Tuesday 25 February 2014

A stroll around Bradford on Avon

Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon
It's a rare thing to have a sunny day at the moment.  It's an even rarer thing for that sunny day to be child-free.  Nanny and Granddad whisked Lucas away last Sunday for fun at the beach--they are made of sterner stuff than us as it's still pretty cold out there--so Dave and I decided to take our cameras out for a stroll around somewhere new.  After some fairly aimless driving around the sodden countryside, we ended up at Bradford on Avon, somewhere that neither Dave nor I had been before.

Bradford on Avon
The twiggy branches of this willow were almost pink. Very striking!
The Shambles is one of the oldest parts of Bradford on Avon according to a tourist information sign I spotted.  It was full of higgledy-piggledy buildings, and for once, in a country full of faux-Tudor houses, the Tudor wooden-beamed buildings were truly from Tudor times.

The Shambles, Bradford on Avon

We also spotted the gold post box in The Shambles, in honour of local boy Ed McKeever's kayaking win in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Gold postbox, Bradford on Avon

I love that they've kept the postbox gold; the Royal Mail said during the games that the postboxes would only be gold for a year, but here we are almost two years later and it's still gleaming proudly!

Bradford on Avon seems to be full of lots of independent shops and I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures of their wares while Dave was busy taking more arty shots... It's probably a good thing that we visited on a Sunday or my debit card would have taken a hammering!

Independent shops, Bradford on Avon
I've never taken a picture of shoes in my life, but these were too gorgeous to ignore!
It was such a lovely day...it really felt like Spring was just around the corner.  These flowers seemed to agree!

Spring flowers

We spent a lot of time wandering along the banks of the River Avon.  Since we'd never been to Bradford on Avon before it was hard to gauge what was a normal level for the water, but it certainly looked very swollen with a strong current and the occasional small whirlpool forming as the water poured under the bridge.

The Avon burst its banks in Bradford on Avon on Christmas Eve last year, flooding the centre of the town, so with all the heavy rain we've had since then there were heavy-duty flood defences along the lower parts of the banks.  I noticed that everyone crossing the bridge stopped to take a quick look at the water levels.

Flood defences, Bradford on Avon
Flood defences, Bradford on Avon

The lock-up on the bridge, Bradford on Avon

As we crossed the bridge to go back to the carpark, I wondered what this funny little building on the bridge was, so I looked it up when we got home.  It's a 17th century lock-up where prisoners were held before bring brought before the local Magistrate.  If you squint at the photo, and perhaps use a bit of imagination, the weather vane on top is a golden fish!

It was a lovely little place for an impromptu stroll; I'd love to go back to Bradford on Avon again, on a busier day and nose around all the lovely shops and maybe have lunch in one of the riverside restaurants...

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  1. How pretty is Bradford-on-Avon?? One of those places I've heard of but know precisely nothing about...til now...ish!
    M x

    1. It is really pretty; it reminded me a little of Bath actually.

  2. Bradford on Avon is a mini version of Bath (complete with the same type of people) :-)
    We quite enjoy strolling along the canal - you can walk all the way along to Avoncliff and then back across the fields next to the Avon. At Avoncliff there's also a delicious little tea shop where you can buy an enormous cream-filled victoria sponge and spoil all the good work you just did walking along the canal! :-) xx

    1. I shall bear this in mind for our next visit to Bradford on Avon! The cake sounds epic!


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