2019 New Year Bucket List
31 December 2018
Here's our suggestions on what to see and do in 2019 to make the most of our beautiful county of Wiltshire. Plan for one a quarter and you’ll find it incredibly achievable and rewarding!
1. Our environment needs our help more than ever
Reduce your impact on the environment - look to recycle and upcycle - buy beeswax wraps, take a shopping bag, resusable bottle and coffee cup with you, buy bamboo straws, wooden toothbrushes. Avoid products with microbeads.
Buy produce from local companies rather than supermarkets to avoid all the supermarket packaging and reduce food miles.
Hat off to local Devizes company Meadow in my Garden who continue to evangelise for nature & encourage people to go wild in their gardens. They do great work helping volunteer projects & guerilla gardening initiatives with their flower meadow mixes that encourage wildlife & pollinators. You don’t need to have a big garden for wild flowers & they not only look stunning but also help our busy bees, butterflies and ladybirds. They’re looking for volunteers to help fill public spaces with wild flowers. Get in touch if you think you can help.
2. 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 become a regular at a Wiltshire Farmers Market so that local always makes its way onto your table.
J W Fine Foods in Woodborough smoke & cure their own salmon, The Farm Cookery School sells their own Netherstreet Beef & The Baking Chambers sells bread local to Lockeridge while also running fabulous bread making courses.
If you feel like a tipple look no further than The Wiltshire liqueur Company – also fabulous ingredients for any recipe. It not only supports your local economy but when it hasn’t travelled it’s better for the environment and tastes better too!
3. 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 dining pub in the country for the second year running - The Michelin Starred Red Lion, East Chisenbury and Countryside Alliance pub champion 2018 The Swan in Enford.
Don't miss the incredibly popular The Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn regularly featured in national publications as a lovely country pub surrounded by fantastic walks. They've also recently launched their catering arm 'Full Flavour Behaviour' serving upmarket but casual food.
We love the The George & Dragon in Rowde with their fabulous seafood & rustic luxurious rooms with a touch of Soho House, The highly awarded Harrow at Little Bedwyn, critically acclaimed for its 900 bin wine list, and The Wheatsheaf Chilton Foliat where local sourcing is at the heart and is in the SRA's top 20 most sustainable restaurants.
For a casual lunch or for the best coffee try the lovely Sticks & Stones in their lifestyle shop in Woodborough or book onto one of Former Michelin Star Chef James' pop up supper clubs at J W Fine foods. The food is fantastic.
4. Regular bracing walks are a great way to stay fit
Visit a new part of the Wiltshire countryside & walk somewhere new – there are stunning walks from the North Wessex Downs to the Nadder Valley. Our members have lots of top tips on things to do – whether it’s walking the ancient Ridgeway, an invigorating walk across Salisbury Plain or a walk around Fonthill Lake near Tisbury you’ll be pleased you ventured there.
5. Look after yourself & others
Love Food in Marlborough has Love Food to go - healthy nutritional meals for delivery, and has an energy boosting cookery demonstration on 17th January showing you foods that ward off lack of energy and motivation.
Nordic Walking instructor Ashley Sandy can help you get fit and have fun while exploring the beautiful outdoors, and is offering ski fit classes to get you ready for the slopes.
Make this the year to get yourself first aid ready with a course from Worsley Training, so if someone collapsed at work or on the street you'd know what to do.
6. Make it to at least one of Wiltshire’s events or festivals
Racehorses have been trained in Wiltshire for over a Century so have fun watching Barbury Races – a great day out for all the family.
Kick off your shoes at a music festival or there are plenty of Arts Festivals around the county - Salisbury, Trowbridge & Devizes and fabulous theatre at Illford Arts Festival near Bradford on Avon.
Marlborough literature festival has some great authors & there are plenty of Food & Drink Festivals throughout the summer. See our events calendar.
7. Take in one of our national treasures
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 to see how a wealthy 17th Century Merchant would have lived.
8. 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.
Organise a nutritional cookery course at your home with Love Food or a bread making course with The Baking Chambers.
The Farm Cookery School in Bromham has a fabulous array of cookery courses for all ages, and Sonia Wright runs wonderful horticultural courses at Buckerfields Barn in Ogbourne St George.
9. Don’t always default to Amazon
If you’re looking for a gift or new items for the home stop and think if you could buy from a small local company. You’ll be amazed at the unique things available as well as how affordable they are too.
Garp from Sticks & Stones makes the most wonderful wooden items for the home and Rachel runs her amazing company Fioriblu in Avebury selling colourful leather handbags and accessories.
And there are lots of ideas for the home too. You can get beautiful curtains, blinds and other soft furnishings made by White Mulberry Soft Furnishings, bespoke sofas, chairs and Nadder cubes from Balmain & Balmain in Wilton, funky lighting from Charlie Howe Designs in Urchfront.
If you're looking for something unique pop into one of our marvellous local shops - Digger & Mojo and Indigo Antiques never fail to please.
Here's to a fabulous 2019!