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Things to do in Wiltshire

Amazing, fun things to do in Wiltshire, days out in and around Wiltshire to help keep you and your whole family entertained for hours! Family days out and great places for kids to go in Wiltshire.

Boot Camp – What Was I Thinking?

When we signed up for a boot camp weekend, did we have 'The X Factor' in mind - celebrities, make up, sparkles and champagne?

Maybe, but the setting of Aylestone Park when it was minus 1 degrees and muddy couldn’t have been further from our dream of a good time!

First Things First...

Still, we were there and if not raring to go -or at least prepared to have a go! That is, until two ‘fitties’ appeared in Lycra and sinews!  There were five of us altogether along with Rob our boot camp commander. I was easily the oldest and least fit.

First things first. Rob called it a warm up and warm up we did - surprisingly quickly! Next, we were off on a 15 to 1 circuit. My comfort zone is whiteboards and lists, so I was lulled into a false sense of security when the whiteboard came out with the list of 15 to 1 different types of exercises. All appeared to be reasonably easy like the ‘get ups’. All you have to do, is get up (again and again and again). With the two fitties off like greased lightning and Emma and Sam not far behind them, I embarked on the challenge. Rob was brilliant, when he saw me struggle, he adapted the exercise. When I skipped bits he turned a blind eye and when I came to a shuddering stop he helped me finish with dignity.

Suddenly, it was mid morning break! Sitting in the car, getting our breath back and refuelling, Emma and I could barely speak. We did manage to convince ourselves we were having a good time though despite being covered in mud.

Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? First Things First...
Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? Running - No Thanks...

Running - No Thanks!

I won’t go into huge detail about the individual exercises we did but I will say that at the beginning, when we had a quick chat with Rob about what why we’d signed up and what we wanted to get out of the weekend, I had mentioned in passing that I didn’t do running! Incredibly - and down to his coaching and encouragement, I found myself not only running on the Sunday morning but enjoying it. Not only did I run on the flat, but uphill as well! (I don’t think I mentioned that Aylestone Park is on the side of Aylestone Hill.)

By the time we’d finished the two days, Emma and I were not only proud of ourselves but proud of each other too and vaguely talked about doing it again! Oh and I learnt that Tabata is not something to eat but the fastest, most effective exercise routine I’ve ever encountered. I wouldn’t mind giving it another go some time! Yep, definitely a different way to spend a weekend in January!

Outdoor Gym

The last thing I would have guessed would be a magnet for us on holiday was the gym on the beach. But, standing on a piece of equipment under a blue sky, exercising and gazing at the sea seemed briefly like a little bit of paradise!

Even when not on holiday, it is easy to go to a local outdoor gym. There are hundreds of local council-funded outdoor gyms that are free-to-use all year round as councils hope it will encourage a healthier community. Some are in beautiful settings too. Many of our Treasure Trails go past them.

Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? Outdoor Gym

Have you tried an outdoor gym? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or Facebook.

15th March 2019

Posted In: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Manchester, Merseyside, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Scotland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Things to do, Tyne and Wear, Wales, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire

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Exploring the North Wessex Downs

We explored the impressive neolithic ceremonial landscapes in the North Wessex Downs recently.

Romantic Thatched Cottages

We had gone to see the ancient standing stones littered across the landscape. What we hadn’t expected was how many beautiful and romantic cottages there were.

The thatch was immaculate.

There is a timelessness about thatched roofs. Originally dwellings with thatched roofs in Britain were used to house the poorest families. Now of course, things are reversed. Roof thatching skills date back to the Bronze Age. What we had come to see was way before that though.

Exploring the North Wessex Downs - Romantic Thatched Cottages
Exploring the North Wessex Downs - Ancient Burial Chambers

Ancient Burial Chambers

Built around 3700BC we explored a burial chamber called West Kennet Long Barrow.  It is about a 10 minute walk up from the road (A4) and you can see it silhouetted on the skyline. Once up there, you can walk right into it.

The atmosphere is fantastic.

Apparently local legend has it that on Midsummers Day it is visited by a ghostly priest! I can well believe it. The board outside gives lots of details, but the fact I remember is that both arthritis and toothache were common medical complaints in Neolithic times!

Amazing Man Made Hill

There are some fascinating theories about Silbury Hill. But one fact is it is Europe’s largest man-made mound similar is size to a small Egyptian pyramid. Experts say it took about 18 million man hours to dump and shape thousands of tons of earth.

I can’t quite get my head around those numbers!

The theories are that it was a resting place for the warrior kind Sil. Or perhaps the pregnant belly of an earth goddess! Either way, we found it very atmospheric. The whole area really is wild, windy and beautiful.

Exploring the North Wessex Downs - Amazing Man Made Hill

We drove between the different areas of interest but with all day to spare you can easily walk some of the stretches. Wrap up warm though, it was cold on top of the hills and barrows.

To see lots of the different standing stones in the area, we suggest you follow the SIlbury Hill Ancient Landscape Spy Mission.

4th July 2017

Posted In: Ideas, Things to do, Wiltshire

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