We live in a beautiful part of the UK, with vastly changing landscapes across the county, providing plenty of places to visit in and around the area. But, have you been to visit some of the places nearby, or do you always tend to go further afield when you have days out?

If you are looking for things to do then here are some of my favourite places within easy distance.


Ten Tips for places to visit locally:


There are plenty of places if you like going for walks:


*A lovely walk at Barbury Castle or Savernake Forest: l Iove these places for longer dog walks. Both close to nature and two very different spaces in terms of landscape.

*Swindon Outlet Village is a great place for a mooch around, if I want to shop although I also like shopping in Cirencester just over the border in Gloucestershire which has a lovely choice of shops. Swindon town centre could learn a lot from it.

*A visit to Malmesbury with its shops, the Abbey which is small yet beautiful and the Athelstan Museum, which is free however a donation is most welcome (I declare a bias as I do their PR).

*Cotswold Wildlife Park or Longleat – I love both of these but get tickets now and get there early! You can take your dog on a lead to the former though you cannot go into some of the attractions such as the reptile house. And you can picnic if the weather is decent enough.

*The North Wessex Downs Walking Festive takes place 2 – 11 June, but you have to book. Some of the events are free, some paid.  They have 27 walks on offer with lots of opportunities to seek out wildlife, or history, visit a working farm or just enjoy the views from the top of the downs.    There are plenty of fun things for younger children too. https://www.northwessexdowns.org.uk/walking/walking-festival/


* If you like to see bluebells – West Woods, south of Marlborough are beautiful, and worth a visit during bluebell season, which varies and can be any time between March and May. For directions: https://www.forestryengland.uk/west-woods


*Many of the large country estates in Wiltshire which are open to the public also have wonderful grounds that are also good for walking. You can also often picnic in the grounds too. The National Trust has links to many of the beautiful and varied landscapes on offer. Cherhill Down, which is one of the White horses of Wiltshire.  Cley hill, on the outskirts of Longleat estate, Win Green on the South Wessex Downs, and Pepperbox Hill in Salisbury. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wiltshire/countryside-woodland


If museums, houses and gardens, then you have a great range to visit. We are incredibly lucky to have many National Trust properties in Wiltshire.

*Avebury (National Trust); Stourhead (National Trust) House and Garden near Mere; Lackock Abbey (National Trust); Mompesson House, Salisbury; The Courts Garden, Near Bradford on Avon; Great Chalford Manor and Garden, near Melksham; Westwood Manor, near Bradford-on-Avon. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wiltshire

How many of them have you visited?

*English Heritage also has some fascinating properties in Wiltshire. We have some amazing archaeological sites in the county; Stonehenge, Old Wardour Castle, Old Sarum and Netheravon Dovecote, including one of the many Wiltshire White Horses – Bratton Camp and Westbury White Horse, which sits below an Iron Age hillfort. There are 8 white horses around the county, which you could visit.  http://www.insidewiltshire.co.uk/explore-wiltshire/english-heritage/


Another lovely place to visit is Corsham, which it’s easy to just drive through on the way to Bath. Do turn left and spend some time there. You may even see one of the peacocks which it’s famous for locally. There are plenty of places to eat as well – https://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/towns-and-villages/corsham-p462523

You have so much to choose from for visits this spring and summer. If you’re having a staycation to save the cost of holidays, then enjoy some days out where you don’t have to travel too far.

*picture shows my friend and tv presenter and antiques expert Paul Martin outside Corsham Court. He has his own shop in the town.


Next week: Events happening during the next few months in Wiltshire.