All in a day: Bradford on Avon

Date Posted: 19/02/2014

Town Bridge - Bradford on Avon

Pictured: Medieval town bridge with the Town Lock-up. (Photo credit:

Often overlooked by neighbouring Georgian city Bath, Bradford on Avon has plenty to attract groups in its own right. We find out more about the history, architecture and shopping that this market town has to offer for a group day trip.

10am - Start your day in Westbury Gardens

Begin your visit in Westbury Gardens where group travel organisers have the opportunity to be met by a guide who can take you on a guided tour of the town. 

The tour can include the 11th century Saxon Church of St Laurence, the second largest Tithe Barn in England, the Shambles and the medieval town bridge, complete with the Town Lock-up which was originally a chapel for pilgrims. 

The view from the bridge takes in the hill above where the old weavers’ cottages are situated and along the river bank’s 19th century cloth mills, reminders of the town’s once thriving textile industry.

Each walk can be tailor made to groups with specific interests.  

11.30am - Shop in the Shambles

Group members can spend a little time exploring the town by themselves and discover the individual shops of the Shambles, Silver Street and Market Street. 

For those interested in the heritage of the town, you may choose to visit the Town Museum which houses an original apothecary.

12.15pm - Lunchtime at the Pavilion Café   

Meet back at Westbury Gardens where you can head to the Pavilion Café for some lunchtime refreshments. You can dine inside or alfresco on the patio with the river Avon running under the town bridge behind you or, for larger groups, the West Barn or Priory Barn can provide you with a lunchtime stop-over, or a picnic if you have time to spare.

Alternatively, there are other eateries in the town such as the Canal Tavern, The Bear and The Dandy Lion, Lock Inn Tavern and The Castle.

At Wharf - Kennet & Avon Canal

Pictured: Kennet & Avon Canal. (Photo credit: David Williams, Visit Wiltshire).

1.50pm - Travel to Iford Manor    

Board your coach and take a short drive a few miles outside the town to Iford Manor.

On the way, stop by the Kennet & Avon canal as it runs through the east of the town on its way to Bath. The colourful barges you’ll see are home to residents of the town as well as holiday makers.

2.30pm - Take an afternoon stroll through the Italianate garden    

On arrival, you will notice Iford Manor perched by the Frome river in the steep-sided valley. Medieval in origin, with a classical façade added in the 18th century when the hanging woodlands above the garden were planted.

The Grade I Italianate garden at the Manor was designed by the architect and landscape gardener Harold Ainsworth Peto who lived here from 1899 to 1933. The hillside garden is characterised by steps, terraces, sculpture and rural views. 

Groups can enjoy the afternoon wandering through the gardens, perhaps ending with a cream tea before departing.

4:30pm - Departure

For further group travel information contact:


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