Visiting the area
The Bath and Bristol area has so many wondeful attractions that it is difficult to select what to mention so this article just covers some of the more unusual ones.
If you are in the area in August then don't miss the Bristol Balloon fiesta (www.bristolballoonfiesta.com). This annual event includes hundreds of hot air balloons and is truly a magnifient sight.
A must for history buffs or ship enthusiasts is a visit to see Brunel's SS Great Britain (www.ssgreatbritain.org). This unique iron ship has been fully restored and if you are lucky along side will be the Matthew (www.matthew.co.uk)- a reconstruction of John Cabot's famous ship which sailed to Newfoundland 500 years ago.
Nearby is the recently refurbished museum the M shed (www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed). M Shed tells the story of the city and its unique place in the world and the entry is free!
If you are a garden lover then the following unusual gardens are worth visting:
- Holt Farm owned by the Yeo Valley Group (www.theorganicgardens.co.uk). This Organic Garden is one of only a handful of ornamental gardens in Britain to be certified organic by The Soil Association. It’s the work of Sarah Mead and her team who have spent the last 18 years turning six and a half acres of land into a beautiful garden. The best time to visit is during the early summer when the wild flower medow is at its' best.
- Lady Farm (www.ladyfarm.com). This unusual garden near Chelwood is only open on a few public days but is well worth a visit. A private visit can be arranged if you are a group of 10 people or more.
- Bristol Botanical Gardens (www.bristol.ac.uk/botanic-garden) are open most of the year and owned by the University of Bristol
The National Trust owns several houses in the location and Tyntesfield (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield) is a good place to visit, as is Prior Park near Bath
For art enthusiasts, especially those keen on contempory art, a trip to Bruton in Somerset would be interesting. Bruton has several good eating places and is home to Hauser & Wirth Somerset (www.hauserwirthsomerset.com) - a gallery and multi-purpose arts centre which hosts contemporary art exhibitions. A landscaped garden, designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf, includes a 1.5 acre perennial meadow, which sits behind the gallery buildings.