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
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.