Bradford on Avon, not upon


A while back I was reading about Bradford on Avon, some kind of forum I think, where a writer called the town Bradford-upon-Avon. Well you wouldn’t believe the indignation of some of the commenters!

Apparently it is a great insult to the town to call it Bradford-upon-Avon, although it is ok to call the town BoA. It’s a bit quirky like that. Luckily I found this out before we arrived at our 3 week house sitting stint because the last thing I ever want to do is get on the wrong side of the locals!

For this house sit we had the pleasure of caring for 3 gorgeous girls. Rosie and Tilly the very loving Spaniels and the serene Burmese, Tiggy.

This little video will give you an introduction and you’ll see why we fell for these  sweethearts.

Both dogs are lovely spaniels.

Dear Rosie is 15, deaf and blind and she doesn’t care. She barks really loudly, at nothing, and she’s just the funniest thing to watch. Rosie’s favourite place to sleep was on or in our luggage. Or on any of Dave’s clothes. Such a delight.

Tilly is middle-aged, with lots of energy and a big appetite. Every time we walked to the kitchen she assumed we would be feeding her. She was mostly disappointed about that. Tilly’s favourite thing to do was to steal an item of my clothing, like socks or a slipper, and just lay with it tucked under her chin. A gentle soul.

Tilly has real sibling rivalry issues and every time either Tiggy or Rosie came near us Tilly would shove herself in the way. So at night watching the TV, I would have Tilly on my lap and Tiggy squeezing her way in. I loved it.

I really wanted to take Tiggy home.

Dave had to counsel me not to kidnap Tiggy as her family was sure to miss her.


Bradford on Avon is a great little town, about 8 miles and a lifetime away from Bath. Located at the lower end of The Cotswolds, the area is surrounded by lovely old villages and ancient sites within easy driving distance.

When we first confirmed this house sit with the owners, Steve & Debbie, we didn’t give much thought to the topography of the place so it was a real surprise to find that the town is dwarfed by ridiculously steep streets. Our home was at the top of said steep streets, with the most magnificent sweeping views across the region from the end of our lane.

Always best living on top of a hill.

It was a thrill for us to find that our 3 week sit would be in such a beautiful place. Each day we’d venture out with the dogs, through mazes of narrow streets or along terraces with views for miles

Terraces snuggle around the northern side of the town overlooking amazing vistas.

This former mill now operates as a B&B. We could see the building from a distance but it took us a lot of walking and searching to finally find it.


The Masonic Hall, 1550.

Rosie didn’t seem impressed about that, she was just thrilled to be out with us.


The Priory Barn, 1470.

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See these stairs? This is just one of the several sets between our home and the town. We did this sometimes 3 times a day.


Lots of fascinating doors.

Just happened upon this gate while walking the dogs through a back lane: “smile you’re beautiful”. I smiled.


The Town Bridge spanning the River Avon is likely to have been built in the 14th century. The bridge was widened and renovated in the 1700s.

There’s even a Saxon church in the town. Historians date construction to be around 10th or 11th Century. The church is often used for weddings & christenings.

It was an incredible feeling to sit in a space where so many have been before.

The room was cool and quiet, the stone walls smooth and clean.

The church is very popular for weddings and christenings.

There was so much more to our time at Bradford on Avon and we took advantage of every opportunity to explore further afield.

We decided to hire a car as we were quite a distance from supermarkets and cafes. We wanted to head out into the countryside and it wasn’t possible using public transport to reach some of those out-of-the-way places.

We found castle ruins, ancient stone circles, cathedrals, canals & locks, quaint villages, ate delicious food and drank yet more average coffee.

I’ll come back soon with more stories and pics of our wonderful BoA experiences.

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