Your arrival at the idyllic woodland signals your entry to England’s most historic, most picture-perfect, and certainly a village far removed from typical England. A village lost in time, Wiltshire is a rustic and highly ceremonial county located in West England. In the midst of its picturesque and poignant landscape, you will come across Wiltshire’s medieval city of Salisbury and its prehistoric landmark – the Stonehenge. Despite being landlocked and pastoral, the place welcomes an abundance of tourists annually who are lured by Wiltshire’s irresistible English charm.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to explore the English countryside is during the balmy months of summer, from July to August. It is the perfect break to enjoy the pleasant weather and sunny blue skies. During summer, Wiltshire is far from crowded and the air is comfortably warm.
While other options are certainly available, nothing is quite as effective as renting a car to travel around the area, and enjoy the freedom and convenience in terms of time management and exploration.
One of the most acclaimed events in Wiltshire occurs in a picturesque village south of Salisbury – the Downtown Cuckoo Fair. It is an unforgettable family event, in which art stalls and variety shows are set right on every street, while Morris dancing swings to the beat of the live local music. The fair is also a great place to buy indigenous handicrafts. And to top it all, the entry is free! From late May to early June, Wiltshire comes to life with the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival. The festival includes literature readings, presentations of circus arts, putting on films, dance shows, musical concerts and theatre performances.
What to Do
Wiltshire is a small town with a lot of secrets and mysteries. Centuries-old castles and religious monuments mix pleasantly with more contemporary stately homes. The mysterious sites will tickle your imagination with endless things to do. Here are some tips to guide you.
1) Spend a day in Salisbury
Salisbury is a great place to explore, starting with its symbolic gothic cathedral. It is also aptly called the “cathedral city” of England. Georgian, Victorian, and Medieval architecture all play a role in the city’s ornate buildings and structures. The city’s architecture can be considered a true art masterpiece. The city vibrates with energy and excitement, with great nightlife, dining, and exploring opportunities.
Address: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
2) Go to a weekly market
Wiltshire is known for its bustling and lively markets. These are the best places to buy local produce. There is a farmer’s market visiting multiple towns and villages offering fresh goods, locally made furniture, and unique pieces of clothing. Spend the day surrounded by colors and friendly faces.
3) Explore the best safari park in the UK
The Longleat Safari and Adventure Park is home to Asia and Africa’s most loved animals. Feed giraffes and walk close to a variety of exotic species right on the English country. Interesting and exciting additions were made recently. One of these additions is a penguin island, wherein one could walk near the penguins and watch them swim beneath your feet. The entry ticket for adult tourists is USD38, but you can get a small discount if you purchase your tickets online.
Address: Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, England
4) Watch a horse race.
For locals and tourists alike, watching a horse race at the Salisbury Racecourse is the best way to spend a sunny day. The racecourse also hosts several kinds of events during the summer season. While you’re there, have a drink at one of the onsite bars or enjoy a splendid meal at its restaurant. If you are traveling with children, you will be pleased to know that entry for kids under sixteen is free of charge.
Address: Netherhampton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
If the weather permits, and you are naturally an adventurous one, go to Skydive Netheravon and try out your luck on a parachute. Needless to say, you’ll experience the most exclusive view of Wiltshire as you descend from the skies. Their highly developed equipment will make the experience easy for you and professional instructors will guide you through the entire process. You can choose to try tandem skydiving (with an instructor that falls with you) or jump with a parachute that opens automatically (however, you will require a weekend of training).
The images of Wiltshire will affect you like no other place will. Your questions will be many – and most will remain unanswered. Your quest will be endless, and you may even continue to ponder after your visit. Bring home your unanswered questions, maybe the answers will come to you unbidden. But don’t miss on the following sites, make sure you visit each.
The most famous megalithic site on earth, Stonehenge is a stone circle standing imposingly over the green countryside. Stonehenge was made in 1135, and according to legend it was Merlin who flew it across the sea to where it stands now. However, there are other legends claiming the origin of this impressive structure.
Avebury is a small village made up of natural scenery that seems to emerge from a child’s storybook. It is known worldwide for being home to the world-famous Stonehenge. The archaeologist who explored this area turned his manor into a museum to exhibit his findings and is now famous around the globe.
Address: Avebury Village, Wiltshire, England
3) Lacock Village
With its 15th century architecture, Lacock village remains an intact and lasting museum paying tribute to the history of Wiltshire. The village in fact, has appeared in several movies, including the world acclaimed Harry Potter films, showing that it is still making history now a days. With museums and cozy places to eat in, Lacock village is the ideal place to spend the day.
Address: Lacock Village, Wiltshire, England
4) Castle Combe
Famous for being the most beautiful village in the entire country, Castle Combe will stun you with its small yet picturesque streets and English charm. Walk around this historic village which has existed from the Middle Ages, the Roman era and the Norman era.
Address: Chippenham, Wiltshire, England
5) Fisherton Mill
These large gallery and art studios are located in a most unusual venue – inside a mill. Its unique location and impressive pieces attract a wide-ranging audience, both local and international. The exhibits include jewelry, furniture, glass pieces and sculptures. Their on-site café is the most suitable place to eat lunch in, while drinking a warm cup of coffee. Have a sumptuous fresh and healthy lunch at the café. At the studios you will find artists working on their next pieces.