The county of Wiltshire is a remarkable time capsule of British history, with an embarrassment of ancient prehistoric sites dotted across its timeless landscape. If you want to take a step back in time whilst on your Wiltshire holiday, why not start with the four suggestions below, which are all within easy reach of our Wiltshire cottages?
1. Old Sarum.
Uncover the story of the original city of Salisbury and explore the remains of this magnificent Iron Age hill fort. 5000 years of history are at your fingertips, from the Ancient Roman Empire to the Saxon tribes that preceded them across southern Britain. The ramparts still offer great views across the surrounding countryside, offering an insight to the forts physical presence when constructed.
The name itself conjures up an image we can all recognise, and a list of ‘must-see’ attractions in Wiltshire would not be complete without its inclusion. The sheer size and weight of the stones makes it hard to imagine how this mighty stone circle could have been constructed with primitive tools and mechanics over 4,000 years ago. There are many theories as to why it was built, and what it was used for, but the uncertainty and speculation just adds to the mystery of the circle. Although visitors are no longer allowed to touch the stones, it's impossible not to be awe-struck by what is undoubtedly the most famous prehistoric monument in Britain.
3. The Westbury White Horse.
Several white horse figures can be found carved into the chalk hills of Wiltshire, but none better known than the Westbury White Horse. Lying just below the site of an Iron Age hill fort on Salisbury Plain, the origins of the horse are unknown. Some claims state that it was made to commemorate King Alfred’s victory in 878 AD at the Battle of Eðandun, though there is no evidence of its existence before 1742. Whatever its age and original purpose, it certainly creates an impressive and commanding backdrop to the surrounding countryside.
4. Avebury Stone Circle.
Like Stonehenge, Avebury is a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, this stone circle is different from Stonehenge in several ways. Erected around 2,500 years ago, it covers a larger area; in fact the stones and henges actually enclose part of the village. At Avebury, visitors can actually get up close to the stones and touch them. This is unquestionably one of the most important megalithic monuments in Europe.
These are just some of the ancient sites that await you in Wiltshire. Other counties of course have their own sites of special historic interest and if you are interested in discovering more about Britain’s ancient past, Hideaways has a wide range of mouth-watering English country cottages across the south of England to choose from. What could be better than spending a day at one of these fascinating attractions and then relaxing in a cosy Hideaways cottage?