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Home > Experiences > Days Out


  • 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. ...»

  • 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.’ ...»

  • 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.’ ...»

  • 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. ...»