"Prehistory........" Top 5 Page for this destination Wiltshire by leics

Wiltshire Travel Guide: 706 reviews and 1,909 photos

That's what Wiltshire means to me, and to many others.

There are small towns to visit too, of course....Marlborough, for example, and (nicer, imo) Devizes.

But do not miss Lacock if you can help it. I'd never heard of the place until I came across VT questions about it (it has been used for location filming in the Harry Potter films and several television series). It's a wonderful National Trust village and abbey, the former preserved almost exactly as it was in the 1700s (some buildings are even older). A superb place to seek out and enjoy.

Marlborough is the nearest large town to Avebury (superb stone circle, enclosing a village, excellent museums, less crowded and more evocative than Stonehenge), and to the Savernake Forest (very ancient mixed woodland, with some staggering old trees........hope to visit there with a camera sometime).

It's a typical English market town in many ways, with a huge central roadway (originally for cattle markets etc, now very useful for parking) and a wide variety of architecture. It is well-known for its public (i.e. fee-paying) school (Marlborough College), which was establshed in 1843 and includes William Morris, Siegfried Sassoon, John Betjeman and Bruce Chatwin amongst its alumni.

Marlborough makes a good base for exploring Wiltshire. Avebury and Salisbury (the county town, with a wonderful cathedral) are well worth visiting, and not too far away.

As well as Avebury, Stonehenge, Silbury Hill (remember, this is entirely man-made), West Kennet Longbarrow and more prehistoric tumuli and barrows, stone circles and processional ways than you can shake a stick at (this area is a 'prehistoric sacred landscape') there are also carvings in the white chalk underlying the downs. Some are modern, many are undateable but almost certainly prehistoric.

If you have a car you can seek out the many white horses (the one near Wantage in Oxfordshire is probably Iron Age, its form repeated on many Iron Age coins) or go over the border into Dorset to see the very 'exposed' Cerne Abbas giant. :-)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Prehistory, history, landscape
  • Cons:Some places can get very busy at times
  • In a nutshell:Wonderful prehistory
  • Last visit to Wiltshire: Feb 2007
  • Intro Updated Mar 12, 2011
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Reviews (3)

Comments (3)

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2007 at 10:51 PM

    I love Wiltshire, there is so much pre-history there.

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2006 at 12:51 AM

    You should see the tumuli here in Korea! There are so many and they are so big!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2006 at 11:53 AM

    Great tips here and amazing photos too! This part of Wiltshire is definitely worth some time!!

leics

“'Take clothes you can layer....' :-)”

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