Great West Way Travel Magazine
WHERE TO STAY
The Great West Way offers plenty of choice when it comes to places to stay
WHETHER YOU PREFER the excitement of a buzzing city or a more rural countryside retreat, from a stylish boutique hotel, to a cool gastro pub – there's always a great place to stay along the Great West Way. From 5-star city hotels, country house hotels, to boutique bed and breakfasts, to camping and glamping retreats, we hope you will find what is right for you.
IN THE CITY
Starting your Great West Way journey from London?
You might enjoy a stay at Roseate House London just a short walk from Hyde Park.
Roseate Hotels has two further luxury boutique hotels along the Great West Way; The Roseate Reading, described by the Evening Standard as ‘UK's Sexiest Townhouse Hotel'; and located in the centre of Bath
The Roseate Villa Bath. Stopping at Reading? The Bird In Hand Hotel, at Knowl Hill, recently acquired by Wiltshire brewer Wadworth, is a delightful 14th Century Inn with a history that spans 600 years.
In Bath you are spoiled for choice of luxury hotels, but it could be claimed, none quite as grand and spectacular as The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. Built between 1767 and 1775 this is a fine example of Georgian architecture, located in the most famous crescent in the world. Effortlessly combining AA Five Red Star service, an award-winning Spa and beautiful gardens.
In the heart of Bath, Abbey Hotel Bath is an experiential art-driven hotel, for people seeking true Bathonian encounters - inspired by the city's most celebrated icons - it blends the new with the old, the refined with the comfortable and the local with the worldly. Guests are immersed in rich history, architectural beauty, regional artistry and craftsmanship. Built in 1739, the building composed part of John Wood's vision for Bath - essentially the playground for the pleasure-loving visitors of the Georgian haute monde.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two Grade II Listed buildings, centred around the natural thermal, mineralrich waters. Dukes Hotel, occupies two magnificent Georgian Townhouses on Great Pulteney Street, or try the Apex Hotel, Bath's largest hotel, close to Thermae Bath Spa. Bailbrook House Hotel is a Grade II listed hotel, also in the city, set in 20 acres - here you can enjoy the historic Cloisters restaurant or contemporary dining in The Conservatory.
Desire your own holiday home? The Apartment
Bath is an award-winning two-bedroom luxury property in a fantastic central location, or try Bath Apartment Breaks. For a selection of independently owned holiday properties search online with the help of Stay in Bath, Tucking Mill Holidays in Bath and Bath Area Self Catering. For an elegant and vivacious new boutique townhouse hotel located on the grandest street in Bath head to No. 15 Great Pulteney.
Accommodation in Bristol is as colourful and varied as the city itself. From a city centre hostel attached to a vintage bowling alley to a luxurious lodge in the grounds of a zoo, you'll find somewhere special to suit you. The city's distinct neighbourhoods each offer different experiences, so it depends what type of trip you're hoping for…
For something unconventional, check into one of Brooks Guesthouse's rooftop airstreams for a spot of urban glamping in the Old City. Right next to St Nicholas' Market, you'll be in prime position for perusing local craft stalls and tucking into the delicious street food it's renowned for, from sausage baps to falafel wraps.
If it's dining, drinking and nightlife you're after, check out Rock & Bowl Motel right in the city centre, The Bristol Wing, a boutique hostel in the Grade II listed old Police Headquarters, or The Full Moon - a backpacker hostel adjoining the lively Attic Bar in arty, alternative Stokes Croft.
If you would prefer somewhere more serene, close to University of Bristol Botanic Garden, opt for somewhere in Clifton. Although it has a village feel, independent shops, cosmopolitan restaurants and the iconic Suspension Bridge are all within walking distance. Number Thirty Eight, a boutique hotel in a refurbished Georgian merchant's house, is in prime position. Relax in a room with a roll top bath or soak up panoramic park views. Alternatively, go for a really wild stay at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The Lodge is a super stylish apartment with safari-themed rooms and a private terrace looking onto the zoo's glorious gardens.
And if you're just in Bristol for a flying visit - where could be more convenient than Hampton By Hilton Bristol Airport?
IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Sitting proudly next to the 12th Century Abbey in the centre of the historic, vibrant and charming Wiltshire market town of Malmesbury, England's oldest hotel The Old Bell Hotel has recently been restored to the height of elegance, glamour and English charm. Beechfield House also in Wiltshire, is a stunning 4 AA red star, 2 AA rosette, relaxed country house hotel offering a truly opulent place to stay. Or try The Manor House, a 14th Century luxury hotel and golf club in Castle Combe, part of the Exclusive Collection along with Pennyhill Park, surrey and
Royal Berkshire, on the outskirts of Ascot. Or for a lovely, secluded and unique cottage on a working farm head to
Cliffe Farm Dairy with beautiful views of the steep chalk escarpment leading up to Salisbury Plain.
Another gorgeous countryside retreat is the five-star
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, in the Southern Cotswolds set in 12 acres of gardens. If you are travelling with children Woolley Grange Hotel in Bradford on Avon
is a beautiful Jacobean manor house on the edge of the Cotswolds offering a very warm welcome to families.
Or try The Langley, Buckinghamshire - the former country estate of the third Duke of Marlborough has a wonderful spa, exceptional dining and Capability Brown designed gardens.
Guyers House Hotel & Restaurant, Corsham is a traditional country house with an award-winning restaurant.
If you're looking to stay somewhere quieter, away from the hustle and bustle, with farm-fresh produce on the table, and a ‘home from home' feel, then a cosy countryside B&B or selfcatering cottage make a great option.
The Coachmans Self-Catering Holiday Cottage is an idyllic retreat in the heart of Steeple Ashton - a delightful quintessential village, with award-winning village shop, magnificent church, and beautiful historic architecture spanning 700 years, set amidst beautiful Wiltshire countryside. For an opulent and elegant stay close to the North Wessex Downs, Heritage Luxury B&B is perfectly placed on the Great West Way in Calne.
Kingsbury @ No 8 is a boutique-hotel style B&B close to the centre of Marlborough's historic high street. Stay here and dine at Rick Stein's restaurant in Lloran House and enjoy a menu that features some of Rick's most iconic seafood dishes like Indonesian seafood curry, Dover sole a la meunière and turbot hollandaise.
Or you could try The White Horse Inn, Calne, a traditional country pub in the Wiltshire countryside with two AA Rosette restaurant and Gold award Bed & Breakfast accommodation.
Donnington Grove Hotel & Country Club, Newbury is set in 500 acres of countryside and offers countryside pursuits such as fishing and clay pigeon shooting, while just a short drive away, in the picturesque farming village of Hampstead Norreys, are Manor Farm Courtyard Holiday Cottages luxuriously-appointed self-catering cottages.
Church Farm Country Cottages offer self-catering cottages on a working sheep farm between Bath and Bradford on Avon with an indoor heated pool.
Cumberwell Country Cottages, Bradford on Avon, have converted an old Tythe Barn into luxurious self-catering cottages. Or try Beanhill Farm B&B, Chippenham - located on a farm with prize-winning cattle and sheep. Lorne House, near Corsham, the childhood home of Thomas the Tank Engine author, Reverend W.V. Awdry, is today a large Victorian villa with elegant charm. Stay as a B&B guest, or hire the entire house.
You might enjoy having your own private Manor House wing? Try Sheephouse Manor Cottages, situated between Maidenhead and Cookham.
Avalon Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Devizes has countryside views and south facing balconies, free ranging hens and ducks and two rescue donkeys.
There are also many pubs offering B&B in great locations, such as Troutbeck Guesthouse, East Chisenbury for boutique accommodation by the River Avon and the nearby Red Lion for food. The Royal Oak, Yattendon is a traditional English country pub with Michelin rated food, luxurious bedrooms, award-winning real ales, log fires and a walled garden.
The Queens Arms, East Garston, is an award-winning pub, restaurant and hotel with large bar and log fire, dining room and covered terrace and garden.
Or try Helen Browning's Royal Oak, Bishopstone, a dining pub with rooms in the middle of an organic farm on the edge of the Wiltshire Downs.
CAMPING & GLAMPING
For those who really want to get in touch with their surroundings The Camping and Caravanning Club with sites in Salisbury, Walton on Thames, Cheddar Mendip Heights, Devizes and Chertsey is a great option - as is The Chilterns View, Wallingford's Luxury lodge accommodation in the village of Ewelme, South Oxfordshire, overlooking the beautiful Chilterns Hills. Mill Farm takes luxury camping to a whole new level with their high end luxury accommodation, set on their organic farm in the heart of the glorious
Or head to The Farm Camp, an off grid, eco-friendly, luxury campsite near Bath offering plenty of activities.
Totteridge Farm in the heart of the Vale of Pewsey, is an adult-only campsite with five glamping pods and spectacular views from the hills on either side of the Vale. Buttle Farm, Compton Bassett, has stunning barn conversions on a rare breed pig farm and runs charcuterie experiences. While
Shillingridge offer Luxury Glamping Safari Lodges, nestled in the Chiltern Hills by the stunning riverside town of Marlow on Thames in Buckinghamshire.
ON OR BY THE WATER
On the River Thames, Henley Greenlands Hotel, once home to the WH Smith family, is set within the 30 acre Henley Business School estate in the Oxfordshire countryside, while Sir Christopher Wren Hotel and Spa is a 4-star comprising several characterful buildings clustered around a historic cobbled street by Eton Bridge and Windsor Castle, with a gym, spa treatments, outdoor whirlpool and sauna.
The stunning hotel is located right on the River Thames, within easy walking distance of Windsor's restaurants, shops and attractions including Windsor Castle. The world-famous Eton College is a seven-minute walk from the hotel, just over Eton Bridge and down the High Street. Also in Windsor, both Castle Hotel MGallery and Sir Christopher Wren Hotel & Spa offer spectacular views of the Thames and Windsor Castle.
Thought boats were just for day trips? Well, along the Great West Way you can sleep on them too. You'll never forget waking up on the water, peering through portholes at passing ducks as you prepare to rise and shine.
Canal boat hire in England is easy to organise and incredibly rewarding, enabling you to fully experience the pleasures of the wildlife-rich waterways, including such delights as Caen Hill Locks and Bathampton. The Canal and River Trust can give you all the information you need about how to take to the waters. Along the River Thames and the Kennet & Avon Canal you can hire your own boldly painted boat and take the journey at your own pace.
Consider a boating holiday on a self-drive barge or motor cruiser, or for a more relaxing break a river cruise on a hotel boat. Honeystreet Boats provides friendly canal boat holidays on the Kennet & Avon Canal. Sally Narrowboats, in the Bradford on Avon Marina, is great to cruise to Bath in a westerly direction and Reading in the east. Hobbs of Henley has 2 luxury Linnsen motor cruisers to cruise from Henley to Oxford or Henley to Reading. While Bruce Boats at Great Bedwyn Wharf, Kennet & Avon Canal, offers canal holidays for older people and Devizes Marina Village offer selfcatering lodges with hot tubs and fantastic views.
Or for somewhere where there's quite literally water, water everywhere, visit the Cotswold Water Park, just a short detour off the route, and enjoy 40 square miles, with more than 150 lakes set in beautiful countryside.