Discovering Wiltshire: Devizes, Ramsbury and Marlborough

Continuing my #TimeForWiltshire adventure. After a fantastic breakfast at Blounts Court Farm, I headed to Devizes town centre to the Wadworth Brewery for a tour, but before that, I had a look around Devizes, which is a thriving market town hosting trading every Thursday.  Manufacturing, retail and services are the base of the local economy. Devizes has more than 500 listed buildings; a very large number for a small town.

little Brittox, Devizes

Wadworth Brewery in the town centre was established in 1875. To this day, it’s an independent family run business steeped in history and traditional mastery. The company brews well-crafted ales using ancestral and modern methods.
The scheduled tours take approximately 2 hours and we walked through the traditional Victorian Tower and the 21st Century copper house learning about history and brewing.

checking the quality of the beer

Wadworth delivers to over 260 pubs across 600 miles of Britain.  All Wadworth pubs are recognised by the impeccable signs that are handcrafted by their signage team, which are located on site.

Delivering the beers by Shire horse carriage is a trademark of Wadsworth. There are three horses:  two adults and one young Shire in training.
To finish the tour a tasting of the ‘all year round’ and seasonal beers takes place at their special bar.

Wadsworth 6X  is their best seller

Tasty eatings at Devizes

The Bistro

at little Brittox, The Bistro is headed by Chef Peter Vaughan, whose
enthusiasm and passion for food is apparent in the dishes he delivers.
The Bistro is a central, small and well-known local restaurant serving
‘naturally balanced’ dishes with local ingredients where possible. Last
month, the menu theme was New Zealand, inspired by the new chef from
NZ.  The service  and food were impeccable and being served by Peter was truly an

Starters: flat garlic bread, crisp oyster tempura, hake was juice and flavoursome, local red onion pickle had the right amount of sweetness and sourness – beautiful colour and just enough crunchiness, Smoked paprika hummus -lovely texture and the strong smokiness of the paprika come through beautifully.
Main: Shoulder of pork with salsa verde, carrot puree, local roasted beets, purple New Zealand potatoes, apple – this plate  had quite a lot of elements but they worked very well together – the pork was juicy and I loved the sweetness from the roasted beets.
A selection of cheeses – very selection, but just one local cheese on the board. I wish there were more local cheeses available.

The Bistro
Devizes, Wiltshire
SN10 1AR, United Kingdom

t: +44 1380 720043

The Vaults Bar

I stopped briefly at this quirky micro pub serving local ales, beer, lager, cider, small selection bar snacks and homemade pies!  There are no spirits on sale. It’s a unique and pretty building; it served as a former passageway to the coach houses.  The service is very friendly service and lovely chatty locals.  Free Wi-Fi.

Beers at The Vault

The Rowdey Cow Farm Cafe and Ice Cream parlour

The Rowdey Cow Farm is a quick 5-minute drive from Devizes in the village of Rowde. The small farm serves fresh ice cream using its own cow’s milk. The taste is very distinctive, it’s a heavy dairy taste; the consistency is creamier than other ice creams. The farm offers 16 different flavours that change on a daily basis.  The Cafe serves cooked food as well as sandwiches and home baked cakes. There’s also a playground available for the little ones. The animals are on display and the children seem to love the fresh air, ice cream and the animals.

After all that delicious eating and drinking, a walk by Caen Hill Locks was a must. Caen Hill Locks is a flight of locks along the Kennet & Avon Canal.  Above the towpath on the Devizes Wharf side, there are signs and directions that are simple to follow.


Ramsbury is pre-medieval village steeped in history and tradition. Situated in the picturesque Kennet valley; Marlborough is 7 miles to the West. The nearest town is Hungerford, a small town well-known for its antique shops. I stopped at Ramsbury for the evening; the place is postcard worthy. A quaint place with plenty of beautiful houses and period architecture.

Fairytale houses in the English countryside

Overnight at The Bell at Ramsbury

My bed for the night was at The Bell at Ramsbury, one of the two pubs in the commune. This smart Inn, based on a 300-year-old former coaching, houses a bar, a restaurant and a hotel. The hotel room area is situated in another building  from the bar and restaurant. There are nine rooms in total; my room, The Pike, was a dream, the biggest room at the Inn.

decor is very stylish, high-end finish and exceptionally pleasing.  I
liked the big sink in the room with all amenities and the small chrome
kettle in the tea/coffee making area.  The bathroom with shower and bath
was light and airy. I loved the fluffy towels. It’s an affordable
luxury hotel in the beautiful setting of the delightful Ramsbury

The Pike room at The Bell at Ramsbury
a little time to work on the ipad mini and logitech keyboard – perfect pair to take on my travels checking emails and do some blogging on the road.
The Bell at Ramsbury
The Bell at Ramsbury

The bar was packed on the evening of my visit. I wasn’t surprised by this since it’s one of only two pubs in the village. The restaurant was buzzing with local guests enjoying drinks and fine food in a very inviting setting.  The service is warm and cordial.

Main dinning room at The Bell at Ramsbury

Dinner at The Bell at Ramsbury

My dinner at the restaurant was perfect. The menu is very imaginative using local ingredients, where possible. The wine list is comprehensive and it caters for all pockets.

The Bell at Ramsbury
focaccia topped with cultivated mushrooms, wild garlic, whipped goats cheese and a delicious blueberries

Tender and juicy Pan fried pigeon breast, incredible carpaccio of cocoa marinated beets, goats cheese and pine nuts

perfectly cooked Saddle of local hogget, crisp belly, samphire, romesco cauliflower, roasted parsnip

I also had sample of every single dessert in the menu, unfortunately the picture I took makes no justice. The desserts were : velvety and rich dark chocolate and tonka bean torte and pistachio ice cream, caramelised pineapple & banana crumble with mango sorbet,  Tiramisu, black tea, coconut & cacao panna cotta with black olive caramel and the house favourite parsnip cake with parsnip ice cream, cream cheese icing and sat caramel – very tasty!

Breakfast at The Bell at Ramsbury

Full English breakfast ,  The Bell at Ramsbury

I couldn’t find a fault at The Bell at Ramsbury. A fantastic welcome at little hotel in the middle of the English countryside of Wiltshire, serving amazing food and great wines. Fantastic service.  Dog friendly – check website for details. Highly recommended.

The Bell at Ramsbury 
t: 01672 520 230
[email protected]


Marlborough high street, second widest high street in Britain
Local shops
Marlborough Saturday Market

The next day was market day at Marlborough, in the second widest high street in Britain, after Stockton-on-Tees. This quintessential English market town is located on the old road Bath to London. It used to be a central connection to London trade from the continent. The market offers locally sourced meat, vegetables, fruits, pots, plants, pottery and garden furniture. A number of continental markets also descend on the town, but this is mainly in the summer months. It’s also the home of one of the most coveted and famous colleges, the Marlborough College, which is an independent school for day and boarding pupils aged between 13-18 years old.

St Peter’s Church 

The building dates back to 1100. Today it is a cafe selling cakes, tea and cooked food. It is also filled with local arts and crafts on sale.

The Merchants House

The House of Thomas Bayly is located in a prominent part of Marlborough High Street. It was built for Mr Bayly, a silk merchant, between 1653 and 1670. Its location was perfect to keep an eye on the town.  This property became famous after the discovery of original hand paintings underneath the layers and layers of wallpaper.  The paints on the walls and doors are of historical importance.

Main stairs at Merchants House in Marlborough
The kitchen at Merchants House in Marlborough
old recipe book at Merchants House
The dining room at Merchants House with some of the original wall paint inspired by Mr.Bayly’s travels to Europe
How sugar, a very expensive commodity,  was presented in the 17th Century

A slow restoration is currently taking place to preserve and improve the condition of the property. They rely on grants and donations.
It was amazing to walk through the rooms and for an hour, immerse myself in its history. For more info and opening times: the merchants house

Tea at Polly’s house 

A cream tea before heading back to London. A cream tea, also known as a Devonshire tea, Devon cream tea or Cornish cream is a simplified, smaller version of the English afternoon tea, consisting of tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam. Traditionally from Devon and Cornwall, cream teas are available in tea rooms in those two counties, as well as in other parts of England.

cream tea in the UK

Polly Tea rooms at Marlborough

That concludes my Wiltshire adventure. What a gorgeous part of the country! Enchanting….
Disclosure: I was a guest at The Bell at Ramsbury and The Bistro. Thanks for Visit Wiltshire for organising the itinerary and accommodation.



  1. Pasta Bites
    May 11, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    Such a beautiful part of England, I hope to visit soon!

  2. May 13, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Hi Fede, @PastaBites I highly recommend a visit to the English countryside, so many beautiful places! x