It's been a watery week but we still went ahead with a holiday break in this historic Wiltshire town. The question was, should we travel from Torbay via the M5/M4 or risk the A303? I ignored satnav advice and took the latter. Wrong! Lashing rain and dense traffic added to our misery but we finally arrived at The Bear Hotel slap bang in the middle of town.
What a great choice! Free parking included, very reasonable rate, full English breakfast+included, friendly staff and directly opposite the Thursday weekly market.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10am. Judy made us very welcome and served us efficiently. Thank you.
The rooms are not modern but are well equipped with heating, iron and board, fan, tv, kettle, beverages, daily bottled water and modern ensuite. You can also request a jug of milk from Reception.
The double bed was minimum size for that classification I would guess and some larger adults than us would find it cramped.
Throughout the decor was fittingly from an age gone by, but I believe a refurbishment is on the cards. I hope the character is retained.
Opposite The Bear Hotel, in the main parade, is an indoor general market open daily and a produce focused market outdoors on Thursdays.
If you happen to be around as the stalls are being dismantled bowls of vegetables can be purchased at £1 each. We got some bargains.
There seem to be numerous charity shops and, of course, being a Wadworth beer brewing town, many pubs to frequent. No brewery tours anymore, site decommissioned, but a merchandise shop on the site is open to the public.
Not far from the centre of town is the church of St John and St Mary. It was built at about the same time as the castle, 1130. However, the castle was subsequently destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War. The church has been the centre of Christian worship for over 850 years. Pictures below.
Also pictured above is the Emporium shop where we were told that if you can't find what you want, it doesn't exist! From what we saw that's near the truth. A great source of novelties and present ideas.
It's a pity that a castle just opposite the Emporium can not be visited since it was purchased for £32 million and now privately occupied.
The Silk Mercer, Weatherspoons pub, doesn't let the hospitality chain down. Good curries and steaks enjoyed here during our visit.
In conclusion, despite getting soaked twice, we enjoyed the two days we spent in Devizes. The Bear Hotel was ideal for our stay, we felt relaxed and if we had wanted to see more then this was possible locally. Try it yourself.