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Your guide to family days out in Wiltshire

Posted on 15th March 2016

Wiltshire is one of the best destinations for a family holiday, with the stunning mix of countryside vistas and bustling market towns and cities providing fantastic entertainment for all types of visitor. If you will soon be staying in a Wiltshire holiday cottage with the family, it’s a good idea to arrive with a packed itinerary to ensure you make the most of your visit. With this in mind, here’s our list for the best family days out in Wiltshire.

Image Credit: Vincent Angler (Flickr.com)

Longleat

We begin our journey at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, the attraction that offers the unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal with a host of beautiful animals from across the world. Set in the grounds of Longleat House, the safari has been a popular attraction since it first opened back in 1966 and is home to more than 500 different animals, including monkeys, giraffes, lions and tigers.

Longleat House

Image Credit: Andrew (flickr.com)

Other attractions at the park include the hedge maze, landscaped garden and the manor house, which you can explore in all its splendour. If you are keen to learn more about the great fun you can enjoy on your Wiltshire holidays, click here to visit the official website.

STEAM – Museum of The Great Western Railway

It’s hard not to find a child who isn’t fascinated with the world of rail transport, and the STEAM Museum of The Great Western Railway will be sure to excite their imagination. Housed in a restored Grade II listed railway building, this museum is a fantastic choice for a day out in Wiltshire for the whole family.

Pannier Tank Engine 3738

Image Credit: David Merrett (flickr.com)

With a wide range of activities, hands-on exhibits, interactive displays and memorabilia, you’ll be sent back in time to discover the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway. For more information and ticket prices, visit the STEAM Museum’s website.

Stonehenge

Undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks in not only the country, but also the world, Stonehenge can be found just a few miles north of Salisbury and promises to be a unique site for all visitors. While no one is exactly sure when the site was first created, carbon dating analysis suggests that the first stones could have been erected between 2400 and 2200 BC. It’s a place full of mystery, being created by a culture that left no written record of its purpose. How were these colossal stones lifted into place? It’s the perfect attraction for letting the kids’ imaginations run wild!

Stonehenge

As well as the large ring of stones, another popular site for visitors to marvel at is the heelstone, a 4.7-metre-high block of sarsen stone that weighs around 25 tonnes. It attracts crowds in their thousands on the morning of the summer solstice, as those looking north east from the entrance will see the sun rise up from behind the heelstone. 

Salisbury Cathedral

Another cultural wonder of Wiltshire is the cathedral in the city of Salisbury, an architectural masterpiece that boasts the highest spire found anywhere in the United Kingdom. Despite the incredible attention to detail, the main body of the cathedral was created in just 38 years between 1220 and 1258. As well as the largest spire, Salisbury Cathedral is home to Britain’s largest cloister, largest cathedral close and the world’s oldest working clock, with the latter thought to date from around 1386. Its other masterpiece is one of just four copies of the Magna Carta, the famous document of constitutional law which was sealed in 1215.

Wall Heads

Image Credit: Kevan (flickr.com)

If you do get a chance to visit the cathedral, be sure to take the Tower Tour and admire the interior of the hollow spire and the ancient wooden scaffolding that has been wonderfully preserved. Although the history of Salisbury Cathedral might not thrill the kids, they might find the dizzying heights of the Tower Tour more exciting, or even the wall of heads!

Boscombe Down Aviation Museum

A great place for both the little and big kids of the family! Experience what it is like to be a pilot in aircraft such as the Sea Harrier and Meteor, as you have the opportunity to sit in the cockpits and explore the magnificent machines. There is also an in-house flight simulator, and helmets and other flight gear to try on and make you look the part. With so much to learn, not only is Boscombe Down Aviation Museum a great day out, but educational for all of the family. The museum is located just two miles north of Salisbury in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside.

airplane

Studley Grange Craft Village & Butterfly World

Home to some of the most beautiful butterflies in the world, Studley Grange Craft Village & Butterfly World is the perfect backdrop to any family day out. Experience a tropical environment whatever time of the year you wish to visit, as the butterflies fly freely around you, landing on tropical plants and fish-filled ponds.

striped-core

The pretty insects are joined by a host of other animals too. Visit the animal paddock to see meerkats, otters and farmyard animals, as well as reptiles and invertebrates. Opportunities to feed the animals throughout the day are available with an all-day ticket.

An array of hand-crafted gifts are on sale in the craft village and workshops are available so you can get hands-on with card making, nail art, quilting and making your own sweets!

Jungle Parc

If you are enjoying your a luxury family cottage holiday in Wiltshire with your children, why not take them to Jungle Parc for a day full of fun and excitement? Set in the grounds of Lydiard Park near Swindon, the adventure course has been designed specifically for children and offers over 50 different activities, as well as instruction from expert tree climbers.

Adults won’t have to miss out on the fun either, with the Xplorer Course also offering 50 daring activities that are sure to get the adrenaline pumping.

As Jungle Parc is set in the beautiful parkland of Lydiard House, there’s also plenty to do if a day of activities isn’t really your thing! So bring the whole family along as there really is something for everyone.