Visit Bradford-on-Avon & have an amazing day out in Wiltshire. From stunning walks to top British pubs – all must-see things in Bradford-on-Avon town.
Bradford-on-Avon is a charming town located at the bottom of the Cotswolds, which is the largest Area of Natural Beauty in the UK, stretching over five different counties. It is a popular tourist attraction in England, known for its picturesque villages, community feel, and local delicacies. If you’re visiting Bradford-on-Avon, you can be sure that there are plenty of things to do.
What draws people to this magical place are the beautiful villages that dot the region, making it a postcard-perfect destination. But what keeps people coming back for more is the opportunity for adventure and the chance to explore the town’s history, community, and gastronomic offerings.
Bradford-on-Avon is located on the edge of the Wiltshire Cotswolds and is just a short distance from the city of Bath. Like many other towns in the Cotswolds, it boasts charming cobbled streets, a tranquil river, cozy tea rooms, gorgeous gardens, and more.
The town has a rich history that dates back to Roman times, but most of its architecture is from the 17th century. During this period, the town experienced a boom in the textile industry, which led to its expansion. Today, you can still see the remnants of this history as many hotels, houses, and bars along the river were once woollen mills.
Bradford-on-Avon is definitely worth a visit, and there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this charming town.
Where in Wiltshire is Bradford-on-Avon?
Bradford-on-Avon is a town located in the west of the county of Wiltshire in England. It is situated approximately 8 miles southeast of the city of Bath and 3 miles southwest of the town of Trowbridge.
Why is Bradford-on-Avon so popular?
Bradford-on-Avon is a popular tourist destination for several reasons:
- History: The town has a rich history, with evidence of settlements dating back to Roman times. The town grew in importance during the Saxon and medieval periods, and many of the historic buildings in the town date from this time.
- Architecture: Bradford-on-Avon is known for its picturesque streets, historic buildings, and beautiful architecture. Some of the most notable buildings in the town include the 14th-century tithe barn, the Saxon church of St. Laurence, and the medieval Holy Trinity church.
- Scenery: The town is located on the banks of the River Avon and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the river, explore the nearby hills and valleys, or take a boat trip along the Kennet and Avon Canal.
- Culture: Bradford-on-Avon is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with several galleries, theaters, and festivals throughout the year. The town is also known for its live music scene, with several pubs and venues hosting regular gigs.
Overall, Bradford-on-Avon is a charming town with a unique character and plenty to offer visitors.
How do I get to Bradford-on-Avon?
Bradford-on-Avon is easily accessible by road, rail, and bus.
By car: If you are driving, Bradford-on-Avon is located just off the A363 road. From Bath, take the A363 south towards Bradford-on-Avon. From the M4 motorway, exit at junction 17 and follow signs for Chippenham and then Bradford-on-Avon.
By train: Bradford-on-Avon has its own railway station, which is served by regular trains from London Paddington, Bristol, Bath, and Salisbury. From the station, it’s just a short walk to the town center.
By bus: There are several bus routes that serve Bradford-on-Avon, including the 265 and 267 services from Bath, and the X34 and X35 services from Chippenham and Trowbridge.
Once you arrive in Bradford-on-Avon, the town is easy to navigate on foot. Most of the main attractions are located in the town center, and there are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore.
The postcode for Bradford-on-Avon is BA15.
Where do you park when visiting Bradford-on-Avon?
There are several options for parking when visiting Bradford-on-Avon:
- Station Car Park: Located next to the railway station, the Station Car Park has 172 spaces and is open 24 hours a day. It is a short walk from the town center and costs £4.50 per day.
- St Margaret’s Car Park: This is a small car park located in the town center, with 28 spaces available. It is a convenient option if you want to park close to the shops and restaurants, and costs £1.20 per hour.
- Church Street Car Park: This car park is located on the outskirts of the town center, with 75 spaces available. It is a short walk from the main attractions, and costs £1.20 per hour.
- Culver Close Car Park: This is a larger car park with 162 spaces, located just outside the town center. It is a convenient option if you want to avoid the busy town center, and costs £1.20 per hour.
- Westbury Gardens Car Park: This is a small car park with 20 spaces, located near the river and the Tithe Barn. It is a convenient option if you are visiting these attractions, and costs £1.20 per hour.
Note that some of these car parks may have different charges on weekends and bank holidays, and some may have restrictions on the maximum stay time. It’s always best to check the signs and pay and display machines for details.
Accommodation in Bradford-on-Avon
Here are five popular hotels in Bradford-on-Avon, in no particular order:
- Widbrook Grange: A luxurious country house hotel set in 11 acres of landscaped gardens, just outside the town center. The hotel features 19 stylish rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and a spa.
- The Swan Hotel: A historic coaching inn located in the heart of the town, with 12 individually designed rooms. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a courtyard garden.
- Timbrell’s Yard: A trendy boutique hotel and restaurant located on the riverfront, with 17 stylish rooms. The hotel features a popular bar and restaurant, with an outdoor terrace overlooking the river.
- Woolley Grange: A family-friendly country house hotel set in 14 acres of grounds, just outside the town. The hotel features 25 individually designed rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a spa, and an indoor and outdoor pool.
- The George: A traditional coaching inn located in the town center, with 12 rooms decorated in a classic style. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a garden terrace.
These are just a few of the many accommodation options available in Bradford-on-Avon, and there are many other hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages to choose from.
Is Bradford-on-Avon good for a weekend getaway or better for a day trip?
For a day trip by car, you can easily explore the town’s main attractions, including the medieval Tithe Barn, the Saxon Church of St. Lawrence, and the picturesque Kennet and Avon Canal. You can also enjoy a walk along the river, visit the local shops and cafes, and take in the town’s charming architecture and history. If you’re coming from nearby Bath, a day trip to Bradford-on-Avon can be a relaxing and enjoyable escape from the city.
For a weekend getaway in the UK, Bradford-on-Avon offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside and nearby attractions. You can take a boat trip along the canal, explore the nearby Cotswolds villages, visit the historic city of Bath, or hike in the nearby countryside. The town also has a range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, making it a great base for a longer stay.
Bradford-on-Avon is a historic town in Wiltshire, England, with a rich history that dates back to the Roman era. Here is a brief overview of the town’s history:
- Roman era: The area around Bradford-on-Avon was inhabited by the Romans, who built a villa and temple here. Remains of these structures can still be seen today.
- Saxon era: In the 7th century, the Saxons established a settlement here, and the town’s name comes from the Saxon words for “broad ford” and “on the Avon.” The town grew as a center for wool production and became an important trading hub.
- Medieval era: In the 12th century, the Norman conquerors built the Saxon Church of St. Lawrence, which still stands today. The town also became home to a number of religious communities, including a Benedictine nunnery and a Dominican friary.
- Tudor era: In the 16th century, the town prospered as a center for cloth production and trade, and many of its fine buildings and houses date from this period.
- Industrial era: In the 18th and 19th centuries, the town’s economy shifted to engineering and manufacturing, and it became known for its textile mills, paper mills, and engineering works. The Kennet and Avon Canal was built in the late 18th century, bringing further prosperity to the town.
Today, Bradford-on-Avon is a thriving community with a rich cultural heritage, and many of its historic buildings and landmarks can still be seen and visited.
One day in Bradford-on-Avon Wiltshire top attractions
Here are the top attractions to see during a one-day visit to Bradford-on-Avon:
- The Tithe Barn – A beautifully preserved medieval barn built in the 14th century. It was originally used to store taxes paid to the church in the form of grain, wool, and other produce.
- The Saxon Church of St. Lawrence – A beautiful and historic church built in the 12th century, with many interesting features including a Norman font and medieval stained glass windows.
- The Kennet and Avon Canal – A picturesque waterway that passes through Bradford-on-Avon, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- The Town Bridge – A historic bridge that dates back to the 17th century, offering great views of the river and the town.
- Westbury White Horse – A famous chalk hill figure located just a short drive from Bradford-on-Avon, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- The Bradford-on-Avon Museum – A small but interesting museum that showcases the town’s rich history and heritage.
- The Wiltshire Music Centre – A modern concert venue that hosts a wide range of musical events throughout the year.
- The Bradford-on-Avon Arts Festival – An annual festival that celebrates the town’s vibrant arts and cultural scene, with music, theater, art exhibitions, and more.
- The Tory – A historic pub located in the heart of the town, with a great selection of local beers and ciders.
- The River Walk – A scenic walk along the river that offers beautiful views of the town and the surrounding countryside.
- The Barton Farm Country Park – A lovely park and nature reserve that offers great walking trails, wildlife spotting opportunities, and beautiful views of the River Avon.
- St. Mary Tory – A historic church that dates back to the 13th century, with many interesting architectural features and beautiful stained glass windows.
- The Bradford-on-Avon Farmers’ Market – A bustling market held every Thursday, featuring a wide range of local produce, artisanal foods, crafts, and more.
- The Bradford-on-Avon Saxon Church Trail – A self-guided walking tour that takes you through the town’s historic Saxon churches and landmarks.
- The Bradford-on-Avon Food and Drink Festival – An annual festival that celebrates the town’s vibrant food and drink scene, with a wide range of local and regional specialties, cooking demonstrations, live music, and more.
What famous film was filmed in Bradford-on-Avon?
The 2015 British drama film “Suffragette” was partially filmed in Bradford-on-Avon. Several scenes were shot in the town, including a sequence where the lead character Maud Watts (played by Carey Mulligan) is chased by police through the streets. Other scenes were filmed in various locations throughout Wiltshire and London. The film tells the story of the British suffragette movement in the early 20th century and features an ensemble cast including Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne-Marie Duff, in addition to Carey Mulligan.
Which is better Bradford-on-Avon or Bath?
Both Bradford-on-Avon and Bath are charming towns with unique attractions and a rich history. Ultimately, which town is better for you will depend on your personal interests and preferences.
Bath is larger than Bradford-on-Avon and is known for its Georgian architecture, Roman Baths, and Jane Austen connections. The city also has a wide range of museums, art galleries, and shops, as well as several parks and gardens. Bath can be a bit busier and more touristy than Bradford-on-Avon, but it has more options for dining, nightlife, and accommodation.
Bradford-on-Avon, on the other hand, is a smaller and more intimate town, with a well-preserved medieval center, charming architecture, and scenic views of the River Avon. The town is perfect for those who enjoy walking, cycling, or exploring historic sites. Bradford-on-Avon is also located in a beautiful rural area, making it a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside.
So, if you’re looking for a bustling city with a wide range of attractions and amenities, Bath may be the better choice. But if you prefer a quieter and more picturesque town with a more laid-back atmosphere, Bradford-on-Avon might be the better option.
How far is it to walk from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath?
The distance from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath is approximately 8 miles. The walking time between the two towns can vary depending on the route taken and the individual’s walking speed.
There are a few different walking routes between the two towns, including the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath and the Two Valleys Walk. The Kennet and Avon Canal towpath is a popular walking route that follows the canal from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath, passing through scenic countryside and picturesque villages along the way. The Two Valleys Walk is a longer route that passes through a nature reserve and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
If you plan on walking from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water and snacks, and plan for a leisurely walk that may take several hours.
What day is market day in Bradford-on-Avon?
Market day in Bradford-on-Avon is on Thursdays. The weekly market takes place in the town center, where you can find a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, clothing, crafts, and other goods. The market is open from 9am to 2pm, and it’s a great opportunity to support local businesses and vendors while picking up some unique souvenirs or treats. Additionally, Bradford-on-Avon also hosts other events and festivals throughout the year, including a popular Christmas market and the annual Canal Festival, which features boat trips, live music, and food stalls.
Best places near Bradford-on-Avon to visit
There are many great places to visit near Bradford-on-Avon. Here are 10 of the best:
- Bath: This historic city is located just 8 miles east of Bradford-on-Avon and is famous for its Roman Baths, Georgian architecture, and Jane Austen connections.
- Stonehenge: This iconic prehistoric monument is located about 25 miles southwest of Bradford-on-Avon and is a must-see for anyone interested in ancient history.
- Lacock: This charming village is located just 5 miles northeast of Bradford-on-Avon and is known for its picturesque streets, medieval architecture, and connections to the Harry Potter films.
- Longleat: This stately home and safari park is located about 12 miles southeast of Bradford-on-Avon and offers a range of family-friendly activities, including animal encounters, maze, and adventure playground.
- Avebury: This village is located about 20 miles northwest of Bradford-on-Avon and is famous for its ancient stone circles, which are even larger than those at Stonehenge.
- Cheddar Gorge: This dramatic limestone gorge is located about 30 miles southwest of Bradford-on-Avon and offers stunning views, hiking trails, and activities such as caving and rock climbing.
- Wells: This cathedral city is located about 25 miles south of Bradford-on-Avon and is known for its Gothic cathedral, medieval streets, and Vicar’s Close, the oldest continuously inhabited street in Europe.
- Westonbirt Arboretum: This world-renowned arboretum is located about 20 miles east of Bradford-on-Avon and features over 2,500 species of trees from around the world.
- Castle Combe: This picturesque village is located about 10 miles northwest of Bradford-on-Avon and is often used as a filming location for period dramas and movies.
- The Cotswolds: This scenic region of rolling hills and picturesque villages is located just a short drive north of Bradford-on-Avon and is perfect for a leisurely drive or cycle ride. Some of the most charming Cotswold towns include Tetbury, Cirencester, and Bibury.
Annual events in Bradford on Avon
Bradford-on-Avon hosts several annual events and festivals throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Bradford Roots Music Festival: This festival takes place in January and features a variety of local musicians and performers playing traditional and contemporary music.
- Bradford-on-Avon Walking Festival: Held in September, this festival features a variety of guided walks and tours in and around the town, showcasing the beautiful local countryside and historic landmarks.
- BoA Arts Festival: This festival takes place in May and June and celebrates the town’s thriving arts scene, with a wide range of events including exhibitions, performances, and workshops.
- Canal Festival: This annual event in August celebrates the town’s beautiful canal, with boat trips, live music, food stalls, and other family-friendly activities.
- Christmas Lights Switch-On: This event takes place in November and marks the start of the town’s festive season, with carol singing, a Christmas market, and the switching on of the town’s beautiful Christmas lights.
Is Bradford-on-Avon worth visiting?
Yes, Bradford-on-Avon is definitely worth visiting! This charming town in Wiltshire has a rich history, beautiful architecture, and plenty of things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in medieval history, walking along scenic river paths, or exploring picturesque streets lined with independent shops and cafes, there’s something for everyone in Bradford-on-Avon.
Some of the top attractions in Bradford-on-Avon include the 14th-century Tithe Barn, the Saxon Church of St. Laurence, the Kennet and Avon Canal, and the scenic River Avon. The town also has a number of museums, art galleries, and cultural events throughout the year.
Additionally, Bradford-on-Avon is located in a beautiful rural area of England, with easy access to other popular destinations such as Bath, Stonehenge, and the Cotswolds. With its historic charm, natural beauty, and laid-back atmosphere, Bradford-on-Avon is definitely worth a visit!