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What's on in Wiltshire

  • Little Dan Designs

    Despite coming from a family of sewers, Danielle Seatter only discovered the joys of making when her children were at school. Firstly sewing for family and friends, she found it so therapeutic and well received that she set-up Little Dan Designs in 2012. Danielle now makes handmade products from her home in Minety and sells through Etsy and at Cotswold Creative Fairs which she launched in 2016. Her best sellers are her fabric covered noticeboards but other items include sewing craft kits, bunting, aprons, peg bags to name a few. She can make to order, match with colour schemes and fabrics and is particularly proud of her new waterproof beach bags. She’s also recently added crochet to her range. A regular seller at fairs she identified an opportunity to create community fairs that give local groups an outlet for fundraising, while providing crafters a place to showcase and sell their wares to locals, and Cotswold Creative Fairs was borne. Mostly North Wiltshire, they’ve so far been a great success. By involving community groups the word spreads quickly about the fairs and Danielle ensures they are properly marketed. The quality of stalls is kept to a high standard as all sellers have to be proper established businesses. Danielle is also always present with Little Dan Designs and her fabulous range of homewares. ...»

  • Indigo Antiques & Interiors

    Inspired by a love of travel Marion and Richard Lightbown set up Indigo Antiques & Interiors in the early 1970s to introduce beautiful hand crafted Asian furniture to the UK. ‘After meeting in Australia Richard & I returned overland to the UK in a van we bought in Kathmandu. While in Delhi we met a lovely couple whose home was furnished with a fabulous mix of European antiques & Indian pieces. Enthused by what we saw we started importing furniture from Asia, first selling it from a market stall in Camden.’ Since then they’ve had shops in London & Bath – they’ve been at their showroom in Manningford Bruce near Pewsey for 15 years. Brimming with beautifully preserved original painted furniture, they also stock collectibles such as mirrors, Rajasthani bedspreads & handmade paper products. Their shop is an eclectic mix of restored antiques & quirky pieces. ‘We love the original painted furniture from Tibet and Mongolia but that’s high end, so we also sell a more affordable custom made range from China. Like the UK the Chinese use walnut & elm, so the furniture is as comfortable in country homes & cottages as in its native home. Many of the pieces have stunning intricate patterns & our showroom is constantly changing as antiques are so unique’. It’s an unexpected treasure trove that’s a little bit different from the mainstream. Pop in next time you’re passing & you won’t regret it. ...»

  • The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

    The Michelin-starred Harrow at Little Bedwyn opened in December 1998 following a chance remark from friends which led Sue and Roger Jones to view a sad and empty pub in Little Bedwyn.  Within two months, they had sold up in London, made swift repairs and The Harrow was open for business. In 2006, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, an award it has continued to receive every year since. Sue and Roger’s original vision for The Harrow has been key to their remarkable journey:  fresh, honest food with authentic ingredients, all served beautifully, combined with a warm, genuine welcome and professional yet discrete service. For every dish, there are recommended wines. Sue has her own favourite combinations. “ We currently have a lovely Sancerre that grows on flint giving it a very mineral character, it matches beautifully the acidity of the Ceviche. The two become one, almost like soul mates.” The Harrow offers a range of tasting menus all with fresh ingredients and the same attention to detail. The Lunch Menu is 5 courses for £40, the 6 course Tasting Menu is £50 and there is an 8 course Gourmet Menu for £75. All menus come with an optional range of matched wines to complement the food perfectly....»

  • The Swan

    Head chef Pete and his wife Emma lived in Enford for 12 years before the run down, village-owned pub came up for tenancy. With a move closer to their jobs in Hampshire on the cards, they were stopped in their tracks. This was their dream come true. Following extensive refurbishment they opened in July 2014 as a proper community pub. “We’re not trying to be a gastro pub. We just want to be a pub that serves tasty homemade local food where people go if they don’t want to cook themselves, or just fancy an inexpensive meal out with family or friends.” From all accounts they’re doing something right. Regulars love their favourites board with Chilli, proper pie, The Swan’s Burger and cheesecake amongst others – their chips are legendary. Their menu is dictated by their customers and a specials board features dishes such as wild sea bass with parsley cream, poached samphire and new potatoes. They’re busy 7 days a week. It’s a cosy beamed pub with a roaring fire from autumn through to late spring. They do outside catering, there’s a shop facility where locals can order groceries and Hub in the Pub on Thursdays means villagers can get together over coffee and cake with all proceeds going to charity. Their dogs Digger & Pickle welcome other pooches and there are toy baskets for children of all ages. They’ve recently opened a beer garden, held their first beer festival and have plans for a B&B. ...»

  • The Merchant's House

    In 1653 the Great Fire of Marlborough almost destroyed the whole town. Over the next 40 years a house was built that became the home of a prosperous merchant and his family. The Merchant's House Trust leased the house from the town council in 1991 and is carefully restoring it and providing the public with a rare opportunity to view a 17th century house of this type. There are guided tours around the house and award-winning garden throughout the week, when you can take a fascinating glimpse into the home life of a wealthy merchant in the 17th century. The pretty shop on the ground floor raises funds to help the upkeep of the house and is full of lovely china and glassware, items for the home, some really unusual gift ideas for all ages as well as toys and greeting cards. The shop is full of colour with lamps, throws and rugs that make it feel warm and welcoming. In November and December the paneled room on the first floor becomes the traditional setting for the Christmas room, full of colour and nostalgia, a truly magical wonderland. The aim is to offer quality items that customers won’t see elsewhere and yet are still good value. There is always someone on hand to give advice but it’s also the perfect shop for browsers, there is so much to discover. ...»

  • Barbury Races

    Racehorses have been trained around Barbury for over a century & the wider area is a haven for lovers of fast horses. Holding four Point to Point meetings a year, Barbury racecourse is set within a natural amphitheatre in picturesque countryside. A well established and much loved Point to Point track, it’s an enjoyable & inexpensive day out for all the family. Bring a picnic, enjoy good quality sport and have a laugh with friends.There’s plenty of space for the children to run around & if it’s bad weather you can watch the racing from your car – no grandstands here! The racecourse is popular with riders, and, for spectators, it’s a chance to see young riders coming up the ranks or old favourites returning to the track. There’s plenty of room around the paddock & winner’s enclosure & unlike other professional sports, both the jockeys & trainers are very approachable & happy to autograph. Situated just moments from Swindon and the M4, the incredibly welcoming community means you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy your day. It’s easy to see all the action and there’s plenty of time to wander around, have a drink or bite to eat, or browse some of the stalls. With meetings held from December to April it’s a fun day out for anyone who loves sport and the outdoors. ...»

  • Nordic Walking with Ashley

    Ashley Sandy learnt to Nordic walk when living in Switzerland in 2006, and has always been interested in improving her own health. The joy of exercising while walking through beautiful countryside has remained with her, so in 2015 she decided to qualify as a Nordic walking instructor. ‘I love Nordic Walking – you get great exercise, while exploring new places & views, and loads of fresh air. Nordic walking makes you stand tall, you use more muscles and have better posture. Add a gorgeous view to that and you feel like you’re on top of the world.’ Living near Marlborough, Ashley runs her Nordic Walking classes at some fabulous locations including the Marlborough Downs & Pewsey Vale. It’s a low impact cardiovascular exercise that by adding poles uses 90% of the muscles in your body. It’s fabulous for general fitness & can help people with high blood pressure, stress or those recovering from injuries. ‘Nordic walking is great fun as it’s so sociable. Beginners can start with a taster session to see if it appeals and after that they can do 4 x 1 hour lessons spread over four weeks. This helps you build up the techniques and your fitness and at £35 is a steal.’ Once you’ve learnt how it’s done you can join Ashley for her more easy going walks, workout walks with intervals and drills or adventure walks to discover new parts of Wiltshire. ...»

  • Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

    Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has existed since the 60s with the aim of reconnecting people with their local wildlife and landscape. There are 37 reserves throughout the county which people can visit to just enjoy and experience nature, or attend one of the many family-friendly events. ‘The chalk downland of Wiltshire is an extremely rare ecosystem that supports a wide variety of wildlife. Projects include creating meadows to increase the wild flower population, which in turn supports other wildlife, and restoring rivers and waterways to help alleviate floods. At places like Langford Lakes focus is on aquatic creatures and water birds while some schemes look to improve woodland areas. We also have a team concentrating on waste reduction and recycling.’ Events include nature spotting and craft for children, introduction to wildlife skills and evening talks are regularly held around the county. Extremely popular is ‘Country comes to town’ held annually in Devizes where people can experience wildlife & nature first hand. A care farm helps people with learning difficulties, mental health and getting back into the workplace. ‘We rely heavily on our 2000 volunteers and our membership scheme which gives locals access to member events and reserve guides. Everything is so hectic in the modern age and there’s a huge reliance on technology. We hope to encourage people to take a step back, switch off and reconnect with nature. We want people to feel pride in their county.’ ...»

  • JW Fine Foods

    When James Hayward was praised for the smoked salmon he’d made for a wedding, he decided to turn it into a business. As a former chef in Michelin star restaurants, and a career in event catering and food styling, it fits perfectly with his passion for food. ‘I want to be locally based so I opened my informal tasting shop in Woodborough In December 2017. As well as my cured and smoked salmon I stock some of my favourite foods and aim to create a Southern European vibe where people can walk in, sit on the side and try a few things’. Customers can enjoy smoked salmon on crispbread with ricotta cheese and salted capers, charcuterie, fish or cheese platters accompanied with a glass of bubbly, wine or sherry. Take home smoked salmon, gravlax, pâté and various hams, salamis and condiments. ‘I buy fish fresh from Scotland and make two gravlax - beetroot and liquorice salmon with a sashimi like texture and gin infused salmon cured in a juniper liqueur with lime. Our Smoked salmon is cured, salted and cold smoked on oak and hung for 3 days minimum. I also make smoked salmon pâté and chicken liver parfait paired with our homemade crostini.’ Pop in any day of the week, for a tasting evening or on Sunday for their hot specialty. It’s perfect for meeting up with a friend for a light bite of something delicious. ...»

  • Marlborough Downs Space for Nature

    Marlborough Downs Space for Nature formed in 2011 when a group of farmers successfully bid for funding for a project to work together to improve nature conservation in the countryside on a big scale - making their own decisions on what they wanted to do on their land to support wildlife and the landscape. Since then, some incredible initiatives have been put in place. One priority was to create a necklace of new and restored dew ponds across the Downs - re-watering what had become an essentially arid landscape. Increasing the tree sparrow population - from single figures to over 300 on one farm - has been particularly successful and nationally recognised. Farmers from 29 farms provide year-round food and shelter for birds, planting up seed mixes for birds to eat over winter, providing suitable habitats, and installing nestboxes. Wildflower corridors have been created, and habitats managed for invertebrates and small mammals also support birds of prey and owls. A key part of the project is to involve the wider community and reconnect people with their local landscape. Events and workshops are held regularly and are extremely popular. In addition, tracks have been upgraded to improve disabled access. ‘We’ve created a template for farmers to work together which is now being used across England. Most of our work is done on a voluntary basis, and we hope to engage many more people in our projects. Next up is working together to provide food and habitats for bees and other pollinators.’ ...»