Natural beauty steeped in legend
iltshire brings the romance and enchantment of the past to vibrant life, full of flavour, colour and entertainment. Get ready to be whisked into a land rich in legends, stories and classic English country charm, with a glorious glut of top attractions thrown in for good measure. The medieval city of Salisbury is the jewel in Wiltshire’s gleaming crown. Around it, bustling market towns lie tucked away throughout the rolling green countryside, promising tasty local food, cosy English pubs and great shopping breaks. Much of the county is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so walkers, cyclists and lovers of the great outdoors will find plenty of room for adventure.
History and Heritage
Other counties flinch when Wiltshire says ‘heritage’, so far back does its history go. Millennia-old stone circles decorate the plains between its ancient hills, from the famed Stonehenge to the lesser-known Avebury – the largest stone circle in the world – drawing visitors to marvel and ponder their mysteries. The hills themselves bear the marks of time; look out for Wiltshire’s huge chalk horses , carved into the earth. From historic market towns to country hamlets like Castle Combe and the National Trust village of Lacock, history lives and breathes around you in the cheerful bustle. Meanwhile, stately homes like Wilton House and attractions like the Wiltshire Heritage Museum take you deeper into the region’s rich and colourful past.
Must See Attractions
Wiltshire’s attractions come in all varieties. Visit Salisbury, Wiltshire’s only city, to spy the UK’s tallest spire silhouetted against the sky above one of England’s finest medieval cathedrals . Longleat Safari and Adventure Park will bring you face to face with some of the county’s wilder residents, while Caen Hill’s 29 Locks are a unique feat of engineering, and a striking feature on any canalside walk. Bowood House’s gracefully landscaped parklands were apparently made for picnics, and they’re also home to one of the top adventure playgrounds in the UK, so the kids can let off a little steam. Old Wardour Castle, once a medieval luxury residence, is today a romantic escape tucked away beside a glassy lake in the rich green Wiltshire countryside. If you like to be a little higher up, head back even further in time and visit the site of the original Salisbury, Old Sarum , an Iron Age Fort with incredible views over Wiltshire.
Arts and Culture
Wiltshire is something of a hub for the arts, as John Constable would no doubt agree. His exquisite paintings of Salisbury Cathedral are world-famous, and a lasting testimony to an inspiring city. That artistic ambiance explodes into life every year at the Salisbury International Arts Festival , a two-week celebration of music, dance, theatre, film and literature. Theatre lovers won’t want to miss the Salisbury Playhouse , or Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre .
Food and Drink
Take your pick of Wiltshire ham, bacon or delicious local sausages, washed down with some true country cider or beer from one of the county’s famous local breweries. Exploring Wiltshire is a taste-bud tingling experience thanks to its plentiful agriculture and excellent climate, so keep your eyes peeled for locally made goodies wherever you go. You’ll find famous real ales all over, but Wadworth brewery is in Devizes, while award-winning wine can be found at the Bow-In-The-Cloud Vineyard near Malmesbury. Look out for the Wiltshire Breakfast Logo on B&Bs too – it’s an indication that you’ll be treated to a top-notch morning meal full of the finest locally sourced delights.
Market towns, a cathedral city, farm shops, country fairs: Wiltshire’s got it all. Stock up on tasty cheese, ale and Wiltshire ham in Devizes , or hit the antique shops and galleries of Bradford on Avon . You’ll want to browse Marlborough for locally made arts and crafts dotted along and around one of the widest high streets in Europe, or hit Salisbury’s independent shops for some one-of-a-kind specialities. Salisbury and Swindon also have all the high street shops you’d expect, and a few more besides – make sure you explore the Swindon Designer Outlet , housed in a restored Victorian Locomotive Works full of top designer labels.
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More about... Wiltshire
Visit Wiltshire - the official tourism site for Wiltshire.
Things to do
From events and attractions to fine dining and nights out; discover things to do in Wiltshire.