You may not have heard of the little village of Blunsdon but you will undoubtedly know many of the interesting places situated within a short distance. It’s on the edge of the world-famous Cotswolds with its glorious buttery yellow thatched cottages, little streams and cute duck ponds on pristine village greens . To the south is beautiful Bath, known for its restorative waters and literary connections. A little further afield the maritime city of Bristol boasts a great collection of ships and boats and towards Salisbury is the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge. The perfect base from which to visit all these sites and many more is the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Blunsdon House Hotel, just outside Swindon, Wiltshire.
Lying on a comfortable lounger, being pampered with delightfully scented lotions, listening to the gentle sounds of birdsong in the hotel Beauty Salon, I reflected on a wonderful weekend exploring some of these sights and making the most of the many facilities at the hotel. I’d spent a day in Bath, with its Roman Baths and Pump Room, newly renovated Spa, splendid Cathedral, many museums, art galleries and shops.
I really loved the Jane Austen Centre where I found out all about the author, enjoyed the exhibition of costumes and artefacts from her day and had an excellent lunch in the top floor Tea Rooms. Wandering around the graceful Georgian Royal Crescent you can almost imagine Jane tripping past in a muslin gown on her way to the Assembly Rooms.
As a fan of TV’s Cranford and Larkrise to Candleford, I then went on to Lacock, a village near Bath. The National Trust’s Lacock Abbey where scenes from Harry Potter films were shot, was en fete for the Diamond Jubilee and I had time for a quick look round the fascinating Fox Talbot Photography Museum.
After all this sightseeing it was back to the Blunsdon House Hotel, which offers many ways to unwind and recuperate. There’s the Health & Leisure Club with swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a 9-hole par 3 Golf Course, tennis courts, beautifully laid out gardens and 2 restaurants serving delicious meals to suit every budget. Children will have fun at the Cotswold Water Park with its beach, water sports and climbing area, or the Cotswold Wild Life Park and Longleat Safari Park.
The next day I said goodbye to the friendly staff at the hotel and went off to Cirencester, with its, Roman amphitheatre and the impressive town centre Church and the world-famous Corinium Museum. A quick coffee in the festival town of Cheltenham and then I was off up the M5 heading north, relaxed and inspired by a fascinating break in a lovely part of the UK.
Zoë Dawes – Year of Get Up and Go blogging panel