart of Bath’s

fashionable society, No.15 Great

Pulteney is an elegant and vivacious

townhouse hotel on the very grandest

street in Bath. Comprising 40 bedrooms,

a cocktail bar, restaurant and boutique

spa, No.15 exudes understated

sophistication and luxury.


Brooks Guesthouse B&B

Brooks Guesthouse Bath is an award winning four

star boutique guesthouse in Bath city centre with 22

uniquely furnished bedrooms with an eclectic mix of

antiques, modern pieces and designer wallpapers.


Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa

Where dapper country house hotel meets hospitality

with imagination, charm and spirit, surrounded by

private gardens and set in glorious, rural Wiltshire.

You might also enjoy a visit to sister hotels , The Bird

& Homewood




Abbey Hotel, Bath

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two historic

buildings with Georgian and Victorian facades in

the heart of Bath. Named after the artist Thomas

Gainsborough, the luxury hotel is welcoming and

elegant. there are 99 berooms and suites with views

across the city to surrounding countryside.



Royal Berkshire – Exclusive Collection

Royal Berkshire is a country house located in the

heart of Ascot, perfect for overnight stays, with 66

luxury bedrooms. The grounds are charming, perfect

for a wedding location or event, with a private walled

garden and a beautiful fountain plaza.



Brooks Guesthouse B&B and Rooftop Retro

Rocket Caravans, Bristol

A boutique contemporary guesthouse situated

smack bang in the heart of Bristol's old town next

to St Nicholas Market and just a short stroll to the

vibrant Harbourside.

The caravans are British built and capturing the

glamour of the timeless vintage aluminium design

with all the lux of a modern hotel room and beautiful

rooftop views of Bristol City Centre.


Hampton by Hilton Bristol Airport

This is the ultimate hotel in terms of design, comfort

and convenience, being on the doorstep of Bristol

Airport – the only hotel within walking distance of

the terminal. Spend a day exploring Noah's Ark Zoo

Farm, Cheddar Caves and Gorge or Cabot Tower.


The Bristol Wing part of YMCA

The Bristol Wing is a boutique hostel in Bristol city

centre in the Grade II listed old Police Headquarters.

Since the first lockdown it has been repurposed

and provided a safe place for people at risk of

homelessness – it is now being fully refurbished with

plans to re-open Spring 2023. Located only a short

walk from some of the best bits of Bristol including

98 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Bristol’s harbourside, Bristol Shopping Quarter and

the Old City.



The Manor House – Exclusive Collection

This 14th century luxury hotel and golf club is

perfect for romantic nights away, with Michelin

starred dining and a dedicated gin bar. Head into the

picturesque village of Castle Combe or play a round

at the championship 18-hole golf course. Situated in

365 acres of rich parkland and widely regarded as a

real hidden golfing gem in the Cotswolds.



Pythouse Kitchen Garden

You’ve heard of restaurants with rooms – now we

bring you the restaurant with a glamping village.

Six bell tents and a cosy shepherds’ hut sit in an

orchard near this lunchtime-only restaurant.

They share showers, a cocktail area, kitchen and

dining area.



Cheddar Camping and Caravanning Club Site

From its lofty position near Priddy, the highest

village in the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Club Site is

surrounded by spectacular landscapes, great for

walking, cycling, caving and rock climbing. Less than

five miles from the campsite is Cheddar Gorge, one

of Britain's most spectacular natural landmarks.

Explore its extraordinary subterranean stalactite

show caves and spectacular panoramic views.



Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Perched on the banks of the River Thames, this

lovely campsite has a rural feel despite being just

50 minutes from Central London by train. Walkers

will enjoy the Thames Path Nature Trail – a longdistance

towpath trail that starts in the Cotswolds

and meanders through Chertsey towards the heart of

London. It’s a peaceful and scenic trail that’s ideal for

people of all ages and abilities.


Mill Farm Glamping

Enjoy the best of the beautiful British countryside

from the comfort of a luxurious canvas lodge on this

family-run, organic farm. Meet the ducks, dairy cattle

and donkeys. Have fun on Farmer Joe's organic farm

tour. Walk, ride, paddle, fish – or just soak up the sun

and the tranquil scenery. It all adds up to a unique

break that you – and your family or friends – will

treasure for a lifetime.



The Greenlands Hotel

Set within the 30-acre Henley Business School estate

in the Oxfordshire countryside, this magnificent

Grade II Listed Building is steeped in history dating as

far back as 1480. There are 100 bedrooms including

eight luxury balcony rooms with views across the

Chiltern Valley and the grounds leading to the River

Thames. There's a fitness centre, tennis courts, giant

lawn chess and footpaths leading into the Chiltern

Hills. Located less than three miles from the centre

of Henley-on-Thames home to the famous annual

Henley Royal Regatta, five miles from the riverside

Georgian market town of Marlow and a short car

journey to Windsor and Oxford.



Herongate Apartments

Welcome to Herongate Apartments, a collection of

four purpose built self serviced/serviced apartments




Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa

Whatley Manor is a grown-up getaway in the

heart of the Cotswolds set in 12 acres of gardens.

Try Grey’s Brasserie for a leisurely lunch, dinner

or chilled glass of wine. Or the innovative tasting

menu with specially selected wines in The Dining

Room. There's also The Green Room where chefs

prepare small plates of expertly crafted food in

front of you, Aquarias Spa and even a cinema.


Donnington Grove Hotel & Country Club

Donnington Grove, a three star country-house hotel

in Newbury, is situated in 500 acres of beautiful

grounds that include an 18 hole championship golf

course, beauty and treatment rooms at Avalon

Retreat, Clay Shooting and the New Beau's Bar

and Restaurant. It is a fascinating destination with

more than a whiff of English decadence. Built in

'Strawberry Hill Gothic' style, this 250 year old,

charming building has a unique heritage.


The Chequers Hotel

This former 18th Century Coaching Inn comprises

56 bedrooms, a business and meeting centre and

an intimate restaurant serving modern British and

European cuisine.


conveniently located just minutes walk from

Hungerford High Street and the beautiful Kennet &

Avon Canal. The apartments are situated next door

to Herongate Club and all guests over the age of 16

years can enjoy complimentary access to the gym

and pool as well as discounts off classes and the

fabulous Honesty Cafe.



Roseate House London

Located near Hyde Park with stunning views over

leafy Westbourne Terrace. John Constable, son of the

famous landscape artist, once lived there, and Oscar

Wilde married at St James’ Church opposite. The

hotel comprises of three restored, mid-19th century,

Grade II listed townhouses originally built in 1842

which still retain the grace and charm of the original

Victorian architecture. Located on a street steeped in

history in a haven of tranquillity.




The Chilterns View

The Chilterns View offers luxury lodge

accommodation overlooking the beautiful Chiltern

Hills. Guests love the privacy and seclusion of these

lodges with wonderful south-facing views and hot

tubs. Sit around the fire pit with a glass of fizz to

watch the sun set over the hills, and in the daytime

you can relax by the pond or take a walk to one of

the many fine pubs and eateries in the area.



Hilton Reading

Ideally located off junction 11 of the M4, the

Hilton Hotel in Reading offers a warm and inviting

atmosphere. Bedrooms feature air conditioning,

wired and wireless Internet access, laptop safes, mini

bar, on-demand movies, a spacious workdesk and

famous Hilton Serenity bed system. Access to the

24-hour LivingWell Health Club is included.


Novotel Reading Centre

Perfectly suited in the heart of the town. Many of

Reading's best restaurants, bars and shops are just

a stone's throw from the hotel, and you are close

100 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Whately Manor Hotel & Spa, Malmesbury

to Windsor and Oxford, and family attractions like

Legoland, Reading Museum, Reading Abbey Ruins

and Forbury Gardens Public Park. Reading train

station is a two-minute walk away and Thames

Valley Park is just a shuttle bus away.


The Roseate Reading

Described as 'The UK's Sexiest Townhouse Hotel' by

The Evening Standard, The Roseate Reading is also

recognised for its artful conception and luxury.



Pennyhill Park – Exclusive Collection

There are only a few places able to offer such a

diverse range of experiences as Pennyhill Park.

Set in 123 acres of Surrey countryside with a host

of individual experiences, they offer exceptional

overnight breaks, Michelin starred dining, bespoke

weddings, distinctive meetings and events, family

celebrations and an award-winning spa. There are

two award-winning restaurants, The Ascot Bar, and

The Spa including a state-of-the-art fitness suite,

treatment rooms, nail bar, hot tubs and indoor and

outdoor pools.


Walton on Thames Camping and Caravanning

Club Site

Tucked away in rural Surrey, you’d hardly know

Walton on Thames Club Site is just half an hour from

Central London. For a hearty dose of adrenaline,

head to the much-loved theme parks of Thorpe Park,

Chessington World of Adventures, and Legoland,

where kids (and big kids too) can go wild on wacky

rides and looping rollercoasters. For something a

little more sedate, head to Hampton Court Palace,

once the palatial home of King Henry VIII and his

six wives, to experience Royal life by exploring

the splendid interiors and wandering around the

magnificent estate with its rich variety of gardens



The Kingsbury @ No7 & No8, Marlborough

and plants.



Rose & Crown Inn, Ashbury

Located in a charming ‘off the beaten track’ village at

the foot of the rolling countryside of the Lambourn

Downs and historic sites of the Vale of the White

Horse. This village inn boasts an exceptional menu

and very comfortable rooms. It has a unique

atmosphere and very much reflects the gentle pace

of a friendly and welcoming ‘unspoiled’ village inn.



The Queens Arms Hotel

The Queens Arms is an award-winning hotel, pub and

restaurant with its own private lodge.

Situated in the beautiful village of East Garston,

between London and the West Country yet in the

heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The

Queens Arms features 12 bespoke bedrooms, a large

friendly bar with log fire that leads into the dining

room, a south facing patio and a large enclosed

garden. Children and dogs welcome.



Salisbury Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Within easy reach of some of the most famous sites

in England. The historic centre of Salisbury, known

as ‘the city in the countryside’, is an easy two mile

walk from the campsite and offers many must-see

attractions including the famous cathedral.


The Merchant’s House Hotel, Salisbury

37 newly and beautifully refurbished en suite

rooms located in the city centre. A must visit is The

Merchant’s Bar with open fire and wonderful choice

of wines, beers and spirits.


102 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Riverside Hotel, Salisbury

Set in beautiful grounds leading down to the River

Nadder and just a short stroll from the historic

Salisbury city centre, this charming and newly

renovated hotel consists of 38 beautifully restored

bedrooms, some that enjoy stunning views over

the river to Salisbury Cathedral. In 2022 the hotel

and grounds underwent a major yet sympathetic

refurbishment to restore and bring back to life

this charming contemporary manor house hotel –

previously it was the Grasmere House Hotel. Built

in the 1800s by the Wort family the Riverside Hotel

was one of the first houses built in Harnham.



Church Farm Country Cottages

Enjoy a rural location on a working sheep farm

staying in award-winning single storey cottages and

barn conversions with exposed beams and vaulted

ceilings. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural

Beauty you can enjoy walking and cycling from your

doorstep or it is a short journey to Bradford on Avon,

Longleat and the World Heritage City of Bath.


Cumberwell Country Cottages

Set in a peaceful, rural location, these seven unique,

luxurious and spacious self-catering cottages are set

in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside on the edge

of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just five

miles from the World Heritage city of Bath and one

mile from the Saxon town of Bradford on Avon.


Timbrells Yard

Timbrells Yard is a stylishly revamped riverside inn

at the heart of beautiful Bradford-on-Avon. It has

award-winning food and 17 super stylish bedrooms.

Grade II listed, it is family and dog-friendly, and has a

wonderful terrace on the banks of the River Avon.


Woolley Grange Hotel

Surrounded by 14 acres of stunning grounds, Woolley


The Kingsbury @ No7 & No8

Boutique hotel come Airbnb with modern,

keyless entry system allowing you to come

and go as you please. All rooms have been

lovingly and individually designed to offer

quality, comfort and style, for you to relax and

enjoy your stay. Fun dining concept including

fabulous afternoon teas and cocktail making in

the restaurant (book in advance).


Grange is a Jacobean manor house offering a warm

welcome to families, with award-winning children's

facilities, a beautiful spa, and great food using

fresh produce from the walled kitchen garden. For

a stargazing evening stay in one of the new Luxury

Glamping Suites, you also have access to the historic

hotel and its facilities, including heated indoor and

outdoor swimming pools, spa, OFSTED-registered

childcare and The Hideout Pizza Cafe.



Best Western Plus Angel Hotel, Chippenham

Superbly located five miles from the M4 between

Bath and Swindon. This 400-year-old coaching inn

has been sympathetically extended to include a

gym, indoor pool, courtyard garden and bedroom

wing. The addition of a stylish new brasserie, bar

and lounge create the ideal surroundings to relax.

A perfect base for enjoying motor racing at Castle




Rowley Cottage at Iford Manor

Surrounded by nature in the beautiful Iford

Valley and set within the Grade 1 listed

Iford Manor Gardens, this luxury, self-catering

period cottage is in an idyllic setting. Recently

renovated, with three en-suite bedrooms,

sleeping six it is the perfect base to explore

from. Just 15 minutes from Bath.


Combe, the Badminton Horse Trials, Longleat Safari

Park and Swindon designer shopping village.



Cliffe Farm Dairy

Self-catering accommodation in the heart of

Wiltshire; ideal for families looking for that quiet

escape. A secluded and unique cottage on a working

farm. This special place offers uninterrupted views

and wonderful walking opportunities.


Devizes Camping and Caravanning Club Site

This peaceful campsite beside the Kennet & Avon

Canal is perfect for walking, cycling, and exploring

the region’s many historic attractions. Head out on

a scenic walk to the historic market town of Devizes

along the towpath, passing the Caen Hill flight of 29

locks – one of the longest continuous flight of locks

in the country, rising 237 feet over two miles. In the

bustling market town of Devizes, visit the Wiltshire

Museum with its award-winning galleries and

ancient gold collection, pop into the Kennet & Avon

Canal Trust Museum to learn more about the local

waterways. Head to Wadworth’s Brewery to take a

tour and sample ales at the visitor centre, and see the

famous shire horses making deliveries. If you fancy

stretching your legs, take the five-mile circular walk

from Devizes to Roundway Hill, taking in stretches of

the Kennet & Avon Canal, with opportunities to take

longer walks by joining the Mid Wilts Way, Wessex

Ridgeway or the White Horse Trail.



The Old Bell Hotel

A comfortable, country hotel full of character and

charm, reputed to be the oldest purpose built hotel

in England (c.1220) and Grade I Listed. The hotel

nestles in the beautiful medieval Cotswold town of

Malmesbury and is 75 yards from the famous Abbey

House Gardens with over 2000 roses.

With crackling log fires, cosy corners, squashy sofas,

plump duvets, fine linen and fabulous food and wine

– this is pure indulgence.


Pettifers Hotel

Pettifers Hotel is the perfect spot to relax, unwind

and explore. You've got the fabulous Cotswold Water

Park, Highgrove, Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury,

Malmesbury and Cirencester all on the door step –

perfect for family stays and mini breaks, plus they are

super dog friendly too so no need to leave your four

legged friends behind!



Holiday Inn, Salisbury – Stonehenge

This modern friendly hotel has over 100 air

conditioned bedrooms and is the nearest hotel

to Stonehenge, offering a stylish, contemporary

gateway to the Great West Way and to the

picturesque county of Wiltshire and beyond.

Enjoy easy access to the colourful landscape of sights

and attractions dotting the English countryside.


104 GreatWestWay.co.uk

Rowley Cottage at Iford Manor, Bradford-on-Avon


Cricklade House Hotel

Standing in over 30 acres of peaceful, secluded

grounds on the edge of the Cotswolds, Cricklade

House Hotel offers a traditional, warm and friendly

welcome for those in search of tranquility, comfort,

good food and wine, with extensive recreational

facilities. This beautiful and dignified country

house, built at the turn of the last century, has been

tastefully restored and carefully extended.

Perhaps the most impressive addition is the

magnificent Victorian-style glass conservatory

which runs the full length of the original building,

making the most of the hotel's elevated position,

with wonderful panoramic views over the Wiltshire

countryside. The ideal location for exploring the

wonders Wiltshire and the surrounding area have to

offer – with brilliant links to both the M4 and M5 and

through to Oxford.


DoubleTree by Hilton, Swindon

West of Swindon, this relaxing hotel is an excellent

base for touring the beautiful Great West Way

countryside including the Wiltshire Downs and

the Cotswolds, visiting pretty villages such as

Chippenham and Marlborough, and, for a truly

memorable experience, you'll find the World

Heritage Site of Avebury nearby too.

The accommodation comprises 171 bedrooms with

61 Deluxe rooms and eight Suites and for food and

drink head to The Larder Restaurant and Bar.



Totteridge Farm Camping Pods

Totteridge Farm Camping Pods offer a wonderful

English countryside experience, for those who

want to be close to nature without giving up home

comforts. Step out of your timber lodge into the

fresh calm of a rural Wiltshire morning, explore the



Avebury and Stonehenge Private Guided Tours

Wiltshire’s wonderful countryside, full of internationally important monuments, is a very special place to visit

Find out more online or call Laurence

oldburytours.co.uk | +44 (0)7947 488665






The Great West Way caters to the desires of

all travellers, with its mix of quirky glamping

and camping sites, pretty countryside B&Bs,

cool city hotels, traditional village pubs and

even fancy castles and stately homes

towns, villages and trails of the Vale of Pewsey, or sit

out under the stars around a wood fire with a glass

of farm-grown English wine. There are five luxury

log pods in total, and they are exclusively for adults

(for ages 18 and above), with fantastic views over

the Pewsey Vale, and with the home comforts of a

hot shower and a King Size bed in a double-glazed,

underfloor-heated. There is plenty of choice for

walking, cycling or even kayaking, with many dog

friendly pubs nearby. Come home to your own firepit,

spectacular sunsets and dark skies. There is also an

all-weather shelter and BBQ area.


Troutbeck Guest House

The Red Lion Freehouse and Troutbeck Guest House

at East Chisenbury have gained quite a reputation

for providing the best of Wiltshire's food, drink

and accommodation in a truly beautiful setting.

The thatched pub now holds a Michelin star for

its outstanding food, but has never changed its

relaxed, distinctively 'pubby' atmosphere. If there

were any improvements to be made to the Red

Lion experience, it could only be the addition of a

cozy, classy guest house to go back to after a lovely

meal. In December 2012 the Red Lion opened a

newly converted bungalow to its loyal following – a

gorgeously polished accommodation sat right on the

bank of the River Avon.



Lainston House – Exclusive Collection

Lainston House is a 17th century luxury hotel,

offering luxurious stays, award-winning dining,

bespoke meetings and memorable weddings. It is

also home to the Season cookery school with awardwinning

chefs and renowned external experts.

Tucked away in 63 acres of rural Hampshire

countryside, you can enjoy both a remote and

Manor Farm Courtyard Cottages

Luxuriously-appointed self-catering cottages

situated in glorious Berkshire countryside.

These 17th century former barns and stables,

renovated by the Betts family farm, provide

everything you need for a luxurious stay on the

Great West Way and with a village community

shop and café next door for fresh food.


relaxing escape in the country or a more activity

filled getaway with lots to do on site, as well as so

many attractions on your doorstep. Individually

designed rooms and suites with beautiful walks and

bike rides in the grounds, inspiring cookery classes

in Season and delicious dining in The Avenue or

their brand new restaurant, The Wellhouse. Not to

mention outstanding afternoon teas in the drawing

room and casual dining in The Cedar Bar. Head out

to explore local attractions, with the historic city of

Winchester, Bombay Sapphire distillery, Marwell Zoo

and Paultons Park all within 15 miles.


Plan your complete trip

One of the most exciting ways to

travel the Great West Way is to

stop somewhere new each night.



Prepare before you go

There’s nothing like a good map to make you feel like a true adventurer

This Way for a Journey of Discovery

Download our 'This Way for a Journey of Discovery'

map of the Great West Way, and get a sense for

the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. Will you

venture out to explore the mysteries of the North

Wessex Downs? Make a summer solstice pilgrimage

to Stonehenge? Or set off to photograph the pretty

villages of the Cotswolds?

Food and Drink Map

Food lovers can download our food and drink map for

an overview of the incredible culinary delights available

along the route, featuring local breweries, Michelin

starred dining, farmers' markets, afternoon tea, food

and drink festivals, quaint country pubs and more.

Kennet & Avon Canal map

Take a look at our Kennet & Avon Canal map to find

out about travelling along the beautiful and historic

canal that stretches between Reading and Bristol.

Looked after by the Canal & River Trust, you can

explore the towpath by foot or bike – or float gently

along on a narrowboat, canoe or kayak.

Of course, while these maps will steer you towards

incredible attractions, beautiful landscapes and top

places to stay, eat and drink – you are ultimately

your own tour guide. Please do wander off course

and find things to see and do that are not marked on

our maps. This dreamy part of England is set up for

surprising discoveries.

Click here to book online

with prices from just £24.

Great West Way Discoverer Pass

Tickets for the Great Western

Railway can be bought from

ticket offices at stations along

the route but for cheaper tickets

and no queues we recommend

buying in advance. There are

three Great West Way Discoverer

routes available, (East, West or

global) giving you the opportunity

to explore your chosen area in

one-day instalments or over the

duration of a week.

Click here to download the

Great West Way Discoverer Pass

Click here to download

This Way for a Journey of Discovery

Click here to download the

Food and Drink Map

Click here to download the

Kennet & Avon Canal map

108 GreatWestWay.co.uk



Aerospace Bristol

Alder Ridge Vineyard

Aldermaston Tea Rooms, Visitor

Centre, & Shop

Aldwick Estate

All Saints Church

American Museum & Garden

Apex Hotel

Apsley House

Ascot Racecourse

Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum

Auto Europe


Bailey Balloons

Barrington Court

Bath Apartment Breaks

Bath Area Self Catering

Bath Bus Company

Bath Insider Tours

Berkeley Castle

Best Western Plus Angel Hotel

Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa

Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve

Blenheim Palace

Bluestone Vineyard

Bombay Sapphire

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection

Bowood House & Garden

Bozedown Alpacas

Bradford on Avon Town

Bristol Airport

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Community Ferry Boats

Bristol Packet Boats

Bristol Tandem Hire

Britains Best Heritage Tours

British Museum

Brooks Guest House Bath

Brooks Guest House Bristol

Bruce Branch Boats

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Calne Town

Canal & River Trust

Canal Trust Café

Castle Combe Circuit

Cheddar Camping and Caravanning

Club Site

Cheddar Caves

Cheddar Gorge

Chippenham Museum and Heritage


Chippenham Town

Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm

Church Farm Country Cottages

Clayton’s Kitchen

Cliffe Farm Dairy

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen

Corsham Town

Cotswold Water Park

Cricklade House Hotel

MV Barbara McLellan

Crofton Beam Engines

MV Jubilee

Crop Circle Visitors Centre & Exhibition National Garden Scheme

Crown & Anchor

National Trust

Cumberwell Country Cottages Newark Park, Ozleworth

Devizes Camping and Caravanning Newbury Racecourse

Club Site

No. 1 Royal Crescent

Devizes Town

No.15 Great Pulteney

Devizes Wharf Tea Room

North Wessex Downs AONB

Donnington Grove Hotel & Country Novotel Reading Centre


Old Sarum

DoubleTree by Hilton, Swindon Oldbury Tours

Dukes Hotel

Original Wild

Dyrham Park

Parkway Shopping Centre

Exclusive Collection

Pennyhill Park

Fashion Museum Bath

Pettifers Freehouse Hotel

First Travel Solutions

Pewsey Vale of Tourism Partnership

Fisherton Mill

Prior Park Landscape Garden

French Brothers

Reading Museum

Galahad Tours

Reading UK

Great Western Railway

Red Lion Freehouse

Great West Way Official Tour

REME Museum


River & Rowing Museum

Hampton by Hilton Bristol Airport Rose & Crown Inn

Henley Greenlands Hotel

Roseate House London

Henley Rowing Association

Royal Berkshire, Sunninghill

Henley on Thames

Royal Borough of Windsor &

Herongate Apartments


Hilton Reading

Salisbury Cathedral

Hobbs of Henley

Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum

Holiday Inn, Salisbury - Stonehenge Tours

Honey Street Boats

Sally Narrowboats

Hungerford Town

Savouring Bath

Iford Manor Gardens

Shaw House

Jones’s Mill at The Vera Jeans Reserve Skydive Netheravon

Kennet & Avon Trade Association South Western Railway

Kennet Horse Boat Company

St Peter’s Church

Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum & Stay in Bath



Lainston House

Steeple Ashton

Live Escape Salisbury


WWT London Wetland Centre Stourhead


Strawberry Hill House & Garden

Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserve Studley Grange

Lytes Cary Manor

Sulis Guides

Mad Max Tours

Teashop by the Canal

Maidenhead Heritage Centre

Thames Lido

Malmesbury Town

Thames Rivercruise

Manor Farm Courtyard Cottages The Abbey Quarter

Marlborough College Summer School The Bridge Tea Rooms

Marlborough Town

The Bristol Wing/YMCA

Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein The Castle Inn & Bakers Cottage

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet The Chequers Hotel


The Courts Garden

Merchants House

The Crown & Anchor

Mill Farm Glamping

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

Mompesson House

The Guild Wiltshire

Monkey Island Estate

The Holburne Museum

Montacute House

The Jane Austen Centre

Museum of East Asian Art

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust

The Kingsbury @ No.8

The Manor House

The Merchant’s House

The Merchants House Hotel

The Museum of English Rural Life

The Old Bell Hotel

The Pound Arts Centre

The Queens Arms Hotel

The Riverside

The Roman Baths

The Rose of Hungerford

The Roseate Reading

The Roseate Villa Bath

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath

The Royal Windsor Pub

The Swan Hotel

The Tutti Pole

The Watermill Theatre

The Wave

Thermae Bath Spa

Timbrells Yard

Tintinhull Garden

Totteridge Farm Camping Pods

Tour and Explore

Tourism South East

Tours 2 Order

TransWilts Community Rail

Troutbeck Guest House

Trowbridge Town

Tucking Mill View

Turner’s House

Tyntesfield, Wraxall

University Of Bristol Botanic Gardens

Vaughan’s Kitchen

Vintage Classics


Visit Gloucestershire

Visit Highworth

Visit Newbury

Visit Thames

Visit West - Bath

Visit West - Bristol


We The Curious

Wellington Arch

West Berkshire Museum

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa

Whitchurch Silk Mill

Wilton Shopping Village - The Guild

White Horse Inn

Wilton Windmill

Wiltshire Museum

Wiltshire Stonehenge landscape

Windsor Carriages

Windsor Castle, Royal Collection Trust

Windsor Duck Tours

Woolley Grange Hotel

Wyvern Theatre

YMCA Bath Group

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

Begin your next adventure at





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