Bradford on Avon is the perfect place for a little getaway. I first visited in July of 2021, and I quickly fell in love with the charming town. This is a very special place to my fiancé and I. We spent the first twelve days of our relationship here, after doing long distance for just over a year. Tom and I decided that we would write this post together, because it only seemed fitting. This is such a nice town to visit, and you really only need two-three days to see it! Today, we want to share what a stay in Bradford on Avon would look like. All photos were taken by Tom and me.
Where to stay:
There aren’t a ton of options when it comes to hotels in Bradford on Avon, however we have to mention our favorite: the historic Swan Hotel. Each room is as charming and cozy as ever, and a stay at this hotel will certainly complete your little getaway! Room sizes as well as prices can vary, but overall we have found it to be quite affordable for our stays. You can add on breakfast to the cost of your stay, and even dine at the Thai Chili Restaurant located in the hotel! You can’t go wrong with a stay at The Swan.
Where to eat:
When it comes to dining, Bradford on Avon has got it right! There is a nice selection of cafes, restaurants, takeaways, and pubs; something for everyone to enjoy!
You will be greeted by a warm and welcoming atmosphere as soon as you step through the door of Ravello. With friendly and accommodating staff members, you are sure to be well taken care of during your true Italian dining experience. Ravello has a wide variety of dishes to try, including appetizers and beginner dishes, as well as a selection of pizzas, pastas, seafood, and meats. You can expect your meal to arrive hot and with a classy presentation. The dessert is delightful, and we highly recommend having something sweet before stepping out!
- The Bridge Tea Rooms
1502 saw the building of The Bridge Tea Rooms, remaining almost unchanged to this day.
Quaint and characterful are the surroundings with low exposed beams and not-so-straight walls, charmingly intimate and classically British. Teas are the establishment’s forte, offering plentiful choice. Fine quality ingredients feature prominently, for both the food and the drink. The loose leaf tea is smooth and refined whilst the homemade cakes are delicate and delicious – may we recommend the Prince Albert Afternoon Tea with velvety Victoria sponge?
- The Bunch of Grapes
Delightful is the word to use when describing The Bunch of Grapes. This cozy restaurant will definitely become your new favorite! Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there is something to be enjoyed. The Bunch of Grapes serve a great Sunday lunch with many meat choices as you would expect, plus a vibrant vegan option too. The delicious food is presented in a contemporary fashion but the ingredients prepared are familiar yet combine real dollops of flavour.
- Bread & Butter
Conveniently situated in the heart of town, Bread & Butter is the essence of British breakfast and lunch takeaway culture. With both hot and cold sandwiches made to order, it’s the kind of place where almost any known fresh ingredient can be served between two pieces of bread. Watch out for the traffic when entering and exiting the establishment, but the flavoursome sandwich products are well worth the dash across the busy road. Bread & Butter is located on the corner of the Swan Hotel car park, so a tasty breakfast on the go could be preceded by a cosy night’s stay in the historic accommodation.
The light and airy vibe of Cassia draws you in from the street, welcoming you with the invigorating smell of coffee and fresh pastries. Providing the community with a popular modern café, a bright co-working space and a cool venue for events, Cassia offers a great deal to the people of Bradford on Avon. The new premises brings illumination to a side street and to the inspired users within.
Where to shop:
- Made in Bradford on Avon
With such a beautiful town comes beautiful art. Bradford on Avon has a large group of local artists hidden throughout. Maybe you’ll walk past an artist on the street, or you’ll walk into Made in Bradford on Avon. This shop showcases work from around 80 local artists and artisans. This is an amazing gallery to see because there are a variety of items that are unique to the town. In this shop, you can find paintings, jewelry, ceramics, glassware, cushions, clothes, and so much more. We love that there is a space where people can come to celebrate, enjoy, support, and buy art from the locals. No matter what your interests are, you can find something to display in your home, as well as something you can frequently use or wear!
- Sassy & Boo
This has easily become my new favorite place to shop! Sassy & Boo is located in multiple areas including Bath, Tetbury, Frome, and of course, Bradford on Avon, to name a few. Sassy & Boo is the perfect place to go, especially on a dark and rainy day. When you step inside, your day and mood will instantly be brightened! Each rack is perfectly organized by color, and accessories are immaculately placed on beautiful tables and stands throughout the shop. Sassy & Boo is known for their vibrant colors, which brings inspiration to fashion lovers everywhere! I am now a loyal customer to this company and I own quite a few clothing items from them. What I love most about this boutique is that you are guaranteed to find classy and stylish pieces that are such great quality. Their items are moderately priced, and often times you can find great markdowns and a sale rack or two as well! If you are a fashion lover like myself, I could not recommend this shop more!
Another great boutique for women! This is such a lovely place to shop, and you will be able to find very nice clothing, shoes, and accessories here. When I shop at Heather’s, I tend to get gifts for my mother or sisters because I can always find something that they would appreciate. In some ways, this shop is similar to Sassy & Boo. For example, many of the items are brightly colored or have a funky pattern. Everything is moderately priced, and I believe there is something here for any girl in your life!
This is the kind of shop where you walk in to browse but end up finding something incredibly useful and practical. We have purchased a few items from this shop, and we truly do love it! Piha has everything from bamboo socks to Italian leather handbags to clothing and many outdoor accessories. I personally love their range of eco friendly bags. Their EcoChic line includes all kinds of bags such as tote bags, backpacks, cross body bags and more. These come in many different patterns as well; whether you like something a bit more subtle or bold, you will find a pattern you like! The best part? They all come with a matching pouch so you can easily fold and store your bags! This is so perfect for the girl or guy on the go! If you or someone you know is very outdoorsy, shopping here will be a dream.
- Dible & Roy
Dible & Roy is yet another shop worth looking around in Bradford on Avon. From adorable tabletop ornaments to quality chic furniture, this place has lots in store! Upon walking in, you’ll find products for sale in every nook and cranny but the shop isn’t overcrowded. Keep your gaze high and low for spotting a quirky gift and mind your step for colourfully upholstered seating! There’s something so charming about Dible & Roy, often providing great inspiration for furnishing your lovely home!
- Heaven’s Bazaar
A boujee and bijou boutique! If you need a little luxury in your life, Heaven’s Bazaar is the place to be. At this family run boutique, you will find designer and vintage clothing, bags, and jewelry, as well as some retro items. The window display is always decorated perfectly, and we, along with many others, always stop to take a look. Something that I really appreciate is that there is a very wide price range at this shop, so you can find something amazing for a great price. Plus, it is so fun to take a look at some vintage designer pieces. I also really love the jewelry selection because the pieces seem quite unique and special.
- Strawberry Blue and Cloud & Cove
Strawberry Blue; something for me and you! A cute name for a very cute place! Strawberry Blue has just about everything! They specialize in home décor and gifts. Once again, you will definitely find yourself walking out with more than planned, but it will be worth it. What we love about this shop is that it truly is for everyone. Whether you want to buy someone (or yourself) a gift, you want to have a quick browse, or you plan to completely revamp your home, you will find it all at Strawberry Blue. Cloud & Cove is quite similar in that they do gifts and cards best! They have the cutest trinkets, cards, jewelry, and home accessories. It is so nice to go in on a quiet day to take a look around. This shop seems to be popular with tourists and locals alike.
While it is so nice to explore different restaurants and shops, we wanted to briefly mention a few other things to do and see during your stay!
The Tithe Barn – One of the biggest medieval barns in England (built in the mid-14th century). It is such a fascinating place to see. There is also a small but sweet gift shop as well as a little café to complete your visit. You can either walk to the barn from town, or drive and park on site.
Bradford on Avon Museum – If you are a history buff, this may be on your to-do list! Although we have not been in the museum ourselves, it seems like it would be a very interesting place to visit while in town. You will be able to see many historic items as well as learn about the town’s history.
Holy Trinity Church, St. Laurence Church, and St. Mary’s Chapel – We absolutely love stepping into such beautiful and historic buildings, and this is even more true of cathedrals, churches, and chapels. The Holy Trinity Church is the biggest of the three, and it is a wonderful church to visit. There is so much to appreciate, especially in relation to the architecture. St. Laurence Church is believed to be one of the most complete Saxon buildings still standing today. It is a very tiny church, but it is in such a peaceful location. St. Mary’s Chapel is the sweetest chapel on the hill overlooking the town below, offering an intimate and peaceful place to worship.
The best view of the town – If you’ve made your way up to see St. Mary’s Chapel, you have probably seen the best view of Bradford on Avon! Walk along the path, and right in front of the Tory terrace you can stop and appreciate the magnificent view!
Iford Manor Gardens (about 10 minutes from The Swan) – Iford is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. It is romantic, charming, neat, and adventurous. There is so much to see, and you could easily lose track of time there (in the best way possible). The gorgeous gardens are formal and Mediterranean. You will almost feel as if you have left England and are in Italy; that is, of course, if the sun stays out for your visit!
We hope that this blog post has inspired you to travel to one of our favorite places! We will always have plans to visit this wonderful town again and again throughout our lives. We just know that if you come to visit, you will fall deeply in love with it too! There is so much to see and do, and it is the perfect little getaway for a long weekend. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!
Amanda Sacchere & Tom Patch