Fun things to do in Wiltshire

  • Prehistoric landscape
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Wiltshire

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Built by Welshmen?

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    The inner, smaller man-sized rocks used in the construction of Stonehenge, called 'bluestones' have recently had some light shed on them by the discovery of a mass grave for 7 people. This 2300-year-old grave, only 5-km from Stonehenge was found near Boscombe Down in 2003 during construction activity associated with road works. The grave contained the skeletal remains of an older man (35-45 years) with a previously broken leg, two young men (25-30), a teenage lad (15-18) and three young children (2-7).

    A new scientific technique which analyzes the chemical composition of tooth enamel provides information on where the person spent their early formative years, since the enamel retains certain chemicals as it forms in children. It can determine how far the person was from the ocean, at what height above sea level and even some climatic clues to the place of habitation. Based on this, it was determined that these people originated from the Presili Hills of southwest Wales. This area 160-km (100-miles) away is where the bluestones are known to have come from. This marks the first time that human remains have been possibly directly linked with the building of Stonehenge.

    The small bluestones pre-date the much larger outer circle by over 1000 years.

    A Closer Look
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    Lacock Abbey (Hogwarts Schl in Harry Potter movie)

    by zestnzeal2003 Written Apr 11, 2004

    The unique character of Lacock is a result of its long association with the abbey. This was the last religious house in England to be suppressed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Lacock Abbey is a beautiful gothic building with medieval features such as the cloisters.

    For those who are interested, the Abbey's cloisters and side rooms were transformed into the classrooms at Hogwarts School for the Harry Potter Films.

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Stonehenge - Two Decades Earlier

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    I seem to recall that our first visit to Stonehenge, in May 1981, was a less formal affair. I don't recall paying to view the site but, as you can see in the photo, the strand to keep visitors back a certain distance was there even then! On this occasion, we were living in Papua New Guinea and this was one stop on our 9-week Around-the-World trip that the company paid for part way through my contract (this was the Canada-England-Kenya part of the trip). The date of our visit also happened to be my youngest daughter's first birthday!

    23 Years Earlier
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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Stonehenge from the Perimeter

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    This photo gives a better impression of what you will see with the naked eye on most of the walk around the circular stones. In addition to the impressive stones, which were arranged in a particular pattern to tie in with phases of the sun, there are also circular ditches and banks (and burial mounds) surrounding the site that are even older than the stone monument itself - hence the fence to keep visitors at bay! Even on this blustery morning in February, there were a fair number of other people touring the site, but it certainly was not crowded!

    A Full View of Stonehenge
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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Stonehenge

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    After our morning walk at Lacock Village, we realized that we were not very far from Stonehenge, so we headed south east, arriving at about 11 AM on a 7 degree C and windy morning. This 7000-year old World Heritage Site is a 'Must See' if ever there was one - with the stone monoliths themselves dating from about 2500 BC. The larger upright stones are called the Sarsen stones and were brought from the Marlborough Downs about 19 miles away. There is a free-parking zone nearby, from where you can purchase your entrance tickets for 5 pounds (US$ 8) each. A tunnel takes you under the A344 highway before you emerge at the circle of stones. A single strand fence keeps all visitors a goodly distance away from the stones but allows you to walk completely around the site (free audio headphones are also available giving a running commentary on the important features as you complete the walk).

    A Windy Day at Stonehenge
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    Lacock Village Houses

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    Lacock Village is a very impressive mixture of houses and buildings dating from different eras spanning hundreds of years. It has a mixture of timber-framed houses with their protruding upper stories, as well as 17th century stone houses and later on brick Georgian-style buildings. Because of its important position on the stage coach routes linking Bristol to London, the village also boasts three interesting Inns (check my Restaurant tip for The George Inn). Being protected within the sphere of the Abbey estates, the Talbot family prevented railroads or any other manifestation of the Industrial Revolution from reaching the village - leaving it as a time capsule of an English village from hundreds of years ago. This photo shows a close-up view of some of the half-timbered houses in the Village.

    Close-up of Lacock Village
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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Lacock Abbey Close-up

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    Over the course of its history, the Abbey has been altered a number of times, leading to four different building styles being used to make up its present form. Sharington had travelled abroad and he introduced Italian style architecture when he remodelled the estate in the mid-1500s. Since he died childless, ownership passed to his niece Mrs. John Talbot. In 1754, further renovations in the Gothic revival style were carried out. The estate also has a Botanic Garden and extensive grounds that are open for tours. The Abbey has also recently featured in the Harry Potter movie series!

    Zooming in on the Abbey
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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The River Avon Again!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    This view shows the small road that runs across the front of the estate, heading off across its extensive grounds toward the west. There is a long and narrow arched stone bridge (partially visible) over the River Avon, which we were very surprised to come across again since we had just been there much further north the day before - when we had been at Stratford-upon-Avon! It turns out that there are 3 or 4 River Avons in England, and this one is different from that of Shakespeare fame! We had a very nice early morning walk along here, meeting one of the estate staff returning from a walk in one of the huge fields with an Alsatian (German Shepard) in tow. In 1944, Lacock Abbey, its grounds and associated Village were donated to the National Trust of England by the descendents of Talbot family who had assumed ownership in 1553. Various parts of the estate are open to visitors between April and November, so we had it mostly to ourselves in February!

    Bridge over Avon at Lacock Abbey
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  • LouiseTopp's Profile Photo

    Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm

    by LouiseTopp Written Dec 11, 2003

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    Winner of Wiltshire Family Attraction of the Year Award 1998 and 2000, Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Park & Rabbit World is a popular tourist attraction set in an attractive rural area on the Wiltshire /Hampshire border. With views to Salisbury Cathedral. Offering a relaxing experience for all ages it’s lovely for the children, particularly in the summertime. Rabbit World has over 50 breeds. These rabbits are kept in little enclosures, come at the right time & you’ll see their babies. Sometimes they might come up to you & let you touch them. Some of other things which can be seen are:

    Pork Stakes" Pig Races. The pigs wear little labels & run up a small racecourse, you can bet on the winner.
    • Beautiful Gardens & Water Gardens: There is a pond next to the Ewe Tree Tea-rooms where peacocks like to gather for a natter. The café does snacks, lunches & cream tea’s.
    • Tractor & Trailer Rides (50p)
    • Adventure & Toddlers Play Areas.
    • Undercover & Outdoor Picnic Areas.
    • Summer holiday pony rides (you need to book)
    • Souvenir Shop full of animal linked gifts with status on pigs & rabbits
    • A Nature Trail through an prehistoric wood with glades & a badgers' sett.

    Groups welcome with special rates for 15+ pre-booked, there’s free parking & disabled visitors are most welcome. Open from Feb 15th-2nd March for half-term 10-5pm. Wkds until full-time opening 11-4. Full-time opening from 16th March 10-6pm Last admissions £4.45.

    There are many breeds of animals like:
    • Norfolk Horn – Portland sheep
    • Shetland – Kerry cows
    • Exmoor Pony
    • 18 breeds chickens,
    • 3 Breeds turkeys (all in hiding at the Christmas period)
    • British Lop & cross bred piglets & piggy

    Stroll the beautiful water gardens, with streams & waterfalls & watch the Koi Carp swimming in clear waters. Sit & enjoy the quiet, relaxing mood. Other features contain rose gardens, relaxed gardens with water features, a walkthrough archway with clematis, roses, honeysuckle & lots more.

    Just horsing around
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  • LouiseTopp's Profile Photo

    Malmesbury House

    by LouiseTopp Written Dec 11, 2003

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    Malmesbury House is the family residence of Mr and Mrs John Cordle. It’s next to St Ann’s Gate & was formerly a 13th century canonry. It’s been enlarged over the years; it was rented in 1660 to the Harris family, whose ancestry became the Earls of Malmesbury House. Behind the Wren façade (1698 - 1704) are rooms with superb decorative plasterwork. Among the many famous guests to the house, were King Charles 2nd, who came to flee from the Black Death in 1665, & the musician Handel, who gave recitals in the chapel above St Ann’s Gate. Frances Webb, a direct descendent of Queen Elizabeth 2nd , lived in the house in the 1770s.

    The enterance to the house is fronted by a large gate with two black ornamental greyhounds on the top, they are made of stone, & not real.

    Malmesbury House
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  • VinceTraveller's Profile Photo

    More stonehenge

    by VinceTraveller Written Oct 16, 2003

    Every angle is a picture worth taking......every stone is a wonderment worth reflecting......every step is a step beyond time.

    Stoneheng or
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Wiltshire Things to Do

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