The Old Bell Hotel located in Warminster, lies on the edge of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The town derived its name from the Minster Church of St Denys which was built in Saxon times within a loop of the River Were. There is evidence of earlier settlements in the seven hills that surround the town, three of which are Iron Age hill forts, the most notable being Cley Hill to the west of Warminster. Once part of the Longleat estate, it was entrusted to the National Trust by the sixth Marquess of Bath.
The town boasts many historic attractions including Warminster Maltings, Britain’s oldest working maltings, and Dents glove factory, who has been supplying gloves for royalty since the reign of George III.
The town park with its tranquil lake is the jewel in Warminster’s crown and is being lovingly restored. The park leads to Smallbrook Meadows Nature Reserve which is run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and has a thriving population of water voles.
Less than 4 miles from The Old Bell lies Longleat, offering a great family day out! You can discover various species of animal from around the world including lions, tigers, wolves, koalas, red panda and sea lions.
Explore the Safari Drive-through and be entertained by the infamous Rhesus monkeys as they clamber over cars.
Ride on the Jungle Cruise boat trip where you can spot hippos and observe the mighty gorillas.
Marvel at Longleat House’s architecture, one of the finest examples of Elizabethan architecture in Britain, and wander around the grounds and formal gardens at your leisure.
Kids will love the Adventure Castle, Rockin’ Rhino ride, Maze and the miniature Longleat Railway which will take you around the Park’s scenic woodland.
Warminster Lake Pleasure Grounds, located within the town park offers a lovely space for families with amenities including a cafe, lake with rowing boats and canoes for hire, nature reserve, tree trail, tennis courts, play areas, putting green, skatepark and an exciting new splash pad opening in 2022.
Enjoy a walk around the beautiful lake following the tree trail and feed the ducks (feed available from the cafe). If you’d like to venture a little further continue on through Smallbrook Meadows Nature Reserve.
The beautiful Shearwater Lake is surrounded by woodland on the Longleat Estate and is perfect for sailing, fishing, cycling or walking around.
The lake has a nice walking trail running alongside the 37 acre lake. There are miles of woodland trails surrounding the lake so you can easily extend your walk here
The Shearwater Sailing Club has a well-equipped club house and several sailing boats that may be hired on the lake.
The fishing lake caters for all kinds of anglers with its wide variety of fish. Whatever you want to fish for and with whatever the tactics you wish to use Shearwater is an ideal venue for all anglers who can enjoy a real days sport in a wonderful setting.
The elegant city of Bath is full of traditional heritage, contemporary culture, green spaces and a few surprises.
Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The waters are still a big draw, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in.
Immerse yourself in Bath’s remarkable collection of independent shops, museums, and galleries, and enjoy year-round festivals, theatre, music and sports.
Bath’s stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture is straight from a Jane Austen novel – highlights include the iconic Royal Crescent and the majestic Circus.
Experience this intriguing abbey, country house and village, 800 years in the making, and a birthplace of photography.
Set in rural Wiltshire, Lacock village is famous for its picturesque streets, historic buildings and more recently as a film and television location. Now is your chance to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Elizabeth Bennet and the residents of Cranford.
The Abbey, located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. Experience the atmosphoric medieval rooms and cloister court, giving a sense of the abbey’s monastic past.
In the museum learn about the achievements of fascinating former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography.
Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby.
Today, together with Avebury, Stonehenge forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.
A large iron age hill fort and white horse carved into the hillside. The first Westbury white horse is believed to have been cut to celebrate the victory over the Danes in the Battle of Ethandium in 878AD. Local legend says that King Alfred commissioned the cutting of the horse, but had the designer beheaded soon after completion as the horse was said to be riding out of town and should have been riding into town.
Bratton Camp is a great spot for a picnic, and the perfect place for flying a kite. There is plenty of space for children to play and run around, and there are fantastic views over the surrounding Wiltshire countryside.