Travel: The Good Family Hotel Guide 3. Woolley Grange, Bradford- on-Avon, Wiltshire

Mood

A Jacobean manor house set in 14 acres of lawn, vegetable garden and paddock. The atmosphere is stylish, but lightened with subtle fripperies that banish any sense of stuffiness: comical Victorian iron animals hiding in nooks and crannies, or the Indian rickshaw in the garden. The real achievement of this hotel is to tread the line between keeping families happy in an age when children expect to be both seen and heard, and maintaining an informal sophisticated ambience. The owners have four children of their own.

Accommodation

Comfortable and unfussy. Twenty-three rooms of varying shapes and sizes with prices to match. Fit in as many children as you like. Some pairs of rooms can be turned into interconnecting suites.

In the area

Medieval Bradford-on-Avon has twisting back streets, antique shops and a tiny Saxon church. Bath is eight miles away.

Activities

Kids hang out in Woolley Bear's Den, which is large, stuffed with toys, supervised daily by nannies, and free.

There is a heated outdoor swimming pool, a grass tennis court, croquet, Nintendo, and a games rooms with table football, pool and air hockey (50p a throw for these, which is a touch irritating when you are already paying a fair whack). There are also bikes for use by guests, including a tandem.

Refuelling

Little 'uns can eat lunch and dinner in Woolley Bear's Den for a fiver a meal. Dinner in the main dining room is classier, with a daily-changing table d'hote menu. Snacks and light meals also served in the conservatory.

Fellow guests

Moneyed parents and their treasured sprogs. A lot of showbiz stars and other celebrities like to weekend here. Annie Lennox plus progeny are regulars, for example.

Sample price

pounds 160 for a good sized double room (B and wonderful B) which can be shared with children on "zed beds" for no extra charge.

Woolley Grange Hotel, Woolley Green, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1TX. Tel: 01225 864705 Fax: 01225 864059.

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