I arrived as a guest and left as a friend

I arrived as a guest and left as a friend

I’ve often thought it would be ideal to have a network of friends, who live in fabulous houses and I can drop in and stay a night or two whenever it suits.  Someone told me about Wolsey Lodges who claim they have the solution.

Worsley hallI had high expectations when we drew up outside Priory Steps, one of the Wolsey Lodges, in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.  It was originally six 17th century weavers’ cottages and commands stunning panoramic views across the town. I was warmly greeted and treated with tea and homemade cakes by our hosts Carey and Diana.

This light spacious and charming house, at one time owned by The Hon Mrs. Victor Bruce who was the first lady to win the Monte Carlo Rally Coupe des Dames in 1928 and the first Englishwoman to fly around the world.  Items of fascinating memorabilia are displayed around the house.

I had a wonderful relaxing night’s sleep in the spacious room with an extremely comfortable bed. The full English breakfast included Wilshire sausages and bacon of which the county is rightfully proud.

The hospitality was relaxing, laid back, a real home from home.  Our hosts made time to show me their fascinating town, describing the interesting history and made recommendations for visits which made my stay so much more enjoyable.

Bradford on Avon is a Wiltshire gem – a great base to so explore the surrounding area and only 8 miles from Bath.

Carey explained: ‘We have thoroughly enjoyed welcoming Wolsey Lodge guests to stay in our home for more than 25 years. We particularly enjoy entertaining house parties where a single group books all the rooms – hospitality with all the catering laid on and none of the washing up.”

Priory Steps2For over 30 years, Wolsey Lodges in the UK and France has been one of the best-kept secrets of the travelling cognoscenti. The inspiration for the name came from King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, who famously toured the realm, expecting to receive generous hospitality at suitable country houses on his travels.

Accommodation varies from grand country houses furnished with antiques to more modest homes. They offer many personal touches, and some hosts will also provide a delicious evening meal. Wolsey Lodge Gift Vouchers are also available.

I’m looking forward to making more friends when I visit other Wolsey Lodges this year.

For more information and special offers visit www.wolseylodges.com, or you can telephone:01473 822 058