Winter has arrived on the Great West Way and we’re looking forward to the fun and festivities of Christmas. Get away from it all and Escape the Everyday over the Christmas period with a winter trip along the Great West Way between Bristol and London.

Here’s what some of our friends from along the route have got planned for the festive season, in their own words…

Have a Royal Christmas at Windsor Castle

Take a festive trip to Windsor Castle as part of your journey along the Great West Way this year. Not only can you admire magnificent, sparkling decorations - including a spectacular 20ft-high Christmas tree on display in the largest room in the Castle - but you can also step back in time to discover what Christmas was like here during the Second World War. Special exhibition The Princesses’ Pantomimes displays costumes worn by the two teenage princesses - Her Majesty the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and Princess Margaret - as part of a series of Christmas pantomimes during the 1940s to raise money for the war effort. Have a royal Christmas at Windsor Castle.

Treat Yourself to a Delicious Drink

How about a tasty passion fruit martini to kick-start the festive season? Or another tipple of your choice? Tucked away through a quiet village road on the edge of Salisbury Plain, the Red Lion Freehouse is a unique country pub with rooms which offers top-notch food, drink and accommodation. Book a winter getaway at the Troutbeck Guesthouse, just a stone's throw away, as part of your Great West Way stay and get Christmas off to the perfect start.

Get Ready for Incredible Christmas Decorations

The Christmas season promises to be the most wonderful time of the year at Blenheim Palace. Over a million lights, lasers and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun through the Palace’s picture-perfect gardens, while inside the palace will be exquisitely transformed and filled with hidden surprises. Christmas at Blenheim Palace kicks off from 19 November.

Book your Christmas Stay Today

This winter, escape to the delights of quintessential England with a stay at Woolley Grange Hotel on the edge of the delightful town of Bradford on Avon. This Jacobean manor is surrounded by 14 acres of English country gardens, and has comfortable country bedrooms, a custom-built spa, swimming pools, onsite creche and more to make your stay simply divine. Expect a dusting of festive magic if you stay during the Christmas period, beginning with their wreath-making workshops at the start of December.

Experience Fun Festive Events in Gloucestershire

Expect lots of winter joy with fabulous festive events springing up across Gloucestershire - within easy reach of the Great West Way - this winter. Take a short detour to explore Gloucestershire’s beautiful landscapes and discover a packed Christmas calendar, including the Festive Street Market at Gloucester Quays, on now until 19 December. 

Step into Christmas at the Old Bell Hotel

Believed to be the oldest hotel in the country, the Old Bell Hotel in the Wiltshire town of Malmesbury is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with delicious Christmas food, cosy lounges lit by roaring fires, and a cheeky cocktail or two.

Admire Winter Wonderlands on the Go

One of the wonderful things about the Great West Way is that you can travel the route however you like; by car, bike, foot, public transport or even boat. If you decide to make the journey by train this Christmas, you can sit back and watch the pretty frost-dappled winter landscapes roll past. Plus, make use of the Great West Way Discoverer pass to make things even easier; hop on any GWR train from London to Bristol and get on and off along the route at off-peak times.

Celebrate a National Trust Christmas

Make Christmas extra special with a festive visit to one of the National Trust properties along the route. Enjoy a wreath-making workshop or explore the Christmas market at Avebury in Wiltshire, follow Percy the Park Keeper's winter garden trail at Dyrham Park near Bath, or admire the festival of Christmas trees at Lacock Abbey. This year, one of Lacock's best-loved traditions returns with a display of Christmas trees decorated by local community groups, charities and schools, displayed in the Cloister.

Ready to plan your winter getaway along the Great West Way? Take a look at the things to see and do and the wonderful places to stay and get ready to Escape the Everyday. 

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