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The tranquil rural expanses of Wiltshire are an ideal place for those seeking to 'get away from it all' during their holidays. The picturesque countryside is punctuated by welcoming villages, fascinating historical attractions and bustling market towns. Just on the Somerset border lies one of the county's most popular attractions - Stourhead. The National Trust site is surrounded by excellent hotels, making it an easy place for tourists to spend an afternoon.
Stourhead comprises a colossal 2,650 acres estate, located at the source of the River Stour, on the border of Wiltshire and Somerset. Within the estate lies the village of Stourton, some beautiful gardens and a grand Palladian mansion.
The Palladian mansion is a typical example of this style of architecture and has been kept in good condition. Interior highlights include the large Regency library and opulent art collection.
The extensive landscaped gardens are ideal for summer afternoon walks, picnics or even spotting some of the local wildlife. At the centre of the gardens lies an impressive artificial lake. Dogs are welcomed in the gardens, although there are restrictions during the summer months.
Elsewhere on the estate, visitors enjoy a wide range of facilities. These include a shop for gifts and plants, a restaurant, ice cream parlour and even a farm shop. The disabled facilities are impressive, with a special parking area, a Braille guide and hearing loops.
The area surrounding Stourhead is home to some of the best hotels in Wiltshire. Visitors can take their pick from friendly bed and breakfasts to decadent country house hotels.
The Bishopstrow Hotel and Spa is a stunning four star property boasting an array of relaxing facilities, including both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. There's also a full fitness suite for those keen to stay in shape during their stay.
Black Dog Farm offers something for visitors who are keen to embrace the rural routes of this glorious county. The friendly bed and breakfast combines a peaceful setting with close proximity to a number of the country's most popular attractions, including Longleat House and Safari Park.