Located in quintessential southwestern England, Wiltshire is renowned for its expansive countryside and deeply-rooted history. It's the best of both worlds - offering peaceful rural living alongside the bustling market towns of Salisbury and Swindon.

This guide delves into the heart of this timeless county, providing practical information for prospective residents. We'll explore the county's rich history, iconic landmarks, vibrant cultural scene, superior schools, excellent transport links, and the property market to further aid in paint a whole picture of life in Wiltshire.

History of Wiltshire

Wiltshire's history spans thousands of years, where the earliest record of human habitation is from around 8800 BC. The county is famed for its ancient monuments, most notably Stonehenge and Avebury's stone circles, a testament to its Neolithic and Bronze Age past. In the Middle Ages, Wiltshire flourished due to its wool industry, with thriving markets established in its major towns. The county's industrial heritage continued in Swindon with the establishment of railway works in the 19th century, further promoting growth in the area.


Wiltshire is home to some of the UK's most prestigious landmarks. Standing proudly on the grassy Salisbury Plain is the world-renowned prehistoric monument, Stonehenge. The city of Salisbury features a magnificent 13th-century cathedral, boasting the tallest spire in the UK. Lastly, Stourhead, a stunning 18th-century estate with world-famous gardens, offers scenic vistas and serene walks.

Landmarks we love

  • Avebury Neolithic Henge and Stone Circles: Located in Avebury, this world's largest stone circle becomes a magnet for history enthusiasts and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its significant cultural value.
  • Longleat Safari Park: Nestled in Warminster, this is one of the UK's best-loved safari parks, hosting wild animals and offering unique experiences touring its scenic grounds.
  • Swindon Designer Outlet: Located in the heart of Swindon, shopaholics will enjoy large discounts in this sprawling outlet center housed in the old Great Western Railway works.
  • Lacock Village: Tucked away near Chippenham, this picturesque, preserved village is a favourite among film and TV producers.
  • Salisbury Museum: Located in Salisbury, the museum boasts a rich collection of artefacts linke to the area's fascinating history, including the Stonehenge.

Top 10 things to do in Wiltshire

  • Visit Stonehenge: Explore one of the world's most famous prehistoric landmarks, located on Salisbury Plain.
  • Explore Salisbury Cathedral: Step inside this breathtaking edifice for a closely look at its Gothic architecture and the Magna Carta.
  • Walk Around Stourhead Gardens: Wander around this iconic landscaped garden of the 18th-century mansion.
  • Shop at Swindon Designer Outlet: Spend a day browsing top-branded outlets with massively discounted goods.
  • Visit Lacock Village: Take a walking tour deep into British cinematic history.
  • Wander in Avebury: Explore the largest ancient stone circle in the world.
  • Go to Wilton House: Stroll in the beautiful gardens and tour the historic house where generations of Earls of Pembroke lived.
  • Tour Bowood House and Gardens: Visit the grand Georgian house and delight in its exceptional gardens and adventure playground.
  • Explore Longleat Safari Park: Enjoy a safari experience and engage in an animal discovery tour.
  • Visit Old Sarum: Witness a significant site of archaeological fascination, located two miles north of modern Salisbury.

Our recommended areas to live in Wiltshire

  • Salisbury: As the jewel in Wiltshire's crown, Salisbury is memorable for its historic city centre and majestic cathedral. With excellent schooling options, it's an ideal place to raise a family. The location offers a host of leisure activities and high-street shopping.
  • Swindon: Offering a perfect blend of urban convenience and countryside serenity, Swindon provides excellent transport links to other key UK cities. Home to a thriving arts scene and stunning parks, it attracts both families and young professionals.
  • Chippenham: Nestled on the banks of the River Avon, Chippenham is known for its bustling markets, beautiful Georgian houses, and exceptional schools. Its proximity to Bath and Bristol makes it a commuting hub.
  • Marlborough: This appealing market town boasts classic flint and brick homes, bustling high-street, and excels in providing top-tier secondary education facilities.
  • Trowbridge: As the county town of Wiltshire, Trowbridge offers affordable housing options, excellent schooling, and rich cultural heritage.

Best schools in Wiltshire

Wiltshire is home to some top-tier educational institutions. Scale extraordinary educational heights at renowned establishments like Marlborough College and Dauntsey’s School. The county’s primary schools, too, maintain an excellent record, with the likes of Ramsbury Primary and Bishop Wordsworth's Grammar for Boys earning "Outstanding" Ofsted ratings. Salisbury boasts strong secondary options like South Wilts Grammar School for Girls and the Bishop Wordsworth's School for boys. Swindon also offers high-class secondary education with Ridgeway School and Sixth Form College, and Royal Wootton Bassett Academy frequently gaining praise.

Transport links in Wiltshire

Wiltshire offers excellent road and rail connections. The M4 motorway cuts across the north of the county giving easy access to London, Bristol and South Wales. Major A roads connect other county towns ensuring decent state-wide links. In terms of rail, key lines include the Great Western Main Line and the Wessex Main Line providing regular service to London Paddington and London Waterloo respectively. The county also has access to airports like Bristol, Southampton, and Heathrow, making it an excellent base for international travellers.

In essence, Wiltshire offers a unique blend of a laid-back lifestyle with convenient modern amenities. Its rich historical heritage, verdant countryside, and elegant market towns make it an excellent choice for those seeking both tranquillity and vibrancy. Excellent educational institutions, convenient transport links, and an array of leisure activities add to the county's overall appeal. Top all this with the friendly spirit of its local communities, and Wiltshire makes an inviting destination where both families and professionals can find the lifestyle they are looking for.

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