Places to drive near Bath
A guide to locations of interest to drive to near Bath...
Avebury, nr Marlborough, SN8 1RF
Tel : +44 1672 539250 - Fax : +44 1672 538038
Avebury is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Europe and spread over a vast area, much of which is under Trust protection. The great stone circle, encompassing part of the village of Avebury, is enclosed by a ditch and external bank and approached by an avenue of stones.
Many of the stones at Avebury were reerected in the 1930s by the archaeologist Alexander Keiller. The site Museum, including a new exhibition in the 17th century thatched threshing barn, presents the archaeological story of Avebury. Finds from the site and interactive and audio visual displays are used to tell the story of the monuments and the people who have helped to reveal their past.
West of Avebury, the Iron Age earthwork of Oldbury Castle crowns Cherhill Down, along with the conspicuous Lansdowne Monument. With the spectacular folds of Calstone Coombes, this area of open downland provides wonderful walking opportunities.
How to Find Avebury
Take the A4 London Road out of Bath (going East), through Chippenham and Calne to Beckhampton (there is a big roundabout and racehorse training stables on the right, Roger Charlton trainer). At Beckhampton turn left up the A 4361 to Avebury (about 1 mile).
Distance in Miles 28 Approx Driving time 45 Mins Approx
Pixash Lane, Bath Road, Keynsham, Bristol
Tel : +44 117 986 4929 - Fax : +44 117 986 4041
Avon Valley Country Park has been developed for people to enjoy the beautiful country valley and its river setting only 4 1/2 miles from the centres of both Bristol and Bath. From the moment you park your car you will find plenty to occupy the children. Our out door adventure playground and junior assault course are favourites with kids of all ages and guaranteed to burn up lots of energy! The park itself is designed as a riverside trail which is well marked with numbered signs. We provide you with information about the animals, birds and plants that you will see along the way.
Many of the animals at Avon Valley Country Park are examples of rare and exotic breeds which will be fascinating to adults and children alike. We have a pets corner, a barbecue area, adventure playground and a compound with the ugliest and funniest pigs in the world, Vietnamese pot bellied pigs. Also pens of assorted Chickens, Turkeys and Geese and a compound with the parks latest new born animals with whom you are welcome to make friends.
Avon Valley Country Park isnt only about animals. Theres a pond where boating is free. If you wish to go fishing we have prepared 20 good coarse fishing places along the 3/4 of a mile river park. You may be lucky enough to catch either carp, roach, perch, or tench, or eels which are in abundance in the river. There is a new undercover area with assault course for the active children and a soft play section for our younger visitors. Also in the same area we have a cafe selling drinks, food and ice cream.
How to Find Avon Valley Country Park
The park is situated just of the main A4 between Bath and Bristol. Coming from Bristol its just after the Keynsham bypass, when you rejoin the single carriageway. look for the signs on your left for Avon valley Country Park. Coming from Bath, go through Saltford and you will see the signs as you approach Keynsham
Distance in Miles 8 Approx Driving time 15 Mins Approx
Derry Hill, Calne, Wilts, SN11 9PQ
Tel : +44 1249 812102 - Fax : +44 1249 821757
Bowood was bought by the 1st Earl of Shelburne in the mid 18th century. The story of Bowood is both interesting and remarkable, reflecting the ups and downs of successive generations.
The house and gardens at Bowodd have been added to by many famous architects and designers, including Henry Keene, Robert Adam, Capability Brown, C.R. Cockerell and Sir Charles Barry.
Today at Bowood you can enjoy some splendid interiors: the Adam Orangery, the Chapel, Library, New Hall, the Sculpture Gallery and the Laboratory where Dr Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774.
There is also a series of Exhibition Rooms with a wealth of fine furniture, costume, porcelain, jewellery and paintings on display.
The first house at Bowood was built c.1725, on the site of a hunting lodge. The house and park were bought in 1754 by the first Earl of Shelburne (1705 to 1761), who employed architect Henry Keene to extend the house and build an E shaped service wing behind it.
Please contact us to arrange group bookings. We look forward to welcoming you to the splendours of Bowood where there really is something of interest for all ages.
How to Find Bowood House
Exit M4 at Junction 17.
Follow signs to Chippenham.
At next roundabout, pick up the signs for A4 Calne.
Follow signs for several miles, around and through Chippenham.
Approx. 3 to 4 miles out of Chippenham, you will see a large white pub on the right hand side (Lysley Arms) and turn right on to the A342 (Devizes) approx. 100yds past this pub.
It will be signed to Bowood Golf and Country Club and Bowood House.
Approx. ½ mile up, on brow of the hill, turn left into Derryhill village.
For Bowood Golf and Country Club
Turn immediately right into the Golf Club entrance or
For Bowood House and Gardens
continue for approx. ¾ mile through Derrryhill until you reach the sharp corner at the end of the road.
Turn right here, through the white gates, for Bowood House and Gardens.
Distance in Miles 21 Approx Driving time 40 Mins Approx
Gardens,Clifton, Bristol,BS8 3HA.
Tel : +44 117 974 7300 - Fax : +44 117 973 6814
Bristol Zoo Gardens is more than a fun filled and stimulating day out for all the family... its a place to find out about animals in the wild, especially those which are endangered.
Look out for :
Seal and Penguin Coasts
Conservation Education Centre
Childrens Play Area
Opening times :
Open daily from 9am to 5.30pm in peak season, closing at 5.00pm off peak.
Closed Christmas Day.
Last entrance to animal houses is half an hour before closing.
Last entrance to the Zoo is an hour before closing.
Free entry for under 3s
baby changing and feeding facilities available.
The Pelican Restaurant serves hot meals and snacks and has a covered picnic area.
Discounts for groups.
Shop for gifts and souvenirs.
Wheelchair friendly :
20 wheelchairs and 2 electric scooters are available for hire. Please phone to pre book 0117 974 7357.
Allow 2 to 5 hours for your visit to Bristol Zoo.
How to Find Bristol Zoo
A Zoo Safari Ticket on any First bus in Bristol centre gives discounted bus travel / Zoo entry. This applies to Adult and child tickets only. Frequent services: 8 and 9 buses run between Temple Meads Station, the City Centre and the Zoo. Call the Traveline on 0870 608 2608 for further details. An open top bus service tours the city hourly from 1 April to 30th September. Discounts to Zoo available on bus. Senior citizen Friday discount is only available from Zoo gates.
A joint ticket can be bought with discount travel / Zoo entry. This applies to Adult and child tickets only. There is a local train service to Clifton Down Station (10 minute walk to the Zoo), From Bristol Temple Meads Station take an 8 or 9 bus to the Zoo main entrance. Call the Traveline on 0845 748 4950 for further details. Senior citizen Friday discount is only available from Zoo gates.
From the M5: J17 take the A4018 then follow brown elephant signs. From Bristol City Centre: follow the brown elephant signs and / or signs to Clifton.
Distance in Miles 16 Approx Driving time 28 Mins Approx
Dyrham, nr Chippenham, SN14 8ER
Tel : +44 1179 372501 - Fax : +44 1179 371353
Set in a beautiful Gloucestershire valley and surrounded by 272 acres (110 hectares) of garden and rolling parkland, this grand baroque house with spectacular sweeping views towards Bristol was designed by Talman for William Blathwayt, Secretary at War during the reign of William III.
How to Find Dyrham Park
Dyrham Park is 8 miles north of Bath and 12 miles east of Bristol on the A46. Leave M4 at junction 18. .
Distance in Miles 8 Approx Driving time 12 Mins Approx
On the borders of Somerset and Wiltshire stand the extensive remains of Sir Thomas Hungerfords 14th century castle, consisting mainly of the inner bailey, and his sons later additions to the outer bailey. To the north and east of the original castle, the natural defence of the dyke provided adequate protection and to the south and west a ditch defended the Farleigh Hungerford site.
Enclosed by a curtain wall with a cylindrical tower at each corner, the squarish inner bailey of Farleigh Hungerford castle contained a selection of domestic buildings. Today only two of the towers and some sections of the curtain wall survive. The south west tower stands almost to its full height of five storeys in places, but the south east tower exists only a little more than its third floor. The interior of the ground floor in this tower is round, whereas the upper floors are hexagonal in shape. The original windows at first floor level were enlarged during the 16th century, and it is these mullions that can be seen. Both the north east and the north west tower are barely more than foundations but, remarkably, the curtain wall in this area has survived to its full height. Outlines only of the domestic buildings now exist, although the remnants of two fireplaces can be seen towards the centre of the inner bailey.
Originally, the entrance to the castle was through the inner gate, consisting of two D ended towers with a passage running through them. However, when Sir Walter had the outer bailey constructed, a barbican was added to the exterior of the inner gate. Sir Walter also constructed a polygonal enclosure with gateways located to the east and west of the bailey. The east gate was used as the main entrance to the castle grounds and the Hungerford family coat of arms can be made out above the arch. Located to the south of this gate stands the circular south tower, and beyond is the site of the stables.
When Sir Walter created the outer bailey, the church of St. Leonard was situated within the curtain perimeter, and it was subsequently converted to the castle chapel. Much of the decoration and wall paintings still visible today, date from the 14th century, but there is plenty of historical interest spanning almost five centuries, and the Hungerford Tombs are a very striking feature of the chapel.
The Priests House, located to the east of the chapel, was built in the 15th century and extended in the 17th century. This building now houses a museum containing many artefacts that used to be displayed in Farleigh Hungerfords chapel.
Distance in Miles 10 Approx Driving time 15 Mins Approx
The Abbey Gatehouse, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9EL
Tel : +44 1458 832267 - Fax : +44 1458 832267
The 2,000 years of Christianity we are celebrating and remembering are forever rooted in the mystical land of Avalon where the story of Glastonbury Abbey began.
Many of the modern day pilgrims who come to Glastonbury Abbey now, at the turn of the 21st Century, take part in the services and rituals which continue the Abbeys important tradition as a living church. Every week throughout the year, services are held in the remains of the Abbeys great medieval monastery or under the roof of St Patricks Chapel.
The Chapel, with its holy water vessel, stone altar and nearby sacred thorn tree dating from the Abbacy of Richard Beere in 1500 has been witness to five centuries of Christian worship. The second Saturday of July is the high point of the modern day calendar of the Glastonbury pilgrimage. Begun by a few local churches in the county of Somerset in 1924, the pilgrimage has become a public expression of personal faith. Groups of worshippers arrive from a 150 mile radius around Glastonbury and more come from all over Britain and Europe.
At noon, in the ruined Nave of the monastery, the assembled multitude of Christians receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist from the presiding bishop and a large number of priests and deacons who are there to assist him.
On the same day, an Orthodox service is held in the ruins of the Lady Chapel to venerate the icon of Our Lady of Glastonbury. Occasionally, musicians, choirs and actors entertain the Pilgrims as the day progresses. The Pilgrims gather near St Johns Church then proceed, with banners flying, down Glastonbury High Street to the ruins of the Abbey to hear Evensong.The Roman Catholic pilgrimage on Sunday begins on the slopes of the Tor, where the Bishop of Clifton and a visiting dignitary lead the singing pilgrims down to the ancient Christian ruins where Mass is then celebrated.
How to Find Glastonbury Abbey
By Car :
From the M5
Take either Junction 21, 22 or 23 and follow signs to Glastonbury.
From the M4
Either follow M4 until the M5 exit and follow above directions, or take M4 Junction 18 (A46) and follow signs to Bath, then take the A367 towards Shepton Mallet, then the A361 to Glastonbury.
From the M3
Take M3 to Junction 8 (A303), head along until you reach either the B3151 (signs to Glastonbury and Street), A37 (signs to Shepton Mallet, picking up signs to Glastonbury) or A371 (signs to Shepton Mallet, picking up signs to Glastonbury) and follow signs.
By Train :
The nearest train station to Glastonbury is Castle Cary (on the London Paddington to Plymouth line).
Alternatives are to travel to Bristol Temple Meads or Bath by train. Regular bus services operate to Glastonbury from Bristol town centre hourly via Temple Meads and from Bath to Glastonbury.
Distance in Miles 20 Approx Driving time 30 Mins Approx
The Estate Office, Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire,BA12 7NW
Tel : +44 1985 844400 - Fax : +44 1985 844885
Voted UK Family Attraction of the Year by the Good Britain Guide, Longleat offers a wonderland of attractions to suit all ages!
Set in more than 900 acres of Capability Brown landscaped parkland with a further 8,000 acres of woodlands, lakes and farmland, Longleat Safari Park combines the magic of the old with the marvels of the new.
As well as being the first stately home to open its doors to the public, Longleat was also the first place, outside Africa, to open a Safari Park. And, after more than 36 years, Longleat Safari Park is still one of Britains most popular tourist attractions.
From Safari Park to Stately Home, Mazes to Murals and Simulator Rides to Safari Boats theres always something new to discover round every corner.
You can enjoy really close encounters with some of the largest, fiercest, cutest, and strangest animals from around the world in the Longleat Safari Park. Drive yourself round the bend in the Worlds Longest Hedge Maze, pay a visit to Doctor Whos Tardis and come face to face with a dalek, let the kids explore the turrets and rope bridges of the Adventure Castle and Blue Peter Maze‚Ä¶ or pop along to meet Postman Pat and his friends in his very own Greendale Village!
Then take a tour of Britains friendliest stately home. Substantially completed by 1580 and now home to the 7th Marquess of Bath, Longleat House is widely regarded as one of the best examples of high Elizabethan architecture in Brtiain and one of the most beautiful stately homes open to the public.
Longleat Safari Park
Open at 10am
Last entry at 4.00pm (5pm weekends, Bank Holidays and during state school holidays)
Opening times on weekends, Bank Holidays and during state school holidays :
Open at 10am Last entry at 5:30pm
Opening times during term time and rest of year :
Open at 11am Last entry at 3pm (guided tours only please telephone for tour times).
open daily from 1st Jan to 31st Dec (excludes Xmas Day)
Other Longleat Attractions
Open at 11am Last entry at 5:30pm
For current prices please visit the Longleat website
How to Find Longleat Safari Park
Longleat is just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury (A362 Warminster / Frome road)
From the South East :
M3 (J8) / A303 / A36 towards Bath Longleat is just off the A362 between Warminster and Frome
From the South West :
A303 in a London direction / A350 towards Warminster / A36 towards Bath / Longleat is just off the A362 between Warminster and Frome
From the North :
M4 (J18) / A46 towards Bath / A36 towards Salisbury / Longleat is just off the A362 between Warminster and Frome
The nearest train station, Warminster, is approximately 5 miles from Longleat. Warminster is on the Cardiff to Portsmouth line.
Westbury station is approximately 12 miles from Longleat and connects directly with London, being on the Paddington to Penzance line.
Both train stations are serviced by taxis which will bring you directly to Longleat.
For details on train times please contact the National Rail Enquiry line on 08457 484950 or visit their website www.nationalrail.co.uk
The following taxi firms work from Warminster and/or Westbury train stations:
Starline Taxis: +44 1985 212215
AAA Taxis: +44 1985 846674
Distance in Miles 21 Approx Driving time 35 Mins Approx
The Stonehenge Tour Company, 10 Midas Estate, Cowley Mill Road
London, UB8 2YT
Tel : +44 870 9020 908 - Fax : +44 705 007 3492
No place has generated so much speculation and wild theories as the standing stones of Stonehenge. After driving for miles through the rolling hills and plains of the English countryside the sight of this unusual structure makes people gasp.
A walk around it only provokes more strange feelings. Theres a sense that this is something very important. It taunts us with its mystery. For over 5000 years it has stood silent vigil over the earth. It has been excavated, x rayed, measured, and surveyed.
Yet despite all that has been learned about its age and construction, its purpose still remains one of the great mysteries of the world.
How to Find Stonehenge
Stonehenge is situated at the junction of the A303 and the A344, just west of Amesbury in Wiltshire. From Bath take the A36 south for 22 miles then onto the B390, from here just follow the signs. There is a large car park and visitor centre on the north side of the A344.
There is a charge of around ¬£4 / 5 to gain access to the site
Distance in Miles 38 Approx Driving time 60 Mins Approx
Wells Tourist Information Centre,Town Hall,Market Place,Wells, BA5 2RF
Tel : +44 1749 672552 - Fax : +44 1749 670869
In Wells,Somerset you will find a city like no other in Britain and a friendly welcome to match. There is so much to see and do that a whole day, or even two, can be spent exploring its many attractions.
The great Gothic cathedral and Cathedral Green are the centrepiece for a complex of buildings and streets equally old and fascinating, including the moated and walled Bishops Palace, with 14 acres of gardens, Vicars Close and the fine architecture of the Market Place, linked to the Green by the curiously named Penniless Porch.
Wells, Somerset holds twice weekly markets in the market place (Saturdays and Wednesdays). You can buy a wide range of goods from clothes and jewellery to organic vegetables, plants and olives.
Look out for the famous 600 year old clock!
How to Find Wells Somerset
Take the A36 South to the A367 and follow signs to Wells.
Distance in Miles 21 Approx Driving time 40 Mins Approx
Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset BA5 1BB,
Tel : +44 1749 672243
The legend has it that during the Dark Ages an old woman who kept a dog and some goats lived alone in the caves. Everything that went wrong in the village was blamed on her.
The local people believed she was a witch who cast spells and caused misfortunes.
Eventually, the people sought the help of the Abbot at nearby Glastonbury Abbey. He sent a monk called Father Bernard to exorcise the witchs spirit. He entered the cave armed only with a bible and a candle.
In the faint light Father Bernard saw the witch stooping over her cooking pot. He tried to talk to her, but, screaming curses and casting spells, the witch fled deeper into the cave down a narrow passageway called Hells Ladder.
The brave monk followed her and they met again in the shadowy depths of an inner cavern. Quickly, Father Bernard scooped up a handful of water from the river, blessed it and threw it over the witch. She turned instantly to stone and her frozen figure remains in this cavern known as The Witchs Kitchen to this day.
Standard Admission Prices
Rates are inclusive of all attractions on the site. At least two hours should be allowed for the tour
Children ¬£10.00 (3 to 14)
Family 2xA 2xC ¬£45.00
Additional children under 14 ¬£9.50
Children under 3yrs free
Concessions (Senior Citizens, Students)¬£10.00
Schools (5 -19) 12 students or more
Schools ¬£7.00 per student
1 adult free every 10 children (10 or over)
Groups 12 people or more
Concessions (Senior Citizens, Students) ¬£8.00
Groups of 12 people or more must be pre-booked by phone or e-mail
Party visits (12+Persons) can be booked by e-mail
Open 7 days a week
Summertime: (Apr-Oct inc): 10am (first tour) - 5pm (Last Cave Tour)
Wintertime: (Nov-Mar inc): 10am (first tour) - 4pm (Last Cave Tour)
Unfortunately, access to the caves is not possible for wheelchair users. There are approximately 200 steps through the caves and three places where visitors are required to duck briefly to about 1.3 metres.
Visitors in wheelchairs are most welcome in the mill and valley, where they can watch a virtual tour of the caves while they wait for their family to join them and experience the rest of the attraction together.
A concessionary rate is available for wheelchair users. One accompanying carer per wheelchair user will also be entitled to a concessionary admission; this is at Wookey Hole Caves discretion.
For deaf visitors written transcripts of the commentaries of the caves tour and papermaking film are available.
Please note that the attraction is not suitable for dogs. (Guide dogs only)
How to Find Wookey Hole Caves
Wookey Hole Caves and Papermill are situated at Wookey Hole in the beautiful Mendip Hills, in South West England, just two miles from the Cathedral City of Wells in Somerset. Wookey Hole is easily accessible from the South East, Midlands, Wales and West Country by the M4 and M5 motorways.
Leave the M5 at junction 22 and follow the brown and white tourist signs for about 18 miles via Axbridge and Cheddar to Wells. If coming from Bath, take the A39 to Wells.
Distance in Miles 23 Approx Driving time 40 Mins Approx
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