Great West Way Travel Magazine


From stargazing to swimming, spooky city tours to light shows, there's plenty of experience­s to try even when the sun goes down

- Words: Samantha Rutherford

From stargazing to swimming, spooky city tours to light shows, there are plenty of experience­s to try even when the sun goes down



Wander into the giant silver ball at We The Curious, Bristol for your very own evening tour of the known universe. Enjoy stories of ancient stargazers as you fly to far away galaxies and admire the views from distant and newly discovered planets. Whether you are an amateur astronomer or completely new to stargazing, you'll be able to escape the everyday and leave inspired to discover the night sky for yourself. Please check the website for shows and times. →


2 Visit Bath's iconic Roman bathing place in the evening and walk on the 2000 year-old pavements. Take in the magical atmosphere of the graceful columns and intricate stonework lit by torchlight. 10-13 April 9am8pm (last entry 7pm) or 20 June – 31 August 9am-10pm (last entry 9pm).


3 On a clear evening, there's nothing better than a spot of stargazing. Wiltshire being a predominan­tly rural county lends itself to stargazing with the advantage of less light pollution than more urban areas.

Try Stonehenge, described by the National Trust one of their top stargazing spots in the south west of England, or with minimal street lighting and being surrounded by countrysid­e, the village of Lacock.

Cranborne Chase is an Area of Outstandin­g Natural Beauty with plans to achieve ‘Dark Sky Status', and there are plenty of other places that are perfect for enjoying the night skies including Tollard Royal (and the area near to the Larmer Tree Gardens), Broad Chalke and Dinton.


4 As part of this festive event, you can enjoy all of the astonishin­g animal and adventure attraction­s, including the Safari Park, Koala Creek, Jungle Kingdom, Jungle Cruise and the iconic Longleat Hedge Maze - and the light trail. On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day a spectacula­r fireworks display lights up the evening sky too.


5 Take an artisanal food and drink tour of the UNESCO City of Bath with Savouring Bath. Uncover local flavours, foods that have been of historical significan­ce for centuries past, guilty pleasures for all things naughty but nice and food heroes, for those who have made their mark on the city for the culinary delights they have produced. It's a great way to explore the city whilst getting a chance to see the sites.


6 Book a Late Swim & Dine package at the Thames Lido and use the pool and spa facilities (outdoor hot tub and saunas) followed by a 2 course a la carte dinner in the poolside restaurant. Swim from 7.30pm, and dine at 9pm.


7 As featured in TV's 'Most Haunted' Bristol's Haunted and Hidden Friday night walk combines haunted buildings, TV and film locations, celebrity tales, and Bristol trivia. Or you could discover the many grim haunts of Bristol's nearby neighbour Bath with Bath Ghost Tours bringing chills and thrills to horror hungry visitors of old Bath town.


8 As late afternoon turns into evening, Thermae Bath Spa's Twilight Package provides the opportunit­y to make use of the spa facilities and experience the gradual change in the light and atmosphere. The package includes a relaxing spa session and delicious meal and drink in their Springs Restaurant.


9 Visit one (or both!) of Reading's two legendary late night music venues. The After Dark Club is Reading's longest running night club, with parts of the building dating back to 1850 when it was a Tinning Factory, and The Purple Turtle Bar, one of the craziest bars in folklore, are both open late-late, playing host to famous DJs and bands.


10 Exclusive Evening Tours at this special royal residence in Windsor offers a 'behind-the-ropes' experience in the State Apartments. Discover the history of the Castle, including how William the Conqueror's wooden Castle was rebuilt by Edward III as a stone fortress with magnificen­t apartments, how Charles II set out to rival the Versailles of his cousin Louis XIV, while George IV filled the rooms with outstandin­g works of art and gave the Castle its famous skyline. The tour includes a glass of champagne, a copy of the official guidebook and 20% discount in the shop.

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