Take advantage of this special discounted Reader Club offer so you can explore the highlights of Wiltshire on the Great West Way this September. Group travel organisers have the opportunity to visit under their own steam but you need to apply now.
This is a familiarisation visit with a difference – instead of the more traditional trip, you have the chance to apply for a date to visit under your own steam between 6th and 30th September (excluding weekends) this year.
It’s a self-drive trip for you and a guest to enjoy with the idea of bringing back your group for a future visit. You’ll receive free entry to a number of attractions across the historic county of Wiltshire, part of the Great West Way.
At one end is London, with its royal sights and rich cultural heritage; at the other, elegant Bath and Bristol. Wiltshire makes up around a quarter of the route with lush landscapes, characterful villages and relaxing riverside towns.
Accommodation is provided at the Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge Hotel. Tickets to Stonehenge are part of the fam visit and the heritage attraction offers visitors a free audio guide app to download with extra content so you can delve deeper into the history of this ancient site.You will also receive complimentary entry to nearby Old Sarum where you can unearth more than 2,000 years of history and find out how the Romans, Normans and Saxons all left their mark on the impressive landscape.
In the nearby city of Salisbury, admission is included to the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral which marked its 800th anniversary last year. There is plenty to see, from Britain’s tallest spire weighing an impressive 6,500 tonnes to what is thought to be the world’s oldest working mechanical clock. You can opt to explore the nearby Salisbury Museum which houses one of Europe’s most extensive collections of Stonehenge and prehistoric artefacts, as well as an important costume and textile display.
Elsewhere is Iford Manor Gardens in Bradford-on-Avon. Created by Edwardian designer Harold Peto, the Grade I listed gardens also starred in the fantasy drama film The Secret Garden, featuring Colin Firth.
You can visit the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes which is home to what is thought to be the largest collection of Early Bronze Age gold on display in England, as well as 500 Stonehenge period objects.
Other attractions offering free entry are; the REME Museum in Lyneham (closed Mondays) which shares the story of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; Bowood House & Gardens in Calne, home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Landsdowne; Merchant’s House in Marlborough, a fascinating High Street building with an incredible history; and the STEAM Museum of the Great Western Way in Swindon, which tells the story of the people who built, operated and travelled on the railway.
Additional, suggested places to explore for pre-booked tours, appointments or special offers include:
- Bradford-on-Avon (pre-booked tour).
- The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford on Avon: they are offering a special buy one, get one free offer on their Princess of India Afternoon Tea.
- Corsham(pre-booked tour).
- Marlborough College (pre-booked appointment to find out about Summer School).
All bookings are subject to Covid restrictions at the time of visit.
Attraction entrance tickets are valid for two people and are subject to availability along with standard visitor entry terms and conditions.
Transport and daytime food and drink is not included.
Find out more by viewing the supplier travel trade pages in VisitWiltshire’s new Travel Trade Guide, www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/groups and to find out more about the Great West Way visit www.GreatWestWay.co.uk/traveltrade
The deadline for applications is Friday, 25th June, 2021.
This familiarisation trip costs £60 per person based on two people sharing (£110 per room for single occupancy) and includes:
- Entry (for two) to the attractions mentioned, you can choose which you would like to visit.
- Overnight accommodation at the Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge including a welcome drink, breakfast and two course dinner for two.