Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2013

Historical high points
The only city in Wiltshire has an incredible heritage. In 1069, William the Conqueror built a wooden castle at Salisbury Hill, overlooking a small settlement with a mint and a market. In 1220, building work started on Salisbury Cathedral, a key part of our country’s history too. Its construction was masterminded by William Elias of Dereham, one of the key negotiators of the Magna Carta. You can find one of the finest preserved copies of the 1215 charter inside the gothic cathedral, as well as 332 steps up Britain’s tallest spire. After your tour of the building, take a trip to Salisbury Museum. The atmospheric Grade I-listed, 13th-century building houses a fine collection of prehistoric and medieval artefacts.

The construction of Salisbury Cathedral was masterminded by William Elias of Dereham, one of the key negotiators of the Magna Carta. Photograph: Greg Funnell for the Guardia

The construction of Salisbury Cathedral was masterminded by William Elias of Dereham, one of the key negotiators of the Magna Carta. Photograph: Greg Funnell for the Guardian

Ancient and mystical monuments
Just beyond the compact city lies a magical prehistoric landscape. Explore it with the experts, Spire Travel, who offer luxury one-day tours. You’ll take in the Unesco world heritage site Avebury and Stonehenge, which was completed 3,500 years ago and is thought to have been a temple for worshipping the sun and the moon. The megalithic henge and stone circles, looked after by English Heritage, are considered to be the most important prehistoric earthworks in Europe. For an unforgettable experience, snap up limited camping places for the summer or winter solstice.

Green and pleasant land
The ancient sites are surrounded by glorious Wiltshire countryside. Hudson’s Field, situated below the remains of the iron age hillfort Old Sarum, is ideal for walkers and kite-flyers. Further into the city, you can cycle or walk around the water meadows and river banks that captivated English Romantic painter John Constable from his first visit in 1811. There are three main parks to stroll through, as well as several open spaces. Alternatively, go on a romantic adventure through the area by VW campervan: Stonehenge Campervans have three to hire.

Cultural corners
There’s a thriving arts scene in Salisbury and a strong theatre tradition that helped to launch the careers of household names such as Prunella Scales and Kenneth Williams. The Salisbury Playhouse is the south-west’s leading producing theatre, while one of this year’s cultural highlights will be the Salisbury international arts festival (24 May to 8 June). One high point is King Lear, which will be performed at 14th-century Old Wardour Castle in Tisbury, a historic village 13 miles from the city and the site of a bronze age settlement. Refresh en route in the local tearooms and bookshop, Beatons; they have 25 varieties of loose tea.

Shop, drink, then drop
Thanks to its annual fair, Salisbury has been a shopping destination since 1075. Two current gems are the art and design studios at Fisherton Mill and the Cambridge Wine Merchants. As the city has been awarded a Purple Flag for the quality of its nightlife, head to The Chapel or The Cathedral Hotel for a cocktail before checking into your hotel. Luxury city-centre accommodation includes the Grade II-listed Milford Hall. Or try a more rural experience at Shepherds Hut at Marshwood Farm, Dinton, close to the city (pictured left).

Getting there

Salisbury is well connected to the majority of the UK, by road via the A30 and M3, and by the city’s train station.

From London: 90 minutes by road, and one hour and 20 minutes on the train from Waterloo. Prices from £34.70
From Bristol: one hour and 10 minutes. Prices from £4 
From Birmingham: two hours and 50 minutes. Prices from £28.50
London Tour Operators: Stonehenge Tours | Best Value Tours

Full article in the Guardian today: http://www.guardian.co.uk
Great for Wiltshire Tourism!

Wessex Guided Tours
Mystical Landcape, Magical Tours

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Avebury and Stonehenge: Silbury’s new scars

View Sillbury Hill from West Kennet Long Barrow!

The Heritage Journal

Postcards to friends of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site

Silbury_Scar_sml

Every year hundreds of people climb Silbury Hill, ignoring signs explaining why they should not. Until recently, all used an ancient spiral path that is conspicuously visible from the roadside, but after Silbury’s 2008 restoration at least half a dozen new routes appeared, each producing an ugly, vertical scar. Most climbers preferred the same ‘discrete’ route least visible from the road; after only a few years their collective boots formed steps, as they cut through the turf into bare soil. In this record year of rainfall that soil has eroded away, leaving a foot-deep scar. Those that climb assume that one individual cannot make any difference to a monument so vast – but there are people on the hill virtually every day of the year. Hundreds of individuals do make a difference, as this picture clearly shows: crossing the…

View original post 88 more words

Read Full Post »

With the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, equally remarkable Avebury and the mighty Iron Age hill fort of Old Sarum, there really is plenty for the whole family to enjoy on a day out in Wiltshire. Discover the secrets of this seemingly ‘sacred landscape’ or get away from it all and explore a romantic ruined castle.

Please note English Heritage have now switched to our winter opening hours, meaning that while many properties are open at weekends, there may be restricted access during the week. Please check opening times before travelling.

PLACES TO VISIT : WILTSHIRE (ENGLISH HERITAGE)

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Visit Stonehenge! Sun worship temple? Healing centre? Huge calendar? How did they carry the great stones so far and build this amazing structure using only basic tools?

Old Sarum

Old Sarum

Site of the original Salisbury, this mighty Iron Age hill fort was where the first cathedral once stood and the Romans, Normans and Saxons have all left their mark during 5000 years of history.

Old Wardour Castle

Old Wardour Castle

Set in landscaped grounds beside a lake in peaceful Wiltshire countryside, these 14th century ruins provide a relaxed, romantic day out for couples, families and budding historians alike.

Avebury

Avebury

With its huge circular bank and ditch and inner circle of great standing stones, covering an area of over 28 acres, Avebury forms one of the most impressive prehistoric sites in Britain

Hatfield Earthworks (Marden Henge)

Hatfield Earthworks (Marden Henge)

The earthworks of a Neolithic henge and monumental mound, by a loop in the River Avon. Recent archaeological find of building equivalent to a priest’s quarters.

Woodhenge

Woodhenge

Dating from about 2300 BC, markers now replace rings of timber posts, which once possibly supported a ring-shaped building. Discovered in 1925 when rings of dark spots were noticed in a crop of wheat.

 

Wessex Guided Tours
Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: