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Great towns and villages to discover in Wiltshire

Posted on 10th February 2014

There are so many reasons why Wiltshire is a popular destination for visitors, with its natural and relaxed atmosphere making it a peaceful sanctuary that you will want to return to time and time again. Part of the appeal of Wiltshire is its string of quaint villages, all of which are bustling with character and charm. If you are looking forward to a cottage holiday in the county and are keen to embark on a discovery of it, here are some beautiful towns and villages which are worth visiting.

Avebury

Those who want to discover the true history of Wiltshire will not want to pass up a chance to explore Avebury, a village which is encircled by a prehistoric monument complex of the same name. With the earliest earthworks dating back to 3400BC, its defining feature is the stone circle, built and altered over many centuries to form a huge circular bank and ditch which now encompasses an area of 28 ½ acres. With the rocks standing the test of time, it makes for a fantastic location to take a walk; it’s particularly beautiful in the winter as the snow settles underfoot. Owned and maintained by the National Trust and protected with the status of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and World Heritage Site, it means the site will stay unspoiled and can be enjoyed by those on their Wiltshire cottage holidays for many years to come. Click here to find out more about how to explore this historic spot.

Amesbury

Just a stone’s throw away from Stonehenge, Amesbury is a popular town which boasts a long and well-documented history. It is perhaps most famous as the place where the Amesbury Archer was discovered back in 2002 – a skeleton buried with many arrowheads which dates back to around 2300BC; his grave site offered the greatest number of artefacts ever recovered from a British Bronze Age burial. Today, Amesbury is a bustling market town which offers a wide variety of bars, restaurants and cafes, all of which are made even more appealing by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the townsfolk. If you wish to take a walk, the journey of three miles to Stonehenge passes through some of the finest Wiltshire countryside – so don’t forget your camera.

Marlborough

Nestled in the north east corner of the county, Marlborough is a flourishing market town which offers rich history and long-standing tradition. A rather odd fact about Marlborough is that it has the second widest high street in Britain, beaten only by Stockton-on-Tees.

Among the best reasons to visit Marlborough is for the variety of annual events which can be enjoyed there, most notable of which being the Jazz Festival where pubs, clubs and other venues all play host to jazz performances over an action-packed weekend.

Another event to enjoy is the Mop Fair; despite it originally standing as a place where agricultural workers would come to seek employment, it has recently been transformed into a huge funfair and is one of the highlights of the year in the town. It’s so big, in fact, that it causes the aforementioned high street to close for the day, as set down in the original Charter for the town laid out by King John in 1204.

Image Credit: Ed Webster (flickr.com)