12 Places To Visit Around The Area To Enjoy The Great Outdoors

Pick up a hamper and enjoy a leisurely day outside in the beautiful countryside. Peaceful open spaces, woodland walks and perfect picnic spots, we’ve chosen some of our favourite spots around the area to enjoy the great outdoors. 

1. Longleat House & Gardens

Longleat House is nestled in the heart of 900 acres of landscaped parkland designed by Capability Brown between 1757 and 1762. Brown not only established rolling lawns, dotted with trees and lakes, he also created the gorgeous Pleasure Walk (an arboretum to the south west of the house), and a new walled kitchen garden. Though Longleat may be best known for its Capability Brown landscape, it also has rich tradition of more formal gardens. George London transformed and extended the 14 acre orchard to the east of the house into an impressive Baroque style garden, filled with canals, parterres, statues and fountains. There’s also the Secret Garden designed by Russell Page, and some of the newer additions like the Sun Maze and Lunar Labyrinth.

2. Stonehenge 

Explore this impressive and unique prehistoric monument and World Heritage Site in Wiltshire. Take a stroll around the stone circle and soak up the atmosphere, visit the world-class exhibition and visitor centre to discover how the Stonehenge builders worked, and walk amongst the Neolithic houses to experience how they lived. The stone circle has a history spanning 4,500 years and it’s an incredible sight to see!

3. Avebury

Avebury, a World Heritage Site, is the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle with pretty Avebury Village situated in the centre. The Alexander Keiller Museum reveals the story of this ancient landscape and displays archaeological treasures from across the site. Avebury Manor, on the edge of the village, is also worth a visit. The National Trust and BBC have created a hands-on experience that celebrates and reflects the lives of the people who once lived there.

4. Stourhead House and Garden

A breathtaking 18th-century landscape garden, picturesque lakeside walks, Palladian house, and wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, Stourhead Gardens on the Wiltshire-Somerset border is the perfect day out for everyone. The landscape garden and car park at Stourhead are open. You’ll need to book your tickets by 3pm the day before your visit.

5. Prior Park

Take a picnic on a sunny day and enjoy magnificent views of Bath at the 28-acre Prior Park Landscape Garden. The 18th-century National Trust landscaped garden, with a series of lakes and a beautiful Palladian bridge, is set in a stunning sweeping valley. Don’t forget to book tickets before your arrival! 

6. Westonbirt Arboretum 

Home to 15,000 tree specimens and 5 national tree collections from the far corners of the globe, Westonbirt is the perfect place for you to escape, relax, or enjoy a romantic walk in beautiful surroundings. The 600 acre Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and is well known internationally for its spectacular autumn colour display, but offers an unforgettable day out all year round. 

7. Corsham Court

Corsham Court, situated in the town of Corsham (9 miles from Burghope Cottage), is one of England’s finest stately homes. The formal gardens and parkland landscaped by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton features a 13-acre lake, ornamental arch and woodland. Take a picnic and spend a few hours here on a warm day to make the most of the area. Don’t forget to look out for the resident peacocks parading in the gardens and town!

8. Dyrham Park

Nestled in an ancient deer park at one end of the Cotswold Ridge, Dyrham Park was built in two stages between 1692 and 1704 for King William III’s Secretary of State, William Blathwayt. The house is surrounded by extensive grounds managed by the National Trust, and the formal gardens have been rejuvenated in recent years including a Winter Garden along side a small lake, perfect for visiting in the colder months.

9. Glastonbury Tor

National Trust’s Glastonbury Tor is a prominent and iconic hill overlooking the Isle of Avalon, Glastonbury and Somerset. It has been a spiritual magnet for centuries, for Pagans and Christians. Walk up to the top to find the partial ruins of a church and admire the incredible views of the surrounding countryside. 

10. Cheddar Gorge and Caves

At almost 400ft deep and 3 miles long, this is England’s largest gorge and is one of the most spectacular natural sights. The world-famous site is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Take a stroll along the clifftop, or scale the rock face for a more extreme adventure. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, geology, or simply want to see breathtaking views, you’ll find so much to do at Cheddar Gorge and Caves. 

11. Lacock Abbey and Village

Explore the medieval market village of Lacock, with its superb architecture and houses dating back over 800 years, and see beautiful views of Lacock Abbey as you follow the banks of the River Avon. The car park, abbey grounds and Stables Café are now open, just remember to book tickets before you visit. 

12. Farleigh Hungerford Castle

The remains of Farleigh Hungerford Castle stand in the beautiful valley of the river Frome, just 9 miles from Bath. The castle was occupied for 300 years by the Hungerford family and today their intriguing stories are told through a free audio tour. Farleigh Hungerford Castle has so much for visitors to enjoy – providing a great day out for walkers enjoying the surrounding countryside. 

Get outdoors and explore the best that Wiltshire and the surrounding area has to offer. These 12 picture-perfect locations are incredible places to visit to enjoy some fresh air during your getaway!  

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