Things To Do
We are in a great location for………
The Hackpen White Horse 0.3 miles drive or 15 minute walk.
Wiltshire is the county for white horses. There are or were at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain, with no less than thirteen being in Wiltshire. Most of the white horses are chalk hill carvings, and the chalk downs of central Wiltshire make it an ideal place for such figures. Of the thirteen white horses known to have existed in Wiltshire, eight are still visible, and the others have either been lost completely, or are in a sense still there, under the turf, but have long since become grown over and are no longer visible.
Avebury is a 5 minute drive OR you can cycle or walk here through the farm and along the Ridgeway or along other footpaths. In the 1930s, the pretty village of Avebury, partially encompassed by the stone circle of this World Heritage site, was witness to the excavations of archaeologist Alexander Keiller. The fascinating finds from his excavations are on display in the 17th-century threshing barn and stables galleries of the Alexander Keiller Museum, where interactive displays and activities for children bring the landscape to life.
• Walk to the Bronze Age burial mounds at Windmill Hill.
• Visit the Lansdowne Monument and Iron Age earthwork of Oldbury.
• Discover Avebury's buried past secrets in the museum.
In 2012, Avebury Manor opened its doors again following a transformation in collaboration with the BBC. Avebury Manor has been home to many families since its creation in the 1500s. Located on the edge of the largest stone circle in the world and on the site of a former priory, this is a house with a fascinating past.
The Manor Reborn, presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin, is a 4 part landmark BBC One series which follows a lively team of historians, designers and volunteers as they refurbish the 500 year old Manor. The finished rooms evoke the personalities of the families that lived there and the atmosphere of the eras in which they lived.
Silbury Hill – 3 miles from Avebury (Part of the Avebury World Heritage Site)
The largest man-made mound in Europe, mysterious Silbury Hill compares in height and volume to the roughly contemporary Egyptian pyramids. Probably completed in around 2400 BC, it apparently contains no burial. Though clearly important in itself, its purpose and significance remain unknown. There is no access to the hill itself. Contact: Viewing area during reasonable daylight hours.
Long Barrow – 4 miles from Avebury
One of the largest, most impressive and most accessible Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain. Built in around 3650 BC, it was used for a short time as a burial chamber, nearly 50 people being buried here before the chambers were blocked. Part of the Avebury World Heritage Site. West Kennet Long Barrow is in private ownership and in English Heritage guardianship. It is managed by The National Trust on behalf of English Heritage, and the two organisations share the cost of managing and maintaining the property
Marlborough - 10 minute drive
Marlborough is the archetypical English market town – a place where coins were minted in Norman times, Tudor kings hunted for deer and where coaches heading west from London stopped to feed and water their horses.
Marlborough still is a town with a big buzz. The High Street hosts a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays selling a wide range of things, from locally grown produce, to pots, plants and pashminas. Marlborough has plenty of shops and a variety of places to eat.
Stonehenge – 1 hour’s drive
Stonehenge is probably the most important prehistoric monument in the whole of Britain and has attracted visitors from earliest times. It stands as a timeless monument to the people who built it. Visitors are unable to walk amongst the stones except on special or arranged occasions There is a charge to visit the stones
Barbury Castle - 10 minute drive or 1 hr walk The main focal points of the park are the Iron Age hill fort, covering about twelve acres, adjacent round barrows, Celtic field systems and 18th-19th Century flint workings. The West Saxons are said to have defeated the Britons here in AD 556 at the Battle of Beran Byrig. Centuries later the area was a favourite haunt of Richard Jefferies, the 19th Century writer, who lived an hour’s walk away at Coate. The site is scheduled as an ancient monument.
Steam: Museum of the Great Western Railway – 15 minute drive
STEAM tells the remarkable story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on 'God's Wonderful Railway'. STEAM gives you the chance to experience the sights and sounds of the GWR works at Swindon - famous as the place where many of the best steam locomotives in the world were built. STEAM also brings to life the exploits of Isambard Kingdom Brunel - the flamboyant engineer, and acknowledged genius, behind the creation of the GWR.
Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury 30 minute drive
For the perfect day out, visit the enchanting gardens. Probably the best garden visit you could ever make awaits you at Abbey House Gardens in ancient Malmesbury, itself an historic place to visit. Gardening ideas, beautiful plants from daffodils, crocus, tulips (24,000 new tulip bulbs planted this year alone) and iris in spring through the country’s largest private collection of roses, double herbaceous borders that rival Monets, to fabulous autumn colour from specimen trees and shrubs; all to be enjoyed in a special atmosphere - you have to visit to believe. Come and judge for yourself.
Find them nestled besides historic Malmesbury Abbey in this lovely Wiltshire Cotswold location just 5 miles from M4 J17.
Westonbirt (The National Arboretum) – 40 minute drive (15minutes from Abbey House Gardens)
Westonbirt is a wonderful place to visit all year round. During the summer flower lovers will find the beautiful hydrangeas in bloom and the Indian Bean Tree at its most dramatic. Take a relaxing walk and enjoy a picnic; or set the kids free to find our hidden dens or follow a trail. The autumn months bring an array of wonderful colours in the trees. Winter is truly magical at Westonbirt. Conifers provide a sculptured backdrop to the deciduous trees and smaller shrubs, whilst unexpected colour can be found from flaming red barked dogwood and scarlet willows. The rich combination of woodland plants and wildflower brings a vibrant beauty in spring.
Bowood House and Gardens – 25 minute drive
Purchased by the 1st Earl of Shelburne (1705–1761) in the mid 18th century, Bowood House and Gardens have been improved by successive generations up to the present day. Many famous architects and garden designers have been employed, including Henry Keene, Robert and James Adam, ‘Capability’ Brown, C.R. Cockerell and Sir Charles Barry. A visitor to Bowood today will see fine 18th-century architecture and splendid interiors: the Adam Orangery, the Chapel and Library by C.R. Cockerell, the New Hall, the Sculpture Gallery and the Laboratory where Dr Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774. There is also a series of exhibition rooms with a wealth of fine furniture, costumes, porcelain, jewellery and paintings on display. Outside, the house is surrounded by ‘Capability’ Brown’s stunning park; there are magnificent formal gardens, a ‘Picturesque’ rockwork garden; and the renowned pinetum and arboretum.
Lacock Abbey – 35 minute drive (5 minutes from Bowood)
Lacock village is famous for its picturesque streets, historic buildings and more recently as a TV and film location. The Abbey, located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. Visitors can experience the atmosphere of the medieval rooms and cloister court, giving a sense of the Abbey's monastic past.
The museum celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography.
Merchant House Marlborough
This amazing 350 year old survival is the jewel of Marlborough's famous High Street. Built and occupied by a prosperous silk merchant, middle class but with grand ideas, it contains nationally acclaimed wall paintings and decorative features. Humming with activity, it is an outstanding destination for anyone interested in fine old buildings and the craftsmanship needed to create and restore them. Come and see for yourself!
The House and Garden are open from 1st April to end of October on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm with timed tours at 11am, 12noon, 2pm and 3pm (tour by informed guide takes approximately 50 minutes).
Cirencester - 20 minute drive
Whether it's a visit to the Corinium Museum, Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester Park or the Roman Amphitheatre, Cirencester has plenty to offer. If that's not enough, Cirencester is within easy reach of the world famous Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury, the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford and the Keynes Country Park part of the Cotswold Water Park. Cirencester is famous for its Roman history, so a visit to the Corinium Museum is recommended if you have an interest in this field. Cirencester is also within easy reach of Cheltenham, Gloucester, Swindon and Oxford.
Clay Pigeon Shooting (Barbury Shooting School) – 10 minute drive
Barbury Shooting School is open 7 days a week for Practice, Tuition, Parties and Corporate events.
Basset Down Golf Course and Driving Range – 10 minute drive
A privately owned, public golf course and 20 bay driving range. This 9 hole, 2767 yard course is less than a mile from Junction 16 of the M4 and 1.5 miles from the A4361. Open 7 days a week throughout the year.
Go-Karting- 10 Minute drive
The indoor 530 metre tarmac circuit offers drivers some of the most exhilarating bends and speed friendly straights in the country. The state-of-the-art Bowman karts, with four stoke engines; ensure that you reach some breathtaking speeds! Test your driving skills to very limit. Helmets and overalls are provided, so all you need to worry about is making sure your driving abilities can reach the standards of Fernando Alonso!
Swindon Designer Outlet – 15 minute away
Swindon Designer Outlet is housed in the magnificently renovated grade II listed buildings of the Great Western Railway Works and is one of the largest covered designer outlets in Europe. Located off junction 16 of the M4
And Specifically For the Children
Bowood House and Gardens 25 minute drive
Famous for one of the UK’s best Adventure Playgrounds, children are guaranteed the time of their lives and younger children will find two levels of undercover fun in the Soft Play Palace. Children will also enjoy meeting friendly farm animals at Tractor Ted's Little Farm, new for 2013.
And for the children....
Roves Farm 25 minute drive
Is a 166 hectare working, mixed, open farm situated 3 miles North East of Swindon.
A great family day out, come rain or shine!
There is lots of things going on for everyone, from the very young to the older generation.
Animal Feeding and Handling, lots of Indoor and Outdoor play areas including Bouncy Castle, Bale Stack and Under 5's area.
Cotswold Wildlife Park 40 minute drive The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens exhibits mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates from all around the world. The Park is set in 160 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens in Oxfordshire and is a great day out for all the family.
Kidz About 20 minute drive
Swindon's Premier Play & Party Centre, with over 6metres worth of climbing apparatus, a Red Spiral Slide, a Green Astra Slide and our Blue Drop Slide!
Enjoy a play with the children, or sit and relax as "We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee".
Kidz About now also has a separate area for NON-MOBILE babies, safely tucked away from charging toddlers! Fully padded and colourful surroundings that will stimulate your young one, as well as the sounds of others playing.
Cinema – 15 - 20 minute drive
Empire Cinema - Swindon or Shaw Ridge Cineworld
Cotswold Water Park – 20 minutes away
The Cotswold Water Park is an area of 140 lakes, set in 40 square miles of countryside. From country parks, angling lakes, sailing clubs, water sports, picturesque villages to campsites, hotels, country inns and much more there is plenty for everyone to explore! For more information about the Cotswold Water Park, please call 01793 752413
Fancy a Racehorse?
We are very close to Lambourn, the Valley of the Racehorse. The Perfect Day Partnership are based in Marlborough and can arrange all this for you. See our local links Page
FOR MORE things to do contact www.visitwiltshire.co.uk
Local Dates of Interest
Solstices at Avebury – 19-22 June 20 -22 December
Barbury Horse Trials – early July
Marlborough Summer School – mid July to early August
Marlborough Jazz Festival - Normally mid / late July
Badminton Horse Trials – Early May
Cheltenham Races – October to May – Festival March
The Racecourse Newbury – Throughout the year
If you would like any further information on any of these please don’t hesitate to ask us.