- For the US city, see Warminster (Pennsylvania).
Warminster is a delightful market town with a friendly population of approx 18,000 persons. The town has many interesting buildings, nearly all of which owe their existence to Warminster's great fame as a successful corn market for several centuries.
The corn market ceased a hundred years ago and Warminster is now a residential place, with some light industry and a military presence, but has for many years been a holiday haunt, providing visitors and tourists with beautiful countryside, ancient archaeological monuments, excellent recreational activities including walking and cycling and horse riding, plus shopping and plenty of enjoyable attractions large and small.
It is located on the edge of Salisbury Plain and at the head of the picturesque Wylye Valley, between the historic cities of Bath (16 miles/26 km away) and Salisbury (20 miles/32 km away). Longleat House and Safari Park, and the Center Parcs resort of Longleat Forest are on its doorstep.
Warminster can be used as a base for visiting around 100 places of interest, including Stonehenge, Avebury, Salisbury Cathedral, Bath Theatre Royal, the Science Museum at Wroughton. Warminster is surrounded by open countryside. Cley Hill, Arn Hill, Battlesbury and Scratchbury Hills, in the immediate vicinity, boast Iron Age hill forts; Copheap Hill and Middle feature burial mounds and strip lynchets.
Warminster is situated on the former crossing of the A36 (Bristol to Southampton) and the A350 (Chippenham to Poole) trunk roads. The A362 (from Midsomer Norton and Frome in Somerset) enters the town from the west, while the B390 (Shrewton to Heytesbury) and B3095 (Longbridge Deverill to Gillingham) roads are east and south of the town respectively. The A303 from Exeter to London (M3) also skirts the area south and east of Warminster. The opening of the Warminster Bypass (1988) has diverted much of the through traffic, particularly the stone lorries from the Mendip quarries. The former A36 through Warminster has been declassified and is now the B3414.
Warminster is ten miles north-west of the A303 junction with the A36 at the Deptford Interchange. The A303 makes a seamless link to the M3 motorway west of Basingstoke. The M4 motorway, connecting London with South Wales, is approximately 25 mi (40 km) north of Warminster via the A350, intersecting at junction 17. The M5 motorway crosses the M4 at the Almondsbury Interchange, north of Bristol. The M5 northbound can also be reached via the A350, A429, Cirencester and the A417 joining at junction 11A.
Buses and express coaches: Scheduled service buses operate between Bath, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury and Warminster provided by First Bus route numbers 264 and 265, running twice hourly from Monday to Saturday with a reduced frequency on Sunday. A bus service between Warminster and Salisbury is provided by Bodman’s route 24 and operates hourly from Monday to Saturday. The town enjoys regular local bus services between Monday and Saturday around the town connecting the residential estates and the garrison with the Market Place and local shops and supermarkets. There is also a regular service, no. 53, to Frome. Bus routes also operate between Warminster and several of the surrounding villages. Bus services generally cease operation in the early evening.
National Express service 300, operating between Portsmouth and Bristol, calls in Warminster daily at around 11:15AM northbound and 4:15PM southbound.
Express coaches to and from London (Hammersmith bus station) are provided by Berrys Superfast, on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, departing at 9:30AM weekdays and 1:30PM on Sunday, with return services from London at 5:45PM weekdays and 7:00PM on Sundays
The majority of buses and both express coach services use the bus stops in Market Place.
Information from Sustrans.
Warminster is situated about halfway on the Cardiff to Portsmouth route, with trains operated by First Great Western connecting Bristol, Bath, Salisbury and Southampton. Trains operate every hour in each direction from Monday to Saturday, with a similar service on Sunday. There are also a limited number of direct trains to Brighton, Worcester and Cheltenham also operated by First Great Western. South West Trains provide three daily services in each direction to and from Warminster and London Waterloo. The main London Paddington to the West of England line is accessible at Westbury, approximately four miles to the north of Warminster, where fast trains to Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance to the west and Reading and London Paddington to the east are available, with some trains from Warminster making connections. Trains to and from Frome, Castle Cary, Yeovil, Dorchester and Weymouth are also available at Westbury. Bus services 264 and 265 call at a bus stop close to Westbury railway station.
Bus and train timetables can be obtained from Warminster Railway Station, the Warminster Information Centre in the Central Car Park and from the bus and train operators’ websites. The Wiltshire Council website also provides comprehensive timetable information on local bus routes.
Warminster Railway Station is within a few minutes walking distance of the Market Place. Pay and Display car parking is adjacent to the Railway Station.
- National Rail Enquiries, +44 845 7484950.
- South West Trains, +44 845 6000650.
Airports close to Warminster are Bristol International, 30 mi (48 km) distant, Southampton (Eastleigh), 44 mi (71 km) and Bournemouth Hurn, 45 mi (72 km). Bristol has scheduled flights to many European and UK destinations as does Southampton. Bournemouth has a more limited range, dealing mainly with charters. Bristol can be reached by public transport using First Great Western Trains services to Bristol Temple Meads station from where a coach shuttle to the airport operates. Southampton Airport has an integral railway station and can be reached by train using First Great Western Trains to either Salisbury or Southampton with connecting services to the airport being operated by South West Trains.
The major international airports at London Heathrow and London Gatwick can also be reached by train: Heathrow from either Reading (via Westbury) or Woking (via Salisbury) railway stations, from where coach shuttles operate to the airport. Gatwick has an integral railway station, which can be reached via Salisbury and Clapham Junction.
Local taxi operators provide services to all airports, subject to prebooking.
The nearest cross-channel ports are Portsmouth and Poole. Brittany Ferries provide vehicle and foot passenger services to and from northern Spain, the Normandy ports of Caen and Cherbourg, and St. Malo in Brittany from Portsmouth with a summer only service from Poole to and from Cherbourg.
LD Lines operate from Portsmouth to Le Havre. Condor Ferries provide services normally from Poole to the Channel Islands and St Malo.
Local taxi operators provide services to all seaports, subject to prebooking.
Warminster Town Centre is served by two car parks. The Central Car Park (accessed by vehicles from Station Road) serves the Market Place and Three Horseshoes Walk. The Western Car Park (accessed by vehicles from Sambourne Road) serves High Street. Both the Central Car Park and the Western Car are pay and display. A very small car park is at the eastern end of Fairfield Road and is pay and display. There is a small car park at Emwell Street, also pay and display. There is very limited, free on-street parking in the heart of the town: at George Street (both sides of the road); at Silver Street (one side). There are a few spaces at the lower end of Sambourne Road (one side), and at the northern end of Weymouth Street (both sides). There are four car parking spaces at the High Street end of The Close (one side).
- Longbridge Deverill Petrol Station, Longbridge Deverill, +44 1985 840061. BP fuel. Forecourt shop. Liquid Gas. Post Office.
- Morrisons Petrol Station, Weymouth Street, +44 1985 847094. Fuel. Liquid gas. Forecourt shop.
- New Road Service Station, Codford. +44 1985 850345. Fuel. Liquid gas. Budgens Shop. Post Office.
- Warminster East Service Station, East Street, +44 1985 212084. Esso fuel. Car wash. Forecourt shop. Coffee machine. Coal. Firewood. Opening hours 6:30AM-10PM (weekdays) 7AM-10PM (weekends).
Situated at the northern end of Station Road.
Taxis and private hire
- Ace Taxis, +44 1985 216739 or 0800 1223126, four- and six-seater taxis available, comfortable and clean, taxi and courier, airport and seaport transfers, special return rates, female driver available, old age pensioner discounts, Royal United Hospital Bath and Salisbury Hospital runs, accounts welcome.
- DJ's Taxis, The Old Parcel Office, Station Road, BA12 9BR. +44 1985 215151. Free phone booking service 0800 9702159. Su-Th 6AM to midnight. F-Sa 6AM to late. Local and long distance journeys. Airport, seaport transfers, wedding parties, school runs and night clubs. Prices vary on Sundays.
- Prestige Private Hire, 19 Norridge View, BA12 8TA. +44 1985 847301, mobile 07793 450429, or freephone 0800 1182855. Reliable and comfortable. 4-, 6- and 8-seater vehicles available. All drivers Criminals Record Bureau checked. Driver dress code. On board movies. Climate control. No smoking policy and no eating policy. Business accounts welcome. All major credit cards accepted.
- Starline and Wessex Taxis, 38a Market Place, +44 1985 212215. Fax +44 1985 212191. Long established taxi service.
Coaches and minibuses
- A. and G. Minibuses, Paddock Wood, Bradley Road, BA12 7JY. +44 1985 218754. 4-, 6-, 8- and 16-seater vehicles. Self-drive hire also available.
- Beeline, Bishopstrow Road, BA12 9HQ. +44 1985 216592.
- National Express. +44 871 7818181.
- New Road Service Station, New Road, Codford, phone=+44 1985 850345. Executive fleet of 16- to 49-seater vehicles available.
- Tisbus, Tisbury. +44 7500 802525.
- Wilts and Dorset Bus enquiries, +44 1202 336855.
- Batchelors, 24 Market Place, ☎ . Cycle shop offering sales, service and repairs.
There are bicycle racks on the pavements in the Market Place and the High Street, and outside the Public Library at Three Horseshoes Walk.
- Alfred's Tower, near Stourton, south west of Warminster. +44 1985 844785. Built in 1772 on the site where King Alfred the Great is said to have gathered his army prior to defeating the invading Danes in 878 A.D.
- Anzac War Graves. At Baverstock, Codford and Sutton Veny.
- Australian Anzac Rising Sun Badge, chalk carving in hillside slope at Lamb Down, Codford. Visible from A36 road.
- Beyond Harvest. In the Cornmarket shopping precinct is a bronze statue of a girl sat high on a stack of grain sacks, gazing dreamily towards Copheap, a beech clad hill to the north of the town. It is the work of the renowned sculptor Colin Lambert and was inspired by a conversation Colin had with local historian Danny Howell about Warminster's role as a great corn market for several centuries and the wealth of archaeological remains locally which include Iron Age hill forts (Cley Hill, Arn Hill, Battlesbury and Scratchbury) and Bronze Age remains such as the burial mound on Copheap.
- The Chapel of St. Lawrence. The Chapel of St. Lawrence, at High Street, is a "Peculiar", existing outside direct Church of England control and held in trust by feofees since 1575, when they purchased the chapel for the town for £38 6s. 6d. A clock which has no face is installed in the tower and sounds the hours and the quarters. The chapel is open daily for prayer and evensong is held on the third Sunday of every month. The patronal service is held in August. A flower festival is usually presented inside the Chapel during the Christmas period, with donations being given to charity. The Friends of St. Lawrence Chapel organise many events and concerts at the Chapel.
- Copheap. Copheap, the hill closest to Warminster, just north of the town, was purchased by the Warminster Urban District Council and soon afterwards it was agreed at a public meeting in 1947 that it should become a war memorial for the town. The purchase price was met by public subscription. Members of the R.A. and Old Comrades associations constructed the Path of Remembrance from Copheap Lane to the base of the hill, with regimental badges being incorporated into the walls at the lower end of the path. A lych gate at the entrance to Copheap is inscribed: "As an everlasting tribute of pride and gratitude to the sons of Warminster who gave their lives in the great World Wars this archway was constructed and Copheap preserved for the perpetual use and enjoyment of all."
- Heaven's Gate. Overlooking Longleat Park is Heaven's Gate which can be approached on foot along a grassy pathway between pine trees, rhododendrons and azaleas. It was here that Bishop Ken, while a guest at Longleat House (1689 to his death in 1711), wrote his famous hymn Morning.
- Longleat House, ☎ . "the greatest treasure house in the West Country" is on Warminster's doorstep, and, who knows, while visiting you might bump into the 7th Marquess of Bath, famous for his murals and his memoirs, and known locally, like his late father, for being a generous benefactor to Warminster. On the site of an Augustine priory, work commenced on the building of Longleat House in 1567.
- Longleat Safari Park, ☎ . Vary by season: open daily through the summer and December, weekends in the spring and autumn, generally closed in winter. Longleat Park, landscaped by Capability Brown, has animal neighbours: lions, tigers, wolves, gorillas, giraffes, rhino and an elephant. Adults £29, seniors £26, children 3-16 £22 for day ticket to Safari Park, Main Square (including Jungle Kingdom, Monkey Temple, Jungle Express and Adventure Castle), and Longleat House and Gardens.
- The Obelisk. A triangular monument of Bath stone, at the junction of Silver Street, Vicarage Street, and Church Street. It was erected in 1873 to commemorate the enclosure of the parish. It stands on the site of the former Emwell Cross Barn. A fountain (now disused), made of gun metal, in the shape of a lion's head, is featured on the east side of this unusual column. Former cattle and horse troughs around the base are now planted with colourful flowers. The Obelisk is flood-lit at night.
- The Town Hall. Designed in the Jacobean style by Edward Blore, at the expense of the Marquess of Bath, and built 1830 to 1832. Donated to the town by Longleat in 1904. Once housed the law courts, with cells below, and a ballroom and function room. Sold to a private buyer in the 1970s. In recent years it has been a solicitor's offices, with a restaurant in the basement. Now the subject of some controversy as to what the future use of it should be and in whose hands it should be - public or private. Now for lease and awaiting a new tenant. Not open to the public.
- The Parish Church of St. Denys, The Minster. Restored between 1887 and 1889. Outside the main door stands a venerable yew tree which is often quoted as being a thousand years old, although a recent study suggests it dates back to the 14th Century.
- Portway House. This mansion is dated 1715 but research suggests it is as early as 1702. It was built for the Middlecotts, a family of local clothiers, but in 1820 they sold it to the Longleat Estate along with 500 or more acres remaining of the original Newport Manor. From 1958 to 1981 Portway House was used as the town's public library and the offices of the Warminster Urban District Council were also here. Stone pillars and ornamental stone eagles enhance the handsome iron gates which were restored in 1962. A brick built gazebo occupies the north-east corner of the garden. Portway House now comprises apartment flats. Not open to the public.
- St. John's Church. At Boreham Road, designed by G.E. Street and built in 1865. It glows magnificently in the sunshine. The walls inside are illiustrated with mosaics of scriptural scenes designed by Ponting and made by J. Powell of Whitefriars. They were unveiled in 1912. Another was added to mark the 2000 Millenium.
- Stonehenge, SP4 7DE, ☎ , . One of the great wonders of the world and within easy travelling distance of Warminster.
- 1 Stourhead, near Mere, BA12 6QF, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stourton. Within easy reach of Warminster is Stourhead, a National Trust property with its magnificent 18th-century pleasure garden landscaped around a lake and complete with temples, grottos, statues and monuments such as the old Bristol High Cross.
- Teddington House. Opposite the Obelisk, at 1 Church Street, Teddington House is dated circa 1700, and its western wing was once a wool store, a reminder of one of Warminster's former trades. Not open to the public.
- The Tudor House, 34 Vicarage Street. Is a timber-framed and jettied building which may well pre-date its name. Not open to the public.
- War Memorial. At the junction of the Avenue and Portway stands the town's War Memorial, a tall Iona type cross of Box-ground Bath stone, standing 21 feet high and incorporating interwoven rope work and Egyptian art. The names of 115 men who gave up all in the First World War are commemorated. It was designed by Warminster stonemason Egerton Strong whose ancestors had worked with Sir Christopher Wren on the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral after the Great Fire of London. The Warminster War Memorial site was donated by the 5th Marquess of Bath and 2,000 people attended the unveiling of the monument on 29th May 1921. The monument was re-dedicated on 6th November 1949 when the names of 52 townsmen who had paid the supreme sacrifice during the Second World War were added.
- Warminster Maltings. Pound Street. Believed to be the last still-operating traditional malthouse in the county. Open to the public for guided tours, by appointment with the maltster Robin Appel.
- Wren House, Vicarage Street, has often been referred to as the work of Sir Christopher Wren (born at East Knoyle, ten miles south of Warminster), but it is now accepted that it is not by him but in his style. Now a retirement home. Not open to the public.
- Arn Hill Nature Trail. Arn Hill rises to over 650 ft (200 m) above sea level and its beech woodland was donated to the town by the Marquess of Bath in 1920. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have established a Nature Trail around Arn Hill which passes a former lime kiln (now in ruins) and rises above the old-fashioned sheep walks of Kidnapper's Hole (a former chalk quarry which supplied the lime kiln). This two-mile circular footpath allows the enjoyment of the chalkland flora and its fauna. In the summer there are Fritillary and Small Blue butterflies to be seen as well as Burnet moths. The birds include skylarks, meadow pipits, tree-creepers and chiffchaffs. From the woods (which feature beech and some yews, holly and wayfaring trees) the path joins the open Plain area around the West Wilts Golf Course, where views look north and east over the vast expanse of Salisbury Plain, southeast to the Great Ridge Woods, south towards neighbouring Dorset, and west into the wetlands of Somerset. A wooden seat on the part of the down overlooking New Farm and Norridge Wood is a good vantage point for seeing the distant landmarks of Alfred's Tower near Stourhead, and the Mendip television transmitter near Wells on Mendip. Access to Arn Hill can be gained from paths off the Westbury Road or from Elm Hill where there is some car parking space. Admission to Arn Hill is free.
- Athenaeum Theatre and Arts Centre, 18-20 High St, ☎ . The Athenaeum on the north side of the High Street was built in 1858 as a lecture hall and among its early speakers was Oscar Wilde who gave a talk on The House Beautiful. The present auditorium was built in 1879 as the Charles Bleeck Memorial Hall. From 1912 to 1964 it was the Palace Cinema and was also the venue for amateur operatics and drama. Eric Sykes, of television fame, was a regular cast member in a touring company which performed here in the 1940s. From 1969 onwards the building was used as an Arts Centre, with many famous names gracing the stage. Following a pause in proceedings in the 1990s, the Athenaeum re-opened in 2000 and is now held in trust as a registered charity by and for the people of Warminster. It is being promoted as a vibrant centre for the community. This fine Victorian theatre (complete with balcony), seating 220 persons, is certainly an intimate venue for all types of entertainment. Users have good backstage facilities, in-house lighting and dressing rooms. The Athenaeum plays host to the Warminster and District Film Society which offer once-a-month screenings. Tickets can be bought in advance or on the day the film is shown. Early booking is advised, as many of the films sell out quickly.
- Bird Watching. The keen ornithologist will not be disappointed with the feathered friends to be seen in the gardens, lanes, fields, woods and hills in and around Warminster. Yellow Hammers, Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Ravens, Little Egrets, Herons, Barn Owls, Tawny Owls, and Buzzards are common, and if you're lucky you might spot a Red Kite.
- Blue Plaque Trail. Established by Warminster Civic Trust. This reflects Warminster's varied blend of architecture which covers several centuries of development. Plaques giving historical information have been placed on 20 buildings. Brochure, including further information, photographs and map, £2 from Warminster Information Centre, Central Car Park, Warminster.
- Christmas Lights. 10 Nov 2017 to2 Jan 2018 the main streets of Warminster will be illuminated by vivid colour by the annual Christmas Lights display. It is considered to be the best of its kind for miles around, surpassing neighbouring towns and cities. Strings of bulbs and decorations above East Street, Market Place, High Street, George Street and Silver Street are complemented by hundreds of illuminated Christmas trees above nearly every shop front. These are put up (and taken down) by a dedicated team of volunteers. The cost of the trees is met by shopkeepers and business people. A Christmas Market will be held in the Civic Centre on 25 Nov 2017 with stalls, children's roundabouts, hot food and mulled wine, Santa's grotto, and a stage where local bands and choirs performed for the public. In the evenings in December, members of Warminster Lions Club, tour the town's residential streets with Father Christmas in a motorised "sleigh", handing out sweets to children and playing recorded festive music and carols, at the same time as Santa's helpers go door-to-door collecting small donations of money for local charities.
- Civic Trust Garden. Conceived by Warminster Civic Trust. Just inside the main entrance to the Lake Pleasure Gardens at Weymouth Street is the Warminster Civic Trust Garden, where hardy plants, trickling water, a pergola and wooden seats and tables offer an oasis for relaxation. It was opened on 18th May 1996. The garden occupies the site of the former Warminster Open-Air Swimming Paths and the cost was met by several kind individuals, businesses and trusts.
- Clay Pigeon Shooting. The Wylye Valley Shooting Ground, at Fisherton Delamere, off the A36 and the A303, ten miles east of Warminster, is the place for clay pigeon shooting, locally, on a regular basis, with cash prizes when charity events are held.
- Cycling. The Warminster vicinity provides excellent cycling opportunities for individuals, families or groups, along byways and other routes and through terrain as diverse as the Great Ridge Woods or Salisbury Plain. The latter is the chosen course for a challenge competition held at New Year, its route includes the roads in the northern part of Warminster parish. Many locals and visitors turn out to watch and cheer on the mountain bikers and other entrants. For those who prefer a less energetic ride the Wiltshire Cycleway features six circular routes. The Wylye Valley route, from Salisbury to Horningsham (on to Mere) is 41 miles and is indicated by blue background signs with white lettering and a bicycle motif. Welcoming pubs and village shops can be found along the way, and the routes link up with off-roading tracks and national byways. The Warminster Cycling Group run an annual event in the summer, often during National Bike Week, called The Warminster Wobble, which encourages everyone from toddlers upwards to get on their bikes. The Endura Trek Cyclosportive, based around the Longleat Estate, offering a 100-mile challenge (160-km), has now become, it seems, an annual event in the local calendar, each March.
- Dewey Museum, Three Horseshoes Walk, BA12 9BT, +44 1985 216022. Free admission.
- Farmer Giles Farmstead, Teffont, SP3 5QY, ☎ . Clean and safe farmyard with animals, pets and old agricultural implements, providing fun and learning for children and adults alike. Picnic area and refreshments. Good value in all weathers.
- Fireworks. On the Friday or Saturday evening closest to 5th November (Guy Fawkes Night) adults and children gather at Gale's Field, between Elm Hill and Imber Road, to see a large bonfire and enjoy a spectacular fireworks display organised by the local garrison and Warminster Lions Club. The evening also features a mini-fun fair, stalls selling drinks and hot food, and usually musical entertainment by a local radio station. Tickets go on sale during the fortnight before the event and are also on sale at the gate on the night.
- Fishing. The River Wylye, to the south and east of Warminster, is one of the finest chalk streams in Wiltshire, and offers good trout fishing (remember to get your licence). The Warminster and District Angling Club. Founded in 1961 and has over 400 members. Uses Crockerton Lake, Hinton Lakes, Berkley Lake and the River Frome, as well as the waters of neighbouring clubs.
- Heritage Open Weekend. Every September. Organised by Warminster Civic Trust. Among the buildings opened up specially for guided tours to the public for this event in past years have been the Old Town Hall, The Masonic Lodge, Dents Gloving Museum, Warminster Maltings, The Athenaeum, and The Chapel of St. Lawrence. Advance booking always required.
- Horse Racing. Bath Racecourse , Lansdown, BA1 9BU. +44 1225 424609. Salisbury Racecourse , Netherhampton, SP2 8PN. +44 1722 326461. Wincanton Racecourse , Wincanton, BA9 8BJ. +44 1963 32344.
- Horse Riding. For the horse rider there are several stables in the Warminster area offering liveries and pony trekking. Point-to-Point is popular too. Longhorn Western Riding. at Longhedge Farm, Corsley, +44 1373 832422, provides trekking in the Longleat area. Warminster Saddle Club. at Oxendean, +44 1985 213925, not only gives riding tuition but also holds competitions and events including jumping, holiday courses, camps and facility hire. The Puddy family at the White Horse Trekking Centre. at Codford, +44 1985 850395, offers half day and whole day treks, riding holidays, riding lessons, own-a-pony days, family rides and carriage driving lessons, for all abilities.
- Infantry & Small Arms School Corps. 16th Century to the Present Day Weapons Collection, Infantry & Small Arms School Corps Weapons Collection HQ SASC, HQ Infantry, Land Warfare Centre, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 0DJ, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Th 9AM to 4PM. A comprehensive collection of small arms tracing their development from the 16th Century to the present day. Exhibits include pistols, sub-machine guns, rifles, light and medium machine guns, light and medium mortars and anti-armour weapons. The collection also contains a fine reference library of specialist books and documents covering small arms trials from 1853 to 1939. The collection is very much military orientated for those with a special interest in small arms rather than the casual visitor and is unsuitable for young children. The maximum group size is 20 and visitors are escorted at all times. Car parking and toilet facilities. Free admission.
- Lake Pleasure Grounds. In the heart of Warminster and only a few steps from the Market Place is the Lake Pleasure Grounds (known locally as the Town Park). It was established in 1924 (on the site of what had been the town's rubbish dump) and has always been one of the finest parks in Wiltshire; it is very popular with residents and visitors alike. The Were stream, which partly gives Warminster its name, flows through the Town Park. The main entrance is from Weymouth Street but access can also be gained from all sides including the Ridgeway Slope which was landscaped in 1977 and won an award from the Council for the Protection of Rural England. The Lake Pleasure Grounds feature tennis courts, a refreshments kiosk, and a bandstand where, during the summer months, visiting brass and other bands give free concerts on some Sunday afternoons. Also here is the Warminster Park Community Centre, used by many community groups including the Warminster Camera Club and the Wednesday Evening Bingo players. The boating lake has two islands giving a haven to ducks, swans and herons, who seem to ignore the human users of the pedaloes on the lake. The boathouse includes unisex toilets. There are three play areas in the Park: the King George V Playing Field has slides, swings, roundabouts, climbing frames, rocking horses and a paddling pool. Next to it is the Adventure Playground for the more energetic. The Skate Park is complete with half-pipes for use by skate-boarders, roller-skaters and BMX bikers. For those who want to take life at an easier pace there are seats situated alongside the path which circles the lake. The Morgan Memorial Fountain (now out of use), which stood in the busy Market Place until 1937 is now situate at the western end of the Lake Pleasure Grounds. It is adjacent the Civic Trust Garden. The Lake Pleasure Grounds are watched by CCTV, making this a safe place, particularly for families, and all is enhanced by the flower beds which provide colour all year round. Free admission.
- Noggin, Nosh and Natter. Organised in conjunction with the Commercial Transport In Preservation group . On the last Wednesday evening of every July. An informal gathering of old, vintage, classic, and interesting vehicles, including cars, vans, buses, lorries, military vehicles, and motorcycles. With barbecue and some trade stalls. In the car park and adjoining fields of The George Inn, Longbridge Deverill, on the A350, approx two miles south of Warminster. Free admission.
- Playgrounds. There are children's playgrounds, fenced off and gated, with play equipment, at The Dene, Fore Street, Goodwin Close, Grovelands Way, Haygrove Close, The Heathlands, Portway Lane, Pound Street, Princess Gardens, and Queensway.
- Playing Fields. The Frank Moody Playing Field at Fore Street is much used for football and other games. St. George's Field, on the corner of Boreham Road and Woodcock Road, is another grassed open space, used for football, rugby and sports. Open spsce with football goal posts is adjacent The Heathlands at Bradley Road. There is a small grassed area adjacent the River Wylye, at the site of the former Smallbrook Mill, below Willow Crescent. Portway Lane Playing Field is another large grass area reserved for recreation and it also serves as the location for Jennings Fun Fair when it comes to Warminster every April. The National Trust field, known as Boreham Field, on the south side of Boreham Road is another popular open space for recreation.
- Sailing. For those who like messing about in boats, Shearwater, a large man-made lake on the Longleat Estate, near Crockerton, is the venue for dinghy sailing by members of the Shearwater Sailing Club. A clubhouse and mooring area is to the north east of the lake. Regattas provide not only a colourful spectacle but also an exhilerating thrill.
- Smallbrook Meadows Nature Reserve. Maintained by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, at Smallbrook. Paths lead out of the eastern end of the Lake Pleasure Grounds into Smalbrook Meadows, a designated Local Nature Reserve managed by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. It is also within the boundary of a Special Landscape Area (SLA). Situated next to the Were stream, measuring 13 hectares and divided into six small meadows, the reserve also features a large pond as well as smaller ones. The diversity of habitat provides suitable conditions for many birds including kingfishers, sandpipers and dippers, and mammals such as the water vole. Avens, marigolds and flags are among the flora and at certain times the air is alive with orange tip butterflies, damsels and dragonflies. A small car park is situated adjacent the Henford Marsh road below Sandy Hollow. From here the path into the reserve has a hard surface and is wheelchair friendly. Free admission.
- Skywatching (UFOs). Strange noises heard over Warminster on Christmas Day 1964, started the 'Warminster Thing' phenomenon, with mass hysteria when people began seeing unidentified objects in the sky over the town, an invitation for the press and television to come and report on a regular basis. Cradle Hill, one mile north of Warminster, and Middle Hill (renamed Star Hill by UFO spotters) became gathering places for "sky watchers" for several years. Local journalist Arthur Shuttlewood wrote many books about flying saucers over Warminster and aliens who came calling on him. Ken Rogers, who formerly worked for the Daily Express, came to live in Warminster and also wrote a book about Warminster UFOs ('The Warminster Triangle'). In recent years the town has hosted exhibitions and conferences on the subject which still continues to perplex the local community. A couple of years ago, national newspaoers reported that the singer Robbie Williams had been visiting Cradle Hill, looking for UFOs.
- Walking and Rambling. Good walking has been enjoyed in and around Warminster for many years. There are hundreds of footpaths and nearly all are well signposted and adequately provided with stiles. Most landowners in the area are walker-friendly and there is a good choice of routes ranging from short town perambulations to long distance walks such as the Wessex Ridgeway. The Imber Range Perimeter Path which skirts around the military training area of Salisbury Plain is clearly defined with waymarkers and is a circular walk of 30 mi (48 km) that can be joined or left at many places. For those who want to walk as part of a group there are organisations such as the West Wilts Ramblers who arrange walks from advertised starting points on a regular basis.
- Warminster Art Society Exhibition. Warminster Art Society. welcomes everyone from beginners to experts. During the winter months they hold workshops and lectures, and in the summer all-day outdoor painting sessions are held. Twice a year, usually in May and November, an exhibition of members' paintings and drawings is held in Warminster Library. Occasional exhibitions are held at the Athenaeum.
- Warminster Carnival. Warminster has been holding regular carnivals since 1896. Now an annual highlight in the town's calendar, the carnival is held on the last Saturday evening in October, a date specially chosen to attract some of the big illuminated floats from the world-famous carnival circuit in the neighbouring county of Somerset. Most of those taking part, though, are local entries comprising the carnival royalty, marching bands, motorised floats, majorettes and walking masqueraders. It is run entirely by a small but very dedicated group of volunteers who spend all year fund-raising to put the show on the road. Warminster Carnival brings out a huge crowd of spectators who line the town's main streets (Boreham Road, East Street, Market Place, High Street, George Street and Silver Street), making it the biggest-attended spectacle in the life of the town. Solicitations of small change from the crowds are counted up afterwards and donated to local charities. The carnival entries are judged en route and the best are awarded cups and prizes. Spectators can also vote for their favourite entry which is awarded the Danny Howell Spectators' Shield. The week preceding the carnival features several events (Fire Station Open Night, Bingo, Quiz Night, Spot the Mistake in the Shop Window Competition, Treasure Trail, etc.) promoting and helping to fund the grand parade. Jennings Fun Fair also visits the town during this time, occupying the Central Car Park. Details from Sandra Major, +44 1985 217050.
- Warminster Festival. Held bi-annually, bringing together various artists and performers from all sections of the arts: readings, poetry workshops, story telling, music groups including classical and pop, arts and crafts and photography exhibitions, guided walks and garden trails. The next Warminster Festival will in 2014.
- Warminster in Bloom. The main streets of Warminster are a blaze of colour in the summer months with spectacular displays of hanging baskets, tubs and planters. The Warminster In Bloom competition is judged by local dignatories and nurserymen, and at a special ceremony prizes are awarded for the best displays of premises by shopkeepers, traders, pub landlords, and for the gardens of the residents.
- Warminster Information Centre, ☎ . Central Car Park. The first port of call for visitors. Volunteer staff advise on where to stay, local attractions, transport links, and holiday activities. Wide range of leaflets (nearly all are free), maps, and souvenirs also on sale. Booking agents for local theatres and National Express coaches.
- Warminster Library, Three Horseshoes Walk, BA12 9BT, ☎ .
- Warminster Sports Centre, ☎ . Woodcock Rd. The Sports Centre is much used by the community. It is the venue for many club activities including five-a-side football, Taekwon-do, karate, kick boxing, badminton and fencing. There is an air-conditioned gym, two glass-back squash courts, an aerobics studio and a 25-metre heated indoor swimming pool.
- Warminster Vintage Bus Running Day. Held on a Sunday every October, with buses running in and out of the Central Car Park. Free to ride on all buses.
- Warminster Wobble, ☎ . A Festival of Cycling held in the Warminster Lake Pleasure Grounds one weekend every July. Cycle rides, time trials, displays, cycle repairs, stalls and attractions. Free admission.
- Westbury White Horse, Bratton. Hill carving in chalk. Adjacent Bratton Camp Iron Age hill fort. Public open space. Ethandune memorial stone.
- West Wilts Golf Club, ☎ . Elm Hill. The West Wilts Golf Club have an 18-hole course on top of 650 feet high Arn Hill, which began as a 9-hole course in November 1891. It was designed by J.H. Taylor. On chalk subsoil the greens and fairways are nearly always dry and fit for play. Practice facilities (out and indoor) are available. The course is of a links character and gives players of all standards a fair test.
- The Woolstore Theatre. Codford, five miles east of Warminster, is the only village in England to have its own theatre. It is named the Woolstore Country Theatre, after the building's former use as a collection and sorting depot for fleeces. Drama, pantomimes, films and children's activities are all well-supported.
- Wylye Valley Arts Trail. Held bi-annually during the summer, giving locals and visitors the opportunity to visit talented artists, painters, sculptors, furniture makers, potters, glass blowers, gilders and jewellers, in their own homes and studios, as well as schools and barns, in Warminster and the surrounding villages, either to view their creations or commission or purchase works that will inspire, amuse, or prove a worthwhile investment.
Warminster has a busy high street lined with a mixture of national chain stores, and local businesses. It also has two pedestrianised shopping malls (Three Horseshoes Walk, and The Cornmarket. Small specialist shops and businesses are situate at Chinn's Court. For national names go to the Castlemore Retail Park at Fairfield Road.
- Anthony Cole Antiques, 16a Silver Street, BA12 8PS, ☎ . Mobile 07798 606419. Established 1989, dealing in 17th-20th century English furniture, decorative items and pictures. A regular exhibitor at the January, April and October Decorative Antiques Fair, Battersea, London. Regulary updated stock online.
- Bedeguar Books. Book publishers (local history) and booksellers.
- Boyton Farm Shop, ☎ . Boyton.
- Country Market (formerly the Women's Institute Market). Friday mornings in Warminster Library Meeting Room. Local produce, cakes, preserves, garden plants, and crafts.
- Farmers Market. Outside Warminster Library, Three Horseshoes Walk. Local produce.
- Friday Market. In the Central Car Park on Friday mornings. Local produce, flowers, plant stall, butcher, pet foods.
- Raves From The Grave, 5 Weymouth Street, ☎ . Music, CDs, vinyl records.
- C.J. Robbins, 76 Market Place, ☎ . Family butcher.
- Serendipity of Warminster, 18 Market Place, ☎ . Gifts.
- Steve's Tackle, 35 George Street, ☎ . Fishing tackle and bait.
- Warminster Antiques Centre, 6 Silver Street, BA12 8PS, ☎ . China, ceramics, furniture, 19th century, 20th century and contemporary.
- Wiltshire Smokehouse, 16 Deverill Road, ☎ . Trading Estate, Sutton Veny. Traditional smokers of fish, meat and game.
- Wylye Valley Vineyard and Farm Shop, Sutton End, Crockerton, +44 1985 211337. Vineyard, producing and selling wine. Wine tastings. Farm shop stocking local produce. Cheese, Beer, Cider, Smoked produce, Olives, Vegetables, Gourmet ice cream, preserves, fruit juices and everyday essentials.
Warminster has many restaurants, cafes, takeaways, tearooms and coffee shops, offering something for all tastes. Many local pubs also provide dinners, lunches and bar snacks.
- Angel Inn, Upton Scudamore, +44 1985 213225.
- Assam Authentic Indian Cuisine, Indian Takeaway, East Street, +44 1985 219747 or +44 1985 217343. Open seven days a week including Bank Holidays, 5:30PM to 10:30PM
- Agra Indian Restaurant, 32 East Street, ☎ .
- Bishopstrow House Hotel, Boreham Road, BA12 9HH. +44 1985 212312. 2AA Rosette Mulberry Restaurant with informal conservatory dining room. Afternon teas.
- Cornmarket Cafe, 4 and 5 Cornmarket, +44 1985 212150.
- Coffee 1, 30 Market Place, BA12 9AN, ☎ . M-Sa 8AM to 6PM; Su 9AM to 5PM.
- Costa Coffee, 27 Market Place, ☎ .
- Creme De La Cod fish and chips, 4 George Street, +44 1985 213268.
- Dominos, 45 High Street, BA12 9AQ, ☎ . Pizzas.
- Farmers Hotel, 1 Silver Street, ☎ .
- Feta Feast, 82 Market Place, ☎ . Kebabs and pizzas.
- Findlay's, Three Horseshoes Walk, BA12 9BT. Cafe and snack bar.
- The Ginger Piggery, Manor Farm, Boyton, BA12 0SS, ☎ .
- Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, 60 and 62 East Street, ☎ .
- Greggs, 18 Three Horseshoes Walk, +44 1985 213524.
- Hillside Cafe, on the A36, Codford. +44 1985 850712.
- Hong Kong House, 19 East Street, ☎ .
- Hot Wok, 25 George Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 5PM-11PM. Local friendly authentic Chinese takeaway, specialising in authentic Peking, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine.
- Indian Fusion, mini market, Boreham Field, +44 1985 847147.
- Jade Kitchen, 5 Broxburn Road, ☎ .
- KS Wine and Sandwich Bar, BA12 7NP, 9 Weymouth Street, ☎ .
- Le Cafe Journal, 6 High Street, BA12 9AE, ☎ .
- Little Chef, Warminster Services, Bath Road, +44 1985 214380.
- Magpie Cafe, 6 East Street, ☎ .
- Mamma Mia, 31 George Street, ☎ . Take-away traditional Italian food.
- Masons Arms, 34 East Street, ☎ .
- Moreton's, 54 Market Place, BA12 9AN, ☎ . Cafe, tea and coffee.
- Oceans Fish and Chips, 147 Boreham Field,
- Olympia, George Street, +44 1985 216667. Pizzas and Kebabs.
- Paprika Indian Restaurant, George Street, +44 1985 212064.
- Reeve The Baker, 17 Market Place, ☎ .
- Rosie's Tearoom, 12 and 14 Market Place, BA12 9AN, ☎ .
- Ruby's Bistro, 28 High Street, BA12 9AF, ☎ . Tu-Sa 9AM-3PM and 6PM-11PM (last food orders at 8:45PM); Su noon-3PM. A range of dishes to suit all tastes, from pub classics to a la carte evenings. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Cream teas, coffee, cake. Sunday lunches. Fully licensed. Pre-theatre meal bookings available. Tuesday night is Pie and Pint night. Get a tasty homemade pie and chips or potatoes plus a pint of beer for just £8.95.
- Sambourne Fish and Chips, Sambourne Road, +44 1985 212761. Fish and chips. Also Chinese food to take away.
- Snappy Peppers, 147c Boreham Field, +44 1985 211160.
- Snooty Fox, 1 Brook Street, BA12 8DN, ☎ . Open Tuesday-Sunday. Delicious home-cooked food and drinks. Booking advisable, especially at weekends.
- Speedy Chef, 17 Weymouth Street, BA12 9NP, ☎ . Pizzas and kebabs.
- Star Fish Bar Fish and Chips, 3 Broxburn Road, +44 1985 217232. Recession beater prices. Discounts available for groups, functions, parties, and social gatherings. Gluten free available every fourth Monday of the month. Southern Fried Chicken now on the menu. Open seven days a week. M-Sa 11:45AM to 1:45PM and 4:45PM-9PM; Su 4PM-8PM
- Subway, 4a Market Place, BA12 9AP, +44 1985 217317. The Subway Lunch £3, available all day. Choose from ten different 6" Subs and a drink. Free cookie with the purchase of a £1.40 bean to cup coffee. Open early to late seven days a week.
- Tiddy Oggy's, 5 Chinn's Court, +44 1985 214690. Traditional Cornish Pasties. Homemade cakes.
- Thai Rice, 40 East Street, ☎ .
- Anchor, 47 Market Place, ☎ .
- Angel, High Street, Heytesbury, ☎ .
- Angel, Upton Scudamore, BA12 0AG, ☎ .
- Bath Arms, Clay Street, Crockerton, BA12 8AJ, ☎ . Warm and friendly village pub. Good selection of local ales. Menu changes daily. Open daily for lunch and dinner, with a choice of roasts on Sundays. Also has exquisitely designed accommodation suites.
- Bath Arms, ☎ . Horningsham, BA12 7LY.
- Bath Arms, Market Place, reopened in May 2014 after extensive refurbishment by J.D. Wetherspoon.
- Bell and Crown, 66 Deverill Road, ☎ .
- Carriers Arms, Stockton, BA12 0SQ, ☎ .
- Cock Inn, West Street, currently closed and awaiting a new landlord.
- Cross Keys, Corsley, BA12 7PB. +44 1373 832406. 17th century building in village location. Real log fires in winter. Garden in summer.
- Dove Inn, Corton, BA12 0SZ, ☎ . Award winning country pub.
- Fox and Hounds, 6 Deverill Road, ☎ . Real ales and cider. Function room and skittle alley.
- The Full Moon, Rudge, BA11 2QF, ☎ .
- The George Inn, Longbridge Deverill, BA12 7DG, ☎ .
- Horse And Groom, East Woodlands, BA11 5LY, ☎ .
- John Barleycorn, 3 Weymouth Street, ☎ .
- King's Head, Chitterne, ☎ . Cask ales, spirits, wines and traditional pub fare.
- Masons Arms, 34 East Street, ☎ .
- Nag's Head, 49 Portway, +44 1985 220450.
- Old Bell Inn, 42 Market Place, BA12 9AN, ☎ . Hotel and public house. Function room. Chimes Bar. Courtyard. Quiz Nights on Wednesdays.
- Organ Inn, 49 High Street, ☎ . Real Ales, Cask-Marque, Fine wines. Skittle alley. No jukebox. Listed in 'The Good Beer Guide'.
- The Pelican, Warminster Road, Stapleford, SP3 4LT, ☎ .
- Prestbury Sports Bar, 38 The Close, BA12 9AL, ☎ .
- Prince Leopold, Upton Lovell, BA12 0JP. +44 1985 850460.
- Rainbow On The Lake, Steeple Langford, +44 1722 790251.
- Red Lion, 42a High Street, Heytesbury, BA12 0AE, ☎ .
- Rose and Crown, 57 East Street, BA12 9BZ, ☎ . Public house. Live music on Saturday nights, from 9PM onwards, featuring local bands and musicians from further afield.
- Rose and Crown Cocktails Bar, 57 East Street, BA12 9BZ, ☎ .
- Royal Oak, Corsley Heath, Corsley, BA12 7PR. +44 1373 832238.
- Royal Oak, Langford Road, Great Wishford, SP2 0PD, ☎ .
- The Swan At Stoford, Warminster Road, Stoford, ☎ .
- Three Horseshoes, 68 High Street, Chapmanslade, BA13 4AN, ☎ .
- Weymouth Arms, 12 Emwell Street, ☎ .
- White Hart, Lane End, Corsley, BA12 7, ☎ . M-Sa 11:30AM-11PM; Su 11AM-11PM.
- Woolpack, Sutton Veny. +44 1985 840834. Real ales, fine wines, home-cooked locally sourced produce.
- Yew Tree, Boreham Rd, +44 1985 212335.
- Belmont Bed and Breakfast, 9 Boreham Road, ☎ , fax: . Single from £40, double from £55.
- Bishopstrow House Hotel, Bishopstrow. +44 1985 212312.
- Black Dog Farm, Bath Road, Chapmanslade, BA13 4AE. +44 1373 832858. Bed and breakfast.
- Brokerswood Park. +44 1985 822238. Caravans and camping.
- Corner Cottage, West Street, Warminster, ☎ , e-mail: J.email@example.com. Beautifully renovated historic 1860 3-storey holiday cottage. Book direct for discount.
- Deverill End, Sutton Veny, BA12 7 +44 1985 840356. Bed and breakfast.
- The Dove Inn, Corton. +44 1985 850109. Award winning country pub.
- Farmers Hotel, 1 Silver Street, ☎ , fax: . Single from £20, double from £38.
- The Full Moon, Rudge. +44 1373 830936. Public house.
- Home Farm, Home Farm, Boreham, BA12 9HF, ☎ . Bed and breakfast.
- Longleat Caravan Site, Longleat. +44 1985 844663. Caravans and camping.
- The Oaks. +44 7810 181813. Self-catering.
- Old Bell Hotel Hotel, 42 Market Place, ☎ , fax: . Single from £50, double from £60 per night.
- The Old Rectory, Chicklade, near Hindon, SP3 5SU. +44 1747 820000. Bed and breakfast.
- Red Lion, 42a High Street, Heytesbury. 0800 083 5940. Public house.
- The Resting Post, 67 High Street, Heytesbury, BA12 0ED, ☎ . Bed and breakfast.
- St James Court, Tytherington. +44 1985 840568. Self-catering.
- Springfield House, Crockerton, ☎ , fax: . Single from £38, double from £59.
- Walnut Tree Lodge, 96 Victoria Road, BA12 8HG, ☎ , . Self catering.
- Westover House, High Street, Heytesbury, BA12 0EL. +44 1985 840506 or +44 7970 376534. Bed and breakfast.
- White Lodge, 22 Westbury Road, ☎ , fax: . Single from £48, double from £55 per night. Closed at Christmas.