Local Attractions – Iford Manor, Westwood Manor and Bradford on Avon
Iford Manor & Gardens: Just over a mile towards Freshford, you’ll find this Grade I Italian-style garden is famous for its tranquil beauty and was the home of architect and landscape gardener, Harold Ainsworth Peto from 1899 to 1933. This unique and romantic hillside garden is characterised by steps, terraces, sculpture and magnificent rural views.
Westwood Manor is a National Trust 15th-century beautiful stone manor house with late gothic and jacobean windows. Built over three centuries, it has decorative plasterwork, some fine period furniture, 17th- and 18th-century tapestries and a modern topiary garden. It also houses the country’s earliest Italian keyboard instrument in playing order. Check the opening afternoons before setting off.
Just a little further afield out of Westwood, you’ll find The Courts, which are The National Trust’s gardens at Holt and the National Trust’s house and gardens at Great Chalfield Manor – very close to The Courts. And a little beyond is Lacock Abbey and Gardens and the enchanting village.
Ilford Manor now have their own coffee shop, open April to September, Wednesday to Sunday. Some weekend opening over the winter. Please check their website for full details.
Bradford on Avon is a charming market town, bustling with individual shops, great choices of restaurants, pubs and tea shops, historic buildings and a canal. Probably the most famous tea shop is the Victorian “Bridge Tea Rooms”. Whether your interest is in architecture dating from the Saxon times, visiting the mid-14th Century Tithe Barn or relaxing over a coffee, there’s something for you.
If visiting Bradford after us, it will probably be easiest if you park at the station car park, turning left at the mini-roundabout (if coming from Downside) just as you’re heading into the town
Bradford on Avon is also a great base from which to explore Bath, Stonehenge, Longleat, Stourhead, Kennet and Avon canal and more. Bradford is only about 8 miles from Bath, where you can visit the famous Royal Crescent, Roman Baths, Thermae Bath Spa, and many museums including the recently refurbished Holburne Museum, Number One Royal Crescent or the Jane Austen Centre to give you but a few ideas.
If you’re heading back through Freshford, then there’s The Inn at Freshford which you’ll pass on the left coming from Downside and The Galleries – their community coffee shop, shop and post office, turning left just past the school in the centre of Freshford.
All information is given in good faith but please check out local details before setting off.