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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > West Country > Wiltshire > Bradford on Avon
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Bradford on Avon is a small country town in England

Bradford-on-Avon Bridge


Built in the same fine oolite limestone as Bath, the town was already a settlement in the Iron Age, and people have been living there ever since. The foundations of a large Roman villa - the centre of an estate many miles across - were recently found in the grounds of the town's secondary school, and it has one of England's few surviving Saxon churches and a magnificent medieval Tithe Barn, crowned with one of the largest stone roofs in the country. But the handsome buildings which climb up the hills from the 'broad ford' (and, since Norman times, the bridge) across the river are mostly Georgian, the legacy of a few hundred years of prosperity as a centre of a textile industry making fine woollen cloth from Cotswold sheep. Towards the end of the Georgian period the industry and its money moved north to Yorkshire and Lancashire, and building largely stopped for around 100 years. The old textile mills were taken over in the 20th century by the rubber industry, making goods like tyres (and the small-wheeled Moulton bicycles, briefly famous in the 1960s and 70s as town runabouts), but that too eventually moved away. Today Bradford is largely a residential town.

Get in

The Bradford on Avon rail station is located on the Wessex Main Line between Avoncliff and Trowbridge, and is serviced by both First Great Western and South West Trains.

There are parking lots near the train station, near St. Margaret's Hall, and near the library. Some are 2 hours free parking, others are pay and display. Use an online directions site to get car directions.

Bus routes can be found using online service Traveline, but fares are not listed.

Get around

Everything in Bradford on Avon is within walking distance of the centre, although some walks, such as up to Tory are for the more active only.


Bradford-on-Avon is a very 'pretty' town and has lots of old buildings and lots of history, it is good for sight seeing and a peaceful day out. Bradford-on-Avon is also close to the city of Bath, which is also known for its sights.


Take advantage of the canal walks and soak up the atmosphere.

For scenic views take an energetic walk to Tory. The church here is the perfect spot for getting scenic shots across the town.


Bradford on Avon, has many small independent shops. There is a small concentration of shops around "The Shambles" located between Silver and Market Street. Bradford has two banks located side by side. These are HSBC and Lloyds Bank. It also has a Stroud and Swindon building society. For a self catered visit, there is a Sainsbury's supermarket on the edge of town.


Mr Salvats, The Dandy Lion, The Bunch of Grapes, The Fat Fowl, Rialto, Thai Barn, Maharaja Tandoori, Beijing Paradise, Riverside Inn, Lock Inn, Out to lunch, Canal Tavern, Station Place fish and chips, The Castle, The Dog and Fox, The Three Horseshoes, The Plough, China Town, Feng Swei, The Gorge, The Swan Hotel.


Bradford on Avon is well served for public houses.


There are lots of pleasant bed and breakfast's including a five star bed and breakfast next to and old Saxon church. The 15 century Swan Hotel located steps away from the Saxon bridge not only offers a high standard of accommodation with 12 en suite rooms but also has a restaurant and thriving pub

Go next

  • Short train ride to Bath, the roman spa town.
  • Walk west down the Avon valley. A pleasant walk following the canal towpath for two miles brings you to Freshford, a tiny little village with a very pleasant pub looking out over fields of sheep.

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