Timbrell's Yard

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom Book from

A dramatic transformation of an old riverside boozer into a stylish boutique hotel, with great food and prices
Despite being a life-long Bristolian, I'd never been to Bradford on Avon before. And when we drove into it, down a steep windy hill, past gorgeous old honey-stone buildings, I was amazed by its beauty. Clusters of 17th-century cottages, cobbled streets and tall weavers' townhouses, with a mellow green river swept by weeping willows. It's a mini Bath (with a ridiculous number of coffee shops).

Yet until last week, there was nowhere special to stay in town; it was more of a day-trip destination. How things will change now that Timbrell's Yard has opened its Farrow & Ball doors. The hotel has the same winning formula as its popular sister properties (the Swan Wedmore and White Hart Somerton); it's stylish, friendly and great value, with great gastro-pub food. The style in the bedrooms, however, is all its own; Nordic in influence, with elegant greys, signature tiling, fishing lamps and bare wood, warmed by fur cushions and witty decorative detail.

Highs

    • Truly relaxing thanks to excellent beds and the tranquil riverside location; ideal for a restorative break
    • Delicious food by Tom Blake (formerly at River Cottage)
    • Friendly staff, who love the area
    • Great value for money, particularly the smaller rooms
    • No need for a car; you're a 2-min walk from the station with regular trains to Bath for day trips (10 mins)

Lows

    • Limited mobile signal (a High for us)
    • Teeny hairdryers
    • The river view from the dining terrace is obstructed by the car park, which seems a shame
    • The town is frequently snarled up with traffic
    • We're yet to view the River Walk Rooms

Best time to go

This would be a great bolthole at any time of year. There's a terrace out front for drinking and dining in warm weather; the dining room is airy with huge glass windows so perfect for spring and autumn months, and there's a wood-burner in the bar for the winter months.

Our top tips

  • We loved the award-winning Bridge Tea Rooms: delicious homemade cake and a perfect brew. Delicate bone china, staff in frilly aprons, and the low ceiling of the 16th-century Blacksmith's cottage makes for an atmospheric pitstop
  • Bring your own hairdryer if you have long or thick hair
  • Great for...

    Cheap & Chic
    Foodie
    Honeymoon
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 17
    • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    Room:

    Rooms

    Rooms are individually and elegantly styled, with calm, Nordic influence: stripped-back wood, crisp white linens and various shades of grey. Furnishings are an eclectic mix of iron-wrought tables, wicker chairs, low-hanging fishing lamps and up-styled dressing tables and desks. Our Large Double had a French basket bed; others have leather chairs, cowhide, perhaps a towel ladder. Fur cushions, witty art and drinks coasters add colour.

    We saw 14 rooms and they were all lovely, even the Small Doubles, which are rather dark but a great price if you just want to lay your head for the night. River-side rooms are pared-back, the Mezzanine Doubles with big picture windows; Standard Doubles at the back are snazzy with sleek white shutters and statement wallpaper but no view.

    Bathrooms are a delight, with signature tiling, big powerful showers and a handful of delicious Bramley toiletries. Large Doubles with Bath have a free-standing tub and towelling robes, too, so are worth the splurge if you like a wallow.

    Since our visit, the hotel has added 3 split-level River Walk Rooms. We're yet to view these spaces, but they'll be located on the ground-floor and have a slightly more colourful style to those we have viewed.

    Features include:

    • Central heating
    • Coffee tea making
    • Cots Available
    • Dvd player
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Ipod dock
    • Radio
    • Satellite tv
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The open kitchen is headed up by Tom Blake, formerly of River Cottage, so bring an appetite. We sat in the cool wooden dining room; in summer you can dine on the terrace. Flavours are huge, and everything we ate was perfectly cooked, from the delicious 'Little Things' (chorizo sausage rolls with fennel slaw; parsnip and smoked cheese croquettes), to a moist stuffed bantam chicken breast with purple sprouting broccoli, and a perfect steak. There are imaginative starters (smoked pig's cheeks; pollack souffle) and delectable salads (honey roasted squash with halloumi). And puddings are amazing - we loved the salted caramel ice cream, and pannacotta with ginger biscuits.

    Breakfast is an indulgent affair: pastries, homemade granola with vanilla-bean yoghurt and poached rhubarb, plus cooked options are available. We went for broke: old-spot sausages, vast field mushrooms with fresh rosemary, and rich homemade beans. Delicious.

    Bradford on Avon has lots of independent eateries for a change of scene.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children meals
    • Coffee tea making
    • Organic produce
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Vegetarian menu
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Wander around Bradford on Avon's cobbled streets, admiring beautiful old houses, the 13th-century main bridge and exploring the independent boutiques. There's a farmers' market every third Thursday
    • Stroll along the river path, past ancient bridges and weeping willows, up to the pretty canal lock. En route stop at the amazing 14th-century Tithe Barn (plus a few artisan shops)
    • You're perfectly placed for a day trip to Bath, just 10 minutes away by train. A world Heritage site, it has stunning Georgian architecture, ancient Roman Baths and a Thermae spa. Great fashion shopping, too
    • Stourhead's stunning National Trust gardens are an easy drive away, as is the pretty market town of Frome

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Boat trips
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse-riding
    • Museums / galleries
    • Shopping / markets
    • Well being

    Kids

    Children of all ages are welcome but note that Small, Medium, Standard and River Walk rooms are not suitable for extra beds or cots. There are no specific facilities for kids, and no rooms can fit a family of 4+. Baby cots are free of charge for 0-2 year olds, there is a cost for extra beds for children up to the age of 12.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The Large Doubles are best for families as they have lots of space, and 2 have a bathtub, which is useful for younger kids. The Mezzanine Doubles have a living area on the lower floor and a bedroom up top, so you could put a child's bed/baby cot on the lower floor

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots and high chairs in the restaurant

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    Kids' meals plus child-sized portions of most main meals on request

    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    9/
    Rooms
    9/
    Food
    9/
    Service
    9/
    Value
    9/
    Overall

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