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A summer’s day out in east Wiltshire

Travel / No Comment / August 22, 2012

My wife and I enjoyed a peaceful summer day out last weekend, exploring a lesser-known corner of Wiltshire around Great Bedwyn, situated to the south-east of Marlborough. The area is within fairly easy reach of London, Bristol, Southampton and Oxford via the M4 and A34.

Our starting-off point was the Kennet and Avon Canal, near the beam engine pumping station at Crofton that keeps the canal full of water. Here, we were able to take photos of a steam train, the West Somerset Steam Express, thunder past on its way to Minehead.

A walk along the canal itself towards Great Bedwyn was an ideal way to keep cool on what would prove to be the hottest weekend of the year. We got as far as its church, which is an imposing size for a village. The other notable building in the village is its highly unusual Post Office, the exterior of which is adorned with old tombstones and monumental tablets. On its gable end, meanwhile, is a version in sculpture of da Vinci’s Last Supper!

Little Bedwyn, a mile or so down the valley, was even more picturesque. By then, however, lunch was overdue and, by good fortune, we came across The Pelican, just outside Froxfield, on the A4.

We both enjoyed their goat’s cheese and Mediterranean wrap – good value at £7 each – in their beer garden. Despite being near the main road, noise was only intermittent; although we only went inside to order and pay, it looked like it had recently been redecorated throughout. We will return when we revisit the area; it looks like there is more to explore and enjoy around there.

If you are looking for somewhere to visit a little way off the beaten track, we recommend the Bedwyns.

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