|Kennet & Avon canal|
I just love how you can find beautiful little towns full of character in the English countryside. Bradford on Avon is one of them. Just on the edge of the Cotswolds in West Wiltshire, The River Avon runs through it and can be admired from the ancient bridge which retains two of its original 13th-century arches.
There are plenty of things to do in town as well as on the outskirts. Bradford on Avon is full of little independent shops, various types of accommodation, restaurants, a local market and loads of historical buildings. A walk by the Kennet & Avon canal is a must. It’s peppered with colourful barges and quirky pubs along the away.
Staying and dining at Timbrell’s Yard
|Timberell’s Yard bedroom|
|Timbrell’s Yard bedroom|
|Timbrell’s Yard bedroom|
The Timbrell’s location is idyllic, situated on the banks of the River Avon, directly across the river from the Holy Trinity Church, it overlooks a beautifully manicured green private garden on the other side of the river. A former Victorian factory, Timbrell’s Yard’s decor is quirky with reclaimed goods that have been given a new lease on life.
The owners have gone for a rustic modern look with exposed stones and salvaged wood combined with metal and glass. The outside flagstone yard overlooks small bits of the car park as well as the beautiful river. Timberell’s atmosphere and service are very relaxed which is probably due to the fact that the staff are young and local.
There are 17 rooms; my room overlooked the river Avon. It was a well-appointed room, not luxury, but has bags of style. It was airy, with neutral yet trendy tones. I loved the large window in the room with fabulous views of the river. The bathroom was very nice, and the toiletries were fantastic, sourced from a local brand, Bramley. I had never heard of them, but I will be looking to buy from them online. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take them home, which I found out upon checking in.
The furniture throughout the place is reclaimed; classy, second hand and hip – very cool, indeed!
There’s a tiny parking area, on a first come first serve basis, but there’s also a public paid car park next to the venue. The train station is about a 5-minute walk from Timbrell’s – very convenient!
A great place to stay and use as a base to explore the area.
Timbrell’s Yard Wiltshire
49 St Margaret’s St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1DE
Phone: 01225 869492
Dinner at Timbrell’s
Delightful sweet crab meat capers lemons grilled fennel and rocket, the toast was generously topped with crab white and brown meat. Wine: a glass of Prosecco
Juicy and tender Ribeye dry-aged – perfectly cooked no blood running- roasted garlic & parsley butter, fries, crisp onions roast mushrooms & watercress sauce cider brandy & peppercorn
|Ice cream stem ginger and vanilla bean with Pedro Ximenez|
I enjoyed my meal at Timbrell’s Yard. Recommended.
Notes from the restaurant:
Menu offers gluten-free and vegetarian options
Indicates cheeses pasteurised and unpasteurised
Provenance where possible, local farmers and growers
Fresh catches and seasonal ingredients
Meats come from BRISTOL, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Fish from Bridport – 24 hour ‘port to plate.’
Bread, biscuits, cakes, and burger buns baked daily on the premises
Places of interest in and around Bradford on Avon
There are so many beautiful places to explore in Bradford. Start with a walk through town where you will encounter The Shambles, once a part of the city’s medieval marketplace but now a pedestrianised street full of independent shops, greengrocers and boutiques. Don’t forget to stop and take in the view from the town bridge which straddles the River Avon. Pop by the Tithe Barn, a very long mid-14th century monastic stone barn which features an unusual crooked timber roof.
The Holy Trinity Church is another landmark of the area worth checking out and don’t forget to explore the small alleyways along the way when walking up the hillside to the church. Bradford has its own small museum showcasing the natural and historical heritage of the town and the surrounding villages. Next to it sits The Bridge Tearooms, there they serve a variety of afternoon teas; loose-leaf tea in china cups, lovely homemade cakes, tasty and fresh finger sandwiches and small bites served by staff kitted out in Victorian garb.
|The Bridge Tearooms|
Iford is an easy 20-minute country drive from Bradford on Avon. Iford Manor has its roots in Medieval times. The classical facade was added in the eighteenth century. The hanging woodlands above the garden were also planted at the same time.
Iford is home to William Cartwright-Hignett and his wife Marianne. I love the story of how they met and the history of how Iford Manor and Gardens came into the family.
The Grade 1 Italianate garden at the Manor was designed by the architect and landscape gardener Harold Ainsworth Peto who lived there from 1899 to 1933. Peto was a British architect, landscape architect and garden designer who worked around Britain and Provence. He travelled extensively bringing with him lots of ideas and objects from as far away as Asia. A walk around the garden will reveal lots of sculptures, vases and architectural items from his travels. It’s a unique and romantic hillside place characterised by steps, terraces, sculptures and magnificent rural views. An oasis of tranquillity and rather romantic.
They hold opera performances and jazz concerts, as well as a series of free “3-to-tea” concerts on Sunday afternoons by amateur and not-so-amateur artists.
Iford Tea and Cider
William’s love for tea started at Cambridge where he and his friend founded The Tea Society, which was about learning and discovery tea. His passion took him to opening a tea room in Cambridge and eventually opening an online tea business. William is always looking for creative and exciting ways to make British heritage relevant to today’s demands. You can find his teas online here:
Iford’s apple orchard is thriving with some unusual and unheard of varieties. Together with his neighbour, Joe, they have just started Iford Cider. My favourite was Iford Peto Press (green label)
T: +44 (0)1225 863146
2017 Opening Times:
April to September
Tues, Weds, Thurs, Sats & Sun (& BH Mons), 2-5pm
October: Sundays, 2-5pm
I met Robert when I went to take a look at his rare breed native British pig farm. Robert is a firm advocate of the Slow Food Movement, a grassroots movement that promotes the preservation of traditional and regional cuisine and as well as the farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.
Buttle’s pigs are happy pigs, they are born and raised on the farm in an extensive free range system in small groups. They live in a high welfare and natural environment and are outdoors all year round. There are also Guinea Fowls which roam free around the barns and fields, eating bugs and seeds along the way.
|The guinea fowl roam free range around the barns|
|Delicious Bacon from Buttle’s farm and Guinea Fowl eggs|
Buttle Farm has a range of award-winning charcuterie including bacon, salami and air dried ham, all of which are made in a converted barn on the farm. They also sell fresh pork to leading restaurants and directly to the consumer. Get on their mailing list here: www.buttlefarm.co.uk
They also have the ultimate in luxury holiday accommodation on a farm.
Farm for Slow Pig Day 2017 event is taking place on the 18 June 2017.
Compton Bassett, Nr Calne SN11 8RE
Phone: 01249 814918
Bowood is a grade I listed Georgian country house with interiors by Robert Adam and a fantastic garden designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in the 18th Century. It is adjacent to the village of Derry Hill, halfway between Calne and Chippenham in Wiltshire, England.
Bowood is one of Capability Brown’s finest parks with a sinuous lake (almost 1 km long), lawns that slope gently down from the house, drifts of mature trees and an arboretum of rare trees.
Part of the house is open to the public with permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Derry Hill, Calne SN11 9PQ
No dogs allowed.
Opening times: April to early June – 11am-6pm
Tickets from £7.25
Disclosure: I was a guest of Timbrell’s, Iford Gardens, Buttle Farm and Bowood Gardens as part of press trip organised by Visit Wiltshire. All views are my own.