Less obvious ventures than the Roman Baths and Sally Lunns – although these are certainly not to be missed! In Bath we have so much on our doorstep – being surrounded by the gorgeous countryside of Somerset. If you have more than a day to explore Bath and fancy checking out the surrounding areas, here are some fun and cultural day trip ideas for you…
1. Lacock Abbey
27 Minute drive from The Windsor
Lacock Abbey in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, England, was founded in the early 13th century by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, as a nunnery of the Augustinian order. Lacock is a famous filming location and its appearances include Harry Potter, Wolf Hall and Pride and Prejudice. Look out for the Abbey in the latest from Warner Brothers – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
2. Prior Park Gardens
4 Minute drive from The Windsor
Prior Park is a Palladian house, designed by John Wood, the Elder, and built in the 1730s and 1740s for Ralph Allen on a hill overlooking Bath, Somerset, England. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building. The house was built to demonstrate the properties of Bath stone as a building material.
Prior Park Landscape Garden surrounding the Prior Park estate south of Bath, Somerset, England, was designed in the 18th century by the poet Alexander Pope and the landscape gardener Capability Brown, and is now owned by the National Trust.
3. Newton St Loe
12 Minute drive from The Windsor
Newton St Loe is a small Somerset village and civil parish located between Bath and Bristol. This is a gorgeous area for a walk and just to admire the scenery! Check out Bath Spa University Campus, the lake and temple (and the sheep!).
4. Limpley Stoke & The Dundas Aqueduct
10 Minute drive from The Windsor
Hire a kayak, canoe or bike to explore – check out the Angelfish Cafe for a spot of lunch by the canal where bike and boat hires are available. Completed in 1810 by John Rennie, the spectacular Dundas Aqueduct carries the Kennet & Avon Canal over the River Avon and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. That means it’s as important as Stonehenge! In fact, it was the first canal structure to be designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1951. Named after Charles Dundas, the first chairman of the Kennet and Avon Canal Company, the aqueduct forms the junction between the Kennet and Avon Canal and the largely derelict Somerset Coal Canal. The short stretch of the Somerset Coal Canal still in water forms Brassknocker Basin, used for boat moorings, cycle hire and a cafe. A short walk further there is the Dundas Wharf where the small tollhouse, warehouse and crane still stand.
5. Warleigh Weir
8 Minute drive from The Windsor
Having a dip in some nice cool waters sounds ideal for many people. What makes this dip even more special is doing it in one of the most picturesque wild-swimming areas in region, if not the UK. There has always been a good number of people that have embraced what Warleigh Weir in Claverton has to offer but if you haven’t been yet, then you are missing out on one of the best beauty spots in the area
36 Minute drive from The Windsor
Stourhead is a 1,072-hectare estate at the source of the River Stour near Mere, Wiltshire, England. The estate includes a Palladian mansion, the village of Stourton, gardens, farmland, and woodland. Stourhead is part owned by the National Trust since 1946.
7. Cheddar Gorge
45 Minute drive from The Windsor
Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, where Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be over 9,000 years old, was found in 1903.
8. Bradford on Avon – Walk from Bath, through Avoncliff.
17 Minute drive from The Windsor. Or park up at Limpley Stoke for a lovely walk through Avoncliff along the river, ending in Bradford in Avon (Approx. 1 hour 15 minute walk)
The Kennet & Avon is made up of three waterways – “The Avon” – between Bristol and Bath, the “Kennet & Avon Canal” – between Bath and Newbury, and “The Kennet” – between Newbury and Reading. Some would therefore debate how far one would need to walk to complete the route.
The “river” sections were made navigable in the 18th century, with the solely “canal” section being completed in 1810. Since then it’s needed numerous stages of regeneration as it’s fallen into disrepair; the Great Western Railway line – which runs adjacent to the canal for large sections – resulted in the Kennet & Avon being largely forgotten as a trade transport route once the industrial revolution took hold.
However, organisations such as The Canal and River Trust, along with numerous other bodies, have helped to restore it to its former glory, and make it one of the most recognisable (through landmarks such as the Caen Lock Flight and Dundas Aqueduct) canals in the UK. Today, thousands of visitors enjoy it every year, using it for leisurely walks, cycle rides, boating holidays and more.
9. The American Museum & Gardens
7 Minute drive from The Windsor
The American Museum takes you on a journey through the history of America, from its early settlers to the twentieth century. With its remarkable collection of folk and decorative arts, the Museum shows the diverse and complex nature of American traditions. The only museum of Americana outside the United States, it was founded to bring American history and cultures to the people of Britain and Europe. Each year a special temporary exhibition is on display in our Exhibition Gallery, in 2018 this is Side by Side: America and World War I.Throughout the season there is a range of exciting events planned, including traditional American music concerts, kids’ activities, and Living History events. The Museum is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with spectacular views over the Limpley Stoke Valley and the River Avon. The grounds total some 125 acres, of which 35 are open to visitors.
10. Dyrham Park
16 Minute drive from The Windsor
Dyrham Park is a baroque country house in an ancient deer park near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire, England. The house, attached orangery, stable block and accompanying parish church are Grade I listed buildings, while the park is Grade II* listed on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.