Save the best for last you could say. Although that wouldn’t be fair on the other beautiful hotels, resorts and inns we visited on our roar trip through Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire in England. But the very picturesque town of Bradford on Avon is certainly one of the highlights of our trip. One of the most compelling features about Bradford on Avon is its unique position on the edge of the Cotswolds facing the River Avon. The ancient bridge in the center of the town remains its natural focus and the bridge still retains two of its original 13th-century arches. The historical view from the main bridge incorporates the hill above the town which is dotted with the old weavers' cottages and the river bank flanked with the 19th-century former cloth mills.
Okay, this all might not lead to ecstatic joy among the younger members of our family, but it is indeed just the place we are looking for to relax for a night before we fly back home. Our base is the recently refurbished Timbrell's Yard housed in a lovely, old character building with a modern bar, restaurant and rooms all with a vintage twist. This place not only caters for holiday makers but is also a local hot spot. The restaurant and bar are buzzing in the evening. Parking is a bit of a problem with 5 spaces directly to the rear of the hotel, but we were offered free parking at the local train station.
We have a Riverview room, which is nicely decorated and has an fine bathroom with a large shower. The room isn't particularly huge, but has enough space for an overnight stay for the four of us. Our oldest daughter immediately finds a cozy spot to read one of her favorite books on the bench near the big windows with an excellent view of the Avon which passes 20 meters behind. All rooms are equally quirky and comfortable. Think crisp white linen, soft merino wool and modern textiles, sitting comfortably alongside antique desks and reclaimed furnishings. It leads to interesting spaces that reflect the character and style of the building. If you choose not to disconnect yourself from the world completely, although we recommend you do, smart TV’s, Pure radios and unlimited free Wi-Fi are at your disposal. Nice extra touches such as bottled water, high end toiletries, freshly ground coffee and tea-making facilities are provided as standard.
After admiring all this well thought out details, we troll through town. Although no real must-see attractions it is a lovely place just to spend a few hours browsing little shops and have a coffee. Or walk along the river to Tithe Barn, an interesting and impressive old building which is surrounded by other old buildings of Barton Grange Farm some of which contain gift shops. If you have your won wheels somewhat further away you will find Salisbury with its famous Cathedral, the world heritage site Stonehenge and Lacock Abbey in the village of Lacock. Our kids enjoy this trip a lot as some interior sequences in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets are filmed here including the cloister walk where Harry comes out from Professor Lockhart's room after serving detention and hears the basilisk, and scenes from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are also shot here.
Back at the hotel, on warm summer days, you can sit on the terrace and admire the gardens of Holy Trinity Church opposite. If the weather happens to be a bit more ‘English’ you can find a nice, cozy seat near one of the log fires and just have a pre-diner drink. The restaurant is highly recommended. All too often lovely restaurants are spoiled through poorly considered (bright) lighting and overly loud music. We think the balance here is exactly right: tasty food beautifully presented in great surroundings. The breakfast the next morning is excellent.
Throughout our stay the team are very welcoming and provide excellent service. Everyone we encounter is helpful and smiley, they genuinely seem to enjoy working there. We understand why!
# The hotel has terrific food and the decor is fabulous. Although not really geared towards families with children, the whole place has a lively atmosphere, yet is relaxing.
# Bradford on Avon is a quaint riverside town with a good selection of restaurants and coffee shops, the walk along the river is picturesque and relaxing.
# The rooms are very clean, comfortable and on trend with quality linen and wonderful wet rooms.
This property can be booked through www.i-escape.com/timbrells-yard