Since having babies, Jo and I (Victoria) are ALL about family friendly holidays. Luckily, that doesn’t always have to mean Butlins. Hey, we’ve had some great times at Butlins in our younger days, but while the girls are still only crawling around, a luxury hotel like the gorgeous Woolley Grange meets all of our staycation needs. Situated just outside the beautiful old town of Bradford-on-Avon, it’s the perfect place to spend some family time, relaxing in their 14 acres of fun! This all came in very handy, as we were recently invited along to try their ‘Baby’s First Stay Away‘ package.
Woolley is a real comfy retreat, with all the luxurious treats a tired mum needs. There’s many a large comfy sofa dotted around, a few cosy (and baby proofed!) fires, and most importantly for us, lots of room for children to play. They even have toy boxes in their social areas. Children are welcome everywhere in the hotel, which is great as going away with a baby for the first time can be pretty daunting. It’s very comforting to be able to relax while your baby has room to roam without disturbing anyone. All this made us feel super welcome, although the abundance of free chocolate in the welcome hamper certainly helped…
For me, the facilities are Woolley’s biggest selling point, particularly the onsite spa, which has a sauna, steam room and heated pool. As part of the ‘Baby’s First Stay Away’, the girl’s took part in a swimming lesson run by Puddle Ducks. That was a lovely experience for all of us, and the kids didn’t want to get out afterwards. As the pool overlooks the walled gardens, neither did we! The gardens are filled with ducks and chickens pottering around, cute wooden play houses and a fairy garden. It’s all really rather sweet.
After their swimming lesson the girls spent some time at the Ofsted-registered Woolley Bears Den located in an old coach house. You get two hours of free childcare whenever you stay! We were all a bit nervous about leaving them as neither of the girls have been left with strangers before, but we were really impressed by the size of the facilities, the sheer amount of toys available, and the lovely welcome we received from the nannies there. It wasn’t long before we were back in front of the fire wondering how to spend our baby free time. *Spoilers* We spent it eating and drinking. Lots. Want MORE baby free time? Then sign up to the ‘Baby Breakfast Club’ where your little love is picked up from your room, allowing mum and dad a lie-in on the Wednesday morning.
As you can see above, there is also plenty to do outside too! We tried our hands at croquet, netball, football and even had a bounce on the giant trampoline. Unfortunately, it was far too chilly to jump in the outdoor pool, but that’s a good excuse to go back for a Summer holiday.
What makes this place so great for kids I hear you ask? Well! They really have thought of everything. The restaurant is filled with everything your baby/child needs to feel welcome, from highchairs to colourful cups and plates. The kitchen staff were even able to puree meals from the kids menu for the babies, using ingredients fresh from the walled garden. Our girls were big fans of the macaroni cheese and the sausage and mash. They send their compliments to the chef!
Woolley Grange have obviously spent a lot of time thinking about how to make all of the rooms feel like a home away from home for both adults and children. They give you a call before you leave to check what you’d like in your room to make sure you have the most comfortable stay possible. For example, you can request a cot, nappy bins, changing mats and a bottle warmer. I also requested a mini fridge to keep my daughter’s food in and they were more than happy to supply one. Jo’s split level room, the John Baskerville suite, even came with it’s own sitting room. Once the kids feel content in their cots (just look how happy Poppy is below!), if you fancy heading down for dinner, you can request a baby sitter for an additional charge or take advantage of the free baby-listening service. I decided not to take them up on this offer, preferring to spend most of my time sitting on the windowsill admiring the view…
Until next time Woolley!