Wiltshire Wandering: 10 places to visit in and around Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a historic county located in the South West of England, and despite living in a neighbouring county, it is one we often forget when planning days out with the kids. But from exciting animals to bucket loads of heritage, there are plenty of reasons for families of all ages to plan a visit to Wiltshire.
Visit Longleat Safari and Adventure ParkOne of Wiltshire’s largest family attractions is Longleat, home to the UK's original safari park. Will you brave driving through the monkey enclosure? They are notorious for removing parts of your car - we lost our windscreen wiper to one once!
The safari is a brilliant way of getting up close and personal to animals you would only ever see if you went on safari and they boast some impressive species including, rhino, lions, tigers and wolves to see along the way. Away from the safari, you can explore the stately home, enjoy a jungle cruise with sea lions to see them racing along the side of the boat, get up close to some creepy crawlies or feed the penguins.
See over 260 different species at Cotswold Wildlife Park and GardensAnother firm favourite with my family is Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. It's one of the largest privately owned zoological collections in the UK and has over 260 different species of animals. The first ones we saw on our visit were the fascinating Emus, who stalked us around their enclosure!
Set in 160 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens, the park has a diverse and fascinating range of animals, beautiful grounds to explore, a large well-equipped play area and a narrow gauge railway which runs around the entire site. Plenty to fill a whole day with fun.
Don't miss StonehengeNo visit to Wiltshire would be without visiting Stonehenge, where you can walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors and see the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. The facilities have been brought right up to date and the world-class exhibition and visitor centre is fascinating, with 250 ancient objects and the opportunity to come face to face with a 5,500-year-old man.
Hear the story of Salisbury at Old SarumDiscover the story of the original Salisbury and take the family for a day out to Old Sarum, 2 miles north of where the city stands now. The mighty Iron Age hill fort was where the first cathedral once stood and the Romans, Normans and Saxons have all left their mark. Look out for their event days for even more historical fun.
Visit Salisbury CathedralSalisbury Cathedral is a cathedral church with Britain's tallest spire and is home to Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta, which is the best preserved of only four surviving original exemplars.
Learn all about its history where it is displayed in their magnificent 13th century Chapter House at the heart of a permanent, interactive exhibition.
Float like a butterfly at Studley Grange Butterly Park and FarmStudley Grange Butterfly Park and Farm has animals and insects of all shapes and sizes to see and meet. Watch in fascination as butterflies from their cocoon and flit around the flowers and then head off to meet the meerkats, otters, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits and the other farmyard animals.
Once you have finished meeting the animals, the kids can enjoy soft play whilst you explore the craft village.
See fallow deer at Dyrham ParkDyrham Park is home to an ancient deer park where you can see the fallow deer throughout the seasons from fawning season in the summer, through the autumn rut to deer feeding in the winter.
It is looked after by the National Trust who run family-friendly events throughout the year, so be sure to check before your visit!
Make tracks to STEAM - Museum of the GWRSTEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II listed railway building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works and features fantastic historic and interactive displays exploring the history of Swindon and the Great Western Railway.
Bounce around at Freedog Trampoline ParkFreedog Trampoline Park, in Swindon, is the perfect place to visit on a rainy day. With trampolines aplenty, you can get your fix of bouncing fun, but for more adventurous children they can visit the Urban Skills Hub, which has a free running area, sprung floor and incredible climbing and bouldering walls.
Visit Coate Water Country ParkCoate Water Country Park is one of Swindon's most popular and picturesque pleasure parks and nature reserves.
There is plenty of space for the kids to run around or feed the ducks or you can try your hand at pitch and putt or go for a ride on the model railway.
Looking for even more day out ideas in Wiltshire?
Children's Farms in Wiltshire | Petting Zoos in Wiltshire | Swimming Pools and Leisure Centres in Wiltshire | Parks and Playgrounds in Wiltshire | Go Karting in Wiltshire | Horse Riding and Stables in Wiltshire | Laser Tag in Wiltshire | Indoor and Soft Play Areas in Wiltshire | Museums and Art Galleries in Wiltshire | Tourist Attractions in Wiltshire | Tours of Wiltshire | Stately Homes and Gardens in Wiltshire | Railway and Transport Attractions in Wiltshire