***This blog post is a collaboration with Luxury Family Hotels, who kindly gifted us a weekend stay.***
The thing I daydream the most about is travel. I have a bucket list of places longer than my arm that I want to visit both here in the UK and around the world. We like to go on the occasional weekend away with the little ladies to explore somewhere new. And they have got to a (slightly more) manageable age where we can share the same room if we need too without being up all night. The trips we take usually coincide with a family birthday or school holidays and this time it was Poppy’s (the youngest) 3rd birthday.
I consulted Instagram first of course as you do, to see if anyone could recommend anywhere and my travel goddess @malmo_and_moss replied. When Rebecca told me about Woolley Grange Hotel, I almost didn’t believe her. A hotel that comes with lots of facilities for the little ladies from 14 acres of grounds to explore, a playground, animals to feed, swimming, movie nights and for us the ultimate dream of …. childcare! We were sold and had a wonderful stay. Woolley Grange Hotel is set in picturesque Bradford-on-Avon, a place we had not visited before but loved so much we want to go back.
We arrived on Friday tea-time as left straight from the school run. It was dark when we arrived so we didn’t get to appreciate or see the grandness of the beautiful buildings and the grounds until the next day.
We didn’t know what room we had until we arrived and we had been given the large family suite. It was beautifully decorated in a traditional style but with a contemporary twist, I really liked the bedside lamps! It was really spacious and the little ladies had a room to themselves with a TV and they picked some DVD’s from the main house which was great entertainment to keep them in bed a little longer in the mornings.
We had booked family dining that evening which is 6-7:30pm. The weekend offer as part of the package we were trying out included the evening meals and breakfast. The food is fresh and locally sourced and the little ladies were excited to see their names on our table and finding which one was ours. It’s the little touches like this which makes it a different experience to staying a in a regular hotel. After dinner, we let the little ladies play with some toys they have in one of the lounges, then it was movie night at 8pm with popcorn and Despicable Me 2. The husband took the baby to bed as she asked to go and I got to go to the movie night, lucky me! I have seen that film a million times before so I managed to sit a row behind and catch up on some work.
The next day we got to see the manor house in all it’s glory. It’s a magnificent building and quite gothic looking. We had a delicious breakfast in the conservatory. I love the contrast of old and new throughout the interior and the conservatory in particular is a really relaxed and informal space. I really liked the simple design and statement lighting with the contrast of the wooden beams.
After breakfast, we explored the grounds, they have a great outdoor swing and playground. We also spent time exploring the allotment which is called “The Walled Garden,” it was a big hit with the little ladies. The white witches house and Wendy houses were the favourites along with the animals. And I loved the tales along the way and The Potting Shed Shop where you could buy wild flowers and vegetables using the honesty box.
We then went to visit a local National Trust place, we became members last Autumn so try to make the most of this whenever we are away or fancy a day trip. We went for a lovely walk to Prior Park, there are beautiful views of Bath and a very sweet open cafe in the woods with delicious tea cakes and scones.
We headed back to the hotel for 3pm as 4hrs of childcare is included in the weekend stay which you can use across a number of 2hr slots on both days. The childcare is at the hotel in the Woolley Bear’s Den, it’s a beautiful room with a very stylish interior, I adore the cladded ceiling and giant lanterns. We were super nervous about leaving them as we have never used a holiday childcare club before but our anxieties were put to ease as soon as we arrived and met the staff. And it helped that all 3 of our little ladies could go together, we had no tears from them, just excitement and joy to go!
Once they were in, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves and it was raining so we could have opted to stay in the hotel and have a drink next to the cosy wood burners but we went for a wander around Bradford-on-Avon, the streets are quite steep and cobbled so we knew the little ladies wouldn’t have been as forthcoming with wanting to go or walk around! It’s a beautiful place and not too big so when we got back to the hotel we did get time to sit by the fire and have a drink before picking them up at 5pm. There is also a spa and swimming pool on site and included in a weekend stay and lots of the mid-weeks break is a complimentary spa treatment, so that is also a brilliant option for when the kids are in the children’s club. Our booking was made last-minute so we didn’t get to have a spa treatment but this is something I would definitely book in advance when we visit again.
We took them back to the room and all got ready for dinner which we had booked as a family again. The food was great and there are lots of options to choose from if you have fussy little eaters. They also have an option for children to eat before the adults at their own High Tea at 5pm, then in the evening you can have an adult only candlelit dinner at around 8pm. They have a baby listenting service for this or if you have little ones the same age as mine, they have babysitters, some of which are the staff from the Woolley Bear’s Den.
After dinner, it was movie night again and this time just me and the biggest little lady as her sisters were were shattered from a full day of exploring! It was a film I hadn’t seen before, Paddington. What a brilliant film!
On our final day we had the biggest treat. The little ladies were picked up from our room at 8am, and taken to the Woolley Bear’s Den for breakfast. We had two options, breakfast in bed or go down to the conservatory. We went down to the conservatory, read the papers and had a slow start to a Sunday morning which is unheard of. We then went to pick them up at 9:30am and headed for a quick family swim at the swimming pool on site. The little ladies loved it and it was the perfect way to end our stay at the hotel.
All of the weekend breaks include the breakfast club, just make sure you book in advance. We headed home after checking out via a pit stop in Bradford-on-Avon for a delicious Sunday Roast. The hotel also offers a Sunday roast if you wanted to book lunch there.
This hotel ticked all of the boxes and was such a different experience to hotels we have stayed in before. I would highly recommend for a family break away as all of the extra’s made it such an enjoyable stay. They have an Easter program and package available to book online now, so many fun crafting activities for the kids are included too.
Woolley Grange Hotel is part of the Luxury Family Hotels group which has hotels across the South West of the country as well as Suffolk. We would love to try them all and next up is going to be Fowey Hall of The Ickworth.