Having purchased our annual National Trust membership back in the summer when visiting Stonehenge, we’ve yet to explore all the locations within and surrounding our home county of Gloucestershire.
We did visit Skenfrith Castle ruins in Wales and Polperro in Cornwall thanks to inspiration from the National Trust app, but these are free to visit locations for all. To get the most out of our NT membership we also need to visit the locations that charge entry!
Two weeks ago we did just this and gained free entry at Chedworth Roman Villa; a National Trust site in the Cotswolds.
Next year I plan on exploring more sites nearby as we’ll be looking for lots of free days out after our Portugal trip in February. We’ve decided to overpay a loan next year so this will be our financial mission for 2020 and holidays will take a back seat!
It’s rather great to be able to flash our cards at the entrance and walk in with what feels like free entry! But obviously we are paying for our membership.
I’m also glad we didn’t have to pay at Chedworth Roman Villa as it’s just under £30 for a family ticket, or £11 per adult for standard admission. We were there for all of 30 minutes to 45 minutes, so the entry price would have felt a little steep had we paid!
It wasn’t the warmest day, so I imagine we’d have taken our time of we’d been in the summer. We also didn’t use the cafe, so that would have extended our visit.
We had a kid-free half day so thought we’d tick off a National Trust site. Having been to Cirencester the week before, we saw the signs for Chedworth Roman Villa which is only around 30 minutes from our home in Brockworth.
It’s a lovely drive through the Cotswolds and we took some lanes rather than staying on the main road so passed some amazing mansions on the way!
I thought it might be a short visit having experienced Witcombe Roman Villa which is a short drive from our home or even walking distance, taking me one hour or so if I take a hill route.
Witcombe is free entry. It’s just open to explore in the countryside, even as an English Heritage site. In comparison to Chedworth I think Witcombe offers more in terms of its actual villa wall remains and being free to roam, but Chedworth wins for the mosaics!
I’ve never seen so many incredible mosaics! The detail is so impressive, especially considering they are from the 4th century! How many of them have survived intact underground is astonishing! They describe the dig to recover them as painstaking and I can only imagine.
The spa and baths are also very impressive and make me imagine a life of luxury for the Romans that frequented this villa. It’s one of the largest Roman villas in the UK with numerous pools and pamper rooms.
It’s definitely worth a visit to see the amazing mosaics. They’re huge!
We didn’t try the cafe, but have heard good things.
There are also lots of lovely eco-friendly gifts and gadgets in the gift shop.
As we get entry with our National Trust membership we plan to return with the children in the summer so they can see the mosaics and imagine life in Roman times.
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