Ludgershall Castle

By Emma Kirkup

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.

My first stop of the day was to the church of St Mary the Virgin, on the south side of Tidworth. The previous time I tried to visit here the church was closed but this time I was pleased to see it was open. The rain was pouring down as I made the short walk up to the church but it was brightened by the sight of a jay flying about in the grounds.

It’s a little bit eerie going into a church when no one else is in it however it gave me a great opportunity to take some pictures and discover some of the historic aspects including the chancel with its mosaic floor. There’s a handy little guide that the Churches Conservation Trust produce which point out some of the features within the church.

St Mary's Church, Tidworth

My next stop was the short drive away to Ludgershall. Sitting on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, this small town is home to a couple of shops, a pub, a medieval market cross and most importantly, Ludgershall Castle.

Ludgershall Castle is under the care of English Heritage and is free to visit all year round. There’s a small car park on the edge of the site and a couple of interpretation boards highlighting the history of the castle including its use by Henry III as a country residence and former hunting ground. I created a short video walking around the site below:

As I finished my visit to Ludgershall, the rain cleared up slightly and I continued my journey towards Marlborough passing the golds and yellows of the Savernake Forest and taking a short detour to the village of Wootton Rivers with its thatched cottages and walks along the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Wootton Rivers

Next up was my final destination for the day, Marlborough. It was lovely to see the twinkling lights of the shops, all dressed for Christmas and the fantastic displays of gifts and decorations for sale including the Christmas room in the Merchant’s House and the craft shops within St Peter’s Church.

Rick Stein's Marlborough

After taking a good walk around the centre, I’d certainly worked up an appetite so I headed to one of Marlborough’s newest restaurants, Rick Stein’s. I loved the décor of the restaurant and was amazed by just how busy it was for a Tuesday lunchtime. It was great to be able to hear about the stories behind some of the food being served as well including how the fish is brought freshly up from Cornwall to the restaurant daily and how in 2017 there are plans to open a guest house alongside the restaurant – giving people the perfect opportunity for a foodie break. (Oh and by the way, I did change out of my wellies by this point!). The day's exploits make a great day out if you are staying in the area between Salisbury and Marlborough.

We’d love to hear about your adventures in Wiltshire this autumn. Have you made any visits you’d like to share with us? If so, please comment below. Happy exploring!




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    It sounds like a day filled with unexpected adventures and a resilient spirit in the face of stormy weather, exploring hidden gems like St Mary the Virgin church and Ludgershall Castle amidst the rain.

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