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Focus on Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Malmesbury town roof line and abbey spire

Malmesbury in North Wiltshire benefits hugely from its location just off the A429 with easy links to Cirencester and Chippenham as well as to the larger centres of Bath, Bristol and Swindon via the M4. As well as being a historic market town, Malmesbury is keeping up with the pace of modern living. There are activities for all interests from boxing and cricket to Scouts and football and exciting new events such as Hill Haze Festival from the team behind the Flying Monk Brewery.

Little known spot:

Westonbirt Arboretum is no secret but visitors may not know that membership comes with free entry to a further seven gardens including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds. Members also get priority booking for Forest Live music events and the annual Christmas lights trail onsite, among other benefits.

Crowd of people at an open air concert
Forest Live Events

Must-visit destination:

Opened in July 2023, Bertie B’s Home & Lifestyle store has a lovely array of gifts and homeware and makes a point of supporting other likeminded and independent businesses throughout its range. It can be found on Cross Hayes near the Athelstan Museum which celebrates the history of King Athelstan, grandson of King Alfred the Great.

Architectural gem:

You can’t ignore Malmesbury Abbey, which plays an active part in the local community. It’s features, including buttresses and a Norman porch, can be admired from the grounds or from vantage points around the town thanks to its elevated position and imposing scale. The Abbey Café has an outside seating area for taking in this magnificent monument to history.

Malmesbury Abbey and graveyard
Malmesbury Abbey

Our favourite haunt:

Afternoon tea or summer cocktails, an intimate dinner at Abbey Row restaurant or lunch in the garden with the kids catered for, The Old Bell Hotel never fails to disappoint. The interior décor – sumptuous upholstery, vivid wallpaper, even the occasional faux taxidermy giraffe – is a huge pull and once you’ve discovered The Old Bell you’re sure to go back. Locals also love Jackdaws Café, the Summer Café and Cosy Cones.

Sunset reflecting on the front of the Old Bell Hotel
The Old Bell Hotel

Good to know:

·       Malmesbury School received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating in March 2024 after its first full school inspection since 2012

·       A weekly artisan and farmer’s market takes place on a Friday at the Market Cross

·       WOMAD festival lands at nearby Charlton Park each July with day tickets available – the 4500-acre estate can also be explored on board an electric scooter with Baboon Adventures

·       For water lovers the Cotswold Water Park, Lake 32, Lake 86 and South Cerney Sailing Club all offer activities nearby

·       The Riverside Centre offers a wide range of clubs and classes for all ages including Jiu-Jitsu, performing arts and wellness sessions and there is also the Activity Zone leisure centre.

For more information on property and life in and around Malmesbury and the South Cotswolds please get in touch on


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