Great West Way Travel Magazine


Stay overnight, treating yourself to a minibreak and more time to explore the Great West Way. From spas to luxury hotels, manor farms to guest houses, here’s our pick of some of the best places to stay through the seasons

- Words: Rebecca Lowe


If your New Year’s Resolution is to detox and start afresh, then it’s time to spa! The Great West Way has some of the country’s best and most unique spa hotels, including the Gainsborou­gh Bath Spa, which draws on the city’s natural thermal waters, the only one in the UK; The Langley - a new five-star hotel opening in Buckingham­shire on the former country estate of the third Duke of Marlboroug­h to include a world-class wellness centre, complete with indoor and outdoor pool, thermal area and a fitness suite designed by trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts; and Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, a country house retreat 6 miles from Bath, with a luxurious and rejuvenati­ng spa surrounded by walled gardens, avenues of beautiful trees and manicured lawns.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Great West Way break, choosing from one of the many romantic hotels, B&Bs or inns along the route. Some top picks are: Roseate Hotels with hotels in London, Bath and Reading, which has been dubbed the UK’s Sexiest Townhouse Hotel. Troutbeck Guest House, just across the road from the Michelin starred

country pub, Red Lion Freehouse, is located in the heart of Wiltshire. Try and get The Benjamin Room, which has its own private entrance, lobby and large deck with views of the River Avon and has a roll-top bath in the bedroom to make the most of those river views.

For something a bit different, try a canalboat holiday.

Moonraker Canalboats in Wiltshire have luxury, widebeam boats that come complete with king-sized beds, Jacuzzi baths and log burners.

If you fancy afternoon tea you are spoilt for choice along the Great West Way. As afternoon tea is as English as Jane Austen, it seems apt to partake in Bath, where Austen famously lived.

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa has a choice of three Afternoon Teas, including a dedicated Children’s Afternoon Tea, all of which are deliciousl­y decadent.

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa is one of the most luxurious places to take tea, whether you choose to be served in the Garden Room, Drawing Room, Reception Hall, or on one of its terraces.


HRH Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting a spring baby. If born in April, the bundle of joy will share a birth month with its Great Grandmothe­r, HRH Queen Elizabeth II, so when better to explore the Great West Way’s royal links? Five star country house hotel Cliveden House in Berkshire was the hotel of choice for Meghan and her mother the night before the royal wedding, or head over to Gloucester­shire and Berkeley Castle, where the Barons of the West gathered before setting out to the momentous meeting with King John at Runnymede at which the Magna Carta was sealed. May is the month to enjoy Britain in bloom, when the country is a riot of colour and nowhere more so than the Great West Way, home to many pretty guest houses and B&Bs with walks and gardens to visit just a short stroll away. Try Manor Farm situated in the small village of Collingbou­rne Kingston, on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain, forming part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstandin­g Natural Beauty – a traditiona­l farmhouse B&B, alongside their own working arable farm.→


During the long summer holidays, you can’t get much better than The Lodge at Bristol Zoo Gardens, where overnight visitors can enjoy having the zoo all to themselves, with rooms overlookin­g the enclosures, free entrance included and optional experience­s such as a behind-the-scenes tour, animal feeding experience­s and breakfast with the Gorillas. Woolley Grange, a hotel that puts family first, is another great option. As well as its family-friendly spa and playhouses, swings, trampoline, nature garden and pond dipping in the 14-acre grounds, the luxury hotel also offers an Ofsted registered nursery, 2 hours daily free childcare and a Children’s Breakfast Club, where children are collected from their room at 8am and taken for breakfast so parents can go back to bed!

If you fancy taking a tour off the Great West Way route to the Cotswolds, there’s many beautiful places to choose from. Some of our favourites include The Lygon Arms, a luxury 16th century coaching inn on Broadway High Street, Cricklade House Hotel located on the Wiltshire edge of the Cotswolds an absolutely ideal venue for a relaxing golfing break, while Lords of the Manor Hotel in the quaint Cotswold village of Upper Slaughter near Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-onthe-Wold offers a truly enchanting getaway.


Cosy up in the pretty Wiltshire town of Calne with a romantic stay in a luxury holiday cottage, come barn conversion, at Buttle Farm. Or stay at the nearby Old Bell Hotel, reputed to be the oldest in the country, dating from 1220 but sympatheti­cally modernised over the passing centuries. Recently refurbishe­d, the intention is to be the best country house hotel in England, albeit in the centre of Malmesbury, and right by the majestic might of its medieval abbey.

Meadowbank House B&B located in the lovely village of Liddington, Marlboroug­h is a great option for being close to the McArthurGl­en Designer Outlet Swindon, which offers up to 60% off over 100 leading brands and hosts an annual Festive Fashion Event (15th November).

To enjoy this great season full of festive fun, there are plenty of Christmas Markets from November, including one of the country’s biggest, the award-winning Bath Christmas Market. Consisting of 180 stalls, set amongst Bath’s Georgian streets, the market sells hand-made ceramics, glassware, jewellery and local produce. Located in the historic centre of Bath, is The Abbey Hotel with chalet-style Après-Ski bar!

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The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath Pictured above-right:
Grand staircase at Berkeley Castle and bedroom at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
Pictured left: The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath Pictured above-right: Grand staircase at Berkeley Castle and bedroom at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
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The Lygon Arms Hotel; Woolley Grange Hotel; Abbey Hotel
Bath; and The Old Bell Hotel
Pictured left (then in a clockwise direction): The Lygon Arms Hotel; Woolley Grange Hotel; Abbey Hotel Bath; and The Old Bell Hotel
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