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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interested in any of the above goings-on? If so, drop us an email and we’d love to count you in.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prices for our Detox Spa Break start from £150 per person, per night.
Available to book between 2nd January – 31st March
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 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.
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”.
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.
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.
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—
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.
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.
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.
£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:
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
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.
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:
Price: £5 per person (maximum of five people per team)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
from £45 – £49
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
If you are a member or guest of Bowood, then you’ll be all too familiar with our efforts to really get to know those who walk through our doors.
It’s true. We share more than just our magnificent location with all who visit. We care about our guests and aim to establish long-standing relationships with all of them.
We keep no secrets.
That said, there are still lots of remarkable things to discover about Bowood that you don’t yet know about.
Here we unveil 10 facts you didn’t know about Bowood that simply add to the charm of the hotel. Read on to find out about them:
Those guests or members who have checked in to one of our hotel bedrooms maybe already be aware that every elements of their room has been handpicked by Lady Lansdowne, an established interior designer.
Many of the patterns on the upholstery and curtains has been taken from textiles and artwork which can be found at Bowood’s Eighteenth Century Country House & Gardens in the otherside of the Estate.
Bowood is a historical and artistic gemstone. There is so much culture and heritage in our hotel, it is hard to see it all in just one visit.
The artwork is definitely a priority sight.
Our in-house curator ensures guests know all there is to discover about Bowood’s original artwork.
A couple of pieces to take a look at are:
a. The Portrait of the 5th Marquess of Lansdowne. It is a three-quarter-length image of Marquess who is seated and wearing black morning dress combined with red Academic robes.The portrait is signed, inscribed and dated ‘H Riviere 1900./ Head copied from unfinished/ portrait head by Frank Holl’ . By Henri Rivière (1864-1951). 1900.
Henry, the 5th Marquess of Lansdowne was intellectual and had an important political career. This is apparent from the painting from his academic attire. Described by Queen Victoria as “very clever and amiable”, the portrait is a reflection of his significant political posts, including Governor-General of Canada which he was appointed for in 1883 and the Secretary of State for War (1895-1900).
b. A series of paintings by James Morrison in The Library from 1990/1991 showing Tullybeagles – the Lansdowne Scottish house.
c. A modern oil copy of Kitty Fisher by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds was (still is) one of the most famous British portrait painters. Kitty Fisher was a famous mistress of famous and wealthy men. She was famous, not for talent, but for simply being a beautiful courtesan.
d. An engraving of Margaret Mercer Elphinstone, by Charles Turner. Margaret was a very close friend of Princess Charlotte and Lord Byron. Her daughter married the 4th Marquess.
e. A bronze bust of the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne by Kevin Gannon, located in the bar.
HRH Duchess of Cornwall cut the ribbon and unveiled a plaque when the hotel was opened 10 years ago. As a member of the Royal Family, wife of Prince Charles, it was a pleasure to welcome The Duchess on our opening day, only a decade ago.
Bowood pride ourselves on being kind to the environment. The hotel’s central heating is powered by a biomass burner. The wood chippings used to power the burner are scrap wood sourced from the Estate Forestry.
It is not surprising with our romantic suites and beautiful setting that many couples choose to start their married life at the hotel. In fact, over 400 couples have got married at Bowood.
The number of wild deer roaming freely around the estate is vast. They can be seen in herds, grazing and relaxing on the Academy golf course from pretty much every window on the south-facing side of the hotel.
Visitors from the London area who spend time at Richmond Park will definitely feel at home around the Deer at our hotel.
Guests often admire these elegant creatures and feel they add to Bowood’s unique ambiance…
Many years ago, the Estate builders used to dig clay from a pit on the left hand side of the second golf hole to make bricks to build cottages on the estate. The woods where the builders dug this clay are now called Brick Kiln. Some of the cottages are now home to some of the hotel team members including our General Manager.
We have a thriving population of brown hares on the golf course.If you ever pay the hotel a visit, why not follow the public footpath and go ‘form-finding’?
In January 1841, Isambard Kingdom Brunel completed the London to Chippenham section of the Great Western Railway. From then on, the Third Marquess of Lansdowne travelled to and from London by train. Before this railway was built, the main entrance to the estate was from the east, through Pillars Lodge.
On completion of the railway, Lord Lansdowne commissioned Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, to build a new lodge on the western perimeter of the park at the point closest to Chippenham station. In the centre of these gates, which you enter through today, are the gold crossed L’s. The name “Golden Gates” was, as a result, an obvious choice.
107,857 people have stayed in a double room at the hotel and 35,952 guests have stayed in a single room. That’s 143,809 guests in total.
If you would like to join the thousands of guests who have stayed in the hotel, then book a room on our website. And we look forward to welcoming you.
Gardens really do come to life in spring. And, during this season, gardens have a rejuvenating effect on all who visit them. When people visit our beautiful gardens at Bowood, we see them becoming more mindful.
After all, there is something magical and even grounding about wandering through a garden during the spring season. It immediately brings you into the present moment. Hear the birds singing, see a range of flowers blooming and feel the wind on your cheeks.
Bowood Gardens offer you a true escape from fast-paced city life.
We have almost every period of English garden design in our glorious grounds. This means that our gardens offer an educational experience, as well as an opportunity to discover new plants and trees.
With the growing season in full swing—our gardeners have been working hard, building on the successes of last year, creating even more picturesque floral displays within the Bowood grounds.
This means that spending time in Bowood Gardens is nothing short of enchanting.
Not only do our gardens offer you the chance to enjoy beautiful sights, the following points of inspiration are perfect for your spring garden.
Discover over 700 species of trees in Bowood’s Arboretum.
Although it was designed back in 1762 by “Capability” Brown, many of the Arboretum’s original features are still present now. And, this season, it is truly flourishing.
There has been much work carried out on the Arboretum over winter to keep it in top condition for spring. While the trees are still planted in order of their country of origin, some of the tree variations, you’ll have never seen before.
Can you spot the old favourite cedar tree? It’s the largest in Europe.
A fascinating visit.
It’s not every day you get to enjoy the pleasant surroundings of a private garden.
The walled garden is closed to walk ins, but open to groups and individuals booking an exclusive tour. There are various tour dates available this year. The first one takes place towards the end of April and will run until early October.
From spring onwards, you can expect the private garden to look magnificent. After last year’s wonderful achievements, our gardeners have been focusing on the senses of sight and smell. So, on first stepping into the garden, you should expect to be hit with a picturesque display of beautiful colours and notice a refreshing fragrance too.
We hope it encourages your own garden creativity.
This year’s tour options include:
Whichever package you go for, the private walled garden will look equally magnificent. We’re sure you’ll have plenty of questions answered on your visit too
The Woodland Gardens open on 19th April this year and close early June. The gardens are already blooming in time for the flowering season. Make the most of them this spring—they’re in excellent form.
Bowood’s “Walk of the Week” will continue this year, with new clearly signposted routes to be explored. On your wander, discover the 30 original hardy hybrids that were planted in 1854. They might be old, but they’re looking spectacular.
Parking will continue to be convenient, making sure the gardens are accessible. We look forward to welcoming you to a hot drink and delicious homemade cake here too.
Victoria sponge is always a favourite.
Keen gardeners will be inspired by our herbaceous border this season. In fact, you don’t have to be an avid gardener to be impressed with this 70ft long and 8ft deep herbaceous border. All the family will enjoy looking at this lovely sight.
This spring, the border is extremely colourful and bound to capture your imagination as you journey around our grounds.
You’ll notice that our gardeners have also been working hard on maintaining the border throughout winter.
Bowood Terrace Gardens continue to bring a taste of Italy to Bowood’s very English gardens.
Although a summer visit would promise blooming roses, a spring visit to the Terrace Gardens this year promises an equally tranquil experience.
They’re particularly fragrant this season and you’ll, no doubt, be able to spot the Terrace Gardens’ cherished ornaments.
Why not take some time out on the upper terrace, look at the views…breathe…and relax?
There is no better time to stay in our luxury hotel than in spring, when evenings are light, and flowers are blooming.
What’s more, our Glorious Garden Get-Away can leave you feeling inspired for the gardening season ahead.
The Bowood Garden get-away includes a stay in our luxury overnight accommodation, breakfast, a three-course meal, and two-course lunch in the Shelbourne Restaurant, a tour of the Private Walled Garden, use of our spa facilities, as well as complimentary access to Bowood House, Terrace Gardens, Arboretum, and Woodland Gardens.
If you are looking for garden inspiration, you’ll find it at Bowood this spring.
With winter well and truly behind us, our attention now turns to spring! A lighter and brighter time of year, spring is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the better weather.
Here at Bowood, our events calendar is more energised than ever. We look forward to welcoming families, couples, groups, and individuals to our luxury hotel as well as Bowood House & Gardens.
If you are going to be our guest this month, then you’ll be pleased to discover what we have in store. We have spring events for various different people- of all ages and interests. Our events include children’s Easter events, a family Sunday lunch, and much more.
Take a look at our line-up of exciting events this spring.
Whether or not your youngster has competed in our Junior Open or is just starting out, our Easter Junior Golf Camps offer another opportunity for young players to be let loose on our world-class PGA golf course.
Well, not quite “let loose”. In fact, the children will be coached by Wiltshire County under-14’s coach, Gregg Hood.
Gregg is a PGA- qualified professional and will be coaching the young players to improve their understanding of the long game. They’ll alos get the opportunity to spend some of the day practicing on our Three-Hole PGA Academy Course.
The camps will be taking place Tuesday 9th April and Wednesday 17th April, 9am-3pm. There will also be a golf camp in May Half Term for those who would like to continue to develop their skills, or who simply can’t make the April camps.
We look forward to seeing what the junior players can do. The aim is to enhance their putting, pitching, and chipping skills—rounding them as players.
Easter wouldn’t be the same without an Easter egg hunt (or two).
The second in our choice of Easter activities for children, Bowood’s Big Easter Egg Trail is taking place from 13th- 22nd April.
The trail is set to be the ultimate Easter egg hunt. Participants will not only be expected to find large (and delicious) Easter eggs, they’ll also be required to crack the code to unlock the Easter basket at the heart of the trail.
The Big Easter Egg Trail follows on from our Easter Bunny Trail (6th-12th April).
Good luck to all the explorers coming to Bowood to crack the all-important code.
We couldn’t deprive our guests of an Easter Sunday Lunch.
On 21st April, we’re offering either a traditional carvery or a la Carte lunch for the whole family. With our Easter egg hunt taking place in the morning too, there couldn’t be a better day to enjoy a delicious midday meal with your loved ones.
The private walled garden is a spectacular place to visit. It is open to groups and individuals to book an exclusive tour. The first tour is taking place on 24th April and tours will run until early October.
Choose from the following tour options:
Don’t have any golfing experience but tempted to give it a go?
Then our Learn Golf in a Day event this spring is the perfect opportunity to kickstart your golfing career.
For just £50 per person, you will receive 4 hours of coaching from one of our PGA professionals.
The day will cover all the golfing essentials and includes refreshments too. There are various dates to book on our website.
Venetia Welby is a writing coach and author of “Mother of Darkness”. And, this spring, she is coming to Bowood to give a creative writing workshop, with first-time writers in mind.
Perhaps there is a novel in you, waiting to come out?
For £98.00 per person, Venetia Welby will be on hand to answer any questions, as well as providing a comprehensive writing tutorial.
The great thing about having the workshop here at Bowood is the fact that our grounds will become a platform for creativity during a writing task included within the course.
How about Spanish tapas and Spanish wine to kick-start your summer? A tasty selection of vintage wine accompanied by tasty tapas in our Sherbourne Restaurant. Hola Summer!
After last year’s success, The Spring Bowood Classic Car & Motorcycle Show will be back on Sunday 5th May 2019.
Expect vintage, classic and modern classic vehicles, laid out on the lawn of Bowood Estate.
RunFestRun is a HUGE run party, welcoming top running talent like Paula Radcliffe and Chrissie Wellington, as well as music stars like Razorlight and Olly Murs.
As well as welcoming first-class guests, RunFestRun visitors will have exclusive access to areas of Bowood Estate usually closed to the public.
The festival will take place 31st May to 2nd June.
And if the events above aren’t enough to put a spring in your step this season, Wiltshire has even more to offer.
Here are just a few more events happening in Wiltshire this spring:
A choice for young creatives out there, Easter Crafts are taking place at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham.
Enjoy, crafts, card-making and an Easter trail around the building.
You may even find a movie or theatre production you’d like to see too.
Set right in the heart of Wiltshire, the Chippenham Folk Festival is Chippenham’s biggest annual event.
The folk festival is now in its 43rd year and visitors can expect to see more than 200 events, all associated with folk song, music, dance, and traditions.
We’re looking forward to welcoming all our guests here at Bowood. If any of the events above have taken your fancy, then please don’t hesitate to contact us to make a booking. Likewise, if you would like some alternative options or would like to find out more, we are happy to help.