10 REASONS TO 'STAYCATION' AT BOWOOD THIS SUMMER

When you stay at Bowood, you’re not just staying in our hotel. You are staying in the heart of our stunning estate.

From the moment you enter the grounds through the spectacular Golden Gates, continuing along the tree-lined driveway to the heart of the resort, you are transported into the world of an English country estate. Glimpse sweeping parkland through the trees as you arrive, ready to relax and enjoy your Bowood staycation.

Around you lie 2,000 acres of private Wiltshire countryside— yours for the duration of your stay.

Long walks around the estate, cocktails on the terrace…this is a place where decision making is no more complex than what to order from the menu, or which direction to wander through the grounds. Bowood is the perfect place to visit on a summer staycation with acres of space, plenty of fresh air and time to relax. Here are 10 reasons to take one this summer…

Cocktails On The Terrace

Long summer evenings and cocktails are a good mix. Which one to start?

Quench your palate with our signature Bowood Garden (a refreshing swirl of Hendrick’s Gin, Pomegranate and Elderflower Cordial, Cloudy Apple Juice, and a Dash of Soda), or opt for a classic Daiquiri.

On a warm day, we like to drink in the rays while taking our afternoon coffee in an Espresso Martini. Few things get you into the holiday spirit like sipping cocktails overlooking the stunning parkland, as the sun makes its long arc overhead.

Picnics In The Grounds

On a fine summer’s day, let us pack you up a picnic. Simple, delicious bites. Delicate rounds of sandwiches, golden scotch eggs, asparagus spears, and strawberry tart. At other times some local cheese, a dish of fat green olives, and a still-warm loaf.

Chance upon a delightful spot with just the right amount of shade and sunlight, perhaps by the cooling water of the lake, or under the woodland’s dappled light.

Spread out your blanket, open a bottle of lemonade or chilled wine and enjoy an afternoon doing very little. Reading books, soaking up the air, eating, and stretching out under a deep blue sky.

A Spot of Golf

Whether you pride yourself on having a hefty handicap or not, Golf makes for a diverting day out.

Golf enthusiasts are in their element at Bowood. We are the PGA Official Golf Course and Academy for the South West. Beginners can hone their skills on our 3-hole Academy course, or perhaps take a golf lesson from one of our PGA Pros. Even top players will be challenged on our 18-hole course, designed by the great Dave Thomas, it was named as number one in Wiltshire by Top 100 Golf Courses.

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Luxury Stays Down To A Tea

Stay with us for Two Nights of Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and you will receive a complimentary Afternoon Tea on the day you arrive.

The indulgent, relaxing, and uniquely British ritual signals the start of your holiday. We serve Afternoon Tea in the Shelburne Restaurant, our intimate Library or on the spacious terrace. Fresh tea and homemade delicacies are the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ to tide you over until the evening.

Luxury Two Night Escape:

  •  Two Nights’ Luxury Accommodation
  •  Cooked to Order Breakfast (each morning)
  • Three-course Dinner (each evening)
  •  Complimentary Afternoon Tea on day of arrival
  •  Access to acres of open spaces and fresh air
  • Complimentary Access to Bowood House & Gardens (incl. Terrace Gardens & Grounds – please note, not all facilities are currently available)

From £180 per person

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Celebrations In The Great Outdoors

A lot can happen in fourteen weeks. If you have something to celebrate which you’d like to do justice to – no matter how big or small – the resort is an ideal place to celebrate.

The resort is at your disposal and our expert team is on hand. We love playing a part in making birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, graduations, honeymoons, babymoons, and any milestone a truly memorable experience.

Get in touch with us to see what personal touches we can provide to make your stay as celebratory as can be.
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Intimate Outdoor Weddings

Say ‘I do’ at Bowood.

When we are able to host small weddings at Bowood, which might be as soon as July, our extensive grounds will be available as your venue. Our stunning wedding pavilion overlooking the parkland is the perfect place to say ‘I do’.

Spacious and secluded, the Bowood Estate is a dreamy location for a romantic summer wedding.

Photograph © Creative Studio

A Taste Of La Dolce Vita

We may be in the heart of England but you can still travel to sun-drenched Tuscany in Bowood House & Gardens nineteenth century Italianate garden. The south-facing Terrace Gardens were commissioned by the 3rd Marquess to remind him of his time in Italy.

Stone balustrades soak up the sun, and are topped with urns spilling over with flowers. Fountains of trickling water are surrounded by colourful formal beds edged with neat box hedging. Allium, geranium and rose flowers fill the garden with silken colours and sweetness.

The topiary yews grow up into the sun, evoking the cypress trees that dot the Italian countryside. Having passed through the yew arches you are then met with a spectacular view across the ‘Capability’ Brown designed lake to the temple in the distance.

All hotel guests receive complimentary access to Bowood House & Gardens.

Experience 'Capability' Brown's Best Work

The grounds at Bowood House & Gardens (less than one mile from the resort) were redesigned by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown at the height of his career. They are now regarded as one of his best preserved works.

Brown helped to revolutionise landscape design in the eighteenth century. He believed a gardener’s role was to accentuate, rather than supplant, nature. He wanted his gardens to emulate ‘all the elegance and all the comforts that mankind wants in the Country’.

It’s certainly a grand claim. But he was so successful that you’d be forgiven for believing many of his designs are natural, including our lake. His plan for the park at Bowood survives, and is one of the clearest examples of his ‘serpentine’ garden design.

The ‘serpentine style’ uses free-flowing lines to unite the landscape and the house together. Sweeping lawns lead right up to the house, then outwards until they merge with grazed parkland. A fringe of woodland encircles the estate, and clumps of distinctive trees break up the parkland.

Brown loved organic curves of woodland and water in his landscapes and this is evident in one of our favourite views. Looking out from the terraces in front of the house, the sweep of our mile-long lake meets a tree line, and gives the illusion that the water goes on forever.

Walk In The Arboretum

The Arboretum’s mature woodland was planted by ‘Capability’ Brown in 1762. He planted his trees knowing that his generation would not see them the full impact of his design. In 1765 Lady Shelburne noted in her diary, ‘Mr Browne’s plantations are very young but promising’.

Today the Arboretum at the House & Gardens is at its best, with a majestic canopy of stately, well established trees. Look out for the largest cedar in Europe, a cedar of Lebanon. The strikingly shaped evergreen was particularly favoured by Brown. The Arboretum is home to 11 ‘Champion trees’, so called because they are the largest or tallest of their kind in Britain.

While the forest is a living emblem of our history, it is also growing. Our gardeners continue to plant saplings and encourage biodiversity and there are over 700 species and counting.

If you enjoy the meditative effects of visiting spas, why not go forest bathing in the Arboretum? This self-led wellness practise involves spending time in a forest and breathing in the chemicals (phytoncides) which are naturally emitted by trees. This has been shown to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels and strengthen the immune system.

Take To The Trails

Walkers and runners can enjoy the scenery not just within the picturesque estate but also its surrounding countryside.

We are near the gently beautiful Cotswolds AONB, plus a visit to local villages like Castle Combe and Lacock would not be amiss for anyone with a penchant for picturesque cottages. In the other direction, we are next to the North Wessex AONB which has plenty of footpaths and is teaming with historic sights.

We recommend walking to the distinctive Cherhill White Horse which has flanked the hills since 1780. It was once one of thirteen white horse hewn into the chalk of the Wiltshire hills. Now only eight remain and the Cherhill horse is a cherished part of our local landscape.
You can extend your walk to Avebury Stone circle. Avebury Stone Circle dwarfs Stonehenge. The stones were first put in place over 4,500 years ago and today form the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world.

Even closer to our resort, the Calne-Bowood estate circular walk is a lovely way to explore the area without any need to get in the car.

Our friendly spa team at Bowood Spa are helping followers with self-care rituals to bring that much needed spa treatment to their own homes. Here’s a DIY facial that requires minimal ingredients…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lemon
  • 3 whole strawberries
  • 1 banana

METHOD

  1. Hull the strawberries and dice.
  2. Mash the diced strawberries in a small bowl with the banana.
  3. Add the juice of one lemon.
  4. Using your fingers, gently apply the mask mixture to clean skin in soft circular motions, avoiding the eyes.
  5. Now for the best part… relax! Leave on for 15-20 minutes (or until the mask starts to feel dry), pass the time by reading a book, taking a bath or whatever you choose.
  6. Rinse off the mask with cool water, and voilà!

THE RESULTS

  • Brighten up a tired complexion
  • The vitamin C in the strawberries lightens dark spots
  • The lemon exfoliates
  • The banana conditions

GIFT A SPA TREAT

Missing your Bowood Spa fix? Why not treat yourself to a much-needed spa day to be redeemed when we re-open our doors. What’s more our gift vouchers are now valid for 18 months so you have longer to enjoy your gift!

TREAT YOURSELF

Taking care of yourself during Lockdown

The coronavirus outbreak in the UK and the Government’s lockdown response has shocked our normal existence. For those who are young and fit, in good health and with no underlying conditions, the stress and anxiety of the situation has no doubt affected us at times. Headaches, sleeplessness and feeling tense are just some of the symptoms we might experience.

The good news is there’s lots of advice out there and we’ve put together a programme of Six Stay at Home Wellness Tips that we hope goes some way to help:

With the help of our friends, we’ve also developed a free Bowood Little Book of Wellness for you to download. We hope you enjoy it and that it helps make your at-home time that little bit easier.

DOWNLOAD LITTLE BOOK OF WELLNESS

 

 

1. Be sure you take your daily exercise

The Government has advised that we can take one daily form of exercise each day while ensuring we are social distanced from others (at least 2m apart). A daily walk or run gets the blood pumping around the body, releasing those feel good endorphins and gets us out into the fresh air. Exercise is also one of the activities listed to help people relax if feeling anxious at this time on the NHS’ useful advice page.

For those of you that are usually more active, there’s plenty of free online yoga and fitness exercises available at this time. Joe Wicks’ daily 9am workout for children on Youtube is probably the most well-known at present and many adults join in too. There are many more online exercise classes available. In fact, Bowood’s own PT Trainers are posting workouts on their Instagram accounts – follow: @martyndrake_pt  @chrisalchin_pt  @ptryanbodman

2. Turn off the news

A bad news story spreads much quicker than good news, which is why our newspapers and online news sites are full of bad news. If you consume all coronavirus news, the majority will be bad news stories. Give yourself a break and turn it off. You’ll be thankful for it.

If you do like to know what’s going on or the latest Government advice, set yourself a time limit or a restriction on the number of articles you read. And only do it if you are feeling strong enough. Make sure you seek out the good news stories such as Captain Tom’s incredible NHS fundraising. There’s also a global good news site you can visit too https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

3. Complete a mindful activity

Mindful activities are those that keep you in the moment, switch off your thinking and help you relax while at home. This can be by becoming more aware of your thoughts at a given moment or by connecting more with your physical self.

For some people this might even be doing the washing up but for others baking bread, playing an instrument or colouring in a picture are all deemed mindful activities (see our Little Book of Wellness at the end of the blog).

There are lots of simple online bread recipes to try out, while many people have become more adventurous and started making sourdough. The kneading and proving of the bread can become a meditative activity. While the achievement of the finished loaf also provides a feel-good factor, and something nice to eat – if you can locate some flour in the first place!

There are also mindful apps available online that can help you relax too. Again some are linked to in the NHS advice page or for more on mindfulness click here.

4. Breathe

When resting, an adult breathes about 17,280 to 23,040 times a day or 12 to 16 breaths per minute. If we exercise we take more breaths and being stressed out can also mean the rate rises.

Most of the time we take short, shallow breaths using only the very top part of our lungs, into our shoulders and chest. Whereas deeper breaths into our stomachs and diaphragm aren’t usually regular, unless we focus more on how we are breathing.

Breathing exercises can help us relax by slowing down our heart rate and sometimes as a result, our thinking. A big part of yoga is deeper breathing so if you want to exercise and focus on your breathing this is a great activity. If you’d prefer to sit in quieter mediation there’s many online breathing apps or web advice pages available.

5. Get a good night’s sleep

Sleeplessness often goes hand in hand with anxiety and for some, disrupted sleep has a big knock-on effect on day-to-day living. Good sleep has numerous benefits but one that we will all be thankful for at present is it boosts your immune system. It also boosts mental wellbeing.

To improve your chances of getting the six to nine hours of daily recommended sleep for an adult, there’s lots of things you can do to including: taking a relaxing bath before bedtime, establishing a regular routine going to bed at the same time each night, no screen-time in the hour before bed, or reading a book prior to going to sleep to quieten the mind.

A good night’s sleep also increases your sex drive, which could be another way of getting a good night’s sleep as exercise also helps!

6. Eat a healthy and balanced diet

We all know by now that we need to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables but eating well and regularly ensures balanced energy levels. Too much sugar in our diet gives us energy peaks and troughs, affecting our mood and how we feel – high or low.

The correct balance of food groups, vitamins and minerals, also boosts our immune system while lowering the risk of illness and more serious disease.

We now have the time at home to enjoy the activity of cooking good food while taking care of ourselves, so try out new vegetarian recipes or vegetables you’ve never tried before. You might be pleasantly surprised and do yourself some good in the meantime.

Finally, while a glass of red wine might go well with a meal, don’t be tempted to drink too much alcohol at this time. Ensuring you drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or fluids doesn’t include booze. Everything in moderation will help keep your at-home health and wellbeing programme on track.

To assist we’ve developed our free Bowood Little Book of Wellness for you to download. We hope you enjoy it and that it helps make your at-home time that little bit easier.

DOWNLOAD LITTLE BOOK OF WELLNESS

Stay well from the whole team at Bowood x

Host Your Special Occasion at Bowood

Although it might seem straightforward, deciding where to host a special occasion is a head scratcher.

No matter where you live there are lots of options. It’s easy to book somewhere you know, perhaps your favourite local restaurant or pub. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s good to change things up sometimes. Especially if you’re feeling a little bored with the usual.

Then, the question arises. How do I make it special, truly special? Perhaps you want more than simply a meal out. What you want is to properly mark the occasion, and make it one to remember. This is exactly what visiting Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort is all about.

1. Occasions of All Shapes & Sizes

One of the main things we pride ourselves on at Bowood is being able host events and occasions of all types—whether intimate or grand, and everything in between.

It could be you’re planning an anniversary with your partner, and need some well earned “us” time, or you have a family birthday partay, party, coming up. These intimate special occasions are perfect at Bowood. You’ll find a magnificent rural setting, and stylish, accommodating spaces to hold your private event.

Or, you may not be planning a small event at all. Has the office Christmas party fallen on your shoulders? Are you searching for a conference space? Gala dinner? Or even space to hold a religious ceremony?

At Bowood we can accommodate groups of up to 200 people. If in doubt, try us. Whatever the size and scope of your event, we’ll do our very best to help.

2. Exceptional Service & Dining

What you’ll experience at Bowood, no matter the size of your event or special occasion, is friendly, professional service and delicious food made with heart, and fresh sustainable ingredients.

For our passionate culinary team at Bowood, being in Wiltshire is a pleasure. Right on their doorstep is some of the finest produce our country has to offer.

For us, the quality and origin of our ingredients is everything. We’re committed where we can to supporting local businesses and making sure what we source is consistent and excellent. Whilst it’s possible to make a delicious meal from inexpensive ingredients, it’s not possible to make one from poor ingredients. Also, it doesn’t matter if we’re cooking for the two of you or a full entourage, we’ll ensure your experience is exceptional.

3. You Can Fully Relax

Unlike a restaurant or a pub, at Bowood you can improve your special occasion by melting your tension and drifting away at our award-winning spa. We have a varied range of signature treatments, from hot stone and bamboo massages to full wellness rituals and organic skincare.

Especially if you’re coming as a couple, or a group of friends, you could extend your visit to a peaceful spa weekend and leave us feeling rejuvenated.

Check out our spa breaks and find one that fits.

4. PGA Golf Course

Golf is (in our opinion) the ultimate sport. It’s leisurely, polite, versatile, complex, and lots of fun. On a sunny day, nothing beats a round of golf. Furthermore, it’s a game for all ages and abilities; a rare example of an inclusive sport.

At Bowood we have one of the best 18-hole golf courses in the country. We’re not just saying that either. It’s the PGA official golf course for the South West.

A golf break is an ideal business weekend away, sprinkled with fine food, fine drink, and picturesque Wiltshire countryside. Great for team building, great for health, great for the mind.

5. Bowood House & Gardens

Whilst our Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort is separate from our house and gardens, there’s no reason you can’t combine the two. If you’re hosting a family event here, you could stroll around our diverse gardens before an evening meal. We have an arboretum with over 700 species of trees, private walled and terrace gardens, beautiful herbaceous borders, woodland gardens, and acres of Capability Brown parkland to explore.

Bowood House is also a wonder to experience, with many impressive stately rooms, fine art, and exquisite antiques. Here, you’ll be immersed in significant history—including Joseph Priestley’s discovery of oxygen in 1774.

The Bowood Estate is an idyllic backdrop for events and special occasions. Just think of the photos and how fantastic they’ll look. Celebrating is more celebratory at Bowood.

Extra Reason: Beautiful Wiltshire

We’re based in quintessential English countryside between the Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs—two of our country’s most cherished AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The countryside near us is a lovely, soul-stirring setting for a birthday break, anniversary, mini moon, Valentine’s escape, or spontaneous romantic gesture.

With only modest travelling you’re amongst rolling downland or beneath the shade of a willow on a verdant Cotswolds riverbank. You can be on a hillside, awestruck by giant chalk figures, carved from the white earth, or deep in ancient, wild woodland. We’re very lucky to be where we are, surrounded by iconic scenery—that has inspired art and literature for centuries.

We’re sure it will inspire you too.

For a closer look at events, special occasions, and celebrations at Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort—please click here.

Thanks for reading.

What's On at Bowood: The New Plans Edit

With the shenanigans of Christmas and the New Year’s celebrations behind us, many of us will look towards health and wellness this winter, and of course, any exciting plans we’ve made for the year ahead.

Here at Bowood, we have events happening throughout the whole of winter to keep our spirits up, even if it’s a little bit dull and gloomy outside.

Whether 2020 is your year for marriage, fitness or perhaps you’ve pledged to yourself that you’ll take more time out this year for relaxing, you’ll find an exciting opportunity awaiting at Bowood.

Steam, Sauna then Swim

Soothe tired bodies and take some time out from the rush of daily life in our spa at Bowood. It’s only been a week or two of January and, no doubt, we’re already feeling an increase in tension behind our neck and building up of knots in our muscles (and that’s, in addition, to all the socialising with family and in-laws at Christmas).

Our spa days at Bowood offer you the chance to utterly relax. Enjoy our premium facilities including the infinity pool, jacuzzi, crystal steam room, rock sauna and Techno Gym, and perhaps gift yourself a pamper treatment too.

Swimming for just 30 minutes once a week is a method of reducing stress and enjoying some “you-time”. At Bowood, along with our steam and sauna facilities, you’ll no doubt want to spend much longer in our pool and health suite.

Relaxing in the spa can help you feel good. It could help reduce your blood pressure and is a great way to get moving.

If a weekend break at Bowood including time to kick back in the spa is one that tempts you, then you’ll be pleased to learn that our membership offers all of this at a discounted price.

'Veganuary'

All eateries no matter how big or how small seem to be jumping on board with the new awareness month, known as ‘Veganuary’.

With 2019 being a massive year in relation to the growth in popularity of plant-based diets, it is no surprise that this annual celebration is being adopted by so many in 2020.

Should you be making your way to Bowood this January, Vegan or not, you can have the option to chow down on our most elaborate and creative vegan menu to date in The Shelburne Restaurant.

VIEW OUR VEGANUARY MENU

Bowood Quiz Night

Do you know your history? If so, our next Quiz Night in The Clubhouse Brasserie could be calling for you.

The theme for our next Bowood Quiz Night is 20th Century Events. Think WW1, the first man on the moon, women getting the right to vote to name a few…

Get your tickets here.

Burns Night at Bowood

We may well be in Wiltshire, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t join in the Scottish Burns Night celebrations.

Warm the cockles with a night of whisky, haggis and January jolliness…

Bowood will brighten the depths of winter this January with a traditional Scottish Burns Night menu in The Shelburne Restaurant.

Expect delicious Scottish traditional food and a choice of Scottish whiskies.

No diet forecast this January? Foodies this way...

Ok, so if even if you are laying off the calories this January, why not reward yourself by wrapping up the diet a day early with an end of month feasting for only £49 in The Shelburne Restaurant?

That’s right, our Two Dine for £49 is returning with a brand new menu.

This is most certainly going to fill up quickly so make sure you booking well in advance.

Valentine’s Day

We all know the day is coming. And if you want to treat that special someone in your life, then we have just the thing in our Shelburne Restaurant on 14th February 2019.

Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner, cooked by our talented Head Chef, Ed Fortune and expect a glass of fizz on your arrival.

It must be love.

Winter Golf Coaching

Get ahead of the game, ready for summer, with some winter golf coaching Bowood PGA Golf Academy.

Whether you are a complete beginner or are wanting to hone your skills, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and teaching from our PGA Golf Pro’s. And if you’re a Bowood Golf Member you’ll get a discount on your lessons too.

Should you not fancy coaching, then use the quieter winter season to get out on the course for less with 18-holes Monday to Friday from only £35 per person with 50 range balls included and 10% off in the Bowood Golf Pro Shop.

Personal Training

Have you pledged to get fit for the new year? Or do you feel a bit out of your depth at your local gym?

Bowood is a welcoming place for new gym-goers, as well as those with more experience. Our personal trainers will consider your current fitness and work on your strengths and weaknesses.

The mission? To get you in better shape for 2020.

Sign up for a run

If you are already fairly fit and want to take your fitness to the next level then why not sign up to Bowood’s 10km fun run?

It’s a perfect run if you’re thinking of taking on a half marathon or marathon in the future, the Bowood House 10km is in its 32nd year.

Luxury Wedding Open Evening

On a slightly different note, engaged couples may choose to make a booking for our Wedding Open Evening in February.

Come and visit the hotel and see if we have what you are looking for to create your perfect wedding.

RSVP & MORE INFO

Bowood House and Garden Season Ticket Holder

With beautiful gardens and an adventure playground for children, it is well worth considering purchasing an early bird season ticket for Bowood House and Gardens.

Early-bird sale ends on 31st January 2020.

Become a Bowood Golf Member

If you want to enjoy the best winter yet, then become a member of Bowood this January. You can enjoy all these fabulous activities and more, all at a discounted price.

 

Get in Touch

Interested in any of the above goings-on? If so, drop us an email and we’d love to count you in.

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Detox at Bowood this New Year

Make some time to rejuvenate after a busy and indulgent festive period ready for the spring…

FIND OUT MORE

What does the phrase ‘New Year New Me’ have in common with Michael Bublé, tinsel… cloves?

What does the phrase ‘New Year New Me’ have in common with Michael Bublé, tinsel… cloves?

For 91.7% of our lives, the phrase is dormant. Out of sight, out of mind (in the dusty attic of the brain). But, just like clockwork, when mid-December comes around you can be sure it’ll be back.

In With The New: Why We Love NYE

We grow out of Santa and the Tooth Fairy, but if we grow out of New Year then, as of December 2019, we haven’t. Like a cringeworthy but ultimately loveable Christmas film, it wins us round every year. The reason we are so receptive to it is simple.

 

Human cultures find the possibility of re-invention compelling. We always have. The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, 4,000 years ago. Wind forward two millennia and the Romans made January the western calendar’s reset button. Roman new year celebrations honoured Janus, their god of beginnings and endings. We honour beginnings and endings to this day. They frame our lives. They divide up the profound dimensions of time and space into neat sections. Today, tomorrow, next year. It gives us control in a mysterious and often unknowable universe.

Few people make religious resolutions these days. Even fewer know who Janus is (now you’re one of them). But the first day of the year and the decade (1/1/2020 of course being both) are new beginnings to us now as much as they were to the Romans.

At the dawn of a new decade, maybe we should ask ourselves if traditional resolutions are worth the sacrifices we make for them? Think of the classics: you buy a gym membership, or vow to diet, or give up something you enjoy. Resolutions usually involve strict sacrifice and obedience. It’s small wonder we tire of them so quickly; we need wriggle room and more positive reinforcement. Forget compulsive exercise and carb vetoes. Maybe the answer lies in finding sports and healthy foods we actually enjoy, and slowly building them into our routine?

Well, What About Wellness?

So far so good, but the meteoric rise of wellness trend has changed our New Year New Me mentality. Wellness, the pursuit of optimum wellbeing in our emotional and physical lives, has changed when we seek re-invention. It needn’t be once a year. It cannot be undone by a false move. Wellness suggests that we can improve ourselves in any moment of any day. It’s as easy as breathing deeply with a calm app, and as quick as a five minute sauna session to sweat the small stuff away.

Self-Care, Not Self-Denial

Crucially, wellness is about feeling good, rather than looking good. You know the fizz-fuelled optimism of midnight on December 31st ? Wellness rides the same wave, but it doesn’t come crashing down on Jan 1st , or even Blue Monday. Wellness won’t tell you you’ve failed, or serve you a mocktail of guilt.

The best thing about focusing on wellness in 2020 over a set of narrow resolutions is that it tends to last. Traditional NY resolutions tend to be about purging ourselves after our festive indulgences. They smack of guilt and dissatisfaction. But wellness is part of a wider commitment to living a good life.

For Life, Not Just For Christmas

Maybe it’s the lack of regiment that makes it sustainable in the long-term? We might like to shake things up every now and then, but that’s the exception to the rule. We are creatures of habit. Harsh measures like giving up sugar or signing up for a 6am boot camp might last a few weeks. Making time for simple pleasures and noticing how they benefit your health can last a lifetime.

Escape the city to wander in dense greenery, spotting wildlife and breathing fresh air. Curl up before a roaring fire and read a good book. Take a reflexology class or have a massage and reconnect with your body’s signals. These behaviours are naturally rewarding, so you are far more likely to fall into the habit of repeating them.

 

Detox Spa Break

Now we’ve shown you a vision for 2020, where do you start? How about with a detox spa break? Allow the luxurious surroundings of Bowood Hotel and Spa to gently ease you into your good intentions. Cleanse and rejuvenate yourself after a hectic Christmas. At Bowood your time is your own- so spend it well: spend it on wellness. Choose crisp walks, deer-watching in the woodlands of our beautiful estate, tuck into delicious locally sourced seasonal fare, and of course make yourself at home in our health spa.

 

What’s included? 

 

  • One Nights’ Luxury Accommodation
  • Three-Course Dinner in The Shelburne Restaurant (vegan & vegetarian menus available)
  • Full Wiltshire or Continental Style Breakfast
  • Fresh Fruit Plate on Arrival
  • Light Lunch & Detoxifying Fruit Smoothie
  • 30-Minute Spa Treatment (per person)
  • Full Use of our Spa Facilities (including gym, Infinity Swimming Pool, Rock Sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and aromatherapy showers)

Prices for our Detox Spa Break start from £150 per person, per night.

Available to book between 2nd January – 31st March

BOOK HERE

Team Building in Wiltshire

Thanks in part to TV series like The Office, team building has a bit of a bad rep. Or at least, we think of it as clichéd and pointless. That’s because sometimes it can be.

Building teams where members are close takes time. It isn’t achieved by trust falling into a colleague’s arms or blindfolded physical guidance exercises that involve personal space invasion. No one likes that.

Nor are they built by pseudo-philosophical visualisations around buzz words like integrity, dynamism, cooperation, and so on. They are not built by imagining each other as wild animals in a hierarchical system either—with a lion at the top. Exquisitely awkward.

The Problem With Team Building

The issue with team building, especially corporate is what it chooses to focus on. Too many corporate team building consultants and bosses assume team building is either forcing closeness or shoehorning in lessons around leadership. The former can do more harm than good, and the latter isn’t team building at all. It’s a veiled reinforcing of corporate culture.

In order to achieve the wholesome results desired, where your team becomes emotionally stronger and closer you must remove the work element. Even if something takes place away from the workplace, that doesn’t mean it’s not saturated by it.

Just think, how do we make friends? We don’t play contrived games and extract painstaking reductions about our “personality types”. That’s too mechanical. We make friends by connecting, human to human. Shared interests, humour, empathy, kindness, overcoming adversity together.

This can take place at work but transcends it.

The Best Type of Team Building

As you’ve gathered it’s wise to avoid the corporate stuff. It’s banal at best and doesn’t make people feel appreciated. However, once you start thinking of team building as a social it becomes easier. Suddenly there’s a wealth of options.

A social? That’s not team building. Oh, but it is. The office Christmas party is a better “team building” exercise than the dreaded customer care role play. Why?

Because it’s relaxed and facilitated by tipple. No agenda, no prescribed socialisation. People can connect in their own way. You don’t have to call it team building, but team building can be as simple as a meal out or as complex as a survival skills weekend. Of course, not every company has lots of money to spend—so it’s worth remembering it’s the thought that counts. If you’ve tried and your team enjoys themselves, that’s what matters. There should be no pressure to “professionally develop”.

Why Is Team Building So Important?

Now you’re thinking about it as socialisation its importance should be clear. At work none of us are 100% ourselves. That’s not to say we’re in an environment where we shouldn’t be ourselves—some workplaces are very relaxed. This is perfect, although, we’re still there to do a job so we’re in work mode. This isn’t as conducive a situation to make friends as outside of work.

To truly flourish, and evolve into more than professional relationships, friendships must be given time to solidify away from work—without spreadsheets, meetings, deadlines, and conference calls.

A team in which the members genuinely care for one another is a remarkable thing and has an irreplaceable worth for a business.  This happens when people get to know each other in a deeper sense, not possible when there’s work to be done. When people do bond properly, this changes the dynamic of a business.

Being friends with colleagues has profound benefits, which naturally influence how well people can do their jobs. You can’t teach this.

Surprising Benefits of Co-worker Friends

If your team develops close friendships, by default you’ll see many things improving in your business. For starters productivity will increase. If people are work acquaintances, rather than friends, they have to navigate small talk and find it difficult to move forwards with projects and activities. Once people are friends, the surface conversation dries up and interactions become meaningful.

People’s comfortableness with one another will translate into heightened productivity because less energy is expended on formalities.

If your employees are friends, they will experience greater job satisfaction. Few of us are satisfied enough with our jobs that we’d reject work friends. We’ve all experienced jobs we’d have quit sooner if it wasn’t for the fantastic people we worked with. That’s a standard in life.

True friends are also able to instinctually deal with setbacks, by naturally supporting one another. You don’t have to say, “band together”, because they already have. All in all, encouraging authentic friendships to blossom by offering thoughtful team building days and trips away massively improves your team’s effectiveness.

When pitted against a team where people are new to one another or haven’t been able to gel, a team of friends significantly outperforms on collaborative tasks. This is because they communicate fluidly and consistently give each other feedback. A solid team of friends can take on anything and anyone.

Team Building Breaks at Bowood

At Bowood, we know the value of authentic team-building experiences. Therefore, we don’t just offer space for corporate events, but also exciting social activities too.

Team building at Bowood—

  • Packages for over 200 people
  • Spacious conference areas
  • PGA golf course (with tuition available)
  • Executive spa treatments
  • Crystal maze/ Krypton factor challenges
  • Segway driving
  • Clay pigeon shooting

Your team building break at Bowood could be the perfect mix between thrilling fun and good old-fashioned relaxation. Your team will be able to let their hair down and have a fantastic time. Afterwards, existing friendships will be stronger and new friendships will have formed.

BOOK A TEAM BUILDING EXPERIENCE

Autumn Events at Bowood

As the Great British Summer draws in our attention is slowly drawing to autumn. Are you ready for bright crisp mornings and colourful falling leaves? Wiltshire is a great place to visit in the autumn, get cosy and enjoy a break with us.

And here at Bowood, we’re more energised than ever. We have so many events coming up, we couldn’t be more excited.

We look forward to welcoming families, couples, groups, and individuals to our luxury hotel.

If you are going to be our guest this month, then you’ll be pleased to discover what we have in store.

We have a variety of autumn events for different people- of all ages and interests. Our events include Halloween ball and enchanted autumn where Children can follow our scarecrow trial or do biscuit decorating and much more. Here is our line-up of exciting events this autumn.

BOWOOD’S ENCHANTED AUTUMN

Join us at Bowood House & Gardens this Autumn and discover the spooky goings on. Discover the spooky comings and goings between October 23rd and November 1st 2019.

An evil witch has caused mischief and mayhem, putting Bowood under a spell that is haunting the whole Estate! Help us reverse the spell and bid farewell to the Bowood ghosts and ghouls.

  • Follow the scarecrow trail through Bowood’s Arboretum, (the trail is approx a mile and a half) each child will receive a worksheet at Admissions which will have a series of challenges and autumnal activities that will lead them to discover the missing word to break the witches spell. Please be aware the trail is muddy in parts, there are no toilets on route, it is flat terrain mostly grass.
  • Biscuit Decorating – This will take place in the Treehouse cafe on Saturday 26th October, each biscuit will cost £1.00 to include the biscuit and decorations.

PRIVATE WALLED GARDEN TOUR

£35.00 – Last Couple Dates Remaining

The private walled garden is a spectacular place to visit. It is open to groups and individuals to book an exclusive tour. These tours run until early October.

Choose from the following tour options:

  • A guided tour with tea and coffee on arrival and a two-course lunch served in the Stables Restaurant. Arrival 11:00am. Cost £35.00 per person.
  • A guided tour followed by cream tea, served in the Stables Restaurant. Arrival 14:00pm. Cost £28.50 per person.

HALLOWEEN BALL

Things are getting a little eerie here on the Bowood Estate this Halloween

November 1st, 7:00 pm – 11:59 pm 

Bowood is becoming bewitchingly overcome as we play host to one of Wiltshire’s most exclusive Halloween parties sponsored by Anning’s Gin.

Guests and their acquaintances will arrive from 7:00pm donning their most terrifyingly fabulous fancy dress before a bloodcurdling buffet banquet being served from 8:00pm. Our Demon DJ will then be playing us through the evening with a few unexpected surprises along the way.

Tickets – £25 – £28

LADIES’ LUNCH WITH CAROLYN ROBERTS

Enjoy a delicious two course lunch in the company of Carolyn Roberts, survivor of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand. Over 150 Britons lost their lives in the tsunami that ravaged the coasts of the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2004.

Carolyn and her husband were amongst the 10,000 British nationals directly affected when the tsunami hit. Join us from 12:30pm, for lunch at 1:00pm, when Carolyn will reveal her ever-fresh memories of that incomprehensible day.

BIG BOWOOD QUIZ EVENING

Join us this November for our next Bowood Quiz Night in The Brasserie…

Put your knowledge of the below topics to the test at our ‘celebration’ themed Bowood Quiz Evening. Drinks and food will be available to purchase from The Brasserie Bar.

Some of the topics to be covered in this months quiz will include:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes
  • Christmas & Festivities
  • New Year’s Eve
  • …as well as a picture round!

Price: £5 per person (maximum of five people per team)

TWO DINE FOR £49

Join us on Saturday 23rd November for an evening of contemporary dining in our beautiful Shelburne Restaurant, where ‘Two will Dine for £49’.

Inspired by the season, our Executive Chef has crafted a bespoke three-course menu perfect for a special occasion, a date night or just for a cheeky treat!

SPA CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EVENING

Come along to our festive shopping evening in the Hotel Library. You should expect special offers on Christmas gifts, a pop-up nail bar, mince pies, and of course lots of mulled wine!

This is a very popular evening with limited spaces, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Five Festive Events Near Bowood

If you’re planning a festive getaway at Bowood this winter, you’re probably wondering what there is to see and do during your stay. And you’re in luck!

There are so many things to see in Wiltshire this winter, from festive markets to magical winter wonderlands. Here are 5 of the top festive treats waiting for you over the festive season.

1. Festival of Light at Longleat

Longleat is a fantastic attraction throughout the year. But the most magical time to visit is during the winter when it holds its annual Festival of Light.

This is a real treat for the eyes. During the Festival of Light, Longleat is decorated with hundreds of beautiful lanterns that illuminate the whole area. Go on a journey through the lights and explore myths and legends, magical creatures and incredible structures, all of which are brought to vivid life by light in the darkness. It is not to be missed!

This year, the Festival of Light is running from November 9th 2019 to January 6th 2020, but it only runs on certain dates, so you’ll want to plan your trip and book ahead rather than just turning up.

2. Bath Christmas Market

You’ll find several Christmas markets popping up in the area over the festive season, but the best of the lot is Bath Christmas Market.

Over a few weeks in November and December, dozens of beautiful chalets will arrive in the Georgian streets of Bath, all lit up with festive lights and welcoming you in to take a look at their goods.

You’ll find festive gifts, decorations and artisan products from local designers, along with delicious food including hog roasts, mulled wine and all your festive favourites.

It will be held from November 28th to December 15th, and it is open daily from 10am. The fair closes at 6pm on Sundays, 7pm on Mondays to Wednesdays, and 8pm on Thursdays to Saturdays.

3. Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Another top attraction this festive season is the Enchanted Christmas at the wonderful Westonbirt Arboretum. Again, this is a fantastic attraction throughout the year, but you really don’t want to miss it if you’re in the area over the winter.

The beautiful garden is home to thousands of species of trees from all over the world, and during the Enchanted Christmas, you will be able to explore the woodland trail. This illuminated trail will take you through the enchanted wood where you can admire the beautiful lights illuminating the trees and discover some creatures along the way.

Enjoy some arts and crafts while you’re here, and visit the Christmas market too. And don’t forget to warm up with some mulled wine or hot chocolate.

The Enchanted Christmas will be held from November 29th to December 22nd on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4pm until 9pm.

4. A Victorian Christmas at Mompesson House

The National Trust has some truly spectacular buildings, and Mompesson House is one of the best in the area. This year, visit over the festive season to discover a Victorian Christmas.

It’s a great place to visit at any time of the year, but over the festive period this beautiful townhouse will be decorated for Christmas in Victorian style on the ground floor, taking inspiration from the diaries of Jinny Townsend. Enjoy Christmas trees, festive food displays, gifts and more.

It is open from November 23rd to December 22nd on Thursdays to Sundays from 11am to 3.30pm, and standard admission charges apply.

5. Switching on the Lights in Salisbury

If you’re prepared to go a little bit further, Salisbury is about an hour’s drive away. There is lots going on here over Christmas, but one of the best events will be the switching on of the Christmas lights.

The event will take place on November 21st from 6pm until 8pm, and you will enjoy fireworks, music, entertainment, food on sale and lots of fun and festivity. It’s the best way to get the Christmas season off to a great start.

Also, don’t miss the Christmas Fayre in Salisbury from November 30th until December 24th in Guildhall Square.

Have a Great Time This Christmas

There is lots more to see and do in the surrounding area during your winter trip (here are just a few of the festive things to do in Salisbury).

Finally, you won’t want to miss the nearby Hartley Farm Christmas Market. Located just a short journey from Bowood, this one-off event on November 30th is held from 10am until 4pm and you will find festive music, carols and lots of tasty food including mince pies and mulled wine.

Whatever you do during your visit, we look forward to seeing you over the festive season!

BOOK A BREAK

Stay with us this December…

GET IN TOUCH

Speak to one of our team about your trip…

CHRISTMAS DINING

Explore our menus this Festive Season…

PRE-CHRISTMAS BREAK

Are you planning a pre-Christmas festive adventure? If so, why not rest your head here at Bowood…

FIND OUT MORE

FORTHCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

The Great West Way

The Great West Way is a famous touring route which snakes its way through 125-miles of stunning countryside between London and Bristol.

It is based upon one of the first Great Roads commissioned by the medieval Kings of England, which themselves followed well-established trading routes between the key centres of commerce and power.

Our luxury hotel and spa, located on the breath-taking 2000-acre Bowood Estate, sits on the ancient route, between Marlborough and Chippenham, so provides a perfect base from which to explore large swathes of the Great West Way.

Passing through Berkshire, Wiltshire and Somerset, taking in some of the UK’s most iconic sights and beauty spots, the Great West Way offers a winning combination of history, culture and rural splendor.

Here, we take a look at just some of the highlights of this amazing ancient route between our capital city and Atlantic coastline, starting from London and working our way westwards.

Windsor Castle

One of the Queen’s three official residences, Windsor Castle gives visitors an insight into royal life through the centuries. It is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world with a history stretching back more than 900 years to William the Conqueror. Windsor has now been home to 39 British monarchs. You can marvel at the grandeur of the state apartments, walk up the aisle of St George’s Chapel where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in 2018 and take a tour of the extensive grounds

Henley on Thames

The centre of British rowing, this charming market town straddling the River Thames overlooked by the luscious greenery of the Chiltern Hills, makes a wonderful day out. First mentioned in the 12th century, Henley boasts an extensive range of historic buildings and with a broad range of independent shops and great restaurants and cafés, it is a great place to meander aimlessly. It is famous for its Henley Royal Regatta which sees the best rowers from across the globe compete on the river. You can head to the River and Rowing Museum to find out more about the annual boating event or take a tranquil walk along the river.

Highclere Castle

Best known around the world as setting for Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is actually home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived there since 1679. The current castle was extensively rebuilt during the 18th and 19th centuries and now stands as one of the most impressive examples of Victorian architectural grandeur. Visitors can go behind the scenes of the ‘real Downton Abbey’ with a look at the opulent state rooms and living quarters, learn about the stately home’s links with Tutankhamun or wander the gardens and 1000-acres of stunning parkland which is dotted with follies and woodland.

Avebury

With a Neolithic stone circle dating back almost 6000 years which encircles much of the village, Avebury is part of the same World Heritage Site as Stonehenge. As well as walking among the ancient standing stones which make up the biggest stone circle in the world, you can visit the 16th century manor house with rooms decorated to reflect different periods through which the residents lived – Tudor, Queen Anne, Georgian, Victorian and 20th century. You can also head to the Alexander Keiller Museum to learn more about the archaeology and history of this prehistoric sacred landscape.

Stonehenge

A slight detour south onto the Salisbury Plain is worth it to marvel at one of the most iconic historic monuments in the world, Stonehenge. The giant standing stones dating back five millennia that make up the mysterious and ancient circle at Stonehenge are awe-inspiring when viewed in person. A grand new exhibition and visitor centre presents 250 ancient artefacts and a model of a 5,500 year-old man, representing the builders of Stonehenge. You can also explore the replica Neolithic houses and examine the tools and everyday objects of our ancient ancestors.

The Bowood Estate

This will be easy if you’re staying with us. Right on your doorstep is one of the most beautiful and fascinating estates in the west of England. Bowood House, a fine example of Georgian architecture, sits surrounded by 100-acres of ‘Capability Brown’ landscaped parkland. Still home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, Bowood House offers lots to interest and entertain visitors with lavish interiors rich in art and antiques, extensive formal gardens, rambling parkland and an adventure playground to keep the little ones happy.

Lacock

Step back in time with a visit to the perfectly preserved historic village of Lacock. A popular filming spot which has provided the backdrop to many movies including Harry Potter. Lacock is like an architectural time capsule with no buildings younger than 200 years old while the oldest building dates back to the 13th century. Lacock Abbey sits at the heart of the village in its own grounds and visitors can explore its medieval rooms and cloisters. A nearby museum celebrates the achievements of its most famous resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the fathers of modern photography. Once you’ve done your sightseeing grab a bite to eat in one of the rustic pubs or twee tearooms.

Bath

A bustling city of wonderful Georgian architecture on the banks of the River Avon, with some of the best preserved Roman remains in Britain, all ringed by the green Somerset hills, Bath is a joy for any visitor. Named a World Heritage Site in 1987 in recognition of its vast array of Regency properties including the Royal Crescent and the Circus, the city is perhaps best known for the Roman-built thermal baths after which it is named. It is also a favourite with Jane Austen fans as the setting for three of the author’s books. With museums, galleries, tours, shops and restaurants a plenty, Bath really does have something for everyone.

Bristol

Bristol is a city of many parts, steeped in history but a hotbed of diverse contemporary culture and creativity, from its street art and great music scene to its many culinary delights. There is a huge amount to see and do: explore the city’s heritage at sights like the incredible SS Great Britain or M Shed, meander the golden streets of Clifton to admire Brunel’s suspension bridge across the Avon gorge, head to Bedminster to admire some of the world’s most incredible street art, grab a coffee or drink in achingly trendy Stokes Croft or take a walk around the harbourside. Bristol rivals many far bigger cities for fun and excitement.

There are of course countless other wonderful places to visit along the Great West Way – this is just a taster to help you start planning. Once you start investigating the many wonders of the route west from London, you will find yourself spoilt for choice.