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Wellow Ford

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by Tom Fieldhouse (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son. I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Published June 26th 2017
Wallow In Wet Wellow- stunning rural village
Wellow is a stunning English countryside village at the southernmost tip of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Beauty. Only five miles from Bath Spa Railway Station (a fifteen-minute drive), Wellow offers idyllic rural architecture, an excellent pub, Village Hall and Adventure Playground, Village shop and a fabulous twin-arched bridge that spans a beautiful ford (a gentle stream running over the path and road). Perfect for an afternoon escaping the city, Sunday Lunch or a spot of Pooh Sticks, the village has a serene beauty that draws people back again and again. Probably best to follow Satnav or A A Directions when travelling there, as Nature has a tendency to obscure the road signs:

Wellow village
Wellow Camouflaged

The ford is situated at the foot of a steep hill, just one turning off the village high street. The stream itself flows beneath the ford, running through ceramic cylinders. Only in times of considerable rainfall does the ford cover the surface of the road, although locals have seen the water rise up to several feet during heavy deluges. Do not be alarmed though. In a decade of visiting the ford I have never seen it rise over the path. For my family, the ankle-deep water is perfect for our son to have a paddle in, and he loves to play pooh sticks when standing on the bridge. There are white-painted railings and stone walls to make the bridge safe, but adult supervision here is a must, nevertheless. The bridge also makes a wonderful picnic spot, as does the ford itself (with the added bonus of dangling feet in the water).

The bridge
Over untroubled water

Picnic spots

View from the roadway
Down by the river

The local pub serves wonderful and affordable lunches and dinners; their Tapas platters being very popular. A fine array of ales and spirits are also available, and a tempting prospect when working up an appetite at the ford. As there are no toilet facilities at the ford, the pub is also the only option (other than a portaloo at the Village Hall). I very much enjoy strolling through the village itself, and the staff at the community-run Village shop are very friendly and welcoming. Wellow is renowned for being a very caring, community-spirited village, and the place exudes this quality for me. There is an excellent website which showcases all of the projects and groups that are run within the village (see

The Fox and Badger
A fox, a Badger and a pint

The village shop
A warm welcome awaits

In terms of practicalities, preparation is the key. Absolute must's on my equipment list are a change of clothes for little ones, and suncream, as the ford is a suntrap on hot days. There are no parking facilities at the ford itself, but the high street has ample spaces, and there is a large car park at the Village Hall. Within the village there is plentiful and prominent signage (some of it very old), so the only real navigational challenge is to find the village itself. I always travel via Odd Down, and take a small turning adjacent to the Park and Ride carpark. However you get there, I am more than confident that fun and relaxation are in store.

Old school signage
Right turn for the ford

Adventure playground

The road from Odd Down
Road to Wellow

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Why? Stunning rural village with ford
When: Any time
Phone: 01225 832293
Where: Five miles from Bath Spa Railway Station
Cost: Free access and car parking.
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