Things To Do

Best Villages to Visit Near Bath

The historic city of Bath, with its Roman heritage, Georgian architecture, and natural hot springs, is undeniably one of England’s most captivating cities. However, nestled in the rolling hills and lush countryside surrounding Bath are several quaint villages that offer visitors a delightful escape into England‘s rural charm. Here, we explore three of the best villages to visit near Bath, each with its own unique character and attractions.

1. Bradford-on-Avon: A Riverside Haven of History

Just a short drive southeast of Bath lies the enchanting town of Bradford-on-Avon. Stepping into Bradford-on-Avon feels like stepping back in time, with its winding streets, centuries-old stone buildings, and tranquil riverside setting along the Avon River. This picturesque town boasts a rich history dating back to Saxon times, evident in its well-preserved medieval architecture and historic landmarks.

One of Bradford-on-Avon’s most iconic attractions is the majestic Tithe Barn, a stunning 14th-century structure that stands as a testament to the town’s medieval past. This remarkable building, with its soaring timber roof and impressive size, often hosts exhibitions, events, and markets, adding vibrancy to the town’s cultural scene.

Wandering through Bradford-on-Avon’s narrow lanes, visitors will encounter charming stone cottages, quaint shops, and inviting cafes. The Saxon Church of St. Laurence, with its ancient origins and architectural beauty, is another must-see landmark that provides insight into the town’s early history.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Bradford-on-Avon offers idyllic walks along the Kennet and Avon Canal, where scenic views of the surrounding countryside await. Whether exploring its historic sites, enjoying a leisurely stroll by the river, or simply soaking in the town’s peaceful ambience, Bradford-on-Avon promises an unforgettable experience for visitors seeking a quintessential English village getaway.

Stay here: Georgian Manor – a home that could be lifted straight from Bridgerton… if it wasn’t for the pool and jacuzzi that are more modern additions to the 1700s building!

2. Lacock: A Timeless Village Steeped in Cinematic Beauty

Travelling northeast from Bath, visitors will discover the enchanting village of Lacock, a place where time seems to stand still amidst its medieval streets and historic charm. Owned entirely by the National Trust, Lacock is not only a living museum of centuries-old architecture but also a beloved filming location for numerous movies and television series.

As visitors meander through Lacock’s winding lanes, they’ll be transported to a bygone era, surrounded by perfectly preserved timber-framed cottages and quaint stone houses. The village’s crowning jewel is Lacock Abbey, a former medieval nunnery that was transformed into a stately country residence. Today, the abbey and its picturesque grounds offer visitors the chance to explore centuries of history, from its medieval origins to its later role in the development of photography.

Photography enthusiasts will appreciate Lacock’s Fox Talbot Museum, dedicated to the pioneering work of William Henry Fox Talbot, who conducted some of the earliest experiments in photography at Lacock Abbey. The museum showcases Talbot’s original photographic prints, cameras, and equipment, providing a fascinating glimpse into the birth of photography.

Beyond its historic sites, Lacock’s timeless beauty has made it a popular filming location for productions such as “Harry Potter,” “Downton Abbey,” and “Pride and Prejudice.” Visitors can retrace the footsteps of their favourite characters as they explore the village’s charming streets and iconic landmarks.

Stay here: Dyrham House – a quintessentially English country manor with impeccably maintained gardens that are a haven of tranquillity.

3. Castle Combe: A Picturesque Jewel in the Cotswolds Countryside

Venturing northwest from Bath, visitors will encounter the enchanting village of Castle Combe, often hailed as one of the prettiest villages in England. Tucked away in the scenic Cotswolds countryside, Castle Combe boasts a postcard-perfect setting characterised by honey-coloured stone cottages, flower-filled gardens, and a tranquil ambience that captivates all who visit.

Strolling through Castle Combe’s idyllic streets, visitors will be enchanted by its timeless charm and well-preserved medieval architecture. The village’s centrepiece is its historic Market Cross, where locals once gathered for markets and festivities. Today, the Market Cross serves as a focal point for visitors seeking to soak in Castle Combe’s quintessential English charm.

While in Castle Combe, visitors can explore the village’s historic church, enjoy afternoon tea at a cosy tearoom, or simply wander along its scenic walking trails, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. With its romantic beauty and peaceful atmosphere, Castle Combe provides the perfect retreat for travellers seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Stay here: Threshing Mill – a pretty mill conversion with a classic country kitchen and a river running right through the garden!

 

The villages surrounding Bath offer a delightful array of experiences for travellers eager to explore the beauty and history of the English countryside. Whether wandering through the medieval streets of Bradford-on-Avon, stepping into the cinematic world of Lacock, or discovering the timeless charm of Castle Combe, each village promises a unique and unforgettable journey into England’s rich heritage and natural splendour. So, venture beyond Bath’s city limits and immerse yourself in the enchanting villages that await just a stone’s throw away.

 

That’s our pick of the best villages to visit near Bath. Which will you explore first? Make sure to check out our beautiful apartments in Bath, homes in Somerset and hideaways in the Cotswolds so you have the perfect bolthole to return to after a day exploring this beautiful area. And, to make your getaway truly special, our friendly concierge team is on hand to advise and help organise any extras during your stay!

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Published by
Sam Ford

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