Last-minute day trips are often the best kind. There’s no time to dig around every corner of the internet to find out where to go and what to eat, which means leisurely exploring it when you get there rather than virtually via Instagram and Pinterest.
Last weekend, I’d had a hectic week and the only time I’d been outdoors were the journeys to and from work. When I have weeks like that, rather than rest I just have to get outside. So as we got into bed on Friday night, I scrolled through the list of places I wanted to visit in my head and came up with Bradford-on-Avon, a small town just outside Bath.
James and I had passed it on the way to Bristol one time and the warm yellow bricks and rushing River Avon caught my eye. There’s a direct train from Woking that’s under two hours, which you can pick up from London Waterloo or catch a couple of trains from Paddington in about the same time. So we got up early and went on a little journey.
A coffee, croissant and a few chapters of my book later, we’d arrived in Bradford-on-Avon.
I fell in love with its little station straight away. There’s something so beautiful about an old British train station. I wish there were more of them.
But what’s particularly lovely about this station is the Bath stone, russet and peach paint work, arched doorways, the worn wooden bench and that picket-fence style overhang (anyone know the official term??).
We turned left out of the station and made our way towards into town.
Set on the hillside there’s a beautiful view as you cross the old town bridge.
In today’s busy modern world, there’s something pretty special about timeless places like this. Don’t you think?
Rather than rummage round the shops, we decided to climb the crooked paths up to the top.
There wasn’t much of a view to be found up there due to the fact it was trying to snow, but I did find one of our bright red telephone boxes to bring a bit more colour into our day.
And as we wandered back down a little hint of spring here and there.
As with any beautiful town, we debated which house we liked best.
I would have taken any of the ones down here.
But I loved the wonky old windows and could imagine being curled up on a comfy sofa by the fire (particularly as it was about -1 degrees then!)
We had a hearty pub lunch at Dandy Lion and carried on exploring.
You can’t miss The Shambles, once a marketplace it’s now home to a few little shops to nosey in. But I loved the old signs the most. And enjoyed spotting them elsewhere too.
We made our way along the river.
Before turning back in search of somewhere warm.
Is there anywhere better to keep warm on a cold day than in a tea room? The Bridge Tea Rooms had a very tempting offering offering of treats (they also serve savouries too) and was torn between the Victoria sponge and the cream tea. But as soon as I saw the trays of warm scones being delivered to tables, my choice was made.
YUM. One of my favourite things to eat in the world.
Several cups of tea later, it was time to get the train back home.
We only spent five or so hours in Bradford-on-Avon but it was just enough to see what we wanted to on a very chilly day. I could totally imagine spending a day there in summer with a picnic and long walk along the river.
If you want to see more of Bradford-on-Avon, here’s a little video.
Where was your last day trip?