Advice to Bath visitors: Get out of town

BATH, England -- Whether clients are visiting Bath to conduct business or for leisure purposes, they should consider spending at least a day discovering the surrounding countryside.

After all, Bath is the centerpiece of a rich tapestry woven with rolling green hills, medieval villages, stately homes and gardens, castle ruins and wandering rivers.

In order to encourage visitors to explore the area, Wiltshire & Bath Tourism created a guide called the Magical Ring. The 24-page booklet takes visitors on a driving route through some of the area's major attractions and lesser-known places of interest and provides a brief history of each site.

The route is slated to take a full day; however, it can be altered for half-day or two-day tours, depending on time allotted.

Some of the highlights of the ring are:

  • Farleigh Hungerford Castle. Here, visitors can explore the ruins of a 14th century castle, including the well-preserved chapel, which houses paintings and a crypt.
  • Bradford-on-Avon. Lying in a valley of the River Avon, this 14th century town of stone houses, which sits next to Kennet & Avon Canal, is a good place to shop for crafts or stop for a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Castle Combe. This quintessential English village retains its 15th century appearance and is an ideal setting for a quiet stroll. It was the setting for the filming of the original "Dr. Doolittle."
  • Copies of the guide as well as other area publications and videos are available through the Bath and North East Somerset Council, (011) 44-122 547-7719; fax (011) 44-122 547-7221. -- C.S.

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