How To Spend A Day In Bradford-on-Avon

Victoria Park Bath

Bradford-on-Avon is a beautiful, historic town on the edge of the Cotswolds facing the River Avon. B-o-A is just two miles from Burghope Cottage and with plenty of delightful independent shops, restaurants, cafés and bars, combined with the river, canal and amazing architecture, you’ll sure want to spend a day visiting this characteristic and pretty destination. Read on for a guide on how to make the most of your day in Bradford-on-Avon. 

But first, breakfast.

Kick-start a busy day of exploring with a delicious breakfast or brunch. The Lock Inn is a family run café, home to the famous all-day Boatman’s Breakfast. The café is perfect for all seasons with their newly refurbished sheltered outdoor area, enjoy the view of the active Bradford-on-Avon lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal… Timbrell’s Yard also has a great breakfast menu. If you’re after a snack or groceries, Christine’s Sustainable Supermarket on Silver Street sells bread, croissants, cakes and more.

Walk, cycle or canoe? The Kennet and Avon Canal.

Celebrate the Kennet and Avon Canal with a stroll or bike ride that combines natural beauty and Georgian engineering. Rent a bike from TT Cycles and enjoy the peaceful waterside, pretty picnic spots, and plenty of pub stops en route where you can grab a well-deserved glass of something cold! If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, canoes are available to rent from The Lock Inn all year round (weather permitting). Their Canadian canoes offer a fun, safe and affordable way to explore the canal. Click here to download your free local map of Bradford-on-Avon Wharf.

The history and architecture.

The Shambles

Discover the history and heritage of Bradford-on-Avon by taking a leisurely stroll through the town, starting with The Shambles; once a medieval market place in the centre of the town. This pretty street is full of charm and character, it even features one of the only timber-framed buildings in Bradford-on-Avon, many others date in part to the 15th century. 

The Town Bridge

From The Shambles, walk towards the iconic town bridge; a small section dates back to the 14th century, before it was widened in the 18th century. The small building on one of the cut-waters was originally a chapel but became the town ‘lock-up’ in the 17th century, where prisoners would be held before they went before a magistrate.

The Tithe Barn and Barton Farm

Bradford-on-Avon’s spectacular 14th century Tithe Barn is one of the largest medieval barns in England. It was built to serve Barton Grange, a manor farm which belonged to Shaftesbury Abbey in Dorset, the richest nunnery in medieval England. Around Barton Farm you’ll find more outbuildings converted into shops, cafés, artists workshops, and galleries at The Granary and Tithebarn Workshops. Click here to read more about the history of the Tithe Barn.

To learn more about the history of Bradford-on-Avon visit the Bradford on Avon Museum, or book a 90 minute walking tour with a fully qualified and insured blue badge tourist guide. 


Lunch time!

 There’s a cuisine for everyone in Bradford-on-Avon! Italian, Spanish, Thai… and so much more. Let your taste buds come alive at Pablo’s Bistro with their freshly prepared, traditional Spanish vegetarian and vegan tapas dishes. Enjoy a delicious pub lunch at The Barge Inn, or an Indian at River Spice overlooking the town bridge. For drinks, we recommend The Dandy Lion; a cosy pub in the heart of Bradford-on-Avon. More options available on the Explore BoA website.

Shop ’til you drop.

Bradford on Avon is full of lovely independent shops and businesses. The Cheese Shop not only sells a large selection of fine cheese but also a full range of all your deli favourites! Looking for the perfect gift or souvenir to take home? Wyld Rose Holistics and Stone Paper Scissors, are worth a visit. Mary at Stone Paper Scissors painted the Burghope Cottage bedroom furniture, and it’s gorgeous!

Afternoon tea.

Double winner of the UK Tea Guild’s ‘Top Tea Place’, The Bridge Tea Rooms is one of the UK’s finest spots for afternoon tea. Step back in time as you walk into the Hansel and Gretel-style building. This quirky tea room is full of character and dates back all the way to 1502.

And relax…

If a relaxing and restorative massage or a rejuvenating facial is what you’re after, visit Vitality Relaxation and Day Spa in the heart of Bradford-on-Avon. The family run business offers a range of ‘Express’ treatments too, if you’re rushed for time.

Date night.

Looking for somewhere special for an evening meal? Ravello is a restaurant that is proud of its traditional Italian influences, techniques and its use of fine local produce, it can tempt and delight anyone looking for fantastic fresh food. The Bunch of Grapes is another great option, or enjoy a taste of Thailand at The Thai Barn. If you’d prefer a takeaway, we recommend Pizzeria Amici.