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Blog (Activity) - Visit Wiltshire

Salisbury Plain Safaris

Salisbury Plain Horseback Safari Experience

On an August weekend, we met bright and early at the Riverside riding stables in Shrewton, where we were met by James from Salisbury Plain Safaris. Time, we weren’t heading out in his 4x4 vehicle but we were going to experience Salisbury Plain on horseback!

Elements of Avebury

Learning new skills in the inspirational surroundings of Avebury

I am always keen to discover constructive ways to use the crafting techniques I have learnt over the years, so was really pleased to be invited along to a Creative Journaling Workshop. The workshop is one of many courses held at Elements of Avebury, a beautiful shop located right in the centre of the village set amongst ancient stones. The shop sells beautiful locally sourced gifts, and interesting products from further afield such as exquisite dresses made from recycled saris, and bags made in Africa from recycled water bottles.

Mad Max Tours

A tour of Lacock, Avebury and Castle Combe with Mad Max Tours

On a lovely summer’s afternoon recently I was invited to join a Mad Max Tour around North Wiltshire.  I joined the tour in Lacock, at this stage the group had already visited Stonehenge, and travelled through some of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. Talking to some of those on board, they had thoroughly enjoyed Stonehenge and the journey so far, one lady from North America said she now wanted to move to Wiltshire because it was so beautiful!

Eastcott Studios

Getting creative with Eastcott Studio

I haven’t played with clay since school days, and that is a very long time ago, so the idea of a ‘Create and Chill’ session at Eastcott Studio sounded a great way to try again!

Eastcott Studios are based in Old Town, Swindon and offer a variety of freestyle sessions, workshops and activities for all ages. There is some parking available just outside and as I entered the gallery area at the front of the studio I was greeted by the very friendly resident dog… and Jo who runs the studio!

Bowood Golf

Enjoying a round of golf at Bowood Golf Club

Over a weekend in June, I had the great pleasure to play the 18 hole Bowood golf course. Set in lush parklands, it is an architect designed championship course. For those not playing golf there is a superb alternative with the Bowood Spa and Leisure providing a relaxing area to rejuvenate. This is what my wife, Theresa, took full advantage of while I was playing!

Walking in Wiltshire

9 reasons to go walking in Wiltshire

Wiltshire is blessed with many walking routes, suitable for those who prefer a short ramble in the countryside to those who are looking for a challenge. Here, we give you nine reasons why you should walk in Wiltshire.

Castle Hill, Mere

An exploration of Mere

Mere is often one of those places I’ve been meaning to stop by at but haven’t had the time. Like many people, I’ve passed it plenty of times on my way to and from the West Country and to nearby Stourhead. I decided that I was going to change this, particularly as from the passing bits of the town that I have seen I have been very impressed.

Bowood

Spring in Wiltshire: from our fans’ perspective

You may have seen that we are currently running a competition on Instagram and Twitter to win a break to Wiltshire. The competition runs until the end of June and is encouraging our visitors to use #timeforwiltshire and #wiltshirespring in their social posts.

Corsham (C) Andy Rose

A photographic treasure hunt of Corsham

When visiting our historic towns and villages it’s always worth taking time to stop, pause and look up at some of our buildings. Often you’ll see a wealth of features that you could quite easily miss.

Stars

Top spots for stargazing in Wiltshire

On a clear evening, there’s nothing better than a spot of stargazing. Wiltshire being a predominantly rural county lends itself to stargazing with the advantage of less light pollution than more urban areas.

Paul McLean

A spotlight on: Bowood Golf Pro, Paul McLean

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Bowood I am originally from Middlesbrough and started working at Bowood in 1997 having moved back to the UK from Bahrain where I learned to play golf o..

Wildflowers

A tour of the wildflower meadows at Clattinger Farm

Clattinger Farm forms part of the Lower Moor Farm complex of nature reserves owned and managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. 

I joined the Trust for one of their guided walks, highlighting the Snakeshead Fritillaries which dominate some of the meadows here in April. Many people flock to nearby Cricklade to see these delicate flowers but Clattinger Farm is another fine example of wildflower meadows.

Christine Wallace

Perfecting pastry, and discovering some Bake Off secrets at Vaughan’s Cookery School

I have enjoyed several courses at Vaughan’s Cookery School in the past and have always come away having had a great time and learnt some new skills, so when I had the opportunity to join the Perfect Pastry course Mr H decided it was time he broadened his culinary skills, and join me. Vaughan’s Cookery School is located in the lovely town of Devizes, and we took the opportunity to stop off in town first, as the range of independent shops there offer some lovely different gifts, and I had a few birthday presents to get. Mr H used the opportunity to call into Wadworth Visitor Centre Shop and pick up a few souvenirs for himself!

Painting

A Painting Class with a difference in Bradford on Avon

Bradford on Avon is always a pleasure to visit, with its lovely independent shops, great range of eating places, and fabulous selection of place to stay, I am often to be found there enjoying the canal and river walks, or a bit of shopping and coffee culture! However, Friday night was an opportunity to try something completely new to the town – painting and cocktails – how could I resist? So on a beautiful spring evening my daughter and I headed to The Boathouse.

Avebury Stone Circle

Exploring Avebury World Heritage Site with Oldbury Tours

Visitors to Wiltshire may have been to Avebury Stone Circle, however how many of you have explored the wider landscape at this World Heritage Site?

I went on a trip to discover more with Laurence Davis from Oldbury Tours. Accompanying us for the half day tour were Ellie and Gillian Farago from Heritage B&B in Calne. The three of us had all visited Avebury previously and had various different levels of knowledge about the history and spirituality of the area.

Pewsey Vale Riding

A ride across the Pewsey Vale

We arrived at the Pewsey Vale Riding Centre on Sunday morning just before 10am, as the three of us Justine, Angela and I, had been booked in for a two hour hack across the beautiful Pewsey Vale in Wiltshire as a birthday treat for me! All of us can ride but we had not been out for a hack for a while so we were a little out of practice.

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.

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.

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?
 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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…

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.