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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.

  • The Wheatsheaf

    Masterchef semi-finalist Ollie Hunter and wife Lauren bought The Wheatsheaf pub in Chilton Foliat in November 2015...»

  • Meadow in my garden

    Childhood memories of running around in colourful wild meadows are often the most treasured, but sadly meadows are in decline along with our wildlife. ...»

  • PinkBox Boutique

    In 2014 after more than 15 years in corporate sales & marketing Kerry Gover decided to do it for herself, combining her experience and love of shopping ...»

  • Marlborough College Summer School

    In 1978, thanks to an air traffic controller’s strike, the presenters from the BBC “Holiday” programme had to cancel their planned trip to Spain ...»

  • Overtown Manor

    Overtown Manor is a unique Bed and Breakfast and business meeting venue, situated just minutes from the M4 at Swindon...»

  • 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....»

  • Love Food

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

Nordic Walk & get ski fit

Sam Bertram

7 September 2017

The start of the school year signals change for not only the young but for everyone. September is the new ‘New Year’ when we re-access priorities and think about our work, life balance and wellbeing. We spoke to Ashley Sandy of Nordic Walking with Ashley to find out why Nordic Walking is becoming such a popular form of exercise. So, what’s so great about Nordic Walking? ‘The best part of Nordic Walking is that we exercise outside. We live in such a beautiful part of the county and there are such a variety of places to walk. One of my walkers, who recently moved to the area, said she hadn’t realised how beautiful this area is. Nordic walking helped her discover places she would never have found on her own. Even people who’ve lived here for ages are surprised by the new places we visit. People love the fact that it’s extremely social and that brings them back time after time. There aren’t that many exercises where you can socialise at the same time. I teach people how to Nordic Walk and, more often than not, people come back and walk with the groups rather than go off on their own. It’s so much fun and many of my walkers have made friendships for life with lots of great connections being made.  It’s great for both toning and cardio. We do different kinds of walks – some short and fast paced and others longer while keeping up a good pace to get the best workout.  Using poles utilises upper body muscles you wouldn’t normally use and help you keep a good posture. If you have injuries you can really benefit from walking with poles. Another lady in my group broke her back and Nordic Walking has really improved her fitness and movement in her lower back. If you have hip or knee issues poles help take the weight off them.  And finally, it’s great for all ages.  I’m looking at doing some more intense hour sessions to suit those who don’t have the time for something longer.’ Which are your favourite walks? ‘I absolutely love Avebury – I’ve got several walks in that area including ones to the Valley of the Stones and Fyfield Downs. Pewsey Vale is also fabulous – I love walking from Knapp Hill to Martinsell – the views are spectacular. Although views are incredibly rewarding I also love the walks in the forests of Savernake and West Woods. There are so many wonderful trees. Walking on the canal from Wilton to Great Bedwyn and up to The Brails is lovely and we always find a good spot for coffee!’ Tell us about the ski fit training you’re planning ‘So many of us never get ski fit, but you can really minimise the thigh burn if you do some preparation before your ski holiday. ‘Nordic Walking UK have a specific ski fit training programme so I’m planning some sessions. They will be an hour of outdoor circuit training - possibly a six-week programme in the run up to Christmas and one after Christmas. The training focuses on strength, balance and posture. We will use poles, bands and there will be some basic Nordic walking training. I’d love to hear from people on what times suit best.  I’m thinking of straight after school drop off – around 9.30 but open to suggestions - please get in touch if you’re interested.’ http://www.ashleysandy.com  

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Quintessentially English accessories

Sam Bertram

4 August 2017

Picture it – the breakfast table laid with stunning plates & cups with the smell of fresh coffee & bacon wafting through the air. A scene where Dragonfly & Blossom’s beautiful illustrated fine bone china and fabric home accessories would feel right at home. We talked to founder Sarah Holton from her home in Malmesbury to find out more about her gorgeous range of products for the home. Tell us briefly about the inspiration behind your range of home accessories ‘With a background in arts, graphic design and brand management I always wanted to make a quality product that’s not only made locally but the best it can be.  Originally from Gloucestershire, the countryside has always been a major part of my life. My illustrations are inspired by nature – whether it’s the insect range featuring bees, dragonflies, ladybirds or butterflies or the countryside collection including hares, stags, chickens & pheasants.  I wanted to create a distinct understated quality brand, with broad appeal, so all my illustrations are black on white.  I’ve always enjoyed pencil drawing which is perfect for my products. I started with fine bone china (mugs, teacups, bowls, plates, jugs & jam pots) but have since added candles, fabric accessories (lampshades, cushions & noticeboards) and more recently notebooks & box files.’ You mention some new products – tell us about those  ‘The most recent addition to my range is a bigger farmyard mug where I’m donating 10% of all product sales to Jamie’s Farm, a charity enabling disadvantaged young people to thrive academically, socially and emotionally. The mug is not only bigger than previous mugs, but is the first design to deviate from the black illustration on white. It’s on a grey background, features pigs, cows and geese, is fun and perfect for morning coffee! I’ve introduced the grey background to other products too. It’s on the new notebooks and box files which are hand finished, and on the aprons, tea towels, book bags and gift wrap. All our new products have been launched in the most popular design – the bee & hare. With the aprons and tea towels it’s not always practical to have a clean white design so the grey background offers a more user-friendly solution. We’ve also introduced a range of greeting cards & doorstops. There are new additions to our fine bone china range too with tea bag tidies and spoon rests. We launched them at the Cotswold Show recently and they went down a storm.’ What’s next for Dragonfly & Blossom ‘The exciting part is the brand is starting to get recognised and known. At the Cotswold Show so many people came in to give us some wonderful feedback on our products. I love shows as that’s when you get to meet your customers and see people’s reactions. We’re always looking to introduce new products & ideas. Our next stop is Christmas when we’re going to launch some gift collections. If you’ve got any ideas of what you’d like to see please let us know.’  http://www.dragonflyandblossom.co.uk

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Food Assemblies

Local Food

We're setting up a Food Assembly in Marlborough and Devizes to put locals in touch with local foods. Join us to get access to local food and support our local food producers.

 

 

 

 

 

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