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Discover the hidden delights of Wiltshire.

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

  • Love Food

    Lucinda Bevan is a nutritional therapist with a keen interest in the brain. She runs lively and informative nutritional cookery demonstrations...»

  • Rubi Locke Jewellery

    Mini began making wedding jewellery over 10 years ago when her daughters were small. ...»

  • Sticks & Stones

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

  • The Shalbourne Collection

    Following successful careers in London, Carolyn Bartholomew and Sarah Samuel now live in the beautiful village of Shalbourne. ...»

  • Rushall Manor

    Rushall Manor is a delightful Georgian house that dates back to the end of the 18th century. It is currently owned by Caroline Larken...»

  • Clementine's Shop

    “My mother ran Compton Marbling for over 35 years and organized gift fairs in the courtyard of our family home. When I moved back, I realised it was the perfect opportunity to create exactly the shop I’d always wanted.”...»

  • 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....»

Wagon Yard's Open Studio

Sam Bertram

20 May 2016

Marlborough Open Studios is coming up in July so we spoke to Jacqui Melhuish at Wagon Yard Artists about what they’ve got in store. So tell us a bit more about Marlborough Open Studios ‘Marlborough Open Studios is every weekend in July and gives people the opportunity to visit artists in their studios across the Wessex Downs. There are 59 artists taking part and the diversity of work on offer is incredible. We’re open every weekend except for the last Sunday & there are four artists exhibiting at Wagon Yard - myself, Jane Renwick, Kate Wade and Mary Thorne. There was a preview show in Mount House in May and it looked amazing and had a record breaking number of sales. I put in two Raku pieces, white crackle and bronze glaze, that both sold. I do have more though so visitors to the studio won’t miss out.’ What do you love about Marlborough Open Studios? ‘It’s incredibly sociable and I love the fact we get lots of opportunity to catch-up with all the artists at Wagon Yard, as most have other jobs alongside their art. But the best thing is engaging with the public and being able to tell them the story behind our art. It’s great to have the studio buzzing with visitors. We also love the fact that we get people coming back again year after year, but we also get new visitors. People aren’t necessarily from just the Marlborough area as many bring friends and relatives along from other parts of the country.’ So what should visitors expect from a visit to Wagon Yard? ‘Well if you come the first Saturday there’ll be Bucks Fizz on offer so if you like a tipple then that’s the day to be here! Otherwise we welcome people with scones & jam & cream.  We like our guests to feel at home.  We love chatting to everyone who comes in and there are always 2 artists here during the event. It’s a fantastic opportunity for visitors to find out how things are made and the inspiration behind the work.  Prices are also good as you’re not paying gallery rates which are often double. You also get to see a larger collection of work from each artist – in a gallery you only get a snapshot – this gives you the opportunity to see the full aspect of what people do. Last year we held a raffle which was incredibly successful, so we’ve decided to repeat that again. We do the draw the last weekend and the winner gets to choose £50 worth of gifts from the gallery. A lovely man called Tim won last year and he was absolutely thrilled.’ Anything you’ve created this year that you’re particularly proud of? ‘I’ve started doing some new illustrations on my ceramics. I’ve always been interested in patterns created by nature and have been looking at the waterline and the traces it leaves. Jane has been making her ammonite plates of resin metals and you’ll be able to see Kate Wade’s stunning new landscapes and Mary Thorne’s tableware inspired by Wiltshire scenery.’   It’s a busy time isn’t it as it’s on at the same time as Marlborough College Summer School? ‘Yes this is the busiest time for us and Jane and I are both teaching at Summer School.   I normally just teach children but this year I’m also teaching adult ceramics – Surface Decoration for beginners. It’s only on for one week and the rest of the time I’m doing Children let’s get creative – illustration and a clay course. Jane is teaching liquid metal where you get to create several pieces, experimenting with different metals, casting and sculpture. We’ll all be looking forward to putting our feet up when it’s all over. Please come and visit us as we’d love to see you. We’re open the first four weekends in July except the last Sunday so pop in and say hi.’ www.facebook.com/Wagon-Yard-Artists

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Top Bluebell Spots

Sam Bertram

7 April 2016

Startling, bright colours are one of the wonders of nature and no more than the carpet of blue flowers in our woodlands in spring.  It’s nearly Bluebell season and by all accounts the mild winter means they’re already flowering in places. We asked around for people’s favourite bluebell spots in Wiltshire and it’s no surprise we got an overwhelming response. So here  are our recommendations from Wiltshire locals…   1. The top spot goes to West Woods which the majority of people named as their favourite. Situated just outside Marlborough near the village of Lockeridge it’s a beautiful plantation of beech trees on a former ancient woodland site and the bluebells are magnificent. Note for dog owners: In December there were some suspected cases of Albama Rot thought to have been contracted in West Woods. For more information see this link http://ww.forestry.gov.uk/alabamarot    2. Closer to the Dorset border and Tisbury? Bluebells have already been spotted at the Larmer Tree and one local described a magical bluebell wood you can see from the road. Leave Clementine’s Shop, go past Pythouse Kitchen Garden Cafe & Shop and continue to the Bath / Shaftesbury road. Just before the road there is a hump back bridge and to the right a stunning bluebell wood with a stream running through it. (Please note: unknown if on private or public land so please check if investigating!). Win Green near Ludwell is also good as well as Ashmore just over the border in Dorset.   3. On the Wiltshire / Oxon Border you’ll find Badbury Hill near picture perfect Coleshill with its secret Second World War history. Overlooking the Vale of the White Horse it’s an Iron Age fort with a stunning bluebell woodland.   4. Devizes locals love the bluebells that grow alongside white wild garlic at Wheelers Wood on the road between Sandy lane (with its well preserved thatch cottages) & Lacock. Erlestoke wood is also a favourite and bluebells have already been sighted in Potterne wood.   The 32 acre Oakfrith Woodland in Urchfont dates back to the 18th Century and is one of the few remaining areas of significant woodland in the Pewsey Vale. In early spring bluebells cover the woodland floor.   5. If you live a little nearer Bath, Quarry Hill Woodland on Devizes Road in Box has some lovely displays.   6. Closer to Warminster the woods around Longleat are reported to already to have bluebells & if you head to Heaven’s Gate at the top of Prospect Hill you’ll see more while enjoying the views across the parkland of Longleat and Longleat House.   7. Malmesbury locals recommended Sommerford Common as a good spot. Go to Brinkworth and turn up Stoppers Hill towards Minety. It’s an extensive mixed woodland run by The Forestry Commission.    8. On the Wiltshire / Berkshire border the Littlecote grounds have lovely bluebells and a beautiful Roman mosaic and the remains of a Roman Villa, so get your history fix while you’re there.   9. It’s important not to forget our treasured National Trust Properties - Lacock & Stourhead both have displays of bluebells alongside other spectacular spring flowers.   10. Closer to Swindon are Ashen Copse in Wroughton & Pinkcombe wood in Hodson. Quidhampton Woods near Wroughton are on the slopes up to Bincknoll Castle, a hill fort overlooking Swindon. Take in the panoramic views while you get your fix of blue. There's also Hagbourne Copse right in the middle of Swindon.   11. Last year 7000 bluebell bulbs were planted by residents and the council in Milford Hollow near Laverstock in Salisbury so fingers crossed they produce a beautiful display.   12. Around Calne & Chippenham Bowood House opens it’s Woodland Garden from 22nd April where you can see Rhododendrons amongst the bluebells. Mortimers Wood is just south of Chippenham near Pewsham Way – a small area of ancient woodland with recorded history dating back over 800 years.   13. Jubilee Lake in Royal Wootton Bassett has lovely bluebells in its woodlands. Complete with children’s playground and tea rooms you can stay for a bite to eat or enjoy a picnic by the lake.    14. Grovely Wood in Great Wishford is the largest tract of private woodland in Southern Wiltshire straddling the Wyle and Nadder vallies. The carpet of bluebells are stunning - inspired by the display a local Great Wishford resident calls her greeting card business Simply Bluebell.   TAKE NOTE: Hopefully it’ll be dry and the sun beating down but if not don’t forget your umbrella!   Got some more suggestions? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook or email us on hello@localuncovered.com and we’ll add them in.

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