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.FIND OUT MORE
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.MORE INFO
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.VIEW MENUS
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.VIEW ALL DATES
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.MORE INFO
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.MORE INFO & TICKETS
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.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Sunday 31st March 2019 is the designated day in the UK to show mothers and grandmothers just how important they are with a Mother’s Day treat.
This week, bunches of flowers, boxes of chocolates and bottles of Prosecco will be whipped off the shelves by sons and daughters everywhere.
According to muchneeded.com, £50 million is spent on greetings cards, £260 million is spent on flowers and a whopping £1.4 billion is the estimated amount spent in retail stores. And that is for Mother’s Day in the UK alone.
It seems that we certainly do like to spoil mum.
And it isn’t just mothers, the site also claims that 35% of shoppers are buying gifts for their grandmothers too.
Another fun fact, according to history.com, is that the number of phone calls is higher on Mother’s Day than any other time of year- and phone traffic increases by 37%.
Whether you enjoy a long chat on the phone or send your mum a bunch of flowers, Mother’s Day is, without a doubt, a significant celebration for all generations. It is a day when the whole family often come together to thank the female relatives for all that they do.
We know that Mother’s Day provides us with the opportunity to show mums the appreciation they don’t always receive throughout the year. However, it is also important to ask; what is the meaning behind Mother’s Day and when did it originally start?
Here are five historical insights into Mother’s Day that we’ve researched here at Bowood (and we’re pretty certain you won’t have heard all of them before):
A very basic form of Mother’s Day started thousands of years ago during the time of the ancient Greeks and the Romans.
Historical knowledge has unveiled that people celebrated festivals in honour of the mother goddesses – Rhea and Cybele.
Rhea and Cybele were goddesses and, most importantly, maternal figures. They were often depicted as plump women- representing female fertility, motherhood and generation.
Before the official “Mother’s Day” was recognised, “Mothering Sunday” was often celebrated in the UK and was based upon Christianity.
“Mothering Sunday” generally fell on the fourth Sunday of lent, three weeks before Easter. On this day every year, families would return to their local church and attend a service with relatives and neighbours.
Mother’s Day has definitely become more “American” over the years. Slowly but surely, British people have favoured the custom of giving gifts to their mothers.
Mother’s Day as we know it was born in America.
In the 1800s, it started off as “Mother’s Day Work Clubs”, put together before the Civil War by West Virginia’s Ann Marie Jarvis.
When the civil war started, Jarvis changed these groups to “Mothers’ Friendship Day”—primarily aimed to promote peace between woman across the north south divide.
Jarvis’ good work was continued by Julia Ward Howe in 1870. Howe again called upon mothers to promote World Peace and campaigned for “World Peace Mother’s Day” to take place annually on June 2nd.
And that lady was the daughter of Ann Marie Jarvis- Anna Jarvis.
She began the official Mother’s Day in the US after her mother’s death in 1905. She wanted the day to be a celebration of how much mothers sacrificed for their children.
Jarvis was not married and did not have any children herself. Yet she campaigned for a Mother’s Day celebration for about 9 years.
She started her journey towards making Mother’s Day a public holiday through gaining financial backing from John Wanamaker.
Wanamaker owned a Philadelphia department store and was in a comfortable position.
The first-ever Mother’s Day took place in a Methodist church located in Virginia. This was, of course, attended by Jarvis herself.
On the same day, a celebration for mothers took place in Wanamaker’s department store.
For nine years following the initial Mother’s Day celebration, Jarvis worked hard to raise awareness of the occasion. She even established the “Mother’s Day International Association” to promote her idea and fund her efforts.
After a lot of hard work and campaigning by Jarvis, American President Woodrow Wilson signed a contract stating that Mother’s Day would be the second Sunday in May.
And that is when Mother’s Day was made an official public holiday in 1914.
Since it has been made official, International Mother’s Day is celebrated annually by countries across the globe on the second Sunday in May.
Although there are many different varieties of Mother’s Day that take place globally, on different days, International Mother’s Day can be shared by all countries.
In the UK, we have the choice to celebrate two Mother’s Days. Our main celebration takes place on the third Sunday of lent, three weeks before Easter. And International Mother’s Day takes place in line with America’s public holiday (albeit on a much smaller scale).
If you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day in March, you can indulge in our excellent gourmet Mother’s Day offer at Bowood.
Come and dine in our restaurant with the whole family.
Choose from either of our Sunday lunch options- either À la Carte or a traditional three-course carvery. Or come along for Afternoon Tea.
Dine on succulent beef, seasoned turkey, fresh salmon or vegetarian stew and dumplings if you book a table for lunchtime.
Families coming for afternoon tea will enjoy a sandwiches, scones, pâtisserie items, a glass of Prosecco, tea and coffee.
Whichever option you go for, you can be sure to receive a warm welcome and enjoy an extra-special Mother’s Day at Bowood.
Bowood are extremely pleased to have recently become an elite member of the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association). As a branded property of the association, we are now a PGA Golf Course and PGA Academy.
The hard and accurate work of our dedicated team across all areas of the hotel, not just on the golf course, has led to our affiliation. And that goes hand-in-hand with the loyalty of our members and guests, whose attendance and feedback has all come together to help us achieve such a prestigious status.
Despite our excitement, we understand that not all our hotel guests and members will be familiar with the PGA.
So, to clear up any uncertainties and to share this new-found success with our loyal members and guests, we’re unveiling everything we think you ought to know about the PGA.
So, what does PGA qualified mean? And how do we expect it to enhance Bowood and what we offer?
Here are 10 things you might not know about the PGA:
Being part of the PGA gives Bowood global recognition within professional golf. Our course is now seen to be on the same level as some of the best golf courses across the world.
To put it simply: We’ve become part of world class golfing elite.
We expect that those with a keen interest in golf will want to travel to Bowood to indulge in the superior golfing opportunities we offer. No matter where they live.
The fact that other PGA accredited golf courses are based in Kenya and Spain proves the sheer prestige of this accreditation, and its rarity in the UK.
Of course, we’ve been lucky enough to be making the most of our fantastic course for a number of years. It’s not changing drastically as a result of the affiliation- but it is becoming more recognised.
So when it comes to preferred professional golfing venues, we’re very much on the map.
And we’ve gained status as both.
As we’ve mentioned above, being recognised as a PGA Golf Course makes us one of the top choices for golfing facilities in the UK and worldwide.
Bowood is now regarded as a superior golfing venue, considering the course itself, as well as the hotel’s brasserie, accommodation and spa.
As a PGA Academy, we’ve demonstrated that we can enhance golf skills in our players, through high-level coaching from trained professionals.
Our Pro golfers are PGA professionals with over 50 years’ experience. If you’ve played on our course before and experienced some coaching, you’ll know the skill level of our coaches and also their ability to progress beginner, intermediate and even “expert” players.
The PGA has recognised Bowood’s facilities to cater for golfers of all ages, genders and abilities, which means that we are proven to provide an excellent hub for learning new techniques and enhancing existing skills.
Who knows…perhaps we’ll be the home golf course of the next Tiger Woods? We’ve already developed a number of international level athletes, so training an elite-level sports person is not out of the question.
The bar is set high. And all of our guests, members and visitors to our hotel can benefit from our high-standard of coaching- that is sought-after on an international scale.
Golf enthusiasts will, no doubt, have heard about the legendary golf course The Belfry.
The Belfry is the UK’s PGA National Course. It is well-connected and easily accessible by Birmingham Airport and Birmingham city centre.
The course is famous for its 500-acres of superior Warwickshire countryside, as well as it’s high-quality accommodation and facilities in the hotel.
For Bowood to be part of the PGA and valued on a similar level to The Belfry is an absolute honour and an exciting prospect for our hotel’s future.
Note that The Belfry has a superior partnership status with the PGA, so we’re not quite on the same level as that.
We may not be a partner of the PGA, however, to get to grips with how superior our accreditation really is, it is helpful to know that Bowood is now one of eight (yes that’s right, just eight) PGA golf academies to date.
We are listed as one of the best places to develop golfing skills and learn from the professionals, along with the following locations:
Being classed alongside the magnificent locations above is just another of the reasons why the PGA association is so beneficial for our hotel.
The Ryder Cup is arguably one of the most famous awards in the sport. The PGA has been involved with the Ryder Cup since it began in 1927. And it still plays a part nowadays.
For those that are more familiar with Pro golf, the PGA is a partner in the European Ryder Cup LLP, as well as the European tour.
And if you’ve seen what the Ryder Cup looks like, donated to the sport by Sam Ryder himself, you’ll have noticed the 17-inch figure on the top. That figure is Abe Mitchell. One of the most famous members of the PGA and Sam Ryder’s personal coach.
Not only is the PGA supported by legends in golf like Abe Mitchell, it is also affiliated with massive brands.
Some of these brands are:
Just by looking at the size and calibre of these brands, it is clear to see what a big deal it is being part of the PGA.
We hope to expand and improve our facilities at Bowood, in response to this excellent accreditation.
In order to become a PGA affiliated professional, it takes time and hard work. Our Pros have undergone extensive training to get where they are today.
Many of the PGA Pros are educated to degree level. They are trained with the most recent expertise and skills in the sport, to ensure they provide the best and most relevant standard of golf to date.
A professional qualification with the PGA involves:
And here at Bowood we’ll be hosting the final of the PGA Championship in July 2019.
We couldn’t be more excited.
The Championship invites various golf societies to play on our hotel grounds and the course will provide a testing ground for 144 talented players.
We’re looking forward to watching and receiving feedback on their experience on the course.
Our Head GreenKeeper and his team are already working hard to ensure the course is at optimum condition in preparation for the Championship event.
If you’d like to play on this iconic course as a member, then why not join us as a member here at Bowood?
This means that the credibility of the association is extremely high. If you’re looking to start your golfing career (and by that we mean amateur players too), then by choosing a PGA accredited venue like Bowood, you can be confident you’re learning in the most reliable way.
Golf is not just a sport for men. The campaign #WeLoveGolf is the PGA’s modern campaign to get more women playing golf.
The WPGA is the section of the PGA dedicated to women. Set up by the epic female golfer Vivien Saunders in 1978, she gifted the name WPGA into the safe hands of the PGA in 1998.
So while the association is run overall by men, there is a continued effort to get more women involved in golf.
Women who join the PGA automatically become members of the WPGA.
We welcome female members here at Bowood.
Bowood’s new status with the PGA gives our hotel spa and golf resort global recognition on the professional golfing scene. We want to share the prestige of the PGA with our guests, members and anybody thinking about coming to stay with us.
We’re looking forward to welcoming more local golfers, as well as making continued developments to our world-class golf course.
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 though it may well be quite dull and grey 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 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 technogym (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.
If you have yourself down as a bit of a connoisseur (or perhaps you simply love a glass of vino), then you’ll be pleased to learn that we’re putting on a fantastic Argentinian Wine Dinner for guests and members of the hotel.
The evening will be on 30th January and is taking place in our Shelburne Restaurant. What’s more, we’re lucky enough to have attracted the company of Tim Atkin’s Young Winemaker of the Year in 2016, Matias Riccitelli.
This wine dinner is set to be spectacular.
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 in the Shelburne Restaurant.
Expect delicious Scottish traditional food and a choice of Scottish whiskys.
Reciting Burns’ poetry may happen too.
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.
Take a fresh edit to your beauty regime. Celebrity style.
Eminence Organics beauty products have been put to the test by our Spa Assistant Manager at Bowood, Amesha Llewellyns, and have successfully reduced her acne scars.
There is no better time to really trial beauty products than during the winter when skin becomes drier than ever. The cold water and false indoor heating don’t help.
Members of Bowood can purchase Eminence Organics from us at a discounted price.
Used by celebrities like Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Eva Longoria, Victoria Beckham and Chris Hemsworth, Eminence Organic Skincare is, without doubt, a sought-after product with proven results.
Get ahead of the game, ready for summer, with our Winter Golf Coaching. We’re currently running 18 Holes of Golf with a delicious one-course lunch for £45.
Whether you are a complete beginner or are wanting to hone your skills, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and teaching from our PGA professional golfers.
And if you are a member? You’ll get a discount on your lessons too.
Have you pledged to get fit for the new year?
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 2019.
Make that New Year’s resolution to get fit a success with Six Personal Training Sessions at Bowood for only £150 until the end of March.
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 31st year.
On a slightly different note, engaged couples may choose to make a booking for our Wedding Showcase 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 2019.
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.
Christmas is coming! And with that, so is mulled wine, mince pies, Santa hats, presents, Christmas trees and more.
There are so many traditions associated with Christmas and if we’re not making the most of them, we’re a Baa Humbug.
But as we order our Christmas turkey and put the lights on the tree, it’s interesting to think about some facts of Christmas that we don’t know.
In fact, we’ve collected 12 interesting Christmas facts (12 being the number of the 12 days of Christmas!) for you to indulge in.
The pleasure is ours. ‘Tis the season of giving, after all.
If you want to be the winner of your dinner table trivia, read on for our 12 interesting dinner table trivia facts about the (oh so magical!)…Christmas.
Let’s start with the most iconic Christmas tree in the UK…the Christmas tree of Trafalgar Square.
Most of us have had the honour of seeing this Christmas tree in its full glory in the centre of London and have probably made a special visit to see it in December.
The interesting fact about this significant tree is that it is donated every year by the people of Oslo in Norway to the UK for the country’s support in World War II.
And it is not just any old Norwegian tree…
It is a 50 to 60 year old Norway spruce that is HUGE at over 20 metre tall.
It has been displayed in Trafalgar Square since 1947 and is put up at the beginning of December and taken down on 6th January.
So, yes, we do have our incredible ancestors to thank for this generous gift from Norway. The ultimate Christmas gift of remembrance…
Does your home become tinseltastic at Christmas? Or are you a fan of a subtle smattering on your Christmas tree?
Whatever your answer, it appears that tinsel is a legendary Christmas decoration. And it has been around since 1610!
It was initially made in Nuremberg in Germany of actual shredded silver.
Santa was first used in a promotional advert by Coca-Cola.
And this advert shaped the appearance of the “Santa” we’re familiar with today.
Before Coca-Cola started using Santa in their advertisements in the 1920s and 30s (Most significantly, their advert in 1931). Santa was depicted in a number of ways.
In 2001, Coca Cola animated Santa for their advert too.
The alternative name for a Christmas Tree is a Yule-Tree.
We’re not sure we’re going to be using the alternative version though…
Hallmark cards have to be one of the most well-known Christmas cards and they have, in fact, been around since 1915.
The company was founded only 5 years before by Joyce Hall and is located in Kansas City, Missouri in the US.
Hallmark cards weren’t the first Christmas cards though. The first Christmas card was, in fact, sent in 1843 by John Calcott Horsley for a friend.
When we refer to “Christmas” as “Xmas”, apparently the “X” comes from the Greek meaning of “X” of Christ.
The first Christmas stamp was introduced by the US in 1962. It was green and red and apparently featured a wreath and candles.
This fact is one about Japan and takes us from the interesting… to the downright weird.
Apparently, for Japanese people it is a tradition to spend Christmas Eve at KFC. And this is so popular, they need to book their seats a couple of months in advance.
Over 3 and a half million Japanese people flock to KFC over Christmas to indulge in the brand’s fried chicken.
Wow. And there we were thinking the Victorian Bird was a festive treat.
Want to know the best-selling Christmas song of all time?
Well, here it is.
“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.
Well, it is a few years ahead of Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” after all.
Sales of “White Christmas” have reached over 50 million.
A King was crowned on Christmas Day in 1066!
Said King, being King William I of England.
Now if that fact doesn’t win your Dinner table Trivia, we’ll eat our (Santa) hats…
HOH OHO is the actual postal (zip) code of Santa. And it is based in Canada.
Many children will get a reply too!
In 2012, over 1 million children sent a letter to HOH OHO.
The first Christmas was celebrated in 1539 in America.
And it most certainly wasn’t a white Christmas. In fact, it happened on the sandy beaches of Florida!
It was not full of the festive traditions we’re used to nowadays, it was more of a religious service or gathering.
Most like a Christmas Mass that can be attended nowadays.
No Christmas Trees. No presents.
We’re glad a bit of festive cheer has been thrown into the occasion!
In fact, we love festivities here at Bowood and go the extra-mile when it comes to the most wonderful time of the year!
We are proud of our luxury Christmas breaks, festive dining and Christmas Party Nights.
And, of course, we don’t do things by half!
Whether you are looking for a Pre-Christmas break, a Twixmas getaway or a New Years Eve party, you’ll find the perfect Christmas celebration for you at Bowood.
From relaxing in our infinity pool and Xmas food indulgence, to late-night dancing and Champagne bubbles, we’ve got Christmas cheer for all tastes.
We’re not far from the beginning of the Christmas festivities (we’re guessing you’ve probably been thinking about putting up your Christmas decorations in the next week or two).
And at the moment, all we’re thinking about is indulgence. We want to enjoy the last month of the year. Not waste it.
And how will we enjoy ourselves? We’ll eat mince pies, toast with Prosecco, sip mulled wine, share chats over coffee and christmas cake and, of course, tuck into endless Christmas turkey dinners.
Here at Bowood, we’ve already got the Champagne-on-tap for various Christmas events (don’t worry, not literally!).
In fact, our resolutions for December look a bit like this:
Challenge: Tuck into at least one roast dinner a week leading up to Christmas?
Answer: Child’s play. Bring it on.
And when we’ve got so many social occasions to attend. Why not? Christmas is our favourite time of year! It’s time to dig out our favourite glittery dresses and black tie attire, roll our sleeves up and enjoy our favourite alcoholic beverages.
One too many? Not to worry. It’s Christmas!
It’s true, we can drink all we like, with the peak/pinnacle/top of the chart being New Year’s Eve.
However, as soon as we reach New Year’s Day, reaching for the paracetamol and orange juice, wiping leftover mascara from our eyes and wondering how we made it home last night. That’s when we start to make our (dreaded) New Year’s resolutions.
Not at Bowood Hotel though, we’re thinking about New Year’s resolutions already. We want to actually achieve our goals this year and not write them off after a couple of months attempting them.
So while we’re all up for letting loose over the festive period, let’s put forward some New Year’s resolutions that we’d all like to achieve. And how to really stick to them.
The first error often made when setting New Year’s resolutions is to list them all in your head (without taking pen to paper) and then not exploring how you are going to achieve them.
So, here goes…
Get a pen and notepad, and let’s tackle our demons, one by one…
A New Year’s Resolution bound to fail: I don’t really like the gym, but I am going to sign up and go there to exercise for at least an hour everyday before or after work.
How to make this achievable: Firstly, pinpoint exercise/activities you actually enjoy. If it’s the gym, great! But if not, perhaps it is netball, walking, running, swimming, yoga, etc. Once you’ve decided on the activity you enjoy, aim to participate in the exercise once a week. When you’ve started to become more active, you’re more likely to want to increase the activity you’re doing.
You can’t just suddenly expect yourself to bounce out of bed every morning at 6am to squeeze in your morning workout, when usually in the morning you take 10 minutes over pouring your morning coffee.
If you’d prefer a couple hours walking out in the fresh air over a 45-minute sweaty workout in the gym, then go with your preference. You are much more likely to repeat exercise you enjoy!
And if you are much more energetic at 5pm than 5am, make evening exercise your thing.
A New Year’s resolution bound to fail: I am going to follow a strict diet for the whole of January. No guilty indulgences. I will have juice for breakfast and a dinner with no carbohydrates.
How to make this achievable: Honestly, it is surprising how many people actually make the resolution above. To the initial eye, it seems absurd. No carbohydrates for dinner? That’s not healthy. Juice for breakfast? What about when we’re hungry at 10am?
Losing weight and eating healthily actually go hand-in-hand. In order to achieve a healthier diet and shed a few pounds at the same time, it is best to follow a healthy, balanced diet.
When it comes to it, a few ‘treats’ a month won’t hurt.
To succeed? Decide a date when you would like to lose weight by, for example, ‘my best friend’s wedding’ and follow a healthy, balanced diet until then, monitoring your weight as you go. That way, you’ll see if you need to be tweaking eating habits as you go.
See, you don’t need to get on the fad diet bandwagon and become vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, no carb, paleo etc. to be healthy.
Follow the Eatwell Plate and you’ll, well, um…be eating well.
A New Year’s resolution bound to fail: I have always wanted to learn to play piano. I think I’ll have a go this year.
How to make this achievable: I will enrol in some weekly piano lessons and practice playing the piano in two hours of my free time a week.
A New Year’s resolution bound to fail: I will talk to my family and friends more often.
How to make this achievable: I will make sure I call my parents every Saturday whilst I am cooking dinner. I will phone my friend on the last Sunday of every month to arrange a ‘coffee and a catch-up’ for the following month.
A New Year’s resolution bound to fail: I will consume less units of alcohol each week.
How to make this achievable: I will limit myself to four units of alcohol each week. I will spread these units across a Friday and Saturday night. I will not drink alcohol on a weeknight unless it is a special occasion.
Okay, sounds like some weird sacrificial vows but you get the jist…
Wiltshire is a beautiful county at the edge of the South West Peninsula. Its landscape is contrasting, with woodlands, river valleys and clay vales – but often it’s known for having open chalk hills – known as “downland” – such as Salisbury Plain. Famously, Salisbury Plain is home to one of the most historically important places in the world. That is, of course, the World Heritage Site – Stonehenge.
Wiltshire is a place of significant ancient history, and it’s worth visiting for this alone – but it’s also a modern cultural hub. There’s always lots to do, and Christmas in no exception. To save you some googling here’s a round up what’s on in Wiltshire this Christmas.
The aroma of bread baking is the loveliest in the known universe. Then again, are there aromas in space? There’s no air, so…
Bread is one of those things that defies seasonal shifts and time. This means it’s not, not Christmassy. Kneading dough and baking bread are also warming activities perfect for dark, wintry afternoons.
If you fancy learning the basics why not try this course.
Alongside producing superb quality Aberdeen Angus Beef and fruit and veg, Hartley Farm helps supply its own farm shop – with a butcher, delicatessen and a vast choice of wines and craft beers.
The Hartley Farm Christmas market is a fine way to while away a couple of hours with a glass of mulled wine, some delicious Wiltshire produce and Christmas performances.
“You bought how many artisan cheeses? 26?”
Christmas through the ages, all under one roof.
For this year’s festive season, the National Trust are decorating the rooms in Mompesson House to reflect Christmas in different eras. This brilliant idea will have you walking between a Regency Christmas in the dining room and a 1950s one in the library, as you snack on a mince pie or two.
Apologies, this isn’t festive at all. It’s intriguing, impressive and downright weird though. If you’re interested in crop circles or think you could be – this is your moment.
Are they created by farmers with planks of wood, for a laugh – or as geometric representations of the thought processes of an extra-terrestrial intelligence?
This multi-media exhibition, first created for the Wiltshire Museum is a comprehensive lowdown on crop circle history and latest news.
For more info – please click here.
The Longleat Estate made history, becoming the first place outside of Africa to have a safari park. It’s also the focus of the BBC TV series ‘Animal Park’, hosted by Ben Fogle and Kate Humble – that’s been running for almost 20 years.
Longleat’s ‘Festival of Light’ is 1,000 lanterns in the dark, illuminating parts of a fantastic journey through time and space, spread over 30 acres of parkland.
Intrepid visitors will stumble across brand new creatures, worlds and awesome structures on an epic aeronautical adventure.
For more info – please click here.
This year’s exhibition at Fisherton Mill, is about giving your Christmas shopping a fresh sense of curiosity and wonder.
The exhibition will feature a range of contemporary arts and crafts, designed to be playful, make you think and baffle you – including optical illusions.
“Is the cat inside or outside the toy box and is it actually a box anyway, or a flat wall panel?”.
This is a direct quote from the website, and it sounds hilarious – in a good way.
Why not check out the website.
If you’re ready to climb 322 steps to the top of the tower, with breaks, you’ll be able to look out onto the night-time city scape of Salisbury and the multi-colour illuminated art installations in cathedral close.
Look out for the neon display “I will turn darkness into light”.
A twilight tour of Salisbury Cathedral tower is a lovely way to end a day spent wandering around the Salisbury Christmas market.
For more info – please click here.
Now in its sixth year, the Christmas market is a wonderfully atmospheric addition to the ancient streets of Salisbury. It follows a German lead and has 70 wooden chalets with all sorts of Christmas treats – from handmade furniture to luxury food and drink.
It’s a perfect accompaniment to a festive shopping spree in Salisbury. Plus, everything is unique, desirable, made in Britain and intended to support our home economy.
Christmas at Bowood, in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside is a magical experience. Our boutique hotel, spa and golf resort is nestled within 100 acres of pristine, landscaped gardens – which are beautiful when tinged with winter frosts.
If you catch a chill whilst exploring our grounds, why not settle by a crackling log fire with a glass of something, or enjoy a festive afternoon tea? You could also visit our spa for a revitalising treatment. Golf warms the cockles too.
At Bowood, we love Christmas. That’s why we’ve filled our festive calendar to the rafters. Here’s a handful not to miss –
Up for a festive knees up? We also have party nights throughout December. In advance, we wish you a merry Christmas!
Thanks for reading.