Unique Experiences in Wiltshire

Unique Experiences in Wiltshire

Ensconced in mesmerising natural beauty and rich in history, the county of Wiltshire in South West England is awash with intrigue. The home of the mysterious standing stones of Avebury and Stonehenge, and of enigmatic white horses etched into rolling downs, it beckons the romantics, the dreamers and the explorers alike for magical escapes.

If you would like to lose yourself in Wiltshire’s winsome appeal and discover some of the unique experiences waiting to be had, explore our guide to amazing things to do in the county. From exotic safari tours in the heart of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to private flights over the country’s most famous historic sites, there are many wonderful things to look forward to.

Enjoy VIP Safaris at Longleat

A VIP safari tour at Longleat with a lion and lioness basking in the sunshine

Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire is one of the most famous attractions in the UK, being the first safari park to open in the world outside of Africa. The star of the long-established TV show, Animal Park, it has been running since 1966 and is home to over 120 different species of animals. A natural magnet for families and wilderness lovers, a trip to Longleat makes for a truly memorable experience during a luxury retreat in Wiltshire. That said, making moments even more special are the park’s VIP safaris, which provide an unparalleled introduction to this famous wilderness sanctuary. With a range of exclusive tours and experiences available, you can seize once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet and feed resident animals, gain behind-the-scenes insights and see inside Longleat House with its intriguing curios and collections.

Relax at Bowood Estate Spa

The glass-fronted welcome lounge and pool of Bowood Estate Spa in Wiltshire

There’s nothing more relaxing than a spa day to leave you feeling refreshed and revived. For a uniquely soothing experience in Wiltshire, make your way to Bowood Estate Spa. Set within a four thousand acre estate in Calne, this idyllic spot boasts a gorgeous lakeside setting and rolling views over pastoral countryside. Offering award-winning spa days with a range of signature treatments and facilities, it beckons for leisurely hours of pampering. Choose from your favourite treatments delivered with the finest products by experienced therapists and look forward to the finest quality service. From bespoke facials to deep tissue massages to dreamy mani-pedis, each holistic experience is designed to restore and rejuvenate mind and body. The fabulous facilities also include an indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam room, rock sauna and aromatherapy showers.

Try a Downton Distillery Tour

A row of stylish gin bottles at Downton Distillery in Wiltshire

Situated on the banks of the River Avon, the historic village of Downton is renowned for its rich history that can be traced all the way back to Neolithic times. Today, the ancient village is still home to many historic houses, including the former home of Sir Walter Raleigh, which, in more recent years, was used to found the esteemed Downton Distillery. Now found within the Domaine Hugo Vineyard overlooking the Wiltshire Downs and Avon Valley in Downton, the Downton Distillery proposes a unique experience in Wiltshire, hosting an array of distillery tours and events led by owner and founder, Hugh Anderson. Discussing the fascinating heritage of the village and surrounding area, including its famous inhabitants, and talking about the processes used to make its award-winning spirits, the distillery’s tours make for unmissable activities. Of course, the chance to sample the distillery’s premium range is hard to pass up, too.

Fly Over Stonehenge

An aerial view of Stonehenge in Wiltshire

Stonehenge is one of the most famous, and most curious, historic sites in Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the five thousand year old attraction is older than the Great Pyramids and the Roman Empire and reveals both Neolithic and Bronze Age activity. Composed of a series of towering stones, it is considered to be “the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world” by UNESCO, yet its exact origins and purpose remain unclear. If you would like to see Stonehenge for yourself and form your own theories as to its veiled past, then there’s no better way to do so than with a helicopter tour. Flying over Stonehenge, these bespoke flights can also be arranged to pass over other local highlights including Avebury, Salisbury Cathedral, and the mysterious Wiltshire crop circles.

Take Part in Devizes Confetti Battle

A flurry of biodegradable confetti at Devizes Confetti Battle in Wiltshire

If you are looking for a truly unique, fun-filled, and photo-worthy experience in Wiltshire, then Devizes Confetti Battle may well pique your interest. Taking place annually each August, this family-friendly event is held in the picture-perfect market town of Devizes and has roots dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century. The only event of its kind to take place in the UK, it celebrates the start of a two-week carnival within the town and sometimes coincides with a colour rush run, transforming the town’s streets and marketplace into a kaleidoscope of colour. For a day to remember, confetti can be purchased around Devizes Market Place on the day of the festival. And, making sure the environment is protected in the process, all confetti is made from safe, biodegradable corn starch.

See the White Horses

A view of one of Wiltshire's stunning white horses carved into the county's chalk hillsides

The county of Wiltshire is well-known for its verdant countryside, decorated with flowing fields and tangled woodland. Making its ambrosial scenes even more captivating are its collection of white horses. Giant hill carvings engraved into the chalk downs of central Wiltshire, these horses date back hundreds of years and are among the most famous in the UK. Among the eight or so carvings you can still see in Wiltshire, the oldest resides on the sunny slopes of Westbury Hill and is believed to date back to 1778. Seen from various viewpoints and winding footpaths around Wiltshire, these historic masterpieces all vary in size and style and are a true sight to behold. To add an extra touch of magic to your sumptuous sojourn, take a leisurely tour of Wiltshire's White Horses, seeing how many you can spot during your retreat. 

Savour Fireside Feasts with the Field Kitchen

The outside seating area and manicured grounds of Wild Herb at the Field Kitchen in Wiltshire at sunset

Making the most of its fruitful natural larder, Wiltshire is well-known for its great restaurants that lure with mouth-watering repasts. Among the county’s culinary highlights, Wild Herb at the Field Kitchen hosts delicious fire and feast nights throughout the year that make for deliciously appetising experiences. Painting the picture with a lakeside aspect and backdrop of green fields, its setting is tranquil, while its ambience is warm and welcoming for all. To savour the finest tastes and look forward to an unmissable menu of events during your Wiltshire escape, keep an eye on upcoming feast nights. All events, organised by Glove Factory Studios, promise the finest flavours crafted by talented local chefs.

Take a Tower Tour at Salisbury Cathedral

A beautiful view of the outside corridors, archways and spire of Salisbury Cathedral in the sunshine

There are lots of reasons to visit Salisbury, among which is the chance to see the oh-so impressive Salisbury Cathedral. One of the top things to do in the town, this stunning cathedral is eight hundred years old and draped in social, spiritual, and cultural history. Featuring the world’s oldest clock, Britain’s tallest cathedral spire and largest cathedral close, and home to the best-preserved original copy of the Magna Carta in existence, its history-rich archives and architectural masterpieces are enough to merit a visit alone. Adding even more incentive, Tower Tours at Salisbury Cathedral provide an unrivalled insight into the hidden spaces of the cathedral, as well as the opportunity to climb the 332 steps to the base of the cathedral spire and marvel at uninterrupted views over the city and surrounds. 

Experience Bird of Prey Days at Forest Falconry

Beautiful Lady Grey, one of the resident owls at Wiltshire's Forest Falconry

Based on the border between Hampshire and Wiltshire, Forest Falconry is the setting for a fascinating day of discovery. Set on the edge of the New Forest National Park, it uses the sanctuary of ancient woodland to run a peaceful falconry centre for regal birds of prey. A particularly sought-after choice for those looking for an immersive experience in Wiltshire, the centre hosts full and half-day falconry experiences where visitors are introduced to some of the sanctuary’s resident birds. From meet and greets to flying and hunting demonstrations to the chance to handle birds, each experience is filled with wonder and awe. Amongst the feathered members of the sanctuary, you can expect to meet beautiful barn owls, tawny owls, falcons and more.

Attend Unique Events at Stourhead

One of the beautiful lakeside temples within Stourhead's grounds on a blue sky day in Wiltshire

Located within a 2,560 acre countryside estate on the Somerset and Wiltshire border is the National Trust-run Stourhead. Tucked at the head of the River Stour, its sprawling dog-friendly grounds are woven with eighteenth century gardens, ornamental borders, lakeside trails, Iron Age hillforts, classical temples and much more - at the centre of which lies a grand Palladian mansion with an extensive art collection. With so much to see and do, every visit to Stourhead provides a unique experience in Wiltshire. For spellbinding moments, you can add even more enchantment by attending one of the captivating events hosted there each year too. From open-air theatre to guided estate walks to after-dark illuminated trails, these family-friendly activities promise plenty to look forward to, surrounded by award-winning landscapes.

Feeling inspired to plan your fairytale escape to Wiltshire? Take a look at our luxury cottage collection.

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