This month Group Leisure & Travel tunes its pretty-places radar to Wiltshire, where green landscapes, atmospheric ruins and even burial grounds await…
1. Westbury (pictured). (Photo credit: Rich Thrift and Visit England).
Westbury is a small market town situated at the western edge of Wiltshire beside the chalk down lands that form Salisbury Plain. There’s plenty to entertain walking groups in the surrounding countryside, while the town itself boasts a number of charming old buildings.
2. Stonehenge. (Photo credit: VisitEngland, English Heritage and Iain Lewis).
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument of stones and reconstructed Neolithic houses. Today, visitors can explore the ancient outdoor site, as well as a visitor centre and exhibition space. There is a ten per cent discount for groups of 11 or more, plus free entry for the coach driver and tour leader.
3. River Ebble at Broad Chalke. (Photo credit: www.visitwiltshire.co.uk).
The River Ebble is one of the five rivers of the English city of Salisbury, rising at Alvediston and joining the River Avon near Nunton. There are plenty of riverside walks, and for those who enjoy a spot of fishing in the wild, the Ebble is reported to have has a huge head of wild brown trout and grayling.
4. Malmesbury Abbey. (Photo credit: VisitEngland, Visit Wiltshire and Chris Lock).
Groups visiting Malmesbury Abbey can explore the abbey, the grounds, and the abbey kitchen. There’s also the abbey house gardens, the Athelstan Museum, and further afield, the numerous shops, restaurants and pubs in town. Admission to the abbey is free, and audio tours are available.
5. Salisbury Cathedral. (Photo credit: VisitEngland, Visit Wiltshire and Chris Lock).
Salisbury Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral, and has been described as one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. It’s home to one of the four surviving 1215 Magna Carta, and the cathedral’s spire is said to be the tallest in Britain at 123 metres tall. A number of tours and events are available to be enjoyed by groups, like afternoon tea packages and guided tours of the cathedral.
6. Silbury Hill, Wiltshire. (Photo credit: VisitEngland and Iain Lewis).
Silbury Hill, near Avebury, is part of the Avebury World Heritage Site. It’s said to be one of Europe’s tallest prehistoric burial mounds, coming in at 40 metres tall. It’s ideal for walking groups interested in the history of Britain, and the site is also not far from the Alexander Keiller Museum where a café and toilet facilities are located.
7. Arundells (Photo credit: Arundells).
Arundells is a Grade II listed house in Salisbury, and was the home of Edward Heath, a former Prime Minister of the UK, from 1985 until his death in 2005. The house and its extensive garden are open to the public from late March to late October each year. Groups can pre-book timed tours of Arundells to discover more about its history.
8. Kennet and Avon Canal. (Photo credit: visitwiltshire.co.uk).
The Kennet and Avon Canal runs for 87 miles in southern England, and groups can take a canal ride with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. Seating up to 29 people is the Jubilee, based at Newbury Wharf. The Jubilee is a traditional style narrowboat open to the fresh air in fine weather, and has a licensed bar. It’s available for private charter trip