Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wiltshire wanderings - 20 & 21 January 2007

MarlboroughThe Wiltshire town of Marlborough has an appealing main street / market square that merited a return visit so off we set on beautiful winter Saturday morning. Our journey took in a few pretty Wiltshire villages before driving through Britain’s only privately owned forest along the longest Avenue in Britain (4 miles), and into Marlborough.

Storm damageEvidence of the storm that had hit the UK the previous week was all around, not only here in the Savernake Estate but in other places we visited on the weekend.

After walking Marlborough’s square and doing a little shopping we made our way to Wotton Rivers to start a walk that took in a 3-mile section of the Kennet & Avon Canal. Kennet & Avon CanalUnfortunately the excess rain that the UK has had recently meant that the fields we were walking across could equally have been described as ‘swamps’.

As our walk ended, the sun was dipping, and with it the temperature, so we made our way back to Marlborough for some more shopping.

Steam MuseumIt was a special day for one of us so we splashed out on a fabulous meal that evening at the Carnarvon Arms Hotel.

After a slow start, Sunday also became a lovely sunny day. We dipped into Swindon to have a look at Steam, the Great Western Railway Museum. Donnington CastleThe railway workshops where they manufactured engines and rolling stock at Swindon were quite extensive and the Museum is based in the old buildings.

The old workshop buildings are also used for a large shopping complex, decorated in a style sympathetic with its railway heritage.

Aldworth GiantsAfter a quick jaunt through the shops we set off on tour along the Valley of the White Horse, through a number of cute Berkshire villages: some with the first snowdrops of the season; and over the Berkshire Downs to visit the Aldworth Giants before joining the motorway for the run home.

East GarstonEast Garston

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