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Summer Holiday fun for kids

Sam Bertram

6 July 2018

School’s out for some and not far off for others so time to start planning how to fill those long summer holidays. Here’s a roundup on what’s on in Wiltshire for kids this summer.   Theatre, Circus & the arts Kick off the summer with some open air theatre at Marlborough College Summer School on Tuesday 17th July.  Illyria presents The Adventures of Dr Doolittle (also at Lacock on 27th July). A funny, much-loved and exciting adventure, with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment.  If you miss that there’s more open theatre later in the summer. Peter Pan at Lydiard Park on Friday 24th August & Alice Adventures in Wonderland at Lacock on Thursday 30th August. Devizes International street festival on 26th and 27th August has lots of street acts to keep the kids entertained.  Head to the Ragroof Players workshop to learn Charleston, Tango, Hand Jive, Night Fever, Salsa, Gangnam or Floss or watch them do 100 years of dance crazes in 100 minutes. The fabulous Giffords Circus returns to Marlborough Common from 31st August to 10th September – a firm family favourite. Don’t miss getting tickets for David Walliams at the Marlborough Literature festival at end of September. Tickets will sell out fast for this one.   Keen cooks in the family? The Farm Cookery School in Bromham is absolutely fabulous and they’ve got courses for kids throughout the summer. If you’re children are keen bakers why not get in touch with The Baking Chambers to see what bread and pizza making courses they’ve got planned?   Summer School Keep the kids entertained at Marlborough College Summer School, there’s something for everyone– on for the next four weeks until 3rd August. There are still some spaces so not too late to book.   Explore some of our national treasures As always both National Trust and English Heritage have plenty of fun for the family. Visit the magnificent Stourhead and, from 26th July, pick up a game pack so you and your family can play this life size version of a classic board game to 'get rich quick' around the house and garden. Families will have to get silly to earn the money to buy their favourite parts of Stourhead. Find out what medicines the abbey nuns grew 800 years ago on Healing Herbs Family Trail at Lacock until 2nd September. The ever popular Joust! Tournament & Melee returns to Old Sarum on Sunday 26th to Monday 27th August. Avebury has lots of fun planned for the summer with trails and spotter sheets, archaeology afternoons where kids can take part in a mini dig and a West Kennet Long Barrow burial or curate their own miniature museum.  For sporty types they’re holding Sports Day weekends throughout August or pop in for one of their Children’s yoga sessions. The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has lots of fun with Prehistoric sea monsters on Wednesday 8th August, Snakes and the Rainforest on Wednesday 15th August, Tudor crafts on Wednesday 22nd August and Pirates and the Sea on Wednesday 29th August.   Outdoor Fun Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has scavenger hunts at Widbrook Wood, Bradford on Avon on 8th August and Lower Moor Farm, Oaksey on 9th August. There’s also lots of fun by the lake at Lower Moor Farm for the w/c 20th August. The adventure playground at Bowood House is a firm family favourite or head to Wilton House for their equally good playground & paddle in the river when the heat gets too much. Westbury has some Inflatable fun dayz on 21st and 22nd July. There’s a picnic in the park and a free family fun day in Victoria Park Salisbury on Wednesday 29th August & family fun days at Lydiard Park on 14th and 15th July.  If your kids are animal lovers there’s also the Dog Bark Show on 5th August.   Fairs & Festivals For a lovely family friendly festival head to Festival on the Farm in Purton from 3rd to 5th August or Figgle Fest – a free day of family fun held in Fighledean on 7th July. For some classic countryside - stunt shows and sheepdog displays pop in to The Wessex Country Fair on Sunday 5th August. Little kids will be over the moon to visit Tractor Ted digger & dumpers weekend at Bowood on 17th and 18th August.

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A wild swim in Wiltshire?

Sam Bertram

22 June 2018

Things are hotting up so we thought we'd dig up our blog from 2016 on people’s favourite wild swimming spots in Wiltshire. Brace yourself it can be cold…   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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Summer Cocktails

Sam Bertram

23 May 2018

Tiffinie Pride from Wiltshire Liqueur Company loves a cocktail so we asked her for her favourite summer recipes.   Sloe Gin Negroni Ingredients  1 part Sloe Gin 1 part gin 1 part sweet Vermouth  1 part Campari  Method  Combine all the ingredients and serve over ice garnished with a slice of orange   Wild Strawberry Daiquiri  Celebrate the best of British Summer. Ingredients 1 part Wild Strawberry Liqueur 1 part white rum 2 teaspoons of white sugar Juice of 1 lime Method Mix all the ingredients together and serve in a martini glass garnished with half a strawberry.      Maiden’s Prayer A beautifully coloured and refreshingly cooling cocktail. Ingredients 2 parts Sloe Gin 2 parts Blood Orange Liqueur 1 part orange juice Method Shake all ingredients together and strain into a chilled martini glass.      Strawberry Crush A lusciously long and cooling cocktail.  Ingredients 1 part Wild Strawberry Liqueur 2 lime wedges Chilled champagne to top up 2 strawberries plus extra to decorate  Method Muddle the strawberries and lime wedges at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the Wild Strawberry Liqueur and some ice cubes. Shake and strain into a chilled champagne flute, top up with champagne and decorate the glass with a slice of strawberry.    For more inspiring cocktails recipes visit https://www.wiltshireliqueur.com/recipes    

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Music Festival Round up

Sam Bertram

5 May 2018

A music festival is the perfect excuse to listen to great music, camp out, dress up and dance like no-one is watching. We’ve put together a list of Wiltshire’s best in 2018.   Manton Fest – Saturday 30th June – Marlborough A small one-day charity fundraising music festival held annually in the village of Manton in beautiful surroundings. Perfect if looking for a fun afternoon and evening out with the family. A taste of the line-up: Katrina of the waves, John Coghlan’s quo, Whole Lotta Led, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Barrelhouse, Empty Gestures, Skedaddle & more. Child friendly and under 7s go free.   Once upon a time in the west – 13th to 15th July – nr Trowbridge and Westbury An extremely friendly small festival with fun features like ‘Universally Challenge – The Gameshow’. 2018 has a medieval dress theme and the Djin Palace returns for late night dj'ing and gin and cocktails. It’s a great space for kids with a climbing wall for all ages, cardboard creations and trapeze skills. New for 2018 is a quiet area for camping for families.  A taste of the line-up: The Showhawk Duo, The Swinghoppers, Swing, Funky house, Electro Beats and Phat Sam.   Boondocks Festival Friday 20th and Saturday 21st July – Malmesbury A chilled, family friendly event offering music, food, local beers and ciders. Camping & day passes available. 2 outdoor stages and a small fairground and outdoor skate park. A taste of the Line-up: Confirmed acts include Imperial Leisure, 3 Daft Monkeys, Jeramiah Ferrari, Normanton Street, Wasabi, The Drystones, Will Lawton and Weasel Howlett, Circus VIII, Felix Hagan and The Family, Caro, and more. There's many more still to be announced.   Larmer Tree festival- Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July – Tollard Royal Known for its fabulous location and range of things to do with its outdoor theatre and international street eats. They’ve also been awarded the UK Festival Awards for ‘Best Family Festival’ and ‘Best Toilets’ by festival goers for the coolest, cleanest loos! This year they’re introducing their new 'Larmer Spa in the wilds' nestled deep in the woods complete with wood fired hot tub, therapists and gong bathing! Camping & Glamping. A taste of the Line-up: Tune Yards, Nick Mulvey, Sonhoy Blues, Nadine Shah, The Barr Brothers, Hudson Taylor & more.   WOMAD – 26th to 29th July – Malmesbury A global fiesta of music, food, dance & art. Visit The World of Art, World of Children, World of Words, The Physics Pavilion, Taste the World or escape from festival craziness in the World of Wellbeing. Take a workshop – try anything from African drumming to acapella singing, from Beatboxing to Brazilian dance. There’s also a WOMAD spa. Camping & Glamping. A taste of the Line-up: Amadou & Mariam, Mr Jukes, The Original Gypsies of Camargue, Amparanoia, Camille, Django, Daara J Family.    Avebury Rocks Music Festival – Friday 27th to Sunday 29th July See performers in a field near to the famous standing stones of Avebury – all proceeds go towards supporting the care and services provided by local charity Prospect Hospice. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the Line-up: Chloe Mogg, Lottie Jenkins and Burbank, Natalie Shay, Ministry of Samba and more.   Fieldview festival – 2nd to 5th August – Little Sommerford A reputation as being Wiltshire’s biggest little festival raising money for good causes since 2009. 2017 saw the introduction of their beautiful new woodland chill out area. Camping & Glamping. Line up still to be announced.   Festival on the farm, Purton – Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August A small festival on an organic family farm. So while you can drink from the licensed bar you can counteract your alcohol intake with some lovely organic produce!  Children are welcome and under 10s go free. Paintball, face painters, Bouncy Castle, Rodeo Ride. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the line-up: Binomial, The Go Go Five, Vice Versa, Penfold and Hooch, The Blind Lemon Blues band and more. A review: Superb little festival with amazing talents and friendly people...good vibes all round.   Cock & Bull Festival, Jamie’s Farm – Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August - Corsham A festival for mind, body and soul – an intimate event with a social purpose at the heart of the party. Special in the fact it's run by and for local charity Jamie's Farm.  Mediation, yoga, Thai chi, farmer Olympics & community feasting (all food sourced from Jamie’s Farm) at the food barn. Dedicated kid’s space with lots of activities. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the Line Up: Brooke Sharkey, Double Bass Dan, The Embers Collection, Don’t tell your mother, Nkomba and more.   End of the road – 30th August to 2nd September – Larmer Tree Gardens Best medium sized festival – UK festival Awards 2017.  Music, comedy & Literature. A taste of the Line-up: Vampire Weekend, St Vincent, Feist, Yo La Tengo, Ezra Furman, Jeff Tweedy, John Cale & More.   Minety Festival – 29th June to 1st July In its 2nd year it was shortlisted for the UK Festival Awards in the Best New Festival Category. Raising money for raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Combat Stress and Naomi House & Jacksplace Hospice. A taste of the Line-up: Chesney Hawkes, The Dirty Smooth, The Hallows, Tom Forbes, The Shadow Monkeys. Kid zone with free caving, Slacklining, bouncy castle, circus skills, inflatable slide & assault course.    

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