Wiltshire, England

Wiltshire, England

Wiltshire is a county located in the South West region of England. It is bordered by six other counties, including Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire. With an area of approximately 3,485 square kilometers, it is one of the largest counties in England. Wiltshire is known for its picturesque countryside, historic sites, and charming market towns.

The county is renowned for its natural beauty and rich history. It is home to the iconic Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument that attracts visitors from all over the world. The county also boasts other ancient sites such as Avebury, Silbury Hill, and West Kennet Long Barrow. Wiltshire’s history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation from the Neolithic period. Throughout the centuries, it has played a significant role in English history, from the Civil War to the Industrial Revolution.


  • Wiltshire is a picturesque county located in South West England.
  • The history of Wiltshire dates back to prehistoric times and includes famous landmarks such as Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral.
  • Wiltshire’s natural beauty can be explored through its countryside, rivers, and wildlife.
  • Top tourist attractions in Wiltshire include Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, and other historic landmarks.
  • Wiltshire offers traditional recipes and local specialties for food and drink, as well as museums, galleries, and festivals for arts and culture.


History of Wiltshire: From Prehistoric Times to the Present Day

Stonehenge Wiltshire, England

Wiltshire has a fascinating history that spans thousands of years. The county is home to some of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe. Stonehenge, located on Salisbury Plain, is perhaps the most famous of these sites. This ancient stone circle dates back to around 3000 BC and continues to be a source of wonder and intrigue for visitors today. Avebury, another prehistoric site in Wiltshire, is even larger than Stonehenge and features a massive stone circle surrounding the village.

In addition to its prehistoric sites, Wiltshire has played a significant role in English history. During the Civil War in the 17th century, the county was a stronghold for both Royalist and Parliamentarian forces. The Battle of Roundway Down took place near Devizes in 1643 and resulted in a decisive victory for the Royalists. Wiltshire also played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, with the city of Swindon becoming a major center for railway engineering.

Today, Wiltshire has a diverse economy that includes industries such as agriculture, tourism, and technology. The county is known for its agricultural products, including dairy and arable farming. It is also home to several high-tech companies and research facilities. The presence of historic sites such as Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral attracts millions of tourists to the county each year, contributing to its economy.

Wiltshire’s Natural Beauty: Exploring the Countryside, Rivers and Wildlife

Wiltshire is blessed with stunning countryside that is perfect for exploring. The Marlborough Downs, located in the north of the county, offer breathtaking views and are a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. The Salisbury Plain, which covers a large part of southern Wiltshire, is known for its wide-open spaces and ancient monuments. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including rare birds such as the stone curlew and mammals like the brown hare.

The county is crisscrossed by several rivers and waterways, providing opportunities for boating, fishing, and wildlife spotting. The River Avon flows through Wiltshire, passing through picturesque towns such as Salisbury and Bradford-on-Avon. The Kennet and Avon Canal, which runs from Bristol to Reading, also passes through the county. This historic waterway offers scenic walks and boat trips.

Wiltshire is home to a diverse range of wildlife, thanks to its varied habitats. The county’s chalk grasslands are home to rare plants such as orchids and butterflies like the Adonis blue. The wetlands along the River Avon provide a habitat for water birds such as kingfishers and herons. There are also several nature reserves in Wiltshire, including Langford Lakes and Blakehill Farm, where visitors can observe a wide variety of bird species.

Top Tourist Attractions in Wiltshire: Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and More

Wiltshire is home to several top tourist attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. Stonehenge, located on Salisbury Plain, is perhaps the most famous of these attractions. This ancient stone circle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and continues to be a source of fascination and mystery. Visitors can explore the site and learn about its history at the visitor center.

Another must-visit attraction in Wiltshire is Salisbury Cathedral. This magnificent medieval cathedral is known for its stunning architecture and houses one of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta. Visitors can take guided tours of the cathedral and climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

For animal lovers, Longleat Safari Park is a popular destination. Located near Warminster, this safari park is home to a wide variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and monkeys. Visitors can drive through the park in their own vehicles or take a guided safari tour.

In addition to these well-known attractions, Wiltshire also has several lesser-known gems. Lacock Abbey, located near Chippenham, is a medieval abbey that has been used as a filming location for movies such as Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice. The Kennet and Avon Canal Museum in Devizes offers insights into the history of this historic waterway and its importance for trade and transportation.

Food and Drink in Wiltshire: Traditional Recipes and Local Specialities

Wiltshire is known for its delicious traditional cuisine and local specialities. One of the most famous dishes from the county is Wiltshire ham, which is cured using a traditional method that dates back centuries. This succulent ham is often served with English mustard and is a popular choice for sandwiches and ploughman’s lunches.

Cheese lovers will also find plenty to enjoy in Wiltshire. The county is home to several award-winning cheese producers, including the Wiltshire Loaf and the Wiltshire Blue. These cheeses are made using traditional methods and are known for their rich flavor and creamy texture.

Wiltshire is also home to a number of local food and drink producers. The county has several breweries that produce a range of craft beers, including the popular Wadworth Brewery in Devizes. There are also several vineyards in Wiltshire that produce high-quality English wines, including the Three Choirs Vineyard near Salisbury.

When it comes to dining out, visitors to Wiltshire will find a wide range of options. The county is home to several traditional pubs that serve classic British dishes such as fish and chips and steak and ale pie. There are also several fine dining restaurants that offer modern cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.

Arts and Culture in Wiltshire: Museums, Galleries and Festivals

Wiltshire has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with several museums, galleries, and festivals to explore. The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This museum houses a collection of artifacts from the county’s prehistoric past, including items from Stonehenge and Avebury. The Salisbury Arts Centre is another cultural hub in the county, hosting exhibitions, performances, and workshops throughout the year.

Wiltshire is also home to several festivals and cultural events. The Salisbury International Arts Festival takes place annually and features a diverse program of music, theater, dance, and visual arts. The Devizes International Street Festival is another highlight, with street performers from around the world entertaining crowds with their acrobatics, music, and comedy.

In addition to these larger events, Wiltshire also has a thriving arts and crafts scene. The county is home to several galleries and studios where visitors can see and purchase works by local artists. There are also several arts and crafts fairs held throughout the year, providing an opportunity to meet the artists and learn more about their work.

Shopping in Wiltshire: Unique Boutiques and Markets

Wiltshire offers a unique shopping experience, with a range of independent boutiques and markets to explore. The county is home to several charming market towns, including Marlborough, Devizes, and Bradford-on-Avon, where visitors can browse a variety of shops selling everything from antiques to handmade crafts.

Salisbury is another great destination for shopping in Wiltshire. The city has a mix of high street stores and independent boutiques, offering a wide range of products including fashion, homeware, and gifts. The Salisbury Charter Market, which takes place every Tuesday and Saturday, is one of the largest markets in the region and is a great place to pick up fresh produce, local cheeses, and other treats.

For those looking for unique souvenirs or gifts, Wiltshire has several craft shops and galleries that showcase the work of local artisans. Visitors can find handmade ceramics, jewelry, textiles, and more. There are also several farmers’ markets held throughout the county where visitors can purchase locally produced food and drink.

Sports and Leisure Activities in Wiltshire: Hiking, Cycling, Horse Riding and More

Wiltshire offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities for visitors to enjoy. The county’s beautiful countryside provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor pursuits such as hiking, cycling, and horse riding. There are several walking trails in Wiltshire, including the Wiltshire Cycleway and the White Horse Trail, which take in some of the county’s most scenic spots.

For golf enthusiasts, Wiltshire has several golf courses that offer a challenging game in picturesque surroundings. The county also has several swimming pools and leisure centers where visitors can enjoy a swim or workout.

Wiltshire is also a great destination for water sports. The River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal offer opportunities for boating, kayaking, and fishing. There are several boat hire companies in the county where visitors can rent a narrowboat or canoe and explore the waterways at their own pace.

Accommodation in Wiltshire: Hotels, B&Bs, Cottages and Campsites

Wiltshire offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. The county has several luxury hotels and country house hotels that offer a high level of comfort and service. These hotels often have stunning views of the countryside and may have additional facilities such as spas and golf courses.

For those looking for a more intimate experience, Wiltshire has a number of bed and breakfast establishments. These charming guesthouses offer comfortable rooms and a hearty breakfast to start the day. Many B&Bs in Wiltshire are located in historic buildings, adding to their charm.

Self-catering accommodation is also popular in Wiltshire, with several holiday cottages available for rent. These cottages provide a home away from home and are a great option for families or groups of friends. There are also several campsites in the county where visitors can pitch a tent or park their caravan.

Getting Around Wiltshire: Transport Options and Travel Tips for Visitors

Wiltshire is well-connected by public transport, making it easy to explore the county and its attractions. The county has several train stations, including Salisbury, Swindon, Chippenham, and Trowbridge, which provide connections to other parts of the country. There are also regular bus services that connect towns and villages within Wiltshire.

For those who prefer to drive, Wiltshire has a well-maintained road network that makes it easy to get around. The county is served by several major roads, including the M4 and the A303, which provide access to other parts of the country. Visitors should be aware that some of the smaller roads in rural areas may be narrow and winding.

Cycling is a popular way to explore Wiltshire, with several cycling routes that take in the county’s beautiful countryside. The Wiltshire Cycleway is a 160-mile circular route that passes through picturesque villages and market towns. The White Horse Trail is another popular cycling route that takes in the famous white horse chalk figures.

For those who prefer to explore on foot, Wiltshire has several walking routes that offer stunning views and the chance to spot wildlife. The county is crisscrossed by several long-distance footpaths, including the Wessex Ridgeway and the Ridgeway National Trail.

In conclusion, Wiltshire is a county that offers something for everyone. From its stunning natural beauty and rich history to its top tourist attractions and delicious cuisine, there is plenty to see and do in this picturesque part of England. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient sites, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in arts and culture, Wiltshire has it all. So why not plan a visit to this beautiful county and discover all that it has to offer?




What is Wiltshire?

Wiltshire is a county located in the South West region of England. It is bordered by Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Dorset, and Somerset.

What is the population of Wiltshire?

As of 2021, the estimated population of Wiltshire is around 715,000 people.

What is the largest city in Wiltshire?

The largest city in Wiltshire is Salisbury, which has a population of around 40,000 people.

What are some popular attractions in Wiltshire?

Wiltshire is home to many popular attractions, including Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Longleat Safari Park, and the Avebury stone circle.

What is the economy of Wiltshire like?

Wiltshire has a diverse economy, with industries such as defense, manufacturing, and agriculture playing important roles. Major employers in the county include the Ministry of Defence, Dyson, and Honda.

What is the climate like in Wiltshire?

Wiltshire has a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and cool summers. The county receives an average of around 700mm of rainfall per year.

What is the history of Wiltshire?

Wiltshire has a rich history dating back to prehistoric times. The county is home to many ancient sites, including Stonehenge and Avebury, which are believed to have been built around 2500 BC. Throughout the centuries, Wiltshire has been the site of many important battles and has played a key role in the development of England.

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