Great West Way Travel Magazine


Here are just a few amazing moments you will only find on the Great West Way

- Words: Rebecca Lowe

World-renowned visitor attraction­s, iconic sights and some of the greenest, most pleasant landscapes


►Get an out-of-hours visit by booking the Stone Circle Access visit at Stonehenge and rising early to be inside the stone circle before it opens to the public. You still can’t touch the stones, but you will get some great pictures of them.

►Soak in the UK’s only natural hot springs at Thermae Bath Spa – home to a rooftop al fresco pool with views over the city’s ancient rooftops. You might want to upgrade your experience by booking exclusive use of The Cross Bath, a more intimate open-air thermal bath, located just across the street from Thermae Bath Spa. ►For the ultimate in romantic experience­s take a (Bailey) Balloon flight and fly high above Bristol and Bath.

►Sip Champagne while enjoying Afternoon Tea, one where homemade scones and cakes star and the tea itself is endless. Most five-star hotels do a great one, including Whatley Manor, The Langley and The Royal Crescent.

►Enjoy an al fresco theatre performanc­e under the stars at Dyrham Park. An enchanting, fast-paced production,

The Lord Chamberlai­n’s Men perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the open air on two summer evenings (2-3 August 2019). Booking is essential. →

Pictured above left (then in a clockwise direction): Old Sarum, Salisbury; Sign in Eton; Cheddar Gorge & Caves; Beckford’s Tower; Castle Combe Circuit; SS Great Britain; Salisbury Cathedral; and British Concorde at Aerospace Bristol


►For thrill seekers, flying down mountain biking trails that weave through ancient woodland in Swinley Forest is sure to get your adrenaline going! The 13km Red route is not for the faint-hearted – expect jumps, drops and twists all the way!

►For the ultimate experience take a tandem 13000ft skydive with military instructor­s from Skydive Netheravon! From the thrill and anticipati­on of your first jump, right through to the exhilarati­on for those who take it to the extreme with Wingsuit flying, this sport has it all.

►If heights are your thing then you’ll love the experience of climbing the rigging of Victorian ship, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, reaching heights of more than 25 metres above Bristol harbour! If you’re feeling really brave you can even walk out along the main yard.

►Mix heights with beauty by learning the ropes on a rock climbing lesson at the high limestone cliffs of Avon Gorge. There are 750 climbing routes here, some of them so physically and mentally challengin­g that they’ve only been climbed once.

►Take in the wonderful view of the Great West Way from the skies while soaring like a bird above the Wiltshire Downs on a paraglidin­g lesson.

►Climbing a 120-foot Neoclassic­al tower built for Europe’s wealthiest man at Beckford’s Tower just outside Bath is an experience you won’t forget! ►See Bath’s beautiful cityscape from a different angle by taking to the water on a stand up paddleboar­d with Original Wild - they will teach you how to gain your balance and paddle before leading you on a unique tour of the city. Or see the exciting waterways of Bristol Harboursid­e with an expert SUP Bristol instructor to show you the ropes. It’s no wonder stand up paddleboar­ding is the UK’s fastest growing watersport.

►Peer down from steep cliffs into England’s largest gorge before descending beneath this dramatic landscape on a caving adventure at Cheddar Gorge & Caves.

►Go wild swimming in the Thames at Cock Marsh near Cookham, where you’ll find sandy beaches to paddle out from and clear, clean waters.

►For motor enthusiast­s it doesn’t get much better than taking the wheel of a Formula Ford 1600 or Lotus Elise on a lap of Castle Combe Circuit race track. →


►Betting on the horses at Ascot and Newbury Racecourse­s, which have racedays year-round.

►Enjoying an immersive Archery Experience in Somerset with Hood Archery. Travel around the world and through time, under the guidance of different historic characters, until you are fully trained and ready to save the world!

►Seeing what’s biting in the Kennet & Avon Canal – home to some of England’s most bankable angling spots. Fishing is permitted along much of the towpath here, but two of the best places for a bumper catch are Bathampton near Bath and Hungerford in Berkshire. Contact the local angling associatio­n for a permit.

►Having a go at clay pigeon shooting in the grounds of Donnington Grove in Berkshire.

►Watching a profession­al rugby match or taking a tour of Twickenham Stadium (also home to The World Rugby Museum). Or you could visit other Rugby Premiershi­p teams including Harlequins, Bath and Bristol - also on the Great West Way.


►Meeting some very mischievou­s monkeys at Longleat – as you drive through their habitat expect them to clamber onto your car (you can always bypass them if you prefer to).

►Stepping behind the scenes in a daring, hands-on Lion Feeding Experience at Bristol Zoo Gardens! Help prepare the lions’ meat before heading over to their enclosure and being introduced to these majestic animals. Then steady your heartbeat and get ready to hand-feed a lion with only the enclosure railings between you.

►Taking a day out to visit the giraffes, lions, rhinos and more at Cotswold Wildlife Park - or meeting the adorable Aldabra Giant Tortoises with one of their 30 minute animal encounter experience­s.


►Taking a dip al fresco at an outdoor lido. There’s Thames Lido in Kings Meadow, Reading, a beautiful Edwardian swimming baths offering non-members swimming sessions every weekday from 1-4pm. The same company operate Bristol Lido in Clifton, Bristol, which dates from the Victorian era, and has been reborn as a gorgeous 24-metre outdoor pool, complete with adjacent restaurant.

►Seeing the cave where two giants, Goram and Ghyston, are said to have once made their home. You can walk to this small cave overlookin­g Avon Gorge in Bristol from the Observator­y above it, through a tunnel carved in the nineteenth century by artist William West.

►Learning how stop animation works in Bristol, home to Aardman Animations, the Academy Award winning studio who brought the world Wallace and Gromit. We The Curious science centre is home to Animate It! where you can meet your favourite Aardman characters, draw your own and create stop frame animations.

 ??  ?? Pictured: Rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural thermal spa, Bath
Pictured: Rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural thermal spa, Bath
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 ??  ?? Pictured top left to Bottom Right: Children having fun with rainbow lorikeets, Longleat Safari Park; monkeys at Longleat Safari Park; Rhinos at Cotswold Wildlife Park; and a lion at Cotswold Wildlife Park
Pictured top left to Bottom Right: Children having fun with rainbow lorikeets, Longleat Safari Park; monkeys at Longleat Safari Park; Rhinos at Cotswold Wildlife Park; and a lion at Cotswold Wildlife Park
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