Wiltshire occupies a unique place in British history. Over the course of the last 6,000 years, each generation has left its mark, bequeathing a living heritage that is second to none.
At the heart of this ancient land lies the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Monolithic and mysterious, its orientation on the rising and setting sun is one of its many remarkable features, but why it was built in this way remains an enigma. A similar sense of awe and mystery surrounds the great stone circle within the World Heritage Site of Avebury, where some 100 stones form a huge ring a quarter of a mile in diameter.
There are plenty more equally show-stopping sights to be discovered too, including Iron Age hill forts, castle ruins and the county’s characteristic white horses, carved into the chalky hillsides.
Known as the city in the countryside, medieval Salisbury is the perfect fusion of ancient and modern. The spire of Salisbury’s magnificent cathedral is the tallest in Britain and greets visitors as they enter the city from all directions.
You’ll also be enchanted by picturesque villages such as Castle Combe and Lacock, and our many historic market towns. Malmesbury, for example, where the prominent skyline is dominated by its medieval abbey, or Bradford-on-Avon whose honey-toned streets evoke a more intimate, homely version of Bath. The handsome old staging post of Marlborough has evolved into a stylish and cosmopolitan town, while in Devizes you have the sense of harmony, balance and proportion; of everything being in its rightful place.
Wiltshire is home to a world-class collection of stately homes and manor houses, from Tudor and Elizabethan to Palladian and Queen Anne, in settings ranging from acres of magnificent landscaped parkland to more intimate formal and informal gardens.
Wiltshire’s rich and diverse industrial heritage encompasses the wool trade, brewing, canals and railways. Two important anniversaries will be taking place in 2010: 200 years of the Kennet & Avon Canal and 175 years of the Great Western Railway – keep an eye on our website for details of events throughout the year.
To help you unearth the secrets of Wiltshire’s history our many museums provide an excellent interpretation of our heritage, with displays as diverse as local archaeology and early man; military history and motorised vehicles; science and the steam engine.
Longleat Safari Park will be familiar to millions of UK viewers as the home of TV’s Animal Park series. Families will also appreciate the excellent choice of farm parks across the county, while other modern-day attractions range from motor and horse racing to designer shopping outlets at Swindon and Wilton.
Easy to explore, yet off the beaten track, Wiltshire is one of Britain’s best kept secrets. From the vast, untouched expanse of Salisbury Plain to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the chalky flanks of the North Wessex Downs and the great undulating swathe of Cranborne Chase, its landscape is one of exquisite natural beauty, epitomising rural England at its very best. And with over 8,200 paths for walkers and cyclists, opportunities for enjoying this outstanding landscape abound.
Eating out is one of the many pleasures to be enjoyed on a holiday or short break in Wiltshire, with everything from cosmopolitan pavement cafés and traditional country inns to Michelin starred restaurants. When it comes to arts and entertainment Wiltshire offers an exciting selection of quality productions and interestingly different events throughout the year. While our accommodation ranges from luxurious 5-star hotels to cosy bed and breakfasts, comfortable self-catering cottages and friendly campsites.
All of which makes Wiltshire an unbeatable destination for day trips and short breaks alike.
Wiltshire – the perfect fusion of ancient and modern.
For more Information please contact:
For further information please go to the Wiltshire Tourism website.
Tel: +44 (0)1271 336152
Where to stay and things to do in Wiltshire
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