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Discover the hidden delights of Wiltshire.

Our members represent a rich community of independent local businesses providing quality and unique products and experiences.

Find local artisan food & drink, unique gifts, art, local shops, events, places to stay & things to do in Wiltshire.

  • The Pear Tree

    The Youngs’ experience at Savoy London and the Royal Household of Jordan stood them in good stead when they bought a derelict vicarage...»

  • Fioriblu

    Fioriblu is a partnership of two Italian-speaking Scots, Rachel and Henrietta who met while studying Italian more than 25 years ago. Returning to Italy...»

  • Fairfax Antiques and Reclamation & Gifts

    Fairfax Antiques and Reclamation is set in the lovely garden of Langley Green, a beautiful house dating back to the 12th century, ...»

  • Delushious Home Comforts

    A Kenyan upbringing with memories of campfire cooking on safari, and parents working in the catering and restaurant trade...»

  • Troutbeck Guest House

    Troutbeck is a stunning guesthouse located opposite the Michelin starred Red Lion at East Chisenbury. ...»

  • Wiltshire Farmers Markets

    Wiltshire Farmers’ Markets Association runs ten monthly markets across the county where local people can buy local food and drink direct from producers....»

  • Marlborough College Summer School

    In 1978, thanks to an air traffic controller’s strike, the presenters from the BBC “Holiday” programme had to cancel their planned trip to Spain...»

A wild swim in Wiltshire?

Sam Bertram

11 June 2016

The Sun’s been out quite convincingly this week so, without tempting fate, it seemed an opportune time to ask around for people’s favourite wild swimming spots in Wiltshire. And here’s what we found…   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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A lovely family run hotel & restaurant

Sam Bertram

22 July 2016

The summer holidays are kicking off and it’s time to get out and explore. We spoke to spoke to Alix Young at The Pear Tree Purton about their lovely family hotel. What sets a family hotel apart from other hotels? ‘The most important thing is continuity. My mum has been at the hotel for 29 years and we also have customers who’ve been coming since then. When they visit us they expect to, and always do, see my mum. We remember all our guests and the things they love – their dogs name or their favourite tea. Our hotel feels more like a home that we’re sharing with our guests. It’s not pretentious or stuffy and many of our customers feel like an extended part of our family. I had a baby boy, Charlie, in March and we were overwhelmed by how many of our regular customers have sent cards and presents and want to come and meet him. We often get business people from Swindon trying us for the first time because the chain hotel they regularly use is full. They are always surprised how good, friendly and adaptable we are. We also like to add our personal touch to the hotel rather than use professional advisers. We update and refresh the décor in the rooms ourselves. Together with mum we have the perspective of two generations so they’re not fuddy duddy or super contemporary but somewhere in between. We apply this same approach to our menus, wine lists and bar choices too. If something alienates either of us then it doesn’t happen. Having a baby has also made me more conscious of children’s needs – like having High Chairs and getting the kids order on the table ASAP! We often host family reunions and have had one family group coming for the last 7 years. One of their relatives left them some money to meet up every year with a rule that it can’t be in the same place twice. But they love coming to us as they have the whole hotel to themselves, and it feels like home, so they’ve discounted that rule for now!' Tell us a bit about your restaurant 'We’ve always said we wanted to be a great restaurant that just happens to have a hotel attached to it, rather than the other way round. We believe that if you get the food right everything else follows. The food is modern, British but at its essence it’s good, unpretentious, tasty food. Atmosphere is really important to us – we’ve created a really relaxed environment. Our restaurant aims to cater for those who just don’t fancy cooking and want to come out for just a main course, while also appealing to those looking for a special night out. We have 2 AA rosettes and a great team who really understand our customers. We’re also open for breakfast but non-residents just have to let us know before. Otherwise it’s lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Afternoon tea is sandwiches, cakes and scones and can be served in either the lounges or the garden.  Our restaurant overlooks the garden which is looking great at the moment with lots of catmint and wild flowers. We have a helipad so often get customers flying in to see a nearby location, and they normally stay for a bite to eat with us too.' What’s your favourites dish from the restaurant? 'At the moment I love the pan-fried Sea Bream with tiger prawns, panzanella style salad, orange and chilli dressing and shoestring potato. It’s really lovely and summery and light and perfect for a summer’s day. Our dinner menu changes every month but it’s been a bit tricky with this unpredictable summer. As our restaurant is in the conservatory you can’t ignore the weather, so we’ve been changing our menus more regularly to suit the ever changing climate!' Have you been busy with Weddings this year? 'Since Charlie was born we’ve done 11 weddings.  We can have weddings of up to 50 people and people love the fact that if they book 18 months in advance the same people they booked with will be running the occasion.  At the moment the ceremonies are held inside but we’re in the process of opening up a summer house for weddings which will be fantastic. We can’t wait.' www.peartreepurton.co.uk   

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What's New

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We're got lots of new initiatives lined-up.

We're hoping to launch a Wellbeing section and are testing a concept for a Business to Business version of the website.

 

 

 

 

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