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Visit Wiltshire Blog

Lamb

12 photos to show why you should visit Wiltshire this spring

Oh how we love spring, it’s so beautiful to see the blossoms appearing on the trees, the daffodils popping out along the verges and the bluebells begin to emerge in our woodlands.
We’ve put together a selection of some of our favourite spring photos that we have here at VisitWiltshire, we hope you enjoy them!

Chippenham

A Chippenham Treasure Trail

I have done several Treasure Trails in the past and know how good they are at helping you to discover new places. So this time I decided to use it to find hidden treasures in a town I know very well, Chippenham.

Roman Baths

A day trip to Bath

Wiltshire makes a great base for a day out to the World Heritage Site of Bath. Bath is just a short hop across the border into Somerset and there’s easy access by train from Salisbury, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster, Chippenham and Swindon (to name just a few places!).

The Laverton, Westbury

Victorian Westbury and the Blue Plaque Trail

When you think of Westbury you probably think of the Westbury White Horse. It certainly dominates the landscape and is always a welcome sight when I’m passing through the town on the train.

However, Westbury is not just famous for its White Horse, it also has a rich Victorian heritage which is now being celebrated in a new Victorian Westbury exhibition in The Laverton.

Snowdrops

A shower of snowdrops at Lydiard Park

Towards the end of January I made a trip to the tranquil setting of Lydiard Park. The morning had been cold and blustery but luckily by the time I pulled up at the car park the weather was beginning to turn for the better. I’d heard that some of the snowdrops were already making an appearance here so I went for a bit of an investigation.

Spring Flowers

Fast forward into February: 17 ways to beat the winter blues

If, like me, the start of the year has left you feeling all a bit ‘January-ish’, it helps to have something to look forward to. So here are 17 great ideas for things to see and do around Wiltshire that are sure to brighten up the first few months of 2017.

Beatons tearooms

A winter’s walk in Tisbury

I love getting the opportunity to don my walking boots and explore the county and I had the opportunity to do just that on a recent visit to Tisbury.

Monkey World

Monkeying around - a fun day out across the Wiltshire borders

About an hour across the Wiltshire border into Dorset you’ll find Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre. Monkey World started off in 1987 (I remember seeing it on the Challenge Anneka programme in the early nineties and that was the last time I had visited and it has really grown since then).

Corsham

A Corsham Instameet

What better way is there to spend a sunny, frosty morning in January then getting together with a group of likeminded photographers and exploring some of Wiltshire’s treasures?
 

Salisbury Cathedral's Library

A tour of Salisbury Cathedral’s Library

Given I grew up in Salisbury and the nature of my job here at VisitWiltshire I’ve always felt that I have known the Cathedral pretty well however one place I’d never ventured to was the Cathedral’s library.

Buttle Farm

Learning about the slow food movement at Buttle Farm

Nestled on the edge of the village of Compton Bassett in north Wiltshire lies Buttle Farm. I met with the owners, Robert and Sara Buttle, who took me on a tour of the farm so I could learn more about what goes on here and the diversification of the farm.

The Old Mill, Salisbury

A winter’s walk in Salisbury

Last Saturday was exactly the kind of winter’s day I like best – cold and crisp but with plenty of sunshine. Perfect walking weather. This route is one of my favourites as it starts and finishes in the city centre and includes some of Salisbury’s best-loved views.

Wiltshire Museum

11 ideas for some family fun this February half term

It may feel like it’s not been that long since the children went back to school but before you know it it’ll be half term! If you are stuck for ideas on what to see and do with the children this February half term we’ve put together a handy guide to some of family-friendly activities you can do in and around Wiltshire.

Charity Colbourne

A spotlight on... Charity Colborne, Pound Arts

I’ve been working at Pound Arts for just over four years now and I truly love it. The small team here achieve so much, producing a year round artistic programme of events from The Pound arts centre, two festivals a year (The Blue Sky Festival in June and Magic & Mayhem Festival in November), as well as a Rural Arts Touring programme for Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire. My role is to oversee and manage all marketing for these three creative strands, helping to raise our profile as an arts organisation as well as give marketing support to the many artists that come all year round.

Lambs

10 reasons to visit Wiltshire this January

Once the mayhem of Christmas and New Year’s Eve passes, it’s sometimes hard to think of ideas for what to do during the colder time of year. We’ve put together this handy guide for you giving you ten reasons to visit Wiltshire in January 2017.

Museum of Army Flying

Flying across the Wiltshire border

Just a few miles from the Wiltshire border, into Hampshire, you’ll find the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop.

The museum is dedicated to the Army’s involvement in flight and includes gliders, planes and helicopters and on a grey December’s day I made a visit to see what there was on offer.

Louise Tunnard (C) Vicky Slater

A spotlight on... Louise Tunnard, The Salisbury Museum

I am Marketing & Admin Offer at the museum, which means I have the pleasure of promoting The Salisbury Museum, planning and running the events we stage throughout the year, and welcoming group visitors to the museum. The museum is housed in The King’s House, which dates from the early 13th century. Part of my role is to look after this beautiful building, the site and the team. My background is in Economics and Fine Art, which is a very unlikely combination of interests, but strangely perfect for the job I do.

Longleat Festival of Lights

Longleat Festival of Lights, a magical start to Christmas

On an unseasonably warm and clear December evening I was delighted to have an opportunity to visit the Longleat Festival of Lights. Having visited and loved it last year there was a concern that they couldn’t possibly improve on that… but I should have known, being their 50th anniversary year that Longleat would do something even more impressive!

 

Calne

A pre-Christmas visit to Calne

As I arrived in Calne on a cold but sunny November’s day, armed with a GoPro, smart phone and SLR camera I was keen to explore some of the town’s historic quarter on such a pretty day.

Corsham

Walking in the footsteps of Poldark in Corsham

If you’ve watched any of the BBC’s most recent adaptations of Poldark then you may see a familiar street scene make an appearance, Wiltshire’s very own Corsham.

I headed to the town on a glorious winter’s day. The sun was beaming down and the frost was sparkling on the grass as I began my walk through some of Corsham Court’s parkland towards the Pound Arts Centre.

Caen Hill Locks

Top places for winter walks in Wiltshire

Don’t let the colder months stop you visiting Wiltshire. Some of our attractions keep their doors (or gates) open over the winter months – making a great choice for a walk after any festive excesses. Here are some of our suggestions for great places for a Wiltshire walk this winter.

Julie Cooper, Skydive Netheravon

A spotlight on Julie Cooper, Skydive Netheravon

Working for the Army Parachute Association (APA) certainly puts a different perspective on life! My name is Julie Cooper and I am the Marketing & Media Manager at Skydive Netheravon. Being a Naval wife, I spent about thirty years moving around the country before coming to live permanently in Corsham in the early 90s.  The last twenty five years have been spent working in the event and tourism sector, so moving to the APA at Netheravon two years ago gave me a brand new challenge.

Wellies

Don those wellies and explore Wiltshire this autumn

Ok so when I plan a day out exploring I don’t expect the weather to misbehave for me! However, this week it did just that as Storm Angus made its appearance. Sporting my new stripy wellies and wrapped up warm I decided to embrace the weather and explore some more of the county.

Marlborough at Christmas

Money saving ideas for Christmas in Wiltshire

We all know that Christmas can be an expensive time of year but it doesn’t have to be. Here in Wiltshire there are plenty of suggestions of things to do, events to check out and low cost activities you can do to help save the pennies over the coming weeks. Here are some of our suggestions…

Christmas in Wiltshire

Unique gift ideas for Christmas presents from Wiltshire

We know what it’s like, there’s always someone in your family who’s tricky to buy for. In previous years we’ve written articles on some unique gift ideas for Christmas and we are doing the same again this year. So here we have it (and don’t forget to let us know if you have any other suggestions as well).

Dog walking in Wiltshire

Wiltshire from a dog’s perspective – top dog walks

Wiltshire is home to lots of walks, from brisk walks along the Ridgeway through to shorter ambles along the riverbanks. If you like to bring your four-legged friend on holiday with you, we have some great suggestions of top places to walk your dog here in Wiltshire gathered from some of the VisitWiltshire team and people who work closely with us.

11th Hour Escape Room

Escape in Wiltshire - a visit to the 11th Hour Escape Room

11th Hour Escape Rooms are one of Wiltshire’s newest activities, located above the Audi car showroom, on the Chippenham to Devizes road; you soon forget where you are as you head up stairs to be greeted by Tim and Lizzie, the team behind this great activity. It opened in July and offers a challenging hour of problem solving. The Escape Room concept now has a huge following worldwide, with enthusiasts travelling long distances to try the latest. 

Salisbury Arts Centre

A night of comedy in Salisbury

If you fancy a giggle and are looking for a reasonably priced thing to do on a weekend then it is worth checking out Salisbury Arts Centre’s regular Barnstormers Comedy Night.

Meadowbank House B&B

10 places to stay with toasty fireplaces

As the winter draws in, we often dream about snuggling up on a comfy chair in front of a fireplace. With lots of cosy cottages, grand hotels and country inns you can do just that. We’ve put together a selection of places you can stay in Wiltshire where you can get toasty…

Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa

A Very Special Night at the Cinema

Back in July I was delighted to open a birthday present to discover a beautiful folder containing a voucher for the cinema at Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, near Malmesbury.

Bradford on Avon

A walk around Bradford on Avon

After a successful first ever golf lesson (see my previous blog) I made the short drive from Cumberwell Park to Bradford on Avon. Parking up by Timbrell’s Yard, along the river, I made a leisurely walk along the footpath towards one of my favourite parts of Bradford on Avon, the Tithe Barn.

Golf

A beginner’s golf lesson

When I told my friends that I was going to have a beginner’s golf lesson they laughed at me. Not because golf isn’t a good hobby to take up but more because I’m not particularly well known for my coordination! (Charming I know!).

Salisbury Playhouse

A behind the scenes visit to Salisbury Playhouse

Whilst I have enjoyed many brilliant performances at Salisbury Playhouse over the years, I had never before ventured behind the scenes, so when the invitation popped into my inbox to join PR & Communications Officer Gemma Twiselton and Digital & Communications Officer Holly Tomkins on their first ever bloggers and vloggers event, I jumped at the chance.

Salisbury Christmas Market

Ten reasons to visit Wiltshire in November

You may not think of November as being a particularly interesting time to travel in the UK however you’d be wrong! There is a great variety of colourful events that are taking place in Wiltshire this November that can help brighten up the greyest of winter’s days.

Team building in Wiltshire

Team building ideas in Wiltshire

Are you looking for something different to do with your team? Do you want to put together some ideas on where you can take your colleagues where you can improve the team’s efforts? We’ve put together a handy guide to some of the team building activities that you can do here in Wiltshire.

Gold in Wiltshire Museum

Discovering gold in Devizes

VisitWiltshire have run several joint-instameets with our friends Igerswiltshire. It’s an opportunity for like-minded photographers, whether using a smart phone or DSLR to get together, share ideas and get creative.

Our fourth instameet of the year was set to be in the market town of Devizes, in the heart of Wiltshire and this time it would coincide with the national Heritage Open Days event.

Vintage Classics

Driving in style through timeless Wiltshire countryside

I spend quite a bit of my time exploring Wiltshire’s roads, as many of you will have seen from my previous blogs. This time, I had the chance to be driven in style (a bit up there compared to my small hatchback) with Melksham-based classic car hire company, Vintage Classics.

Lacock

An autumnal explore of Lacock

When did autumn arrive so soon? I must admit when I arrived at Lacock in the glorious September sunshine I wasn’t expecting to see so many colourful leaves dotted on the floor and mushrooms and other fungi growing from the leaf litter in the wooded areas, autumn has descended upon us quicker than I had expected.

Mere, Wiltshire

Discovering Mere’s hidden heritage

It was a glorious summer’s morning day. Clear blue skies, warm sunshine and beautiful birdsong, perfect for a peaceful walk to explore the historical town of Mere and the surrounding area.

Edington, Wiltshire

Unveiling hidden gems in the Wiltshire village of Edington

On a beautiful, sunny summer day in Wiltshire I headed off to Edington, four miles from Westbury, famed for its White Horse, for what turned out to be an extraordinary afternoon.

Every August for the past 60 years this small village has welcomed some of the best choristers from cathedral and collegiate choirs around England for a week long festival of music and liturgy in the priory church. I had been invited to go along to find out more as, like many others not directly involved in the sacred music circle, I was unaware of the quality and importance of this event.

Castle Combe, Wiltshire

The ultimate Wiltshire bucket list

We have all heard the term bucket list being thrown about and there are many books and articles on the ultimate places to see across the world in your lifetime. We’ve selected 15 experiences here in Wiltshire that should probably be on your Wiltshire bucket list.

African Summer at Longleat

Celebrations fit for a king at Longleat

2016 sees Longleat enjoy its 50th anniversary and as part of their year of celebrations “fit for a king”, we wanted to spend a family day out to discover and join in all of the African Summer celebrations.

Rooms with views

Top places to stay with fantastic views

We all love that feeling when you wake up in the morning and pull back the curtains to a bright and sunny morning but how many of us dream of waking up to a fantastic view? This no longer has to be a dream as we’ve put together details below of some Wiltshire accommodation where you can wake up to a fantastic view…

Trowbridge

Trowbridge arts, parks and villages

Wiltshire’s county town of Trowbridge has a rich textile history from its days when the woollen cloth industry thrived. I went for an explore of some of the town and the surrounding areas to capture some photos and to visit areas that I hadn’t visited before.

Salisbury Cathedral

Places to stay with views of Salisbury Cathedral

A visit to Salisbury isn’t complete without a trip to Salisbury Cathedral. With Britain’s tallest spire, one of the best preserved Magna Carta manuscripts and stunning architecture it is one of Wiltshire’s must-see attractions.

Rowdey Cow

Horse Holidays and School Holiday Fun

Deep in the Wiltshire countryside, and just a short distance from Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal, you’ll find the Rowdey Cow Farm Café and Ice Cream Parlour. It was my first visit here, I’m normally driving past on my way to meetings, but this time I made the effort to pop in, after all I was pretty sure they had some ice cream with my name on it!

Longleat

Ten reasons to visit Wiltshire in September

If you prefer to go away when the children are back at school or you like to enjoy an extended summer, September can be a great time for a Wiltshire escape. Here we have listed ten reasons why you should visit Wiltshire this September…

Rafting

An Outdoor Adventure with Circus Skills at Marlborough College Summer School

I was lucky enough to visit Marlborough College Summer School with my 10 year old twin boys Rory and Jamie for a taster of what visitors experience when they book on one of the 600 courses available over a four-week period every summer (10 July – 6 August 2016).

The boys fitted in to the Young Adventurers age category (9-12 year olds) and were booked into Circus Skills in the morning and Outdoor Adventure in the afternoon.

Incandescent

New ‘Reflection’ exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral

I had the pleasure of attending the press launch of the new ‘Reflection’ exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral this morning. The exhibition features pieces specially made by nine artists and officially opens on Monday 1 August and will run until 6 November 2016.

Glamping

Quirky places to stay in Wiltshire

Have you ever fancied staying somewhere different? Rather than a traditional hotel or B&B why not look to stay in somewhere quirky? Here in Wiltshire, we’ve got several options for you which you might like to consider…

Melksham, Wiltshire

Blooming Melksham – a colourful visit

During the recent heatwave that we’ve been experiencing I made a visit to the Wiltshire town of Melksham for an explore around with Terri Welch, Melksham’s Mayor.

As I parked up in the town I immediately noticed the colourful bunting decorating the streets and planters adorned with flowers. The bunting is up for this Saturday’s annual carnival, a popular event in the town centre.

The Farm Cookery School

A Beginner's Cookery Course at Farm Cookery School

If I’m honest, although a ‘foodie’, I’m not the greatest of cooks. Keen to learn and appreciate more essential practical cooking skills, I attended an adult essential skills course at the newly-opened Farm Cookery School near Bromham.

Silbury Hill

Exploring the Avebury World Heritage Site

When I have overseas visitors coming to stay with me, I always recommend that they make a visit to Avebury. The site here forms part of the same World Heritage Site as Stonehenge but is almost like Stonehenge’s lesser-known sister.

Marden Henge

Visiting an archaeological dig with Wiltshire Museum

It’s a well-known fact that Wiltshire is a very historical place. There are a lot of mysteries surrounding the history of this county most notably from the henges of Stonehenge and Avebury which form the famous World Heritage Site. Wiltshire is also home to another 'Superhenge', Marden Henge, near to Devizes in the Vale of Pewsey.

Afternoon tea at Manor House Hotel

Top places for afternoon tea in Wiltshire

It’s not long now until Afternoon Tea Week (the second week of August) and this got us thinking about this foodie treat. We’ve put together a list of top places you can enjoy afternoon tea in Wiltshire so whether you are a jam or cream first person, there are lots of places to indulge in Wiltshire…

Salisbury Cathedral Tower

A Tower Tour with the RSPB

The nature of my role means I’ve lucky enough to have gone up the tower of Salisbury Cathedral several times whether escorting press or even taking up VIPs in the sense of Paddington Bear and Shaun the Sheep! This time however, I was going to do a tower tour with a difference.

Braydon Maize Maze

20 ways to entertain the children these summer holidays

So the summer holidays will soon be here and you may be thinking what can you do with the children or where can you go that you haven’t been to before.

We’ve put together a list below of twenty ways you can entertain your children here in Wiltshire (of course there are lots more ways but here’s a little starter for you!).

Ramsbury

Exploring the pretty village of Ramsbury

The village of Ramsbury is tucked in the east of Wiltshire, a couple of miles northeast of Marlborough. It’s a part of Wiltshire that I had never explored before but that I’d heard was very picturesque from my colleagues and friends who had been there previously.

Pewsey

An arty stroll around Pewsey

In central Wiltshire, you’ll find the large village of Pewsey, surrounded by the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is well-known for the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Pewsey White Horse but the village itself is also worth stopping off for.

Quirky signs

Quirky signs of Wiltshire

On my travels around the county, I always love it when you come across one of our quirky signs – no matter what the weather or my mood they can’t help but fail to bring a smile to my face.

Concorde

Concorde, an Aircraft Carrier and more at Fleet Air Arm Museum

Recently I made the short hop across the Wiltshire border to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. Having not been to the museum before (except to the Yeovilton Air Day a couple of years ago) my initial impression was just how large the museum is – a lot bigger than I was expecting.

Tractor Ted's Little Farm

Tractor Ted's Little Farm part 2

We recently took our 1 year old to Bowood House and Gardens along with my friend Jenny. As we arrived at Bowood we headed straight to the Tractor Ted’s Little Farm. There were lots of animals for him to see in the enclosed light and airy barn. He was able to stand on the wooden steps in front of each animal so he could see them eating and playing in their pens, which was brilliant at his age. He loved the lambs and piglets.

Vaughan's Cookery School

Discovering Gluten Free can be tasty!

Wiltshire hotels, B&Bs and food and drink establishments are renowned for their friendly and accommodating welcome, so the response was good when we recently offered a Gluten Free cookery course, in conjunction with Vaughan’s Cookery School in Devizes.

Cricklade, Wiltshire

Exploring Cricklade

After having just failed to find the Fritillaries on my visit to Lower Moor Farm (see my previous blog) I headed to Cricklade – the first town on the River Thames.

Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury

100,000 reasons to visit Malmesbury

A strange title for this blog perhaps? Of course anyone who’s visited Malmesbury before will know there are lots of reasons to visit this pretty hilltop town. So what’s with the 300,000? Well, I took a guided tour around Abbey House Gardens yesterday with the owner, Barbara who informed me that there are around 100,000 tulips within the gardens here!

Iford Manor - The Peto Garden

Iford Manor – An amateur photographer’s playground!

Having recently participated in a photographic course I have been keen to find the time to try out my new skills, and move the dial on my camera from the “auto” setting! My daughter is slightly more advanced than me so was the perfect companion for an afternoon playing with cameras.

Dog-friendly Wiltshire

Take your dog on holiday this spring

The Great British spring time has finally arrived; packed with refreshing blue skies, glowing green grass and mild temperatures. All in all, an ideal time of year to get out the house and explore Wiltshire. If you’re a dog owner, it can often be tough planning a day out where you and your canine counterpart will be accepted as one. However, one county which is becoming renowned for being ‘dog friendly’ is Wiltshire; from striking scenic walks and splendid spring fare to cultivating cultural landmarks, all can be undertaken with your furry friend.

Bluebells, West Woods

Top places for spring colours in Wiltshire

Isn’t it lovely to see the buds appearing on the shrubs and trees after the winter? It’s got us thinking about some of the wonderful places across Wiltshire where you can enjoy spring colours over the following months. Here are some of the top places we think you’ll love…

Lucknam Park Cookery School

Perfecting the art of breakfast at Lucknam Park

Having been battered by hail and thunder on my way to Colerne, my mood brightened as I drove up the beautiful tree lined drive to Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa. On this occasion I was headed for the Cookery School, and know I could have gone in the entrance nearer that building, but can never resist the stunning drive!

Bishopstrow's spa

Time to relax… a visit to a Wiltshire spa hotel

Sometimes work can be really tough… of course I found it a real chore when I was invited along to discover the facilities of the Halcyon Spa within The Bishopstrow Hotel, on the outskirts of Warminster! (Ok, I know – a lot of my friends had serious job envy too after hearing this!)

Showstoppers

A showstopping night in Chippenham

Chippenham, a market town in north Wiltshire, has recently been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag status for the high standard and safety of the town centre at night. A major contribution to attaining this award was the refurbishment of the Neeld Community and Arts Centre, so I was really pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Centre, and experience more of what Chippenham has to offer the evening visitor, on Friday night.

View towards Salisbury Cathedral

29 ways to propose this leap year

2016 is a leap year and 29th February is traditionally the day on which a lady can propose. If you are thinking about popping the big question then here are some different ways or places to propose in Wiltshire

Roves Farm

February Half Term Ideas

Are you looking for things to do with the little ones over the February Half Term? We’ve put together ten suggestions on things to do or visit within Wiltshire that are family-friendly.

Imber, Wiltshire

The ‘lost’ village of Imber

Crossing the heart of Salisbury Plain, I travelled to the village of Imber. So what, you may be thinking? Well, Imber’s a bit different to other Wiltshire villages in that it sits in the heart of Salisbury Plain and in 1943 the villagers were evacuated to allow the military to use the area as training grounds in the war efforts.

Stars

‘Star gazing’ on Cranborne Chase

So for the start of this week the weather would have been perfect for a spot a star gazing, with clear skies and crisp evenings I had my fingers crossed that my night of star gazing in the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) would be like this too! Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans… I headed to the Larmer Tree gardens in the pouring rain, dressed up in my waterproofs hoping that the weather would make a turn for the better.

Salisbury Plain Safaris

Discovering Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain sits in the heart of our county and is a little known area despite it being around the same size as the Isle of Wight. On a Monday in December, we joined Salisbury Plain Safaris for a trip to this mystery land…

Exploring Wiltshire churches

Saintly delights in Wiltshire

You may have seen that we’ve just launched some new Saints and Sinners trails in conjunction with The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). The routes give people the opportunity to explore some of our historic Wiltshire churches with a foodie stop nearby.
I made a visit with Linden from The CCT to two of these churches to discover some of the hidden treasures that lay within them…

Tidworth Mortuary Chapel

Tidworth – churches and more

Most people know of Tidworth for its military connections. The town sits on the edge of Salisbury Plain and is a major hub for the army. What you may not know is that there’s a couple of hidden gems that visitors can discover on a visit to this town.

Wessex Raceway

Revving up at Wessex Raceway

The British Grand Prix and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France have not been the only big races recently as a group of us, revved up to Wessex Raceway to participate in an open endurance kart race.

Barons' Charter

Finding the Barons

Anyone who’s visited Salisbury in the past few days will have come across some new additions to the city – 25 Barons dotted around the city centre! The Barons are here as part of the Magna Cart..

Stonehenge ATV

Top ideas for Father’s Day

Are you stuck for ideas on what to get your dad for Father’s Day? With Father’s Day fast approaching we’ve put together some gift and experience ideas here in Wiltshire so you can treat your dad in style…

Japanese cooking

Japanese cookery course

For visitors and locals alike, Wiltshire offers the opportunity to learn new skills in the relaxing and beautiful surroundings of the county, be that driving a racing car, skydiving, or cooking! I have had the pleasure of doing a number of cookery courses at Vaughan’s Kitchen previously and always found them very enjoyable. However, it was with a little trepidation that I joined the Japanese Cookery course as I have never really eaten Japanese food, and certainly never cooked it, but, always ready to try something new, I signed up!

Joseph

A musical night in Swindon

A cold Thursday night in Swindon was warmed up by a great performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Wyvern Theatre, the latest in their varied programme.

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection

A Volunteer’s Story

It started, for me, on a misty July morning back in 2012, when all the aircraft were moved from Boscombe Down, six miles down the road to a new home at Old Sarum under police escort. This was nothing to do with national security, just the business of avoiding the rush hour.

Stonehenge ATV

Off-roading with Stonehenge ATV

Having grown up in Wiltshire, Salisbury Plain has always come across as a kind of ‘no go’ area to me. I didn’t know enough about the rules and regulations of the area and the military activities to brave visiting. Flo and I from the VisitWiltshire team were invited along to try out Stonehenge ATV – who have just recently started and who offer you the opportunity to take their off road vehicles on some of the byways that cross Salisbury Plain.

Magna Carta (C) Ash Mills

Tick Tock… crack the codes and open the lock!

I love a challenge, so when I heard that about The Salisbury Escape Room, a new and unique real-life escape game, I dared colleagues to see if they were up for taking on this particular one.

Thankfully, they took up the challenge and we made our way across Salisbury wondering what was in store.

Snakeshead Fritillary, Cricklade

Cricklade and the Snakeshead Fritillary

Cricklade North Meadow (a National Nature Reserve protected by Natural England) is an ancient flood plain on the banks of the upper Thames, which is renowned as one of the best examples of a lowland hay meadow in Europe. Before the days of intensive farming, many British meadows used to be covered in wild flowers. Today Cricklade is a living example of how the meadow used to look with its lush carpet of meadow flowers.

West Woods

Top places to spot Bluebells in Wiltshire

It’s not long until bluebell season will be upon us once again in Wiltshire. Usually flowering in late April and into May, seeing the carpets of blue flowers is one of my favourite times of year. I have so far seen a couple of lone bluebells bravely conquering the still very fresh mornings however I’m looking forward to the bigger displays which will be here before we know it!

Puddings and tarts

Puddings and Tarts

When it comes to the kitchen, I’m certainly no MasterChef Champion. However, like Gregg Wallace, I do have a sweet tooth and a big passion for puddings. When eating out, I’m always drawn straight to the puddings and dessert menu to whet my appetite. And, if there’s some sort of chocolate or sticky toffee pudding on the menu, then nothing else usually gets a look in.

Holiday Inn Salisbury - Stonehenge

A lunch stop near the stones

On a blustery day after paying a visit to Stonehenge, I made a visit to the recently refurbished Solstice Bar and Grill at the Holiday Inn Salisbury – Stonehenge, located on the outskirts of Amesbury and just a couple of miles from the famous stone circle.

Wings over Africa (C) Lee Brown Photography

Wings of Africa

In celebration of their 50th anniversary, the Hawk Conservancy Trust has just launched a new ‘Wings of Africa’ arena display at the site.

I was lucky enough to go to the opening event on a very windy day to see the new birds that feature and the new display area created to simulate some of the landscapes of Africa.

Stourhead

Spring into Stourhead

During a lovely weekend across the county, I decided to make the most of it and take my Mum out for the day to the National Trust’s Stourhead gardens, in the south west of Wiltshire.

We’ve been to Stourhead many times throughout the years and it never fails to disappoint. For me, it doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit as there’s always something different to see and a different vista that you might not have seen before.

Corsham

Charming Corsham

On a beautifully sunny February day, I made my way to the charming town of Corsham nestled between Chippenham and Bath, just off the A4.

Primroses

Great places to take Mum this Mother’s Day

Are you stuck for ideas on what to get your Mum for Mother’s Day? Perhaps you’d like to do something other than the traditional flowers and chocolates? We’ve asked around the office and put together a list of some great places that you can take your Mum this Mother’s Day in Wiltshire.

Snowdrops

Top places for snowdrops in Wiltshire

During February and March you can often find parts of the Wiltshire landscape dotted in snowdrops – always a sign to me that spring is on its way shortly!

We’ve put together some top places that you can usually spot these pretty flowers.

Get fit in Wiltshire

10 Ways to Get Fit in Wiltshire

We all know New Year can be the time to set some new fitness challenges and goals particularly after all the festive celebrations.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of ten ways to get fit in Wiltshire so whether you are on holiday or just on a day trip to the county you can make the most of our countryside.

Paddington

Christmas Comes to Swindon…

A cold, grey December evening calls for something special to brighten it up, and Mr H and I found just that in Swindon on Tuesday evening.

Fisherton Mill

Unique gift ideas from Wiltshire

Stuck for ideas on what to get that special person in your life for Christmas? We’ve put together a list of some gift ideas that you might not find on the high street and will give them a little taster of Wiltshire…

Longleat Festival of Lights

Longleat Festival of Lights

If you want to get into the festive mood then a visit to Longleat’s new Festival of Lights will certainly do this!

I was lucky enough to attend the launch night and as I descended from the main road into the Longleat estate I could spot the lanterns in the distance, immediately I was surprised by just how big some of the were!

Stourhead

Stourhead – garden for all seasons

Whether in the depths of winter or the early days of spring, Stourhead is a gem of a garden and each time I visit there’s a completely different feel to the garden. This time, my trip was part of a VisitWiltshire partners’ familiarisation visit during the autumn with added bonus of a guided tour by Stourhead’s Head Gardener, Alan Power.

Larmer Tree Gardens

An autumn visit to Larmer Tree

In the heart of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty half way between Salisbury and Blandford Forum lies the Larmer Tree Gardens.

Steam Museum

Family friendly Swindon

When you first think of Swindon you may not think of how many things there are to do with your family, well let us enlighten you!

Autumn colours in Wiltshire

Top places for autumn colours in Wiltshire

One of the National Trust’s most iconic gardens, Stourhead truly comes to life during autumn with a rich array of colours from its vibrant reds through to rusty oranges. Pick a day with bright blue skies and you’ll find many a photographer or artist here capturing their perfect moment.

Vaughan's Kitchen

In the style of Great British Bake Off

If you fancy honing your cookery skills then one of our Wiltshire cookery schools is an ideal place to perfect your techniques. I joined Vaughan’s Kitchen Cookery School in Devizes for an artisan bread making course.

Churches Conservation Trust

Historic Churches in the Wylye Valley

I was given the opportunity to join The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) on a tour of the beautiful Wylye Valley – the area between Warminster and Salisbury which is noted for its pretty villages and quite frankly stunning countryside.

Get fit in Wiltshire

Tour of Britain comes to Wiltshire

Cycling fever gripped the county on 12 September as the annual Tour of Britain event passed through Wiltshire.

The nation has been cycling mad since the announcement the Le Tour de France would be starting in England this year and with that in mind it seems that popularity for the sport has been ever-increasing.
Having seen Le Tour de France in London earlier in the year I have been getting into cycling fever myself and even tried out my very first road biking experience. Today I was lucky enough to head to Pewsey to see how the community were to celebrate the arrival of the race during their carnival fortnight.

Walkers welcome in Bradford on Avon

Walkers welcome in Bradford on Avon

If you love walking then a visit to Bradford on Avon’s annual walking festival is a great way to not only keep fit but to meet new people and explore some of the area around the town.

Roves Farm

A Trip to Roves Farm

By Emma Kirkup As you drive around the hustle and bustle of Swindon you wouldn’t think that just a short journey away is the extensive farmland of Roves Farm . Near to the village of Sevenhampton yo..

Botany camping

A Wiltshire glamping holiday

As a young boy, I loved the outdoors. I always looked forward to the weekends and school breaks, which often meant going on family holidays, walks, bike rides or camping trips. I was (and my wife would probably argue, still am) a real life Robin Hood, with a keen sense for adventure.

Fisherton Mill

A visit to Fisherton Mill, Salisbury

By Emma Kirkup Tucked off Fisherton Street in Salisbury is Fisherton Mill . Not only is Fisherton Mill one of the largest galleries in the South West but it is also home to artists’ studios, a caf..

Tisbury Treat

A Tisbury Treat

Set in the beautiful Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is Tisbury. The main High Street here is dotted with independent shops with beautifully dressed window displays and a friendly atmosphere. It’s a bustling place too with lots of locals out for their morning strolls, enjoying a drink in the café or just having a chat.

Merchants House

The Merchant’s House of Marlborough

On Marlborough’s historic High Streets sits, the impressive Merchant’s House. I paid a visit on a warm, July day to see what delights would be unfolded behind the impressive façade…

Entry to the Merchant’s House is by guided tour at selected times. I was in a small group of four people plus our guide, Ilse.

Avebury Manor

Avebury Manor

Avebury forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with Stonehenge. What people often don’t know about Avebury is that the stone circle is open and you can walk right up to the stones, picnic amongst them and access them at any time. Avebury is also different to Stonehenge in that there is a village within the stones.

Salisbury Museum

The brand-new Wessex Gallery

Set within Salisbury Museum, the Wessex Gallery is a brand-new exhibition space showcasing some of the archaeological finds from the south Wiltshire area including Stonehenge.

The gallery only opened on the 12 July and it’s pleasing to hear that so many people have visited it already. I was amazed by how different the space looked from the museum I visited many a time as a small child.

Wilton

Wilton - ancient capital of Wessex


Wilton is a market town just three miles west of Salisbury. There are several things to do in this small town including a visit to the impressive Wilton House – home of the Earl of Pembroke. Here you can discover beautiful gardens, a fine art collection and some historic cars. Read my previous blog for more details on visiting here.

Wilton House

Wilton House: gardens and exhibitions

Just three miles west of Salisbury lies the historic town of Wilton. It’s home to Wilton House, a grand stately home which dates back to Tudor times.

Today I headed to the grounds and exhibition spaces as I’ve visited the house many times before having worked previously for the Wilton estate.

Stonehenge Neolithic Houses

Stonehenge Neolithic Houses

On a warm, sunny July day I ventured up to the new visitor centre at Stonehenge to see the recently opened Neolithic Houses.

The car park was busy and the visitor centre was buzzing with lots of people eagerly awaiting their visit to the site. As I ambled my way towards the Neolithic houses I passed beautiful poppies adorning the pathways and the adjacent fields.

Stourhead

Top 10 Picnic Spots in Wiltshire

We all love a good picnic don’t we? We’ve had a chat here in the office and come up with our top 10 picnic spots in the county. Share your favourites too!