Wiltshire Publications

Get out and about this Easter

IT’S time to take a break this Easter and immerse yourself in all that our beautiful county has to offer by taking friends and family to new and exciting places this spring.

The Easter weekend is a time for family gatherings and with lighter , longer evenings, and the renewal of spring, many families look forward to  being out and about after the winter chill.

Easter egg hunts are popular activities for all the family to take part in. Searching high and low for those delicious eggs, that you can crack open and enjoy over the holiday, may be closer than you think.

Fairwood Lakes Holiday Park have an Easter egg hunt available until Monday 2nd April and an Easter trail for all ages. Trail around the lake answering some simple clues to win a chocolate egg.

Or you can join the Westbury Lions at All Saints Church on  Saturday 31st March at 10am for their annual hunt.

Or take in the views of the magnificent White Horse as you search White Horse Country Park for chocolate in the children’s play area on Sunday 1st April at 2.30pm.

Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock is asking you to ‘bring the family to discover this egg-citing world of Easter’ at their new Easter Grotto! £3.99 per person, under 1s free. You can stay afterwards for an Easter afternoon tea or take part in an Easter egg decorating workshop. Visit www.whitehallgarden centre.co.uk for more information.

Has your child eaten too much chocolate or do you want them to blow off some steam? At Westbury Swimming Pool children under 16 can swim for free during the Easter holidays just simply register your child at the pool and they can swim for free during allocated swim sessions.

Or they can join the Sloggerz Cricket Camp at Leighton Recreation Centre from 11th-13th April for ages 6-12 years run by Wiltshire Cricket. Call 07776 992900 for more details.

What’s more spring-like than newborn baby animals? Take the little ones to experience Fairfield Farm College’s Animal Walk in Dilton Marsh, which re-opens this Friday 30th March. You can meet their new piglets, lambs and kids. It’s free entry with the opportunity to buy animal food and get up close and personal to this year’s new arrivals.

After all the excitement of eggs, activities and animals you can relax with a tasty three-course Easter carvery at White Horse Country Park with two sittings available. Call 01373 822323 to book!

Dozens of giant animatronic predators will be greeting visitors to Longleat this Easter as part of a major new attraction.

‘Predators’ showcases a menagerie of moving models including a deep sea anglerfish, a giant 12-metre-long saltwater crocodile, a polar bear, a Komodo dragon and a three-metre-tall spitting cobra – which actually spits.

Alongside modern day carnivores the new attraction features prehistoric predators with a magnificent sabre-toothed cat and a 10-metre-long Baryonyx dinosaur brought thrillingly back to life.

There’s even a giant Venus flytrap plant which visitors can trigger into action by throwing over-sized flies into its snapping traps.

Get outside and enjoy the beauty of springtime, spend time with your friends and family taking part in events and activities, eating good food and then walking it off in the spring sunshine.

• There’s a host of family-friendly events, outings and activities taking place across the county throughout the Easter holidays.

VisitWiltshire has put together a selection of what’s on offer including Easter Egg-Spress train rides, an epic canoe race and, of course, plenty of chocolate egg trails and hunts.

Hop aboard the Easter Egg-Spress train on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway or pay a visit to the Crofton Beam Engines for their Easter Steaming weekend 31 March–2 April.

Imber Church, which is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, will be open to visitors between Good Friday 30 March and Easter Monday 2 April. Entry is free and there will be a chocolate egg trail for children at midday each day. This is a rare opportunity to visit the ‘lost’ village of Imber in the heart of Salisbury Plain.

On Friday 30 March and Saturday 31 March courageous competitors will be setting off on the annual Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race. Starting at Devizes wharf, the route follows the Kennet and Avon canal for 52 miles to Reading. The next 55 miles are on the River Thames as far as Teddington Lock, ending 17 miles later at Westminster Bridge.

Bowood House & Gardens Easter Eggstravaganza (Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April, 11am-5pm) features everything from naming the newly-born chicks to finding the hidden golden eggs. Visitors can also explore the beautiful grounds with the Spring Trail for the perfect day out.

Explore the Great Lydiard Park Easter Trail on Sunday 1 April from 10am-4pm. The trail begins at the Coach House Activity Centre and travels around the lakes, woodlands and lawns.

On Wednesday 4 April head to Smallbrook Meadows, Warminster for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Easter hunt and craft fun or on Thursday 5 April they are running a similar event at Ravenroost between Brinkworth and Minety. Suitable for ages 3-12. Children must be supervised by an adult. Booking essential.

For more information about Easter events go to www.visit wiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/easter

Trip Advisors Top 10 things to do in Wiltshire

1. Stonehenge – One of the most important survivers of prehistoric England, Stonehenge consists of a group of huge rough-cut stones, some more than 20 feet high. Amesbury SP4 7DE

2. Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta – Discover nearly 800 years of history, including Britain’s tallest spire, the world’s best preserved original Magna Carta 1215 and Europe’s oldest working clock, on a free tour. The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EF

3. Caen Hill Locks, Devizes – Caen Hill, is one of the longest continuous flight of locks in the country – a total of 29 locks with a rise of 237 feet over 2 miles with a 1 in 44 gradient. Visit the Welcome boat, Admiral, for activity sheets on pond dipping and information and stories about the locks before taking a stroll over to our newly planted, Diamond Jubilee Wood. Avon Road, Devizes SN10 1PR

4. West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury – One of the largest, most impressive and most accessible Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain. Built in around 3650 BC, it was used for a short time as a burial chamber, nearly 50 people being buried here before the chambers were blocked. SN8 1QH

5. Old Wardour Castle – Set in the peaceful Wiltshire countryside beside a lake, Old Wardour Castle, near Tisbury was once one of the most daring and innovative homes in Britain. It was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment. Tisbury SP3 6RR.

6. Crofton Beam Engines – Magnificent 200 year old working steam engines still performing their original job! Amazing industrial archaeology in an unspoiled, rural setting overlooking the Kennet & Avon Canal. The engines are ‘in steam’ on eight weekends per year. Marlborough, SN8 3DW

6. Stourhead House and Garden – Stourhead includes a Palladian house and world-famous landscape garden – perhaps the most beautiful and magical of all the great landscape gardens. On a plateau of high ground Stourhead house was built and became home to generations of the Hoare family. Near Mere. BA12 6QD.

7. Longleat – Enter a land of adventure. Where lions roam. Tigers stalk. And monkeys swing. Travel through time in a grand stately home. Lose yourself in one of the magical mazes. Hold exotic creatures from the ends of the Earth. Warminster BA12 7NW.

8. Avebury Manor – Avebury Manor is a truly unique experience; it’s a 16th-century manor house where, unlike most other properties, you are allowed touch the furniture, lie on the beds and handle the pots and pans. Avebury, SN8 1RF.

9. Lacock Abbey – located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. The museum celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography. Lacock SN15 2LG

10. Westbury White Horse – The White Horse is visible from afar and is a famous local landscape.  Local records suggest that the horse was originally cut in the late 1600s, probably to commemorate the supposed Battle of Ethandun, thought to have taken place at Bratton Camp in AD 878. Bratton Hill, Westbury.