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07 August 2019

Make the most of summer in Wiltshire

From leisure centres with a host of activities, to exploring the great outdoors - for a fun-packed summer, Wiltshire is the place to be.

With 21 leisure centres across the county, events in your community, historic sites and our iconic countryside, there's something for everyone to get involved with this summer.

Wiltshire Council leisure offer

Explore what your local leisure centre has to offer. Try out our gyms, swimming pools, group classes or make use of any of our sports halls around the county.

Make sure you are getting the best value for money with one of our membership packages or find out about promotions this summer, including special student memberships and three month cash memberships at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-promotions. You can use any of our leisure centres with your membership.

Contact your nearest leisure centre to arrange a tour or sign up. Visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure for more information.

Explore the great outdoors

Walking: Take a stroll or stride through the Wiltshire countryside with Get Wiltshire Walking. We offer free group-walks across Wiltshire at the same time and location each week, with three different intensity levels to choose from. These walks are friendly and fun and great for anyone who enjoys the countryside, is looking to get more active, or just interested in meeting new people and getting to know their local area.

For more information, visit Get Wiltshire Walking

Running: Wiltshire is a great place to be a runner. Join your local group, get motivated and meet new people while you run. There's groups for all abilities, all led by trained group leaders.

For more information, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-cycling-walking-and-running

Explore the couch to 5km approach with our 10-week beginners running courses combining walking, jogging and running. Sign-up this summer for courses starting in September at Royal Wootton Bassett and Malmesbury.

  • Royal Wootton Bassett:  Wednesday 18 September 20 November, 9.15am at the leisure centre (excluding session half-term 30 October)
  • Malmesbury: Thursday 19 September 21 November, 9.15am at Malmesbury Activity Zone (excluding session half-term 31 October)

For more information and to book, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-cycling-walking-and-running  

Get down to earth with nature: Join our countryside team on bat and butterfly walks or volunteer and help improve Wiltshire's nature reserves. Find out more at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/recreation-countryside  

Bitham Brook river clean: Thursday 8 August, 1pm 4pm at The Mead Lakes, Westbury. Drop-in at any time and help look after your local river and learn about the secret world below the surface of Bitham Brook. For more information contact Abigail Leach at abigail@wiltshirewildlife.org (01380 736066).

River Day at Southwick Country Park: Thursday 15 August, 1pm 4pm. Drop-in at any time and help look after your local river and learn about the secret world below the surface of Lambrok Stream. For more information contact Abigail Leach at abigail@wiltshirewildlife.org (01380 736066).

To find out about the latest events, follow the team on Twitter at @WiltsRivers

Abandoned WW2 village, Imber: The village of Imber was evacuated in 1943 to aid the training of American soldiers for the D-Day landing and is still deserted to this day.

For a limited time each year, Imber is open to the public and gives you glimpse into the past with tours of the village and activities at St Giles, the village church.

For one day only, Imberbus, a vintage bus service using original London Routemasters, operates between Warminster bus station, the village of Imber and other isolated locations on Salisbury Plain.

Imber open days for 2019:

  • Thursday 15 August, 11am - 4pm
  • Friday 16 August, 11am - 4pm
  • Saturday 17 August, 10am - 6pm (vintage bus service from Warminster Train Station)
  • Sunday 18 August, 11am - 3.30pm
  • Monday 19 August, 11am - 4pm

For more information about Imber open days, visit: https://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/imber-open-days-p2531933

For more information about Imberbus, visit: https://imberbus.wordpress.com/

Things to do for children and young people

Free swimming

Our popular free swimming programme gives under 16s (15 and under) free access to swimming pools during specific sessions throughout all Wiltshire school holidays.

Free swimming this summer runs until Friday 30 August 

We are closed on bank holidays.

The free swimming programme entitles under 16s to one free swim per day. More information is available at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-free-swimming

Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge

Running in Wiltshire until Saturday 7 September 2019, this free national reading challenge is a highlight of the year for many children.

The theme this year is the Space Chase, an out of this world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Children aged 4 - 11 will be challenged to read six library books over the summer, receiving prizes along the way and a medal and certificate on completion.

Inspire your children to read and help our super space family track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens! As they read library books, they will solve clues and collect special stickers to complete their mission folder. Can they find the aliens in time to save the day?

They can also take part in the Astronaut Training Programme this summer, which includes six movement, food and hydration challenges for children to complete alongside the Summer Reading Challenge. There is also a free prize draw at the end of the challenge.

Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun takes place in 27 villages across the county during the summer holidays, offering free regular sport sessions for 5-11 year olds in rural locations.

It's a great opportunity to try a new sport or get more practice at your favourite. Sports on offer include tag rugby, cricket, football, dodgeball, tennis, rounders, athletics and team activities.

Sessions take place on a weekly basis and are delivered by fully qualified sports coaches.

To find out more about Fun in the Sun, visit: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-fun-in-the-sun

For more activities for children and young people this summer including a wide variety of sports camps, regular leisure centre activities and roller/swim discos visit: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-activities-for-young-people

Allison Bucknell, Cabinet Member for communities and leisure, said: "We are lucky in Wiltshire to have the great British countryside on our doorstep. Steeped in history and alongside a fantastic leisure offer and fun community events, there's so much for people to do.

"We hope everyone enjoys a well-earned break over the summer and explores what their county has to offer."

Last updated: 8 August 2019 | Last reviewed: 8 August 2019

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