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Discover the hidden delights of Wiltshire.

Our members represent a rich community of independent local businesses providing quality and unique products and experiences.

Find local artisan food & drink, unique gifts, art, local shops, events, places to stay & things to do in Wiltshire.

  • Red Lion Freehouse

    In 2013, the Red Lion at East Chisenbury was awarded a Michelin star for the second year running. ...»

  • Little Dan Designs & Cotswold Creative Fairs

    Despite coming from a family of sewers, Danielle Seatter only discovered the joys of making when her children were at school. ...»

  • Sticks & Stones

    Sticks and Stones is a stylish, lifestyle shop wrapped around a cosy and relaxed café alongside the Woodborough Garden Centre, ...»

  • Wagon Yard Artists

    Wagon Yard Studio, just a few minutes walk from Marlborough’s busy high street, is quite unique. Six skilled and talented artists work there; regular pottery classes...»

  • Overtown Manor

    Overtown Manor is a unique Bed and Breakfast. Situated just minutes from the M4 at Swindon it couldn’t be easier to reach. ...»

  • Wiltshire Farmers Markets

    Wiltshire Farmers’ Markets Association runs ten monthly markets across the county where local people can buy local food and drink direct from producers....»

  • Lucy's Days Out

    Lucy’s Days Out is a charity run by Julie Page. Her daughter Lucy first became ill when she was six....»

A wild swim in Wiltshire?

Sam Bertram

11 June 2016

The Sun’s been out quite convincingly this week so, without tempting fate, it seemed an opportune time to ask around for people’s favourite wild swimming spots in Wiltshire. And here’s what we found…   1. Lots of people voted for Farleigh Hungerford near Trowbridge and it’s no wonder.  Founded in 1932 the Farleigh & District Swimming Club is believed to be the oldest river swimming club in the world. Many have memories of glorious summer days spent in this beautiful spot - a deep but narrow stretch of the River Frome above a weir. There are lawns and steps into the water, changing huts and even a portaloo. You can find them on Facebook – Farleigh and District Swimming Club   2. Slightly south of Farleigh Hungerford there’s a large weir pool set amongst the trees at Tellisford.  Park at the top of Vaggs Hill and access it from there.   3. Lake 32 in the Cotswold Water Park near Swindon is great for those who want to stretch out and have more than a paddle.  They also hold triathlons there for those up for a challenge.   4. Near the Oxfordshire border is Buscot Weir – a large deep pool with tree swings and lawns.    5. A little beyond the borders in Lechlade there’s a good swimming spot in the Thames, upstream from the town.   6. Just near the abbey in Lacock is Bide Brook Weir which is popular for a summer splash. There is a large deep pool and some rope swings. Park at the NT car park and walk down the road past the river before turning left into a field via a stile in the wall.   7. Closer to Warminster in the village of Heytesbury there’s a lovely spot to cool off in the River Wylye. Take the path at the back of Mill Street.   8. Another spot in the River Wylye can be found between Hanging Langford and Steeple Langford - perfect for families and kids. It’s a little on the cold side but you can always warm up on the grass verge which is also perfect for picnics. There’s a small car park off Duck Street directly opposite the swimming spot.   9. Dip into the River Avon in Fighledean near Amesbury. It’s extremely popular so try to go at non-peak times if you can. The water is fairly deep so you get a decent swim but brace yourself – it can be cold! Look out for the long stone wall of Figheldean House and turn down the cul-de-sac opposite.   10. Ten minutes’ walk from Salisbury centre is the Old Mill at Harnham. There’s a paddling part which is great for small kids and a deeper stream for swimming.   11. There’s also a swimming spot in the River Nadder in Teffont Evias. It’s a small secret pool but it is on a fishing beat so don’t swim if fishermen are there.   12. Near the Hampshire / Berkshire border in Great Bedwyn you can find the ‘Dog Hole’ pronounced ‘dogole’ which is a small pool fed by the river.  Only really deep enough for kids it’s much loved by children in the area. Just head down Frog Lane and past the village hall and you can find it after about 500 yards. The River Dun is also great for paddling – it’s cold so will definitely cool you down!   13. Heading back towards Marlborough someone mentioned enjoying swimming in the river by Axford.   14. Closer to Malmesbury swimming in the river at Little Somerford seems to be a favourite.   Got some more suggestions? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook or email us on hello@localuncovered.com and we’ll add them in. Looking for a useful resource? http://www.wild-swimming.com/  

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Wiltshire Handmade Furniture

Sam Bertram

12 August 2016

With so much mass produced furniture on the market there’s nothing better than having some handmade wooden furniture in your home. We spoke to Bill Hazelwood at Wiltshire Timbercrafts to find out more about what he does. Tell us about the wood you use to make furniture ‘I mainly use oak and burr oak but have just taken delivery of two lovely Elm butts.  I can also get Ash which is slivery white on the outside and dark towards the middle but people don’t like Ash furniture anymore. These days it’s tricky to get Elm which has a beautiful grain. Unfortunately most Elms were killed off by disease and what little you can get is from Scotland and quite rotted.  Elm used to be about 3/4s of what I did and was very dry and stable. I do have some walnut that I love working with but there’s not much demand for it as it is so dark so I work with it for my own satisfaction only. I get all my timber from Studley Sawmills between Chippenham and Calne so it’s all local and I can get it all year round. It’s a long term project buying wood as after buying it you need to lay it down for a year before kilning.  So I have lots of wood in stock.’ What are your most popular items? ‘The most popular items I make are coffee tables and nests of tables and I’ve recently sold a lot of my mini chests which people use for storage cabinets or storing things like jewellery etc. I have one on my desk at home which is full of my papers.  However I also do cabinets, chest of drawers and tables etc to order.’ What do you love about woodwork? ‘I get a big kick out of converting a rough piece of timber into something that looks beautiful. It gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction so I’m lucky to have a business that I love.  I’ve been making wooden furniture for 50 years although only 31 years of that has been fulltime. Finish is important and that takes almost as long as constructing the item in the first place.  It’s important to have a soft looking finish. It’s not as enjoyable as constructing the item itself but it’s obviously a really important part of the process. I mainly use a water based acrylic from Fiddes in Cardiff.’ How have things changed? ‘Afrormosia and Parana Pine used to be very popular but became banned timbers because of the dereliction of forest from which they were poached. I’ve still got an Afrormosia chopping board. The sort of timbers you can use have changed really dramatically.  I was lucky to get hold of some spalted hornbeam the other day.  Tastes have really changed though – I used to do curvier designs but now people prefer things straighter and more angular and light wood rather than dark. It’s the Ikea effect!’ Where can people find you? ‘I have some of the items on my website but you can always ring up and visit me in my workshop. I also go to a lot of fairs throughout the summer. I’ll be at Stonar Park near Henley over the August Bank holiday weekend, Penshurst place in Kent on 9th to 11th and Hyde End near Great Missenden in 7th to 9th October. It’s still a way off but I’m also doing a Christmas show at Wield & Downland Open Air museum near Chichester which is a lovely venue. I can do commissions but also have lots in stock ready for purchase. Even better it’s all local UK wood and made by fair hand in Wiltshire. Come and visit.’ www.wiltshiretimbercraft.co.uk  

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