Bradford on Avon is a historic market town set in the beautiful Bristol Avon Valley, on the south eastern edge of the Cotswolds AONB.

It is often referred to as “The jewel in Wiltshire’s crown”. And even so often described as ‘Little Bath’ because of its striking architecture.

It used to be a wool town and it prospered when Flemish weavers arrived in 1659. Much of the architecture reflects the prosperity of this period.

Splendid stone houses owned by the rich wool manufacturers and many of the modest cottages of the spinners and weavers, survived.

Nowadays, Bradford on Avon has evolved into a vibrant local cultural and shopping centre with small independent shops.


A great 6-mile circular walk will take you through the beautiful Avon Valley countryside and along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

From Bradford’s town bridge, follow the river Avon southwest until you reach the medieval Barton Packhorse Bridge across the Avon.

East of the bridge stands the Tithe Barn, a magnificently preserved building once owned by Shaftesbury Abbey to store food. This example dates from the 14th century.

The walk continues along the Kennet and Avon Canal until you reach Avoncliffe. At this point the river, canal, road and railway all converge.

Stop and have coffee at Cross Guns Inn.

The walk then takes you along the other side of the river towards Turleigh and then back to Bradford on Avon.

You will enter the Tory neighbourhood, the loftiest part of Bradford with bird’s-eye views over town and river.

At the end of Belcombe Road take the first street left (Wine Street) en enter a small close to your right.

Continue uphill and visit the 15th century chapel of St Mary Tory, nestled among the cottages high above the terraces.

Midway of the terrace turn right down an alley with steps, turn left at the bottom into Barton Orchard.

At the Chantry bear right into Church Street until you reach the Saxon Church of St Laurence, Bradford’s most significant building.

Images by Cool Places Britain

Tall and narrow with small windows, it has been suggested that this church dates back to the 8th century. Here the walk ends.

Long distance paths

Bradford on Avon is a Walkers are Welcome Town so there are plenty of walks available.

Do explore the Bradford on Avon Walking Wheel.

This is a waymarked walking network around Bradford on Avon. The Wheel consists of an outer circle of 23 miles, an inner circle of 6 miles, and eight spokes (with lengths between 0.6 and 3 miles).

These spokes connect the two circles which allow several combinations of route length.

The outer circle visits eight villages: Holt, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Farleigh, South Wraxall, Staverton, Westwood, Wingfield and Winsley.

In Bradford on Avon you can also join the Macmillan Way. A long-distance footpath that links Boston in Lincolnshire to Abbotsbury in Dorset.

Cool Places to Explore: Bath Skyline Walk | Lacock | Corsham Court | Frome.

Cool Places to Eat: Cross Guns Inn | Timbrell’s Yard.

Cool Places to Stay: The Methuen Arms | Sign of the Angel.