Weekend in Wiltshire | UK

mission hallfield gate + cemetery

Earlier this month, I spent a few days in the South West of England, in the county of Wiltshire.  My friend’s mum who lives there was celebrating her 70th birthday and had organised a whole weekend of celebrations. She lives in the most picturesque cottage (the kind I thought only existed in the TV show ‘Escape to the Country’) and it’s right in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by blankets of fields. I was excited to finally see the place I’d heard so much about and to get to discover a new part of England. I had great plans to explore the area around and I made some research on what to see in Wiltshire in case there was a chance of a car. I even got some great recomendations on Twitter!

Well, things didn’t quite go according to plan.

graveyardcurious horses
tombstones & ivy
tombstone heath
poney & flies

The first couple of days were idyllic. We helped set up the party, prepared delicious food and waves of people started coming in to join in the celebration. I felt so happy to finally live my ‘house in the country’ dream. In the midst of all the preparation, my friend took me on a tour through village. Mainly, a communal field, a church from the 13th century, a graveyard and a mission hall. The pictures above are the result of this walk. I almost absently took them, thinking that surely I’ll come back to take better ones…

Fate didn’t have that in mind at all. Instead a stomach bug infiltrated the party and most of us went down with it. I think I was one of the first and when something’s wrong with me, spiritually or physically, I go into heavy sleep mode.

window sill
fox the cat
rainy days

I can’t remember much at all except that when I started to feel slightly human again, it was time to journey back to Ireland. I had planned to make a trip to London after Wiltshire but I was too worn out to attempt any visiting activity. I’m not going to lie, it broke my heart as trips to London are always the highlight of the year.
I did feel happy and relieved though when I saw the Poolbeg chimney from the deck of the ferry as I knew my bed wasn’t too far away anymore.

on the train
on the ferry

Wiltshire Wishlist | UK

Walking through the villageCranborne ChaseUntitled
pictures: Suzie Smith / Tom Spearing / Alex Hornsby

As you read this, if everything goes to plan (that is if I don’t oversleep and miss the ferry), I’ll be on my way to the UK. I’m so incredibly excited, it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve set foot on British soil, I get butterflies every time. And this time I’m visiting a county totally new to me: Wiltshire! I literally know nothing about it apart that I’ve heard that’s where celebs like to hide in the countryside when the London life has just been too much.

I know so little about it that I hadn’t realised that Wiltshire was  where Stonehenge stands. There was a time when the idea of visiting the mythical stones would have had literally me jumping in the air, today not as much but while doing my research I realised that Wiltshire was full to the brim with stately homes and that’s the kind of things nowadays that wet my whistle. Yep, definitely growing old around here…

I’d be especially interested to see Ashcombe House as royal photographer Cecil Beaton rented it for a while. Ever since I read his memoirs, I’ve been under his witty spell and anything Beaton related has my complete and devoted attention. Apart from stately homes, Wiltshire is also famous for ‘chocolate-box villages’ like Castle Combe which already tickles my lense in anticipation.

Although to be honest, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to explore as I’m visiting friends who live in a tiny village and as I can’t drive, it looks like I’ll be stuck in the middle of nowhere. Which sounds amazing to me, I look forward, if weather allows, to lots of country side walks, chewing on wheat and napping under trees. Cheers to living the simple (offline) life!

Have you ever been to Wiltshire? What do I need to see? I would love to hear your recommendations!