Lacock village nestling in the bucolic Wiltshire countryside is famed for many things from being the birthplace of photography to the location for a myriad of films and tv series. From Harry Potter to Cranford via all things Jane Austen, if it features wands or bonnets it was probably filmed here. If you haven’t previously come across William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventive fellow who took the worlds first photograph in Lacock Abbey, you may have heard of another of village’s other famed alumni, mega vlogger Zoella. She may not have a museum dedicated to her just yet – but give it time.
JO’S TOP 5 LACOCK THINGS TO DO
- DOORSTEP SHOPPING
Who needs actual shops with walls and doors and checkouts? Not Lacock! Yes it does have them, but what it also has is a culture of doorstep shopping. Enterprising locals capitalising on the village’s status as one of the most charming in England purvey their wares from their doorsteps. Jars of jam are accompanied by signs warning its still warm. What is available on any given day will vary but can include fresh eggs and chutneys, fudge, huge chewy meringues in glass jars, plants, flowers and who could resist a pickled egg?
The village hall also often has craft markets where you can ‘meet the maker’ of the crafts. DD couldn’t resist a pair of fingerless gloves from this stall selling a rainbow of gorgeous knits.
My top Lacock shop though has to be the chocolate shop, Coco Chemistry where it surely is impossible to leave emptyhanded. Its handmade, its local and its utterly scrumptious. A bit hit with the children who start asking for the chocolate shop as soon as the word Lacock is mentioned #ifyouforceme
Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of photography they also have exhibitions throughout the year.
3. LACOCK ABBEY
The Abbey, gardens, brewhouse and bakery are all open to the public through the National Trust. Don’t miss the octagonal tower in the house and of course the window which was the subject of the first ever photograph. If you are going round the Abbey with kids allow a couple of hours to do everything. The guides in the Abbey are brilliant and have lots of entertaining stories to tell and interesting things to point out.
4. EATS AND DRINKS
If you are not stuffed from all the chocolate, there are plenty of places to eat in Lacock. My favourite place to eat in the summer is the King John Hunting Lodge Tea Room with its pretty garden and traditional English teas. In my humble opinion,afternoon tea its the finest meal in the kingdom.
In winter I love The George Inn complete with medieval stocks and a fire place with a dog wheel where the dogs used to turn the spits of roasted meats. Luckily the dogs as chefs concept has had its day but the roaring fires are still going. If you have come from overseas looking for the quintessential English pub – this is it.
5. BONKERS FOR CONKERS
We had our biggest ever conker haul at Lacock, over 600 conkers in one patch of woodland. If you have ever wondered whether its true that they keep away spiders I conducted an experiment on your behalf. The result? I was finding conkers hidden in dusty corners for months afterwards and the spiders were still rife. #epicfail
If its raining….the Abbey and Museum are inside
If the kids are running amok…there is a playground in the village where they can let off some steam . Its also a good place for a picnic. Pooh sticks and splodging in the river are also wellies options.
If you are from overseas – you are seriously going to be challenged to find a more traditional English village than this – eyewateringly pretty and with all the key features – church – yes, grain barn- of course, village hall – check, half-timbered houses – its a yes again.
If you have drunk too much ale in the fine hostelries – the village still has the original drunk tank – enjoy!
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