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Acoustic, electric, eclectic: Bradford on Avon’s iconic festival. Money raised goes to local charities. www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk
A chance to watch this centuries old tradition. Drowning of the Water Meadows is a great chance to explore meadows normally off limits, with a backdrop of the lovely Salisbury Cathedral. This event is repeated in early February. www.salisburywatermeadows.org.uk
Woodford, near Salisbury. 01722 782504. www.healegarden.co.uk
On Shrove Tuesday.
Bowood House. Late April to early June. www.bowood-house.co.uk/rhododendrons
Near Salisbury. www.gurstondown.org.
23rd April. See George and the Dragon.
Sponsor a duck and watch it race.
Over two Sundays the woods are open to vehicles to raise money for charity. The dates are usually late April into early may
1st May. Procession of children and the White Horse Morris Men to the Maypole for the crowning of the May Queen followed by Morris dancing.
The Wye Valley Art Trail is a biennial, award winning festival of visual art and craft in South West Wiltshire. www.wvat.co.uk
In the picturesque riverside town of Bradford on Avon. A family friendly community festival of traditional dance, music, song and folklore led by 10′ giant Jack in the Green. Over 58 dance group, markets, kids funfair, two all day concerts and it’s all free. More info at boagreenmanfest.org/welcome/
Celebrates the written and spoken word. Includes competitions and workshops as well as a wide range of speakers. www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk
Bank holiday weekend. 45–50 scarecrows are made by families, groups and individuals in the village and visitors can follow the scarecrow trail. Started in 1997 as a small scale event to raise money for the refurbishment of the village hall, it is now a major local event and attracting thousands of visitors. The Scarecrow Festival was the very first in Wiltshire.
Bowood Estate (Chippenham), Oakfrith Wood (Devizes), West Woods (Marlborough) and Grovely Woods (Salisbury)
May to June. www.salisburyfestival.co.uk
See the stunning flowers in the grounds of this National Trust property
Villagers re-assert their right to collect firewood in Grovely Woods. Procession and maypole dancing. 29th May.
Folk music, Morris dancers, children’s festival, workshops. www.chippfolk.co.uk
Bowerchalke. Talks and debates on everything from Ancient Rome to The English at Home. June to July. 01722 781206. www.cvhf.org.uk
1 and 2 of June 2024. Set within the stunning Vale of Pewsey the show promotes rural and country life. The Rainscombe Country Show encourages local businesses and craft to exhibit and show off the best of what Wiltshire and the surrounding counties have to offer. A great day out for all the family with everything from vintage tractors to arena displays and rural craft. Rainscombe House and Park is situated in a natural bowl below the Downs to the north of the village of Oare.
The biggest annual event for Naomi House children’s hospice. The 26 miles walk starts between 8am and 9am at Winchester Cathedral. It follows the beautiful route of the historic Clarendon Way, finishing at Salisbury Cathedral. The walk encompasses a diverse range of terrain and will take about 9 hours so make sure that you’re physically prepared for the challenge. www.naomihouse.org.uk
Salisbury Cathedral. 01722 320333. www.salisburycathedral.co.uk
Various events throughout the county. In 2019, Salisbury hosted the national event.
All Saints Church in Farley. www.farleymusic.co.uk
Music in the beautiful Grade 1 listed gardens of Iford Manor. www.ifordarts.org.uk
Melksham. See some fabulous Cacti and Succulents. There will also be a chance to purchase some from the members plant stall. Expert advice on hand. Refreshments & Tombola. Melksham Assembly Hall, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 6ES.
Various locations around Swindon. Fascinating films and film related events led by Swindon Film Society. www.swindonfilmfestival.co.uk
UK’s largest one-day Boules tournament. Teams from far and wide come together to compete. The village’s wide high street is closed to traffic to make room for the 16 Boules pitches (or ‘pistes’) on which the 100+ games are contested throughout the day. Wide selection of stalls, cafés and bars providing plenty of refreshments. sherstonboules.org
A music extravaganza over one weekend each July. Music includes Jazz, Blues, African Rhythms, Fusion, Swing, Latin, Bebop and everything in between. Venues are all within easy walking distance of each other. www.marlboroughjazz.com
Charity polo match followed by the annual army v navy match. Held in Tidworth.
At various locations including Salisbury Museum. View pics from 2016
Charlton Park, Malmesbury. World music festival.
On the Wilton House Estate. A celebration of country ways, rural lifestyles and country sports. Attractions include Dressage Camels, Dog Agility, Birds of Prey and Steam and Vintage Vehicles. Try your skills at archery or enter your four-legged friend into the dog show. Buy good quality crafts, delicious foods and beautiful fashion and home accessories. Bar and live music.
Held on the first weekend in September. Good range of walk lengths. walkbradfordonavon.org/bradford-on-avon-walking-festival
A range of literary events for all ages including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and the annual Big Town Read. The festival aims to champion new, upcoming writers as well as established names and also encourage a love of reading in children and young people with author talks, competitions and LitFest’s community outreach programme. www.marlboroughlitfest.org
The skies above Wiltshire are filled with dozens of spectacular hot air balloons. There are also night glows.
Biennial fayre started in 1992. Steam engines, vintage tractors, lorries, cars, and bikes, military vehicle display, fair ground rides, produce,tea tent and trade stands. Free entry but donations to the nominated charity are appreciated. www.berwickstjohncountryfayre.co.uk
Second Monday of October. Literary festival to support the Linkscheme charity. Local and international writers and performers put on a variety of talks, workshops and shows. mereliteraryfestival.com
Held on the third Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Salisbury Market Square.
At Flaxlands Manor Farm Royal Wootton Bassett SN15 5BB. All proceeds to Alzheimer’s Support Wiltshire. Amazing homemade food and wonderful handcrafted gifts. Activities for the children and plenty of free parking.
Hundreds of lanterns paraded through Salisbury city centre.
All day long Christmas markets in the Market Place and Corn Exchange, live music, street theatre and parade of lanterns. The parade circles the town and returns to the Market Place in time for Father Christmas to switch on the Christmas Lights and start the firework display.
Raises funds for the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust. Shoppers will have the chance to seek out upscale items from a wealth of gift stalls spreading out from the House Restaurant, through to the Sculpture Gallery and on into the Orangery.
Stunning silk lanterns on a theme.
Watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year.