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10 brilliant things to do this week

From lantern walks, edgy art exhibitions and confidence-boosting events, it's all going on in Wiltshire this week

GIRL POWER: Young Female Professionals ‘Come Across with Confidence’ talk, Mackenzies, Swindon, 28 October

YFP was set up in August last year to help founder Emily, 27, meet more like-minded women in Swindon. This is the group’s sixth talk and focuses on how to embody confidence during public speaking. It’s hosted by blogger Daisy Payne AKA Wilts-based blogger GardenToGarnish, who started blogging about gardening in lockdown and now is ITV This Morning‘s resident gardener. The monthly meetups are regularly fully booked, find out more here.

SWEET TREATS: Halloween afternoon tea, Taylor’s Cafe, Wootton Bassett, 28 – 30 October

This Halloween themed afternoon tea is all treats and no tricks! Tuck into spooky shaped sand-witches (get it? hehe), haunted biscuits, scones with clotted cream and bats blood jam, Halloween cupcakes and more, all washed down with witches brew (or tea, if you prefer). £9.95 per person, available from 3 to 5 pm. Cal 01793 851 332 to book. Booking essential.

HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS: Malmesbury Halloween Trail, until 31 October

Get into the Halloween spirit in Malmesbury, where residents have teamed up to create a witchy walk around town. Houses, shops and businesses in the town have put all their efforts into window displays and decorations in honour of the scariest night of the year. Download the map and check out the spooky sights.

MOON GAZING: Marlborough Dark Skies Fest: 25-31 October

This programme of events dedicated to the ever-fascinating sky features everything from stargazing and sketching workshops, to storytelling, exhibitions, talks and tours. Buy tickets here, but be quick as lots of the events are selling out.

What are we most excited about at the Dark Skies Fest? Seeing artist Luke Jerram’s touring artwork, Museum of The Moon (pictured above in Bristol). It’s a seven-metre model of the moon, lit from within and suspended in St Michael and All Angels Chapel in Marlborough. It’s already been on show in Ontario, Canada, Australia, Amsterdam and New Zealand, so we’re lucky to have it in Wiltshire now! Tickets were very limited at the time of writing, check availability here.

STARLIT SKIES: Dark skies festival: Lantern making and night walk, Avebury, 30 October

Avebury is pretty magical at the best of times, but even more so by starlight. This event invites you to experience Avebury’s ancient stones by night with a side of stargazing.

Families are invited to make lanterns before heading out with them into the henge. Don’t forget torches and binoculars. The walk will finish in the Old Farmyard with hot chocolate and a warm spiced apple punch for adults. Tickets £6 per person (under 5s free). Book here

FOR TEENS: The Shift Social, Salisbury Arts Centre, 30 October, 7 pm

It can be tricky finding entertainment for young teens, but this is just the ticket: an evening of fun, food, drink and live music from some of Salisbury’s most promising young bands, for ages 14+. Fancy dress positively encouraged, with prizes.

HALLOWEEN TRAIL: All Cannings Halloween Trail, until 31 October

For the littlest of Halloween lovers, this trail invites you to walk around the village hunting out clues to spell out a spooky word. Put your completed map in the entry box for the chance to win a prize. Find out more.

PICK YOUR OWN: Pumpkin Carving at Roves Farm, until 31 October

It’s less than week until Halloween, so now is the perfect time to pick a pumpkin – (ie. at this point it won’t go soggy before the big day) At Roves Farm you can choose the pumpkin and carve it there too, so you won’t find pumpkin seeds all over your kitchen for the next week.

Lotmead Farm in Wanborough is also open for pumpkin picking this weekend, but do give them a call to make sure they haven’t all been picked.

Book tickets here

AUTUMN TRAIL: Bowood’s Autumn Adventure Trail, until 31 October

Marvel at the red and gold trees in Bowood’s impressive grounds and soak up the autumnal atmosphere at this pumpkin trail, replete with scarecrows, spiders and skeletons to see along the way. Book tickets here

ART LOVERS: Underlying Geometry, Quercus Gallery Bradford-on-Avon, until 13 November

This small but perfectly formed gallery is housing an exhibition all about geometric abstraction, with mediums including painting, print, sculpture and jewellery making. Find out more

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