During our stay in Bradford-on-Avon we visited the small village of Avoncliff. We stopped there on our return train journey after a day out to the city of Bath. not every train on that particular line stops at the tiny railway station, so it is necessary to look at the timetable beforehand.
The village is the location of the 100ft long Avoncliff Aquaduct, which was built in 1797 and carries the Kennet & Avon Canal. The weir in the Avon orginally provided the power for the woollen mills, which used to be on both sides of the river. The whole area has been designated an Area ofOutstanding Natural Beauty and it certainly is a charming spot.
We had a meal inside the cosy Cross Guns pub as it was not warm enough to sit at the large outside dining area with its beautiful panoramic views. The menu consitsted of traditional freshly cooked food and we were served by friendly staff. The pub was chosen by Himself because it was listed in the Good Beer Guide. It is also Grade II listed and the building dates back to the 16th century. Some parts date back to the 1490’s. It was originally called the Carpenter’s Arms and was frequented by boatmen. Apparently, the bargees used to place bets on each other to climb up the inglenook chimney when the fire was lit! In later days the pub changed its name to The Cross Guns after the Battalion of the Wiltshire Rifle Volunteers that had been formed nearby. During the Second World War the Crown jewels were stored in the neighbouring Royal Enfield factory. Also, legend has it, that the Ladies toilet is haunted by the Blue Lady, but I never saw any ghosts when I went to wash my hands!
If we ever go back to that part of west Wiltshire, Avoncliff is definitely a place I would like to revisit.