OCT
23

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The Ramblers Association now have a greatly improved website which is an exceptional rescource for all walkers, hykers and young families wanting to go for walks with young children. This site lists everything from historical walks to guided walks and really audious walks.

Find A Walk Near Me by Walking Britain is a truly excellent and free resource. Just enter where you are or where you would like to walk - and print out directions. The walks are graded and you can buy a specific map of the area at the same time. These are proper OS maps and weather proofed if required.

I always think of walking as one of the few activities you can do for free - and now you can with this guide!

Walking, Hiking and Outdoor Shops

Shade Sail Blinds

Carlton House, Maundrell Rd, Calne SN11 9PU, UK – 01249 848649

Just had my whole conservatory at home fitted with Shade Sail Blinds. Wish I had done it years ago it has transformed the room and made it so much more practical. Shade Sail have a wide range of appealing designs to choose from and I received very high service. Highly recommended.

Bought my blinds from these guys last year! The blinds still look great and were fitted to a high standard. Can't fault them!

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Another good one. Walkingworld has huge library of guides with a good selection of walks, of varying lengths and grades, pretty well anywhere in the country. The walks come in an excellent format making them very easy to follow, with photographs to illustrate every important decision point and a proper Ordnance Survey map.

A modist annual subscription gives you unlimited access to all the walks. However you can Pay As Go by downloading indiviual walks..

Camping and Caravaning

Blackland Lakes

Stockley Ln, Calne Without SN11 0NQ, UK – 01249 810943

Spent thr night camping. Our first time on our own and with a new tent. Despite it raining most if the weekend was very impressed with the facilities. Showers, washing up laundry, children's playground all immaculate. Loved the nature trail around the site too. Very quiet site and even reasonably priced well equipped shop. Thank you!

Probably really great if you have kids or fancy fishing. We stayed for one night and broke the rules as the pitch we were designated was right in between 2 other groups already pitched up, with loads of extra space. We chose the extra space, so perhaps they could consider peoples space when designating their pitches. Really clean and manicured. The shower felt like I was being water boarded so not such a relaxing shower, with not a lot of room, hemmed into a cubicle, considering the space they could use for a nice big wet room or something. Also I had to perform some thigh strengthening move when blow drring my hair as the mirrors are so low. However, the girl who served us was lovely and it looked like a nice place. Only stayed for one night ... when they don't serve food at the nearest pub. A taxi into town and a slap up curry soon sorted that! :)

Bowood House and Gardens

Derry Hill, Calne SN11 9PQ, UK – 01249 812102

I went to Boxwood with my kids on a reasonably weather day in the summer hols with young kids. I'd heard the adventure playground was good but wasn't expecting the kids to be solidly entertained for 7 hrs straight. Great place. The vertical extent of the adventure playground is amazing - the height of the slides are the difference and the "Slide of death" where kids initially drop vertically is under cover and hilarious to watch. Unfortunately the grass around the area gets waterlogged so here is a top tip - pack spare clothes and lots of spare socks. Loads of space for picnics, a ball pit, a soft play, huge boat swings, a toddler balance area and a coffee stall on tap with moderate pricing. There is even a stately home, walks and tractor farm but we did none of these in the 7 hrs we spent there. It cost £30 for the three of us (season ticket worth while for 4+ visits in a year). Worth every penny, especially since picnics are an option.

Definitely five stars for this one, I never seen such immaculately cut lawns and acres of it. This place caters for both young and old with a large playground for the children to play in and a nice relaxing garden terrace for the older ones to enjoy. There are plenty of pathways around the Lancelot “Capability” Brown designed estate and a large lake to walk around. The house has a large collection of paintings and documents from the family collection, a chapel, sculpture gallery and exhibition rooms.

The Bug & Spider

221 Oxford Rd, Calne SN11 8AW, UK – 01249 248304

Called for a quick 'bite to eat'. Food was tasty and filling. Good selection on the menu. Not luxurious but clean and the staff were warm and welcoming. Would go again.

Stayed here on the night of our wedding. Room was exactly what we needed (not in a rude way of course...) Breakfast was superb!

Dog People is such a great website if you have dogs who go on holiday with you. Just enter your location and everything from dog friendly Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels to dog friendly walks and beaches come up. The Dog People site covers Bed & Breakfast, Holiday Parks, Hotels, Self Catering, Pubs & Food, Days Out. Enjoy!

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