I do get accused of focussing far too much on the weather in these blog posts, but in my defence, when you are outside a lot, you notice the changes and I’m a Brit and it’s what we talk about!!
Spring has blown in with a whole mix this year – mostly good I am glad to say. I am no Met Office expert but I would say fewer storms, more sun, more frosty mornings and a LOT less rain than usual.
The earth is waking up fast – we’ve had spectacular displays of willow catkins, brave primroses on the edge of the streams and the hedgerows are bursting back into life with plenty of blossom on the blackthorn despite the fact that they were all cut back at the end of February. It is amazing how quickly things recover.
The Guinea Fowl have started laying – not that we have found a nest yet but we see the evidence – broken eggshells on the path where the crows that raided the nests. Until the cover grows up and gives the birds some protection, that is a perpetual challenge. The flock is fully free range but one of the downsides of that is the competition from other farm residents. So, still looking forward to our first fresh eggs of the season!
Our barn owls that roost in the old field shelter appear to be busy again this year and we’re keeping fingers crossed for another successful hatch this year. We’ve seen them out hunting frequently in the past few weeks but no scuffling sounds yet from the box to suggest anything has hatched yet – we watch and wait! The field camera is set up and ready 🙂
As we have been in lockdown since Christmas time, the Chalk Barn holiday cottage has been empty and we do miss our visitors. Fingers crossed that we are able to stick to the government plans and have a busy summer. We have a number of people who discovered us for the first time last Summer choosing to come back for another stay so there are some positives around this whole pandemic, even if you have to look quite hard for them!
If you are planning a trip away in the UK, have you heard of the Great West Way? If not, it is worth taking a look – it is a programme focussing on the area from the west of London all the way through to Bristol – an area that, frankly, most people just drive through on their way to …. somewhere else! But along that route, there are some wonderful places to explore, quintessentially English countryside, visitor attractions, lots to see and do – there is a whole website with ideas that could spark some ideas for you. All that within easy access of London and the South East – just goes to prove you don’t have to travel for hours to find somewhere new to explore and somewhere lovely to stay. They have recently done features on Wiltshire in general and Calne in particular (our nearest town) so no shortage of ways to fill your time when you visit.
Our award-winning pub in the village, the White Horse, is now open Friday-Sunday for alfresco eating and drinking and will be taking bookings for tables inside from May 17th – booking essential!
We’ve just had our annual VisitEngland inspection and been confirmed again at the 5*Gold rating – their highest – for the 5th year in succession, and all our online reviews are 5* so we must be doing something right!
New words pop into the English language all the time and so here’s one for you today – Workcation – working from home, just not your home. VisitWiltshire did an article on it recently and apparently, with our fast broadband and wifi, workspace and coffee machine, Buttle Farm is a perfect example – who knew?
We still have some weekend availability in the cottage in June and some midweek breaks in July and August so click HERE to check out the property and availability. You can book it with 2 or 3 or 4 ensuite bedrooms – just pay for what you need! It’s a great base for day trips out to Bath or Salisbury, for checking out the pre-historic sites at Avebury and Silbury Hill, the stunning gardens at Bowood House (with a lovely spa offering day passes), beautiful walking such as a tour around Lacock or if a little retail therapy takes your fancy, we are just a short drive away from the large Outlet Mall in Swindon.