The south west county of Wiltshire is very much the root of the great English oak tree. When you dig down you realise there’s a lot more to the pretty Salisbury plains than meets the eye with stories of prehistoric Britain to unearth.
I recently visited the county with Visit Wiltshire who organised some of the experiences listed below, however all opinions shared are my own.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge
One of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is an absolute wonder. How did the stones get there? What was their purpose? The puzzle begins to fall into place inside the Stonehenge exhibition where there’s Neolithic houses and 5,000 year old artefacts to sink your teeth into, as well as the rock cakes from the café.
The Salisbury Plains Safari
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed my (at times) hair-raising adventure with Salisbury Plain Safaris. Over the 2 hours we stopped to enjoy the views over to the Westbury White Horse (carved into the chalky mountain), took photos of abandoned army trains and went on a hunt to spot the rare bustards.
We also went on a fascinating tour around the perimeter of the army’s red flag zone to see where they live, train and work from World War II to now.
Castle Combe and Lacock Village
Castle Combe is often referred to as England’s prettiest village and lies at the bottom of The Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty. I’ve created a separate post with an itinerary for visiting the sleepy village and its grand Manor House Hotel.
Further reading: A guide to The Cotswolds for a summer’s day
Shopping and Eating in Salisbury
One of the counties largest cities, Salisbury’s city centre still has all the charm and character you’d find in quaint rural villages, most notably places like Hardy’s Sweet Shop, Roly’s Fudge and Regent Tailoring near the Cathedral.
Regent’s is a 3 floor treasure trove that also boasts views of the Cathedral spire and a sneaky beer bar out the back stocking all kinds of brewed ales.
Just across the road is The Old Ale & Coffee House if you’re after a Great British roast and (as the name suggests) beer or latte after exploring the city.
Canoeing in Bradford-on-Avon
The Kennet and Avon Canal runs alongside pretty Bradford-on-Avon, a town that’s home to an award winning tea room and medieval Tithe Barn. I recommend starting your adventure at The Lock Inn Café before hiring a Canadian canoe or bicycle to Avoncliff where you’ll find The Cross Guns pub.
Further reading: A day trip guide to beautiful Bradford-on-Avon
Soaring into the heavens at over 400 feet, impressive would be an understatement for Salisbury Cathedral’s spire which is in-fact Britain’s tallest! Inside you’ll find what’s thought to be the world’s oldest working modern clock and an original copy of the Magna Carta.
The history and landscape in Wiltshire is incredible and at less than 2 hours from London and half an hour from Southampton, it’s convenient for international tourists and cruise ship passengers looking for alternative excursions.
Special Note: The recent news headlines may concern potential visitors, but remember there’s over 700,000 people living in the county going about their day. Wiltshire is very much open for business, however when you’re travelling anywhere it’s important to keep yourself safe and follow the latest Government advice.