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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.

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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Things to take to Centre Parcs

If you have never been to Centre Parcs, it is useful to know what to take. We went recently and had a wonderful time!

Kitchen and Bathroom Essentials

We stayed in two of the woodland lodges in their Longleat Forest site in Wiltshire. We had gone with our extended family to celebrate a special birthday! There were nine of us so we needed two lodges, but had our meals and games in the bigger one. They are located in the forest and designed so that the view from the living area is of uninterrupted nature.

The kitchens are reasonably well equipped but you do need to take dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid, washing up cloths, t-towels and kitchen towels as well as food and drink of course. You can buy all this stuff on site, but it is a little more expensive than in your local Aldi or Tesco.

Centre Parcs also provide a very small amount of soap, shampoo and toilet rolls, so make sure you take what you need to last the whole time you are staying there.

Things to take to Centre Parcs - Kitchen and Bathroom Essentials
Things to take to Centre Parcs - Outdoor Kit

Outdoor Kit

We went in early Spring so had no intention of using any of their boats or any of the things you can do on the lake. Instead we spent lots of time in the swimming pool complex and the sports hall. Naturally if you are going to do what we did, then you need not only your swimming kit but towels too. Centre Parcs supply towels for a shower, but not for swimming.

Because no cars are allowed on site, apart from on changeover days, most people hire bicycles. If you have your own helmet its probably worth taking that too. Most of our party did hire bikes for the weekend. The best fun we had though was on the segway experience! They supplied helmets, knee and elbow pads, which was good as one of our party fell off her segway. No damage done though, but we were pleased we had brought a small first aid kit with us.

Indoor Entertainment

Our lodge had a TV and we were able to watch the rugby in front of the fire. When we booked the lodge we also booked a bag of logs which are those easy ones that you just put a match to. We took a couple of board games, but didn’t use them. Instead we played some family favourite pen and paper games as well as charades and our own version of articulate. It rained much of the weekend that we were there, but it really didn’t matter. We had lots of fun playing air hockey in the sports hall too. And whilst we self-catered in the main, we did have one brunch at the Pancake House.

Things to take to Centre Parcs - Indoor Entertainment

Centre Parcs in Longleat have a Trail with clues, but doing that would have been a busman’s holiday! The nearest Treasure Trail to the site is in Warminster. So you might want to add that to your list of things to take and do it before or after you check in to Longleat Forest.

27th April 2017

Posted In: Ideas, Things to do, Wiltshire

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