14 January 2016
It wouldn’t be a new year if we didn’t pull together a bucket list - so here’s our take on what you should be aiming to see and do in 2016 to make the most of this beautiful county. Plan for one a quarter and you’ll find it incredibly achievable and rewarding!
1. Experience some of the amazing pubs & restaurants in the county - It’s important to support your local pub & restaurant, but once in a while it’s worth going further afield. In Wiltshire we have The Good Food Guide’s best pub in the country - The Michelin Starred Red Lion, East Chisenbury. There’s Tom Parker Bowles’ favourite The Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn, AP McCoy’s pub The Outside Chance, The Michelin starred Harrow at Little Bedwyn which has been AA and Decanter’s Restaurant of the Year amongst other accolades and The Pear Tree in Purton, The Good Hotel Guide’s Best Country Hotel in 2015. There's also the Charming Pythouse Kitchen Garden near Tisbury. Not bad huh?
2. Visit a new part of the Wiltshire countryside & walk somewhere new – the Wiltshire countryside is absolutely stunning with amazing walks from the North Wessex Downs to the Nadder Valley. Our members have lots of top tips on their local walks – whether it’s walking the ancient Ridgeway, discovering Maud Heath’s Memorial Column on Wick Hill near Chippenham, an invigorating walk across Salisbury Plain or a walk around Fonthill Lake near Tisbury you’ll be pleased you ventured there.
3. Look at your grocery list and think what you can source locally – there’s so much fabulous food & drink available right here in Wiltshire. Visit your local butcher or deli or become a regular at a Wiltshire Farmers Market so that local always makes its way onto your table. It not only supports your local economy but when it hasn’t travelled it’s better for the environment and tastes better too!
4. Take in one of our national treasures – It was recently reported that the stunning Stourhead near Mere is the second most visited National Trust Property. However, there are plenty more to choose from – Avebury (the ‘better’ stone circle), Lacock Abbey, Wardour Castle near Tisbury, Great Chalfield Manor and Garden (featured in ‘Wolf Hall’), The Courts Garden in Holt or Old Sarum near Salisbury. And don’t forget the marvellous Salisbury Cathedral and Malmesbury Abbey or Castle Combe, said by many to be the prettiest village in England or The Merchant's House in Marlborough.
5. Make it to at least one of Wiltshire’s Festivals – Kick-off your shoes at a music festival – the Cock & Bull Festival at Jamie’s Farm near Box or The Larmer Tree Festival. Or if art is your thing there are plenty of Arts Festivals around the country – in Salisbury, Trowbridge & Devizes and fabulous theatre at Illford Arts Festival near Bradford on Avon. Marlborough & Mere both have literature festivals & there are plenty of Food & Drink Festivals throughout the summer. See our events calendar
6. Learn something new - how often do you wish you could do something better? There are plenty of places offering courses – Marlborough College Summer School has every course you can imagine and it’s a fun way to spend a week. The Shalbourne Collection & Mimo in Marlborough have some fantastic courses as do Wagon Yard Artists for those keen to learn ceramics.
7. Don’t always default to Amazon – if you’re looking for a gift stop and think if you could buy from a small local company before hitting Amazon. You’ll be amazed at the unique gifts available as well as how affordable they are too. We have lots of gift ideas for both him and her so check those out before going global!