by Kelly Barnett,
A small county with a big history, dating from around 552 AD, Wiltshire boasts two World Heritage Sites, the most famous of which is Stonehenge, which is also one of England’s most world renowned historic sites. Despite study by some of the greatest academics using some of the most advanced technology, it remains one of the worlds great unsolved mysteries.
Its other World Heritage Site, Avebury, captures an intricate set of prehistoric sites and monuments into one unique landscape. The Wiltshire city of Salisbury dates from 1220 and sits on the edge of Salisbury Plain in the south east of the county. In the Domesday Book, it is referred to as “Salesberie.” Historic evidence shows that the site was originally a Neolithic settlement. The much visited Cathedral dates from 1120.
Wiltshire’s Prehistoric History
Having marveled at the sight of Stonehenge, if you want more mysterious circles – make your way to Avebury with its Neolithic stones that add an interesting feature to your drive as the road runs between the stones themselves!
While the 180 Avebury Stones are certainly the most noticeable link to prehistoric times, the area is littered with Neolithic mounds, and monuments. The village is worth stopping at and the local pub, The Red Lion has good food and an interesting array of beers and spirits. It’s haunted! Not to be outdone by other counties, Wiltshire has ghosts aplenty!
Wiltshire’s Unique Landscape
Take time to find the White Horses. With much of the county being chalk; it makes an ideal canvass for carvings. Within the county boundaries, there are known to have been thirteen of these fascinating carvings. Sadly, only eight of them are still visible. The oldest of Wiltshire’s White Horses is at Uffington, which is another of the county’s prehistoric landmarks. Others are more recent, but nonetheless, make a majestic site on the hillsides of this beautiful area.
World Famous Crop Circles of Wiltshire
Every year, the county attracts media and visitors to see the mysterious crop circles that appear across its landscape so regularly that the locals hardly notice them any more. Although crop circles appear around the world, Wiltshire remains world famous as one of the first areas to report such unusual occurrences. Its crop circles attract academics from around the world to study these bizarre shapes. Many local landowners allow visitors to explore circles appearing on their land and tourists will find this a unique holiday adventure.