Cranborne Chase

Delightful day trips from Bath – Cranborne Chase AONB

8 August 2019

Bath has all you need for a fabulous weekend away, but for repeat visitors who’ve already seen the sights, a day trip into the countryside could be just the ticket. The city is perfectly located for easy access to some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside and green spaces. 

This time, we’re heading out to Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). You can reach it in around 90 minutes from Bath if travelling by car, and it’s well worth the trip. 

What is Cranborne Chase? 

Cranborne Chase AONB is made up of nearly 400 square miles of countryside spanning multiple counties. It overlaps the borders of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset, offering a choice of diverse landscapes from ancient woodlands to rolling grasslands. There are also pretty villages, chalk river valleys and plenty of natural and manmade attractions to enjoy. 

Where to go in Cranborne Chase AONB – the highlights

The area is far too large, and with far too much to see and do, to be fully enjoyed in a day trip. However, Cranborne Chase does have a number of must-visit highlights, so you can pick and choose how to spend your day outside of Bath. 

Here are just a handful of our highlights for this breathtaking part of the world: 

  • Tisbury. This charming village is one of Cranborne Chase’s most visited, boasting historic architecture and a 12th century parish church where a 4,000-year-old yew tree still flourishes. You’ll enjoy traditional pubs, the fabulous Tithe Barn ancient monument, a bustling high street and a choice of tea rooms.
  • Stourhead House and Gardens. If you’re a fan of Prior Park Landscape Gardens in Bath, you’ll absolutely love Stourhead. This is a world-famous 18th century landscape garden, complete with Palladian mansion, great lake, charming woodlands, chalk downs, Neo-classical temples, bridges and much more. It also features a restaurant, art gallery, farm shop and pub. 
  • Larmer Tree Gardens. These beautiful Victorian gardens (created in 1880) offer wonderful displays of flowers and woodland planting, as well as a collection of ornate buildings. Visitors love the tranquil atmosphere of these extravagant gardens.  
  • Old Wardour Castle. Families love visiting the ruins of this 14th century castle, nestled beside a beautiful lake in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside. While the kids explore the grotto and castle chambers, you can enjoy a picnic on the lawn and soak up some sun. 
  • Win Green. If you love a view, head to the highest point in Cranborne Chase AONB and drink in over 80 miles of gorgeous green landscapes. From Win Green, you can see everything from the Isle of Wight to the Quantock Hills. There’s free parking at the top, or you can take on one of the best Cranborne Chase walks in the area and head there on foot.  

If you’re visiting the area, you absolutely must sample the famous Cranborne Chase Cider. It’s available to buy from the Cranborne Chase Cider farm in Minchington, or you’ll find it stocked in pubs and bars throughout Dorset. 

Making Bath your base for your Cranborne Chase adventure? Book with Bath Holiday Rentals for conveniently central, luxurious self-catering Bath apartments within easy reach of all attractions and transport links.