Taking time out

merchants-houseMarlborough has clubs and societies catering for most sport across the age groups and includes a well-equipped Leisure Centre. There’s no excuse for not keeping fit here! Cyclists are frequent visitors to town and an unoffcial cycle way has recently been designed in town, linking with Sustrans offcial network of cycle routes across the UK, see www.sustrans.org.uk or www.transitionmarlborough.org

The Marlborough area is a walkers’ paradise; plan your own routes or find help from the many websites now available with downloadable walks. An old Railway Path going north from Marlborough links with a number of other rights of way along its route see www.friendsofthepath.org.uk. For guided walks around town, follow David Chandler's book, “Place Names of Marlborough”, available from White Horse Bookshop in the High Street, along with many other local publications. The River Kennet is accessible just a minute or two from the High Street. For a few weeks every year you may find sheep in Coopers Meadow, which are part of a conservation grazing project.

The town is steeped in history and the Merchant’s House in the High Street is now a museum. Built after the Great Fire of 1653 by Thomas Bayly, a silk merchant, it contains rare wall paintings and decorative features and is being lovingly restored by expert craftsmen. Behind the house is a 17th Century town garden, a hidden gem. It is an outstanding destination for anyone interested in fine old buildings. For details see www.themerchantshouse.co.uk. The ancient and beautiful church of St Peter’s Church at the west end of the High Street, closed as a Parish Church in 1974 and now houses a café and craft shop. The church is most recognised for the ordination of (Cardinal) Thomas Wolsey as a priest in 1498. The tower, from which the view is spectacular, is quite a climb, but worth the effort; do not forget to take your camera with you. The interior of the church retains a peaceful, yet informal atmosphere and a visit should not be missed. See www.stpetersmarlborough.com for all details.

Marlborough boasts a comprehensive range of places to eat and drink with many high quality independent outlets. There’s a wide range of shops featuring many unique characteristics and our extensive retail areas are marked on the map in our guide. Shhh ladies, don’t tell him there are over 20 fashion shops here….