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Local information

Wilton Windmill

wpa7a07ff4_0a_06Set high above the village of Wilton, about 9 miles south east of Marlborough, Wilton Windmill is the only working windmill in Wessex and still produces wholemeal, stone-ground flour. It is open every year from Easter to the end of September on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 2pm to 5pm when the windmill building is open for guided tours. The shepherd’s hut shop, serving refreshments and gifts and providing a seating area, is also open at this time. You can visit the Windmill at any time – there is a picnic area with breath taking views across to the Downs and the building can be viewed from the outside.

The construction of the Kennet and Avon Canal in this area involved canalising the waters of the River Bedwyn, thereby taking away the power to drive several water mills that were used to grind corn in the vicinity. The windmill was constructed to replace these water mills. It can be reached by a pleasant country walk from Crofton. A reciprocal entry price discount scheme is operated.
Visit their website: Wilton Windmill

The Kennet and Avon Canal

Steam Gala JubileeThe Kennet &Avon Canal joins the River Avon at Bath to the Thames at Reading via the River Kennet.  It was completed in 1810 and formed a major transport route between London and the West Country. The highest point of the canal, known as the summit, is just to the west of Crofton Beam Engines. It is 137 m (450 ft) above sea level and keeping it supplied with water is the reason for the pumping station’s existence.  Water is pumped from Wilton Water, adjacent to the station and raised 12m (40 ft) to the summit. Locally, the picturesque canal follows the Vale of Pewsey, an exceptionally fertile stretch of countryside supporting productive farms, a multitude of wildlife and several attractive towns and villages. To the West is the town of Pewsey with its famous Carnival, the newly-restored Burbage Wharf Crane originally used to load canal boats with timber and bricks and the 460 m (500 yards) long Bruce Tunnel, close to Savernake Forest.  To the East are the villages of Great and Little Bedwyn and then Hungerford where the narrow boat Rose of Hungerford is available for public canal trips.  The canal tow path is an ideal location for walking or cycling. The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust was responsible for restoring the canal from total dereliction after 1962 and is the owner of Crofton Beam Engines.
Visit the website: Kennet and Avon Canal

Local Walks

wpeb60f078_06Crofton, situated amongst gently undulating countryside and alongside the canal, is ideally placed to offer a number of country walks. In our shop, you will find a small booklet describing a selection.  The walks take from 1 hour to 2½ hours to complete and could be added easily to a trip around the pumping station.  The walking is not difficult although waterproof boots might prove useful on some stretches which use the canal towpath and grass tracks. For those wanting something more ambitious, we sell the local Ordinance Survey map in the shop.

Marlborough

wp6cda1a47_0a_06Marlborough is situated in the picturesque rural north-east of Wiltshire. Much of its great natural beauty is environmentally protected and it offers the discerning visitor a unique blend of modern attractions and facilities. Site of a twice-weekly market, the High Street is one of the widest in the UK and lined on both sides with characterful old buildings housing an array of high quality shops.

The town displays the confidence of wealth from times past, yet today remains vibrant and progressive with its own chic café culture.

The Merchant’s House – one of the finest 17th century middle-class homes open to visitors in England – is also to be found here and contains a wealth of period features, paintings and artefacts.

The cosmopolitan flavour of the town is greatly enhanced by the annual International Jazz Festival which takes place in July and the Food Festival in October.
Visit the website: Marlborough town

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