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Hotel Highlights

  • Spa facilities; outdoor heated swimming pool
  • Home-grown organic fruit and veg
  • Fantastic for families

Overview

On the outskirts of Bradford on Avon in the heart of Wiltshire, the Woolley Grange hotel has extended the tradition of luxury from its days as an awe-inspiring 17th-century stately home set on 14 verdant acres of private grounds. Should you want to leave, Bath, Longleat and the mysterious White Horse at Westbury are all within shooting distance. Most guests, though, don't venture further than the glittering pool in the summer, roaring fire in winter and superb traditional British cooking year-round. If you want to bring the little ones, the estate is also refreshingly family-friendly, with an impressive list of activities and facilities.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Woolley Grange with us:

One afternoon tea for two adults and two children

Facilities

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Woolley Grange Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

25.

Check–out

11am. Check-in, 3pm, but you're welcome to arrive early and use the hotel facilities.

Rates

Double rooms from $168.91 (£100), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast. Two-night minimum stay at weekends.

Also

After a full day of gentle outdoor pursuits, babysitters are on hand to let worn-out grown-ups enjoy a peaceful chat by the fire.

At the hotel

Spa with indoor pool, sauna, steam room, two treatment rooms and juice bar; 14 acres of grounds, roaring fires, DVD library, pool table, giant trampoline, crèche, outdoor play area, bikes.

Our favourite rooms

Most rooms are in the main house, and vary considerably in character: Palairet is a large double with beautiful garden views; West Gable is reached by a winding staircase and has a huge bathroom with a freestanding bath overlooking the garden; Chimneys is a cosy but very pretty double at the top of the house. There are more rooms in the outlying Stone Cottage and Coach House: Hayloft is the largest suite, with two bedrooms and a sitting room with two double sofabeds – ideal for family groups. Rooms in the Pavilion building are contemporary in style (Shanghai is nice), but elsewhere it's all about country-romance patchwork quilts, brass bedsteads and rolltop baths.

Poolside

The heated outdoor pool is open from April to September (depending on the weather); the indoor pool all year.

Packing tips

A good novel to hold while you nap on the lawn, by the pool or on a comfy leather sofa. Pack for every kind of weather (wellies are useful) and don't forget your swimsuit.

Also

Have a treatment in the spa, which takes inspiration from the kitchen garden (which it overlooks) and features Comfort Zone bath products.

Children

Children are exceptionally well catered for here, and stay free of charge when sharing their parents' room. The Ofsted-approved Woolley Bear's Den crèche is free for hotel guests and keeps children under eight entertained with toys, books and games.

Read more

Pet‐friendly

Dogs are welcome, and have the run of the grounds. There's a fee of £10 a night for each dog.

Food & Drink

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Woolley Grange Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

Head chef Mark Bradbury focuses on traditional British cooking with farm-fresh produce such as Wiltshire Horn Lamb and organic fruit and veg from the walled kitchen garden. You can also have lighter lunches and dinner in the Orangery.

Hotel Bar

No bar, but you can order a drink to sip on the terrace or in one of the lounges.

Room service

Anything from light snacks to a full dinner menu, available during restuaurant hours; otherwise, sandwiches can be provided.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Comfortable and very relaxed, but you can dress up in the evening if you wish.

Top table

Head for the windows and soak in the idyllic garden views; the terrace is lovely in summer.

Local Guide

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Woolley Grange Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Horse riding, golf and fishing can all be arranged nearby the hotel. The many attractions of Longleat House and Safari Park (+44 (0)1985 844400; www.longleat.co.uk), including mazes, an adventure castle, a butterfly garden and miniature trains, are a 30-minute drive away. The house is open daily all year round, but check days and times in advance if you want to see the safari park: it closes in winter and the opening hours depend on the time of year.

For a slightly more adult afternoon, you only have to travel eight miles to explore Bath's historic Roman waterworks, Abbey and Museum of Costume – and try its restuarants and bars. Stonehenge is a short drive away, too.

Local restaurants

Fat Fowl (+44 (0)1225 863111; www.fatfowl.com) on Silver Street is a casual café by day, jazz-loving restaurant by night. Tapas and modern international dishes (gnocchi with walnut pesto, pigeon breast with honey-glazed figs, and the ilk) are served in the cosy dining room and out on the terrace. Stay on the same street for The Bear Inn (01225 862356), worth visiting for its seafood specials and elegant Gallic menu. Set in a beautiful historic building, The Three Gables (www.thethreegables.com) prides itself on its wine list and Mediterranean food. If you’re craving something a little more exotic, head to Thai Barn (+44 (0)1225 866443; www.thaibarn.co.uk) and sample top-notch Thai offerings. Dress up – both food and staff are glamorous. Gascoyne Place on Sawclose (01225 445854) has a traditional restaurant upstairs, and two bars downstairs. Good pre-theatre and à la carte menus feauring good solid steaks, fish and so on.

Local bars

The recently refurbished King William (+44 (0)1225 428096) occupies a small corner site at 36 Thomas Street in Bath and has real ales and a French-style gastropub menu featuring British produce.

Local cafés

Blackstones Kitchen (01225 338803), opposite the Queen Street restaurant of the same name, is a great deli with fantastic snacks and meals to take away.

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Wonderful Wiltshire

Woolley Grange

Woolley Grange Hotel, Woolley Green, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1TX, United Kingdom

Planes

Bristol airport is the nearest – it's 30 miles from the hotel.

Trains

Regular trains go from London Paddington to Chippenham (a 25-minute drive away) and Bath (a 20-minute drive away). From London Waterloo, you can get to Bradford-on-Avon, five minutes from the hotel.

Automobiles

Leave the M4 at Junction 17 and use the A350 towards Chippenham. You'll then need the A4 and B3109.

Reviews

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Woolley Grange Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Jo Holden , Market maker

The idea of staying in a luxury family hotel with a two-year-old was a novel one. I mean, there aren’t many hotels where you can arrive with an excitable toddler only to be greeted by bats and balls, a trampoline and Peanut, the cocker spaniel. Or maybe there are, it’s just that pre-kids you wouldn’t have a clue where to find them or even entertain the idea of going anywhere near…
Read more

Woolley Grange

Anonymous review by Jo Holden, Market maker

The idea of staying in a luxury family hotel with a two-year-old was a novel one. I mean, there aren’t many hotels where you can arrive with an excitable toddler only to be greeted by bats and balls, a trampoline and Peanut, the cocker spaniel. Or maybe there are, it’s just that pre-kids you wouldn’t have a clue where to find them or even entertain the idea of going anywhere near one. And so it came to pass that we arrived at Woolley Grange, an elegant 17th-century Jacobean manor house in Bradford-on-Avon, complete with 14 acres of grounds and oodles of Cotswold charm. 

Pitching itself as a relaxing haven for adults and a dream destination for kids, walking into the reception area at Woolley was like walking into an old friend’s living room. We found staff to be attentive and eager to engage with our little boy Toby, even though he’d emptied the toy box onto the floor before moving on to take a shot at the drawing room. Had we been anywhere else he would have been quickly scooped up and frogmarched to our room, but here we got the impression that the whole place was open for exploration. The low-beamed ceilings and oak panelling added to the grandeur of this child-friendly hotel, and as we were shown to our room, Toby full of excitement, us a little jaded from the three-hour drive from Brighton, a sense of calm descended over this family.

Chapmans Suite, our home in this small luxury hotel for the next couple of days, was furnished simply with an interesting mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. Discreet touches, such as cut flowers and fresh fruit, added to the homely feel. The beams in the bedroom hinted to the fact that we were staying in a hotel that was in fact once a grand old barn, and the bed was big enough for all of us. Sleeping on it was a dream, which could explain why I kept sneaking off for afternoon naps at every available opportunity. With the slick, plasma screen TV and old-school Roberts radio next to the bed, there’s actually no need to leave your room.

After a cup of tea and some delicious, homemade biscuits it was time to sample the outdoor heated pool. Bathrobes were provided for our comfort, two large and one Toby-sized, which is a lovely idea. At first, I found myself coming up with every possible excuse not to whip it off, brave the icy cold winds, strip down to my bathing costume and take the plunge. But once I spied the elegant swimming pool with steam rising invitingly off the water I was sold. It was each man for himself as we ran for the shallow end and quickly sunk into the gloriously warm water before we noticed how cold it was outside. The teak sun beds arranged round the pool harked back to warmer times, when you’d spend lazy summer days relaxing with an ice-cold glass of rosé and the latest copy of Country Living.

A selection of healthy children’s meals are served at 5pm in the Den, the Ofsted-registered nursery, which means with supper taken care of, all parents have to do is put the children to bed, request the baby-listening service (babysitting can also be arranged) and settle down to a relaxing meal. The hotel restaurant has two separate areas; one kept mainly for the kids, the other for the grown ups, who are treated to crisp white linen, gleaming silverware, and original watercolours on the walls. (Home from home comfort but on a decidedly grander scale – surely the exact point of spending time away in a hotel.) Head chef, Mark Bradbury, uses quality ingredients from local suppliers, while the fruit and vegetables come from the hotel’s very own Victorian walled garden. The menu has been well thought out, resulting in excellently prepared, beautifully presented food. Leisurely after-dinner drinks in the drawing room were replaced with a nightcap in our room, as by this time we were full, happy and ready to retreat to that divine bed.

No stay at Woolley Grange would be complete without several visits to the Den, which is packed full of high-quality toys that sent our junior into sensory overload. If you could wish for the perfect child’s bedroom, it would be this hotel playroom. What other hotel gives you the option of leaving your children for a couple of hours while you nip into Bath for a spot of shopping, safe in the knowledge that they are being looked after by experienced, attentive staff? For older kids, there’s the Hen House, which has table football, a cosy corner full of books and videos and other delights to keep them entertained.

In fact, there’s nothing that the people at this family-friendly luxury hotel haven’t thought of. The pile of newspapers, pot of tea and warm milk for Toby delivered to your door first thing in the morning is the perfect way to start the day. Breakfast in the conservatory is a fun affair as the kids run riot and staff don’t even flinch as cereal and scrambled eggs come at them from all directions. Alongside the oversized white china lie plastic bowls and multicoloured cutlery for the kids. Like I said, they’ve thought of everything.

You can even take Peanut for a walk around the grounds and pretend that this is actually your house, he is actually your cute, mild-mannered dog and this is actually real life – for a few days at least.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Woolley Grange from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on Yes – 2 1/2 year old boy

We loved

Absolutely perfect place to go with young children (mine is 2 1/2) the playroom/creche is out of this world and the nannies were lovely. The outdoor play area and shed shop were great. We had fun splashing around in the pool and the changing facilites were brilliant for a family. We all shared a delicious cream tea. Mummy had a couple of spa treatments and enjoyed service of a babysitter each night (£10 per hour – minimum two hours) so she and Daddy could enjoy a glass and a lovely meal. We found our two-night break to be really relaxing and our little one had the time of his life. Not the most salubrious or smartest hotel but beautiful building and great staff. Lilly the hamster and Monty the puppy were great attractions!

Don’t expect

Our room was a little tired. Given the cost, I would have expected a bit more attention on its general upkeep, decor inside hotel also a little tired.

Rating: 7/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on Yes - aged four and seven.

We loved

The very friendly and welcoming staff who made us feel right at home as soon as we arrived; the great stock of children's books and games available in the Long Room – very easy for the children to slip away from the table and grab a book to read while waiting for supper; the well thought-out children's menu – a good range of 'proper' food, fresh and tasty; the excellent range of outside games and facilities for the kids – especially the beautiful play area in the walled garden (complete with chickens), the huge trampoline and the well-stocked Woolley Bears Den with its lovely staff.

Don’t expect

Everything was perfect for us: a great combination of entertainment for the kids, a very comfortable room, and excellent and interesting food in the restaurant. More bikes to borrow for the whole family would have been good if we had been staying longer.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Taking a pooch away with you on a break is always cause for a little more anxiety. You have to carefully plan where to stay for their K9 needs and even when a hotel is fully aware and happy for your furry hound to stay, it can be as though they want you out of sight and mind for all other guests. With this reticence in mind, we booked our stay at Woolley Grange for my girlfriend’s birthday. We naturally packed for a weekend away as though we were moving house, and transported Alf and his worldly possessions with us. On arrival, as we turned into the drive of Woolley Grange, we were confronted with a charming looking 17th century house, with rolling country hills in the background and beautifully kept grounds. Considering we were late arriving, due to the forever-jammed M25, they were more than happy to keep the kitchens open for a while whilst we checked in and quickly freshened up. We were introduced to the resident four-legged Monty ¬– who was rather excited to be having Alf as a new friend to stay for the weekend – and then enthusiastically shown to our room. This is where Woolley Grange really comes into its own. The staff were incredibly friendly and truly enjoyed having Alf stay. They took us to a wonderful room that had doors that opened out onto the front grounds, allowing Alf to bounce into the garden whenever needed. Although we had a portable crate to put Alf into at night, there was a lovely rug and bowl left for him in the room on arrival. It really was a lovely mix of families with children and couples wanting to chill out for a weekend, all nicely complemented by the ever-friendly staff and absolutely wonderful food coming from the kitchens. For my girlfriend, who is a vegetarian, it was a delight to see vegetarian food that is truly thought out as a main dish, rather than something that needs to be added to a menu with no attention. We had a lovely walk along the canals in Bradford on Avon – which are a mere 15-minute walk from the hotel – and afterwards enjoyed a cream tea in the town for our hard work. With a sadness for leaving, it is with fond memories that I can heartily recommend this hotel for couples with pooches or young families, that still want a charming retreat with attention to detail.

Rating: 9/10 stars