The Athenaeum in the High Street combines theatre, cinema, art gallery, coffee lounge and bar. The Dewey Museum in the Warminster Library houses a display of local history and geological specimens. There is also a ‘Blue Plaque’ scheme describing the many historic buildings in the town; more details are available from the Community Hub.
Just a few metres from the town centre are the Lake Pleasure Grounds with tennis courts, a refreshment kiosk, bandstand, boating lake, children’s playground and a Skateboard Park for skateboarders, roller-skaters and BMX bikers. At the far end is Smallbrook Meadow a nature reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust with many forms of natural wildlife including kingfishers, dippers, dragonflies, damsels and a variety of wild flowers and plants
There is a lot to do in and around Warminster and in the wider surrounding area.
Maps etc - All these activities require maps and guides which are available from the Hub.
Weather forecasts - always important!
Of the many excellent golf courses throughout the area, those below are chosen for the challenge they present, the particular beauty of their surroundings and the great welcome in their clubhouses.
West Wilts Golf Club. BA12 0AU. The local, popular and very welcoming club on the edge of Salisbury Plain.
Cumberwell Park. BA15 2PQ Since its opening in 1994, Camberwell Park is now established as one of the best courses in the South West and has been awarded four stars in Golf World’s Top Courses in Britain.
Bowood. SN11 9PQ One of the most beautiful championship courses in a Capability Brown setting. In addition, stay at Queenswood Lodge, a luxurious Georgian manor house beautifully furnished and decorated by Lady Bowood, between the 7th and 8th fairways!
High Post. SP4 6AT Golf Monthly has described the course as a ‘hidden gem’. Its great strength is it’s all year round playability over the free draining chalk downland.
Salisbury and South Wilts SP2 8PR There are 27 holes available, made up of a main 18 hole course which is recognised as a good golfing challenge to all types of golfer, and a 9 hole course that weaves tantalisingly in and out of Salisbury Racecourse.
Manor House Hotel and Golf Club SN14 7JW Breathtakingly situated on the southern edge of the Cotswolds in 365 acres of parkland, Peter Alliss designed golf course, Italian gardens and lawns sweeping down to the River Bybrook. The house itself dates back to the 14th century.
The Dorset Golf & Country Club BH20 7NT It hosts 27 holes of the most challenging golf in Dorset and is recognised as one of the golfing gems of the South of England. The Martin Hawtree designed, Lakeland Parkland and Woodland courses are built to full USGA specification and are extremely well maintained, presenting excellent playing conditions for all levels of golfers.
The Warminster and wider area is immensely rich in beautiful land and seascapes which make walking, be it long distance or just a stroll, such a pleasure. The following list is not exhaustive!
Warminster is particularly fortunate in having close to it the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs (Cranborne Chase for short) AONB, one of three locally which were designated by government for our enjoyment, and their conservation and enhancement. The three are:
Cranbourne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs
North Wessex Downs
There is also the New Forest National Park. The “New Forest” is an English medieval deer hunting area created in 1079 by William the Conqueror - his “Nova Foresta”, still largely in the possession of the Crown. It is a nationally important environment of woodland pasture, heaths, bogs with ancient villages and byways.
National - The Sustrans‘ National Cycle Network offers miles of cycle routes on quiet country lanes and traffic-free paths, using easy to follow route signs and connecting towns and villages. To discover routes where you want to go and to find out about what you’ll see along the way, visit the www.sustrans.org.uk
Local - Some exciting local routes can be discovered at the Warminster Information Centre.
Cycle hire - Try TT Cycles at Bradford on Avon or Green Park Bike Station in the centre of Bath.
Taking bicycles by air and rail - Never easy! Try here for trains and here for planes.
Warminster has everything for the rider. There are world class three-day events, long distance riding routes, one day shows run by the local hunt, or just opportunities to ride from a local livery stable. The best place to start is the British Horse Society (www.bhs.org.uk) site and then click on its link to the South West Region.
Warminster is well land-locked! However, Shearwater Lake is used by the dinghy sailors of Shearwater Sailing Club and further afield. Visitors are most welcome.
Or try Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club at which is a bit further away.
Fishing, shooting and hunting
Fishing - A Wiltshire wide view of what is available.
Game and other forms of shooting - BASC South West provides the entry point for all things shooting in the Wessex area. Of equal importance are the supporting cast of game shooting for whom the National Organisation of Beaters and Pickers Up exists!
Hunting with Foxhounds - There are over 40 packs in Wessex with some splendid and varied hunting country.
Hunting the Hare - There are several Harrier packs in Wessex recognised by the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles.
Reserves. The wider Warminster area is very fortunate in that its many different types of terrain and land usage bring in and sustain a wide variety of birds. Visit the South West Region page of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds site for a list of nearby reserves.
Guide Books. There are many good guide books for bird watching. Key “field guide to birds of britain and Europe” into www.amazon.com to see the many excellent books on offer.
On the flat and over fences. For dates, times and venues look at:
Bath Race Course
Salisbury Race Course, Wilton
There are 20 meetings on 11 courses of this most exciting form of racing throughout Wessex in 2006. Details can be found on the Pointing Wessex website.