Try Wiltshire for an alternative short break

26 September 2009

VisitWiltshire is positioning the county as an alternative destination for shopping/city breaks.

The county has a great range of unusual boutique shops in its main towns and cities, while a thriving local theatre scene sees some impressive productions in locations such as Salisbury, Swindon and Bradford-on-Avon.

This winter tourism bosses are hoping to encourage a new type of visitor to the county, especially a younger affluent crowd who would take an interest in ‘off the wall’ performances offered by the arts community.

Highlights for the forthcoming season include:

Is That a Bolt in Your Kneck? - This dark comedy follows three actors playing over 20 roles in a story about what happens when they all seek refuge in a big old house during a storm. The play is showing at The Arts Centre in Swindon on October 2nd, 2009 and tickets are available for £10 -

Calne Music & Arts Festival – From 2nd – 11th October, the 35th annual Calne Music & Arts Festival begins offering a range of performances, recitals and exhibitions. Events change daily with entry prices starting from as little as £2. For more information and bookings visit

Arsenic and Old Lace – this black comedy comes to Salisbury Playhouse between 29th October – 21st November. The play tells the story of two lovable maiden aunts whose charitable good deeds include entertaining gentlemen callers with elderberry wine with a difference. Seats are available from only £10 if you booked for the first five nights -

The Way You Look Tonight – From the 10th December 2009 to 16th January 2010, enjoy an evening of musical celebration as Salisbury Playhouse dedicates a show to the songs of composer Jerome Kern. Songs include Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, The Way You Look Tonight and A Fine Romance. Tickets are available at

A full list of Wiltshire’s music and arts venues, including details of forthcoming performances can be found at Among the venues is Salisbury Playhouse, which prides itself on being one of Britain’s leading producing theatres, renowned for its high quality work. Plus Wiltshire Music Centre which features a 300 seat concert hall, which opened in 1998 to national acclaim for its superb acoustics.

As a perfect compliment to a night at the theatre or music venue, Wiltshire is also hoping to capitalise on its local talents in producing unique crafts and fine foods.

Towns such as Devizes, Bradford-on-Avon, Marlborough and the city of Salisbury offer some of the county’s best shopping.

Devizes, for example, is noted for its excellent hat shop and other unique boutiques, while Bradford-on-Avon is undoubtedly the region’s food filled highlight. Here visitors will find a number of delis and bakeries selling a range of local delights from Wiltshire cured ham and sausages to home-made preserves and chutneys.

Marlborough is the place to visit if you want to pick up more traditional items from woollen clothing to famous cakes from the Polly Tea Rooms.

Salisbury is the jewel in Wiltshire’s shopping crown offering a wide range of stores from high street favourites to specialist book, clothing and collectable stores.

Complimenting this is a good choice of accommodation from boutique bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels.

For full details of events and accommodation in Wiltshire this autumn see

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