From ancient wonders to chocolate-box villages—this rural county is full of surprises.
Wiltshire’s enigmatic showpiece—the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge—pulls in the crowds, but there’s plenty to tempt you to stay longer. Green vales and chalk downlands blanket the Wiltshire countryside, including three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Explore miles of hiking, cycling, and horseback riding trails; camp out beneath the stars at remote country campsites; or take your campervan on a scenic road trip, stopping at ancient monuments and pretty stone villages along the way. Late spring through early fall provides the most pleasant weather for camping, while heated glampsites stay open year-round.
Most tours of Wiltshire start in the cathedral city of Salisbury. To the west, the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB affords plenty of ways to escape the crowds. Hike along chalk river valleys, enjoy leisurely bike or horseback rides across grassy plains, and stroll the flower gardens of the Stourhead Estate, then pitch your tent at quiet farmland campsites.
North of Salisbury, the chalk downlands of the Salisbury Plains lead the way to some of the region’s most unique sights. Discover the mysterious stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury, marvel at the famous Wilshire White Horses, or follow the Great West Way heritage trail. More highlights await in the North Wessex Downs AONB, from nature walks to canoeing along the Kennet and Avon canal.
Swindon is the gateway to Wiltshire’s northern region, where idyllic country villages dot the banks of the River Avon. Lacock village is a photographer’s favorite, but the prettiest villages lie in the Cotswolds AONB. Castle Combe, Sherston, or Slaughterford are popular choices, where you can check into a luxury glampsite or enjoy lunch at a traditional English pub.
Wiltshire borders Hampshire to the southeast, providing easy access to the New Forest National Park. Choose between family-friendly holiday parks or simple back-to-nature campsites, where you can enjoy woodland walks and admire the park’s free-roaming herds of native ponies. For a change of scenery, the beach towns of Milford on sea and Barton on sea are just a 30-minute drive away.