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There are plenty of things to see and do in Melchester itself. But if you feel like a change of scene during your visit, why not get out and about and explore the local area? Head of Tourism Anne Smiley shares her thoughts on some cool places to go within a short drive time of the town.
"We fancy an excursion. Any suggestions?" It's a question we get asked quite regularly at the Melchester Tourist Information Centre. Many visitors are happy to just relax and enjoy the attractions of the town and seafront or go for a coastal walk. However, some people also like to explore further afield, so my team and I are always ready with a few inspirational ideas. Here are some of my suggestions for the perfect day out...
This magnificent manor house is set in glorious gardens and a 500-acre estate, just south of the village of Stockbridge, around seven miles from Melchester. Home to the Greenwood family for over four centuries, the house is an exquisite Italianate villa, originally built in 1752, but extended during the Victorian era. Don't miss the lovely walled garden, the 'Blue Room' with its oriental treasures and the majestic ballroom with its amazing carved ceiling and sparkling chandeliers.
A real family attraction, this working farm has a veritable menagerie of pigs, chickens, goats, cows, horses and llamas, including a number of rare breeds. As well as interacting with the animals, kids can join in with feeding sessions, cow milking and egg collecting, as well as going on tractor rides and getting involved in fun-filled making and learning experiences.
Brocklebank Roman Fort
Walk around the well-preserved remains of a fourth century garrison base and get a fascinating insight into the lives of Roman soldiers stationed in Britain towards the end of the empire's 400 or so years of occupation. The museum puts 'flesh on the bones' with interactive displays and videos, as well as artefacts from the archaeological dig.
Find your inner Tarzan as you swing between the mighty trees of Sunnydown Forest on rope ladders, pulleys and zip wires. An exciting and exhilarating adventure for adults and teenagers, it's a brilliant way to challenge yourself and connect with nature.
This is just a small selection of the many heritage sites, stately homes, beauty spots and family attractions which are just a short journey from Melchester. For more ideas and information, visit Melchester Tourist Information Centre. We're open every day throughout the summer from 10am to 4pm.