When you imagine Wiltshire, what comes to mind? Your image may feature rolling hills, old cottages and historic towns, but there is much more to this county than a few words could ever describe. Wiltshire is a hub for those who express their experiences through a different medium – photography – for its stunning scenery, dramatic architecture and unusual historic details. Whether you are a budding photographer or are simply looking for some travel inspiration, these ten gorgeous photos are guaranteed to make you want to visit the unique county of Wiltshire this year.
We all know about Stonehenge, but this beautiful photograph was taken at a site nearby that, although equally fascinating, often goes overlooked. Woodhenge is an ancient Neolithic site built around 2300 BC as a burial mound, and today stands as one of the oldest historic monuments in the UK. Evidence indicates that Woodhenge was in use as early as 1800 BC, and this legacy is clear in the spiritual atmosphere of the area. As the sun appears or retreats over the horizon, Woodhenge and the rolling hills that surround it take on an enchanting golden glow that will create an ethereal air as you explore this historic site.
The aura of mystery continues in this captivating photograph of the World Heritage Site at Silbury Hill in Avebury. This ‘hill’ not only looks beautiful in the soft light, it is also of real historic significance, being the largest man-made mound in Europe and dating back to at least 2400 BC. Experts believe that the mound contains no burials, and in fact its original purpose remains unknown. What is sure is that Silbury Hill is certainly a sight to behold.
The White Horse
Photographers – amateur and professional alike – have been drawn to the White Horse of Westbury for decades, drawn in by the presence of this mammoth figure incongruously laying among the hills around Bratton Camp. Among the original Iron Age hillfort, the White Horse was cut into the chalk hillside in the late 1600s, which historians suggest was created in commemoration of the supposed Battle of Ethandun that is thought to have occurred at the site in 878 AD. Few instances of contrast between the natural environment and historic communities make for such a striking scene as the White Horse.
Paragliding in Wiltshire
This photo not only shows just how beautiful the Wiltshire countryside is, in a quilt of greens and yellows, but it also demonstrates one of the most exciting ways you can take it all in. Paragliding is one of the most thrilling ways to see the rolling hills of Wiltshire, as you soar serenely above the landscape. Here, panoramic views of the Wiltshire landscape are all yours, as you admire the views stretching out into the horizon.
Lovers of architecture are sure to appreciate the ornate detailing in Salisbury Cathedral as gloriously captured in this reflective photograph. This medieval building was created by incredibly skilled craftspeople hundreds of years ago, and has become a site of pilgrimage for thousands of visitors each year. Inside, grand buttresses, gables and turrets, all contribute to this fantastic building that houses the original Magna Carta. For anyone interested in history, art, architecture or design, Salisbury Cathedral is not to be missed.
However, outside, the Cathedral makes a beautiful backdrop, too. Photographer Julian Elliott captured this gorgeous shot of The West Harnham water meadows with the cathedral on the horizon. He says: “The West Harnham water meadows are, for me, a special place. It is where I am from but also because I have seen so many beautiful dawns here. To stand on the town path that runs between the city of Salisbury and Harnham on a morning when the cathedral bell chimes across the mist filled meadows is divine. Is it any wonder that John Constable created some of his most favourite images here? Surely this is one of the most beautiful views in the United Kingdom.” We can’t help but agree!
As the nexus of pagan spirituality in the UK, Wiltshire sees crop circles materialise across the county. This alleged crop circle photographed near Wilton Windmill, however, has attracted countless visitors due to its charmingly heart-like shape. According to some, the shape looks as though it has been created to resemble the angular rotation of four rectangular blades like those on the windmill itself. Curious and picturesque, the crop circle makes for a unique picture.
West Woods, Marlborough
Each year, millions of people book Wiltshire holiday cottages in order to enjoy a delightful walking holiday exploring the beautiful woodlands of the region. This carpet of vibrant bluebells encapsulates the spectacular sights to see, which were captured at the famous West Woods in Marlborough. There are very few places in the country where you can be lucky enough to encounter a sheet of bluebells so pristine and uninterrupted, giving this woodland a wonderfully fantastical appeal.
It doesn’t get much more picturesque than Lacock Village. The National-Trust associated village exudes quintessential British charm, from its cobbled streets and generations-old local shops to its medieval tithe barn and village church. Explore 800 years of history at Lacock Abbey and its beautiful grounds, visit the Fox Talbot Museum, or simply immerse yourself in the allure of a village that has been featured on everything from Downton Abbey to the Harry Potter films.
Poppy Fields, Highworth
Poppies are a rare site in Great Britain, but they hold a special place in the hearts of many. Perhaps one of the most scenic spots to see a field of poppies is in Highworth in Swindon, where each year thousands upon thousands of poppies bloom across the golden fields. As you can see in this photograph, it is quite a sight to behold, with undulating colours leading the eye across the landscape of warm hues.
Sunsets are innately attractive to most of us, but few come as magnificent as this one, documented in Pewsey. On a clear day, this is quite a regular occurrence, and makes for the perfect evening stroll through the countryside. The sky alights in fiery oranges, reds, pinks and purples that bring an other-worldly feel to this captivating landscape.