A big thank you to all who have stayed with us this year – we enjoy sharing our special bit of Wiltshire with you and are thrilled that so many of you make return visits and during 2018 we have welcomed many old friends to The Stables and The Hen House as well as making new ones!

Firstly – duckling news! Many of you who were here in the spring and early summer were delighted to watch the progress of the 3 broods of ducklings that had to resort to a makeshift pond in our garden when the pond dried up. The good news is they all survived! They eventually learnt to fly and disappeared for a few months and then two days after the autumn rain finally filled the pond the ducks returned and all 32 of them have been here ever since, munching their way through our rolled barley again! In other bird news – the kestrels who fledged from the barn opposite the cottages this year have also returned and are using the rafters in the barn for overnight winter shelter and can be seen darting in to the barn as darkness falls each night. We had some guests staying in early December who were keen bird watchers and the counted 39 species locally during the few days they were here and recently I have been enjoying watching a beautiful barn owl hunt over the field by the cottages at dawn and dusk. We are so lucky to have all this on our doorstep.

The Stables is now proudly displaying a fabulous water colour of the barns and farm yard painted by one of our guests earlier this year and we are looking forward to this group of artists making a return visit in 2019. Our guests seem to come for so many different reasons but never fail to be impressed by our lovely countryside, small market towns (Marlborough, Hungerford and Devizes) and great local pubs and restaurants and I am always surprised by the huge variety of things there are to do locally too (makes me think I must get out more!) but I have done some “firsts” this year by visiting Lacock Village and Abbey and Mottisfont Abbey (both fabulous days out) and a guided tour of Ramsbury Brewery is on the cards for the New Year!

After the hectic build up to Christmas the days between Christmas and New Year are a bit of breathing space from all the busyness for getting outside whatever the weather and enjoying the beauty of the short winter days. Savernake Forest takes on its own winter look – interesting shaped ancient trees, a carpet of autumn leaves still on the ground and a whole rainbow of beautiful lichens and mosses visible at this time of year – what better way to recharge ready for the New Year! Whatever you are up to over the holidays – this comes with our best wishes to you all.