Our guide to What’s on in Wiltshire (annual events). If there is something you think should be listed please let us know by contacting us with details.
Bradford Roots Music Festival. Acoustic, electric, eclectic: Bradford on Avon’s iconic festival. Money raised goes to local charities. www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk
Snowdrop walks at Heale House, Woodford, near Salisbury. 01722 782504. www.healegarden.co.uk
Pancake races in various locations around the county on Shrove Tuesday.
Vine & Craven Point-to-Point Races, Barbury Racecourse, Marlborough, SN8 1RS. The Vine & Craven’s first race meeting stages 7 races beginning at 1130. There’s some archly competitive races to blow away the cobwebs, as well as trade stands to while away the time between races.There’s a fair chance you’ll bump into one of Wiltshire or Lambourn’s many National Hunt trainers, so it’s a good place to get a steer on what’s hot for the following month’s Cheltenham Festival. www.barburyraces.co.uk
Swindon Film Festival. Various locations around Swindon. Fascinating films and film related events led by Swindon Film Society. www.swindonfilmfestival.org
Avon Vale Races, Larkhill Racecourse, Amesbury, SP4 8AT. One of Wiltshire’s premier Point-to-Point Steeplechase meetings, held annually at Larkhill Racecourse, near Amesbury. Over 2,000 horses are trained for racing within 30 minutes drive of Larkhill! The yards of Alan King, Brian Meehan, Neil Mulholland, Seamus Mullins and Roger Charlton, just to name a few, sit within our country and its surrounds. If you follow racing, then this is a great starting point. The annual Point-to-Point has always been a great tradition, a chance to dust down the picnic and watch some competitive racing in the Spring sunshine. There’s also shopping, a licensed bar, an Easter egg hunt, and race riding tuition from a professional rider. www.avonvaleraces.com
Bowood Rhodedendron Walks, Bowood House. Late April to early June. www.bowood-house.co.uk/rhododendrons
Speed hillclimb season opens at Gurston Down near Salisbury.www.gurstondown.org.
St George’s Day celebrations at various locations. 23rd April. See George and the Dragon.
Corsham Sci-Fi (Family Funday, Corsham Community Centre. Dr Who, Star Wars and more.www.corshamscifi.co.uk.
Fisherton Street Festival. Street festival in Salisbury started in 2015. Music, food, drink, stalls. www.fishertonfestival.co.uk
Tedworth Point-to-Point Races, Barbury Racecourse, Marlborough, SN8 1RS. The Tedworth concludes the Barbury racing season featuring the £750 Tedworth Gold Cup over 3 3/4 miles in a six race card that provides plenty of opportunity for shopping, children’s activities and all the fun of a country fair. www.barburyraces.co.uk
May Day at Ansty. 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.
(not running in 2018) Bradford on Avon Day of Dance and Music, in the picturesque riverside town of Bradford on Avon. 200+ dancers and 80+ musicians dancing at six pub/restaurant/riverside venues around the town including the historic Tithe Barn. There are also different nationality music sessions in local pubs and a food/street market. www.boadayofdance.org
Swindon Festival of Literature celebrates the written and spoken word. Includes competitions and workshops as well as a wide range of speakers. www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk
Urchfont Scarecrow Festival, 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. www.urchfont-pc.gov.uk/News_and_Events/Scarecrow_Festival.aspx
Downton Cuckoo Fair. Crowning of princess, procession, maypole and Morris dancers, street entertainers, Downton Brass Band and plenty of stalls.www.cuckoofair.co.uk
Bluebell walks at Stourhead, Bowood Estate (Chippenham), Oakfrith Wood (Devizes), West Woods (Marlborough) and Grovely Woods (Salisbury) .
Salisbury International Arts Festival. May to June. Free opening event and a party in Salisbury Cathedral Close to close. 0845 241 9651. www.salisburyfestival.co.uk
Rhododendron walks at Stourhead. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead/things-to-see-and-do/events
Oak Apple Day, Great Wishford. Villagers re-assert their right to collect firewood in Grovely Woods. Procession and maypole dancing. 29th May.
Deverills Festival of Performing Arts. Drama, music and dance. First year in 2014. www.deverillsfestival.com
Cycle Wiltshire. The Landmarc Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix.
Rock Against Cancer concert, Kings Arms, All Cannings. www.concertatthekings.co.uk
Chalke Valley History Festival, Bowerchalke. Talks and debates on everything from Ancient Rome to The English at Home. June to July. 01722 781206. www.cvhf.org.uk
Amesbury Community Carnival and Show. amesburycarnival.webeden.co.uk
Clarendon Way Walk. 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 please make sure that you are physically prepared for the challenge. www.naomihouse.org.uk
Wylye Valley Art Trail, various locations. www.wvat.co.uk
Warminster Wobble Cycling Festival, Warminster Lakeside Park. Free. www.warminsterwobble.co.uk
Flower Festival, Salisbury Cathedral. 01722 320333. www.salisburycathedral.co.uk
Wiltshire Jazz Festival, Dinton. www.wiltshirejazzfestival.co.uk
Chippenham Folk Festival. Folk music, Morris dancers, children’s festival, workshops. www.chippfolk.co.uk
Summer Solstice, Stonehenge.
Armed Forces Day – various events throughout the county.
Farley Music Festival – All Saints Church in Farley.
Devizes International StreetFestival. www.devizesfestival.co.uk
Iford Arts Music Festival. Music in the beautiful Grade 1 listed gardens of Iford Manor. www.ifordarts.org.uk
Cactus & Succulent Show by the British Cactus & Succulent Society (Wiltshire branch) at the Melksham Assemble Hall, 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.
New for 2018. The Handmade Fair, Bowood. With Kirstie Allsopp, Liz Earle and Sarah Raven each as a featured daily host, from Friday 22 – Sunday 24 June respectively, The Handmade Fair offers an extended weekend of creativity and
the chance to learn a new craft through the joy of the handmade.
Just over the border in Dorset is Larmer Tree Festival – just a few miles from Salisbury – family music festival
Wiltshire County Show, Barbury Estate
Ladies night at Salisbury Racecourse. Great prizes for the best dressed ladies. 01722 326461. www.salisburyracecourse.co.uk/race-days
Barbury Horse Trials, nr Marlborough, SN8 1RS. Set on the Marlborough downs across 4 days in July, the world’s best horses and riders will compete for the winner’s podium in the St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials. From the elegance of dressage through the speed and agility of show jumping to the white knuckle ride that is cross country eventing, the 4th leg of the innovative international Event Rider Masters Series holds centre stage at Barbury mid summer. With over 800 competitors, this is horse heaven. ww.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk
Frome Festival. Literature, folk, classical music and more. 01373 455420. www.fromefestival.co.uk
The Village Pump Festival, Westbury. Running on the last weekend of July in the festival offers the visitor the very best in folk, roots and acoustic music from all over the UK and beyond.www.villagepumpfolkfestival.co.uk
Stourhead Picnic and Firework Display, Stourhead. Gather family and friends, pack a hamper and enjoy a summer evening lakeside picnic, with classical temples illuminated and a spectacular firework display. NOT HELD EVERY YEAR. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead/things-to-see-and-do/events
Open Gardens for NGS. www.ngs.org.uk/gardens-to-visit/visit-wiltshire-gardens.aspx
Sherston Boules and Carnival: 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. sherston.net/boules
Marlborough International Jazz Festival. 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
Rundle Cup Day – Charity polo match followed by the annual army v navy match. Held in Tidworth.
RowdyFest. Rowdeford School, Rwode, Devizes, SN10 2QQ. One day festival to raise funds for Rwodeford Charity Trust’s Eco Learning Project. Inclusive outdoor one day Festival featuring fresh, new and local Wiltshire musicians. Particularly aimed at young people. www.rowdyfest.moonfruit.com
Festival of Archaeology at various locations including Salisbury Museum. View pics from 2016
WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury. World music festival.
Malmesbury Carnival. www.malmesburycarnival.co.uk
Wilton Horse Trials, Wilton House www.wiltonhorsetrials.co.uk
Devizes International Street Festival, Market Place, Devizes. Held over the Bank Holiday Weekend. Free family event with an all day programme, featuring some of the best in European Street theatre, live music, kids entertainment, festival stalls and food and drink. www.devizescarnival.co.uk
Wessex Country Fair for Salisbury Hospice Charity 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. www.wessexcountryfair.co.uk
Swindon Mela, The Town Gardens, Old Town, Swindon. Celebrating the sights, sounds and tastes of the best that the Indian sub-continent has to offer. www.swindonmela.com
Bowood Family Fun Weekend
Trowbridge Arts Festival www.trowbridgeartsfestival.co.uk
Classic Ibiza at Bowood. Bringing some of the best of the White Island’s dance tunes to orchestral life. View photo gallery
Up the Downs. Experience the wonderful views from the top of the Odstock Downs and walk through the Longford Estate past the spectacular Longford Castle. Choice of either 7 miles, 13 miles or the complete 20 mile route there is something for walkers of all abilities. Dogs on leads welcome. Raising money for Salisbury Hospice.
Wiltshire 100 & Big Wheel bike ride. A choice of three exciting routes, all starting and finishing in the historic market town of Devizes. If you’re up for it, there’s the heroic 100 mile route touching nearly every corner of Wiltshire, or opt for the gentler 45 mile route. And for those families with younger children there’s a great 12 mile ride exploring the peaceful Vale of Pewsey. This is an Open Event – raise money for the charity of your choice. For more details and to sign up online, visit: http://www.bike-events.com/
Salisbury Food and Drink Festi val. Celebrates everything foodie that’s local and regional, with a bustling Market Day and a week of food events.
Longleat Sky Safari. The skies above Wiltshire are filled with dozens of spectacular hot air balloons. There are also night glows.
Final speed hillclimb meeting at Gurston Down. www.gurstondown.org.
Berwick St John Country Fayre – 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
Wiltshire Game & County Fair, Bowood Estate
Swindon Railway Festival. www.steam-museum.org.uk
Westbury Music and Arts Festival. 30+ events. List of events at: www.wmafestival.co.uk/index.php/events/at-a-glance. Main site: wmafestival.co.uk
Mere literary Festival. 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. www.merelitfest.co.uk
Marlborough Apple Day. In and around the town hall. Free .
Salisbury Charter Fair. Held on the third Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Salisbury Market Square.
Salisbury Carnival. An evening carnival around the streets of Salisbury. www.salisburycarnival.co.uk
Trowbridge Carnival Procession. Illuminated floats and masqueraders wind their way through the town centre.
Swindon & North Wilts CAMRA Annual Beer Festival. www.swindoncamra.org.uk
Salisbury half marathon
Calne Music and Arts Festival
Tidworth 10k and 3k Fun Run. Charity run starting at Tedworth House and crossing usually restricted areas of Salisbury Plain.Organised by the Army to raise money for the Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal. 01722 429005. www.tidworth10k.co.uk
All-weather ice rink in Salisbury. The rink is an exciting addition to the popular Christmas market and will be open in the Guildhall Square from 29 November to 6 January 2019.
Salisbury Christmas Market
Firework displays throughout the county.
Salisbury Lantern Procession. Hundreds of lanterns paraded through Salisbury city centre. www.salisburychristmasmarket.co.uk/lantern.html
Devizes Christmas Festival. 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.
Darkness to Light Advent Procession, Salisbury Cathedral
Bowood House Christmas Extravaganza. 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.
Songs Of The Light – Live Concert at Salisbury Cathedral. 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th December 2018 – Experience Salisbury Cathedral lit up like never before! An evening of music and light performed by artist Richard McLester and over 150 local singers. An immersive experience of live music, film and light will take you on a spectacular journey from darkness to light. The performance will be punctuated with films exploring what “light” means to people. There will be projections across giant screens around Salisbury Cathedral with a huge illuminated globe as the centrepiece hanging in the Spire Crossing. The concert will be disabled friendly, with carers going free of charge. Early booking advisable: www.thelight2018.com
Christmas light switch-on events around the county.