There is a wealth of Free things to do and Places to see in Wiltshire, all within easy reach of Coachmans Cottage in Steeple Ashton. It is very welcome to give the wallet a rest occasionally. Read on to see more, all information is correct at the time of posting the blog but please do check that there have been no changes before you visit.
Avebury Stone Circle
The impressive circle of stones in the village of Avebury is just as spectacular as the more famous Stonehenge. Walk around the huge circle which encompasses the entire village for free, also visit nearby West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill both of which are thought to be Neolithic burial chambers. Avebury Manor, as featured on TV is open to the public but there is an admission charge for visiting this.
Stroll around the pretty National Trust village of Lacock
Step back in time in the beautiful National Trust village of Lacock, the fascinating cobbled streets are delightful and there is a range of traditional shops including the famous Lacock Bakery. Other highlights include Lacock Abbey with the Fox Talbot Museum. Visiting the village is free, although admission charges apply for the Abbey and Museum. Lacock is regularly used and famed for being a location for numerous films and TV dramas including Cranford and Harry Potter. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock
The visitor centre at Wadworth Brewery
Wadworth Brewery in Devizes is Wiltshire’s main brewery with a history of producing fine ales dating back 125 years. The award winning visitor centre offers an insight into the brewery and an opportunity to sample the ale. Visitors can meet the Shire Horses which still deliver the beers in the old fashioned way, they too enjoy an annual summer holiday in August! Chargeable guided tours are also available. https://www.wadworth.co.uk/more/brewery-tours/
Drive past the county’s White Horses
Wiltshire is famous for its white horses of which eight are clearly visible. The horses are dotted around the county’s hillsides. A special “White Horse Trail” encourages visitors to enjoy long distance walking between the horses. The route has been broken down into a series of day walks. Detailed, annotated and downloadable maps here.
More Free Things to do and Places to see in Wiltshire
The Kennet & Avon canal and the famous flight of Caen Hill Locks
In 2010 the Kennet & Avon Canal celebrated its bicentenary. The canal, which is Wiltshire’s main waterway, offers great days out. Walk or cycle miles of towpath. Boats can be hired for the day but charges apply. The most spectacular section of the canal is that at Caen Hill near Devizes where a compact flight of 16 locks form part of the 29 locks which raise the canal 237 feet in just two miles. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/caen-hill-locks#directions
Located within a former mill, the history of Trowbridge, its people and cloth making are all told via displays of over 14,000 items at Trowbridge Museum. Possibly one of the foremost wool trade museums in the country.
Woodhenge and Durrington Walls
Not far from Stonehenge are the sites of Woodhenge and Durrington Walls. Woodhenge is approximately the same size as Stonehenge and is a Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age monument made up of a series of concentric circles of wooden poles. The original poles no longer remain but markers are placed in the excavated post holes for visitors to envisage how it would have looked. A little further north is Durrington Walls, a massive circular earthwork or “henge”. Despite having been damaged by ploughing and roads the tall banks are still visible. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/#?Place=Woodhenge
Yet More Free Things to do and Places to see in Wiltshire
Culture at Fisherton Mill
Fisherton Mill is the south of England’s largest gallery, located in the centre of Salisbury, where visitors can see works from leading artists, furniture makers and sculptors, and the gallery shop stocks an array of unusual work. An on sight cafe sells freshly prepared cakes, food and coffees. Special theatre and dining events are held regularly and details can be found on the website. http://www.fishertonmill.co.uk
The National Trust at Heelis
The central office of the National Trust in Swindon offers visitors an insight into unique English heritage sites. Tours of the building take place on Friday lunchtimes. A shop and cafe are open daily. Check the website for details. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/heelis
The Science Museum Library and Archives
Swindon’s Science Museum Library and Archives are part of the main Science Museum in London, housing internationally important books and journals on the history and development of science, technology, engineering and medicine. Amongst the most famous items in the collection are pieces from Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. Admission is free but by appointment only. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/about-us/collections-and-research/activities-and-projects/dana-centre/wroughton-library
Here are just a few examples of Free Things to do and Places to see in Wiltshire that will not empty the wallet too quickly, we all like a bargain! All information is correct at the time of writing this blog but please do check details to ensure that any of the places that may interest you remain free.