One of the best things about living in this part of the country is our proximity to sprawling forests, rolling countryside and wonderful coastlines. Not only do these landscapes provide fantastic walking trails, they also lend themselves to amazing local produce, which can be enjoyed at an array of restaurants. If it’s a cosy pub you’re after with staff who quickly get to know you – complete with a log-burning fire as the nights draw in and a changing menu that will keep you coming back with each change of the seasons – you’ll love The Yew Tree, nestled just outside of Salisbury in the village of Odstock. For the best Sunday roast in the area, head west of Salisbury to Fonthill Gifford and the fabulous Beckford Arms, but be sure to have a reservation! Best described as a restaurant with rooms, this is the perfect place for a restorative overnight break and being on the edge of the Fonthill Estate means there are miles of rural walks to enjoy after lunch. And, a final foodie highlight, if you’re tired of getting stuck in the Southampton Road traffic back into Salisbury on Fridays after work, head to Nomansland on the fringe of the New Forest and pull over as soon as you spot Liguori’s pizza truck, just before the cattle grid and there between 5-8pm only. These wood-fired pizzas are delicious (but cash only) and it’s a real treat to sit beneath the forest’s canopy for dinner while knowing you’re avoiding the brunt of the rush-hour traffic at the same time!
Walkers will take solace in the many trails available in this area, and an Andante staff’s favourite is the Alderbury and Whaddon circular walk, which is around three miles long and can be picked up behind its offices! Crossing a disused railway track and with a different view of Salisbury Cathedral to be admired, this is a great walk that also offers up a glut of blackberry bushes in the autumn. There’s another great country walk that starts and ends at Pitton’s Silver Plough pub, taking you for four miles through beautiful scenery and bringing you back to the ideal place for a refreshing pint afterwards.
History buffs will be in their element with Salisbury’s myriad story-telling sites, ranging from Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral, to Stonehenge, all of which can be visited with Andante Travels’ study days or as part of its all-encompassing, seven-day Journey Through Wessex tour.