Best Things To Do In Wiltshire

Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain

The beautiful rural county of Wiltshire has a wide range of modern and historic attractions to delight visitors of all ages.

So to help you choose, we’ve picked out some of our favourite Wiltshire things to do, including fantastic ideas for days out in the county and the best attractions in Wiltshire.

Our list of things to Wiltshire contains everything from prehistoric stone circles to fascinating museums, and from stately homes to chocolate box cottages. We’re sure that you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained when you visit Wiltshire.

Visit Stonehenge & Other Historic Sites

Stonehenge is probably Wiltshire’s best known landmark, and you’re sure to want to see this World Heritage site when you visit Wiltshire. But the county’s history has far more to offer than just one world famous stone circle.

As well as the nearby Avebury Stone Circle, which is the largest stone circle in Britain, there are also eight White Horse chalk figures dotted around the Wiltshire hillsides. There are many other historical places to visit in Wiltshire, such as Old Sarum, which began as an Iron Age hill fort and later saw the Romans, Normans and Saxons leave their mark.

Explore Salisbury

Salisbury has been welcoming visitors since the 13th century, and is well worth a visit today. This beautiful mediaeval city is centred around Salisbury cathedral, which boasts Britain’s tallest spire and is home to the best preserved original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta.

Elsewhere in the city, high street brands can be found next to quirky independent retailers, and the city’s Charter Market runs weekly in the historic Market Place. You’ll also find a range of fascinating museums and lively cultural events as well as fantastic places to eat and drink.

Visit Lacock Abbey & Lacock village

The National Trust village at Lacock Abbey is one of the most fascinating places to go in Wiltshire.

The Abbey itself is a quirky country house built on the foundations of a nunnery. It combines a number of architectural styles to give Lacock Abbey its unique, quirky appearance. Inside the house, you can explore the medieval rooms and cloister court which give you an idea of the Abbey’s past life.

You can also explore Lacock Village which is filled with period houses and buildings, and also has plenty of family-friendly activities to keep younger visitors entertained.

Enjoy A Family Day Out In Wiltshire

You’ll find plenty of inspiration for exciting family days out in Wiltshire.

Enjoy a close encounter with animals from around the world in the grounds of a beautiful English stately home at Longleat Safari Park, the UK’s most popular safari park. See lions and tigers, Rhesus monkeys and packs of wolves in the Safari Drive-through, watch otters at play in their underwater enclosure and spot hippos on the Jungle Cruise boat trip.

Cotswold Wildlife Park is home to over 260 species of animals, including one of the largest reptile collections in the UK. Based in the grounds of a Gothic manor house, it’s a great place to spot giraffes and rhinos in the Park, watch the penguin feeding, pet goats in the Children’s Farmyard or explore the adventure playground.

There are also butterfly houses, farm parks and adventure playgrounds to be explored at visitor attractions like Bowood House, so you’re sure to find plenty to entertain younger visitors to Wiltshire. Click here for more ideas for the best family days out in Wiltshire.

Visit Fascinating Museums

If history is your passion, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for historic days out in Wiltshire.

STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon is a real must-see attraction. It is housed in a restored railway building and tells the story of the Great Western Railway and the lives of the people who built, operated and travelled on it. You can also see the impressive locomotives up close, try your hand at driving the steam train simulator and operate the interactive GWR Signal box.

Aviation fans are sure to enjoy the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection near Old Sarum. The two hangars of the museum are packed full of aircraft, replicas and models, as well as cockpits that you can sit in and interactive displays that will keep visitors entertained.

Or if technology is more your thing, why not check out the Museum of Computing in Swindon. This was the UK’s first physical museum concerned with computing and digital development and has a wide range of fascinating technological artefacts. This museum is one of the more unusual things to do in Wiltshire and a really family-friendly attraction with lots of hands-on displays.

Other Wiltshire attractions for history lovers include the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum in Calne and the Wiltshire museum in Devizes.

Discover Picture Perfect Villages

As well as major towns and cities such as Salisbury and Swindon, Wiltshire is also home to a host of pretty villages dotted around the countryside.

Visiting picturesque villages in Wiltshire like Castle Combe, Avebury and Malmesbury is your chance to slow down and meander through winding country lanes, taking in the chocolate box cottages and historic buildings. And of course, it would only be right to pay a visit to one of the tea rooms or village pubs while you’re there!

Go Walking In Wiltshire

Wiltshire is a predominantly rural county and has many excellent walking routes. So it’s an excellent destination if hiking, rambling and walking are your preferred pastimes.

You’ll find walks in Wiltshire to suit every type of walker, from easy lakeside strolls to long distance hiking trails. Many of the routes take in major Wiltshire landmarks like Stonehenge and Longleat, and of course there are tea rooms and village pubs to provide refreshment along the way. Click here for our pick of the best walks in Wiltshire.

Enjoy Outdoor Pursuits In Wiltshire

Hiking and walking are not the only outdoor pursuits that you can enjoy when you visit Wiltshire.

The county is also an excellent destination for golf or fishing, or you could explore the country lanes and stunning landscape on a bike ride or on horseback. If you want a more exhilarating experience, then there are plenty of opportunities for anything from off road driving to adventure escape games, or you could take a more laid back view of the county from a canal boat or hot air balloon.

With all of this and more, including wine tours and nature reserves, it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors when you visit Wiltshire.

Learn About Wiltshire’s Industrial Heritage

Wiltshire also has a rich industrial heritage and there are plenty of opportunities to explore this during your visit to the county.

We’ve already mentioned STEAM railway museum, but you can also take a ride back in time on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway. This is a heritage railway that operates both steam and diesel trains on a 2.5 mile section of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway. Enjoy your round trip from Hayes Knoll and Taw Valley Halt, then call into the main station at Blunsdon Station for refreshments at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

You may also enjoy a visit to the Wadworth Brewery, which has been brewing since Victorian times in Devizes. And there are plenty of other historical attractions in Wiltshire, including the world’s oldest steam powered beam engine at Crofton, which still supplies the Kennet and Avon Canal with water as it did over 100 years ago.

Relax At Stately Homes & Gardens

Or if you are looking for more relaxing places to visit in Wiltshire, why not pay a visit to one of the county’s many stately homes and gardens. Explore the beautiful houses and wander through landscaped gardens and parklands.

As well as Lacock Abbey, you could visit the Stourhead National Trust property, Bowood House near Chippenham or Wilton House near Salisbury. Many of these houses offer guided tours and once you’ve explored the grounds, you can sit down to enjoy a traditional cream tea.

There are so many fantastic things to do in Wiltshire, and we’ve only picked out a few of our favourite Wiltshire attractions. Where would you like to go when you visit Wiltshire?