Day trip from Bath: Travel through time at Lacock Abbey and Village

The enchanting Lacock Abbey and Village transport its visitors through the centuries. From a medieval nunnery to a Victorian home, the abbey underwent many transformations you can still witness today. The medieval village, however, remains unchanged and is a model of British quintessence which has been captured multiple times on screen. Located in the heart of Wiltshire County, the enthralling sight offers a delicious escape to romantic times past and quiet country bliss, and the perfect day trip from Bath.

The stately Lacock Abbey

As you walk along the charming path towards the Lacock Abbey, you can only marvel at the eye-catching architecture of the house and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. With sheep peacefully grazing on the lands, you step through time and discover the multiple facets of the landmark.

Cloister at Lacock Abbey
The medieval cloister at Lacock Abbey

The first room you visit is the striking medieval cloister. Built in the 13th century by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, the early edifice of Lacock Abbey can still be admired today through the arresting archways of the gallery and the peaceful courtyard. You can also visit the adjoining medieval rooms, such as the warming house, but they are mostly bare. The landmark may seem familiar; some scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed in the cloister as well as in the village.

Henry Talbot's study at Lacock Abbey
Henry Talbot’s study

Following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, the abbey was converted into a Tudor house and then a Victorian country home. You can visit the house on the first floor. As you wander through long sunny galleries, intriguing studies full of artefacts, lavish dining rooms and quaint bedrooms, the Victorian residence transports you back to the 19th century. The tour of this multi-faceted house ends in the grandiose Gothic great hall. From there you reluctantly exit the abbey via the grand stairway and stunning archway into the inviting abbey grounds.

The delightful abbey grounds

Your visit of Lacock Abbey does not end at the house. The grounds are also a marvel to explore. The courtyard, located to the side of the residence, boasts traditional brew and bake houses. The estate also features a charming woodland path which leads you to the colourful botanical garden and greenhouse, a peaceful orchard and a romantic rose garden.

Botanic garden at Lacock Abbey
Botanic garden at Lacock Abbey

The Fox Talbot Museum is located in the reconverted barn which also houses the visitor centre. It commemorates photography as well as William Henry Fox Talbot. Residing at Lacock, Henry Talbot captured one of the earliest surviving photograph at his home in 1835. The ongoing exhibit tells the story of Henry Talbot alongside the history of photography, while the temporary exhibits celebrate the art of photography.

The charming village of Lacock

Not only is the estate full of wonders, but Lacock Village is also picture perfect. Named Lacock by the Saxons for its delightful stream, the picturesque medieval village is unchanged. (Though unfortunately the parked cars do take away some of the charm and reverie). The oldest house in the parish is even older than the abbey!

Quaint medieval cottage in the village of Lacock
Medieval cottages in Lacock Village

With charismatic stone cottages, a characteristic parish church and an old-fashioned washhouse, the village is quintessential British. Also the setting of films and TV series, such as ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’, the typical lanes and streets transport you through the centuries.

While you can visit the village of Lacock for free, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee to visit Lacock Abbey, the museum and the abbey grounds. If travelling by car, you can park in the National Trust car park for a fee (free for National Trust members) or in the car park behind the Red Lion or the village streets for free (limited parking spaces available). For more information and directions to Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, please visit nationaltrust.org.uk.

Near Lacock: The stunning Wiltshire countryside

The countryside around Lacock Abbey and Village boasts delightful walks. Among them, the Bowden Hill walk offers a serene escape to lovely country paths, lush meadows, picturesque canal paths and gorgeous country scenery. Explore the Wiltshire countryside with the Bowden Hill walk guide.

Views of the Wiltshire countryside along the Bowden Hill walk near Lacock
The stunning Wiltshire countryside on the Bowden Hill walk

Explore further: Best day trips from Bath

From the gorgeous city of Wells to the spectacular Cheddar Gorge and the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds, Bath offers many gorgeous day trips. If you’re after a delightful escape to spectacular scenery and quaint British splendour, check out the best day trips from Bath.

Medieval lane and quaint cottages of Vicar's Close in Wells
Vicars’ Close in Wells

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