The geographical setting

Bradford on Avon lies where the Bristol Avon changes from a lazy river in a wide clay vale to a rushing stream that a has cut a deep gorge-like valley through the limestone of the Cotswold Hills.
It is just on the junction of the limestone uplands and the clay lowlands- the classic “chalk and cheese” of Wiltshire. The western parishes- Limpley Stoke, Monkton Farleigh, Westwood and Winsley- belong to the upland Cotswolds, while Atworth, Broughton Gifford, Holt, South Wraxall and Wingfield are in the lowland vale.

The town stands at an ancient convenient place for crossing the river by the broad ford that gives its name. The valley later became a route for canal and railway to get through the hills.
Bradford is close to the border with Somerset and shares aspects of its character with the city of Bath, as well as with the other manufacturing market towns of western Wiltshire.


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