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Ancient Stones & Treasures of Wiltshire

7 days From £1,395 per person
New Tour

Tour some of Britain’s most significant historic sites, from Salisbury’s medieval cathedral to Wiltshire’s great neolithic landmarks of Stonehenge and Avebury

2025 Tour code: WLS25

About the tour

Discover the ancient stones and monuments of Wiltshire, on a tour which takes in the breadth of British history, from prehistoric Stonehenge and Avebury to the many treasures of Salisbury, which span the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman periods.

Based in the cathedral city of Salisbury, surrounded by centuries of history, this holiday includes nostalgic trips on heritage railways into the rural landscapes of Somerset and Wiltshire.

Unforgettable Experiences

Entering the inner circle of Stonehenge on an exclusive sunset visit
Entering the inner circle of Stonehenge on an exclusive sunset visit
Standing for more than 5000 years, Stonehenge is the world’s most famous neolithic monument, built on the axis of the midsummer sunrise. On a private sunset visit, we walk freely among these incredible megaliths.
Viewing the 13th-century Magna Carta, on a private tour of Salisbury Cathedral
Viewing the 13th-century Magna Carta, on a private tour of Salisbury Cathedral
On a tour of Salisbury’s stunning Gothic cathedral, we see an original Magna Carta, the ‘great charter’ of 1215 – one of Britain’s most important written documents which defended the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.
Strolling among Avebury’s Stone Circles, and lunch at the famous Red Lion
Strolling among Avebury’s Stone Circles, and lunch at the famous Red Lion
After lunch in the thatched Red Lion pub, set in the middle of Avebury’s ancient stones, there’s a guided tour and talk on the Avebury stone circle complex, followed by time to explore the village, shops and National Trust museum.
Exploring the ruins and grounds of Old Wardour Castle
Exploring the ruins and grounds of Old Wardour Castle
On a visit to this ruined 14th-century castle, we find out about its fascinating origins. There’s time to roam the castle grounds, discover its quirky features and climb up the fortress tower.

What’s included


Day 1 - Meeting up in the historic city of Salisbury, Wiltshire

Your holiday begins in the cathedral city of Salisbury, a medieval market town, where the Tour Manager meets us at our Georgian hotel. The Mercure White Hart Salisbury is in the heart of the city, five minutes' walk from the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral.

After checking in to the hotel from mid-afternoon, there's time to get to know the city. Besides the cathedral, which we visit on Day 4, the parkland surrounding it (known as Cathedral Close) houses attractions such as the 18th-century Mompesson House, which featured in the 1995 film of Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility'.

In the city's timeless streets you'll find a marketplace, quirky shops, and a large independent art gallery, Fisherton Mill. Salisbury has lovely green spaces to wander through or relax in, from the parkland around its cathedral to the riverwalk along the banks of the River Avon.

This evening our group is welcomed with a glass of prosecco before our first 3-course dinner in the hotel restaurant.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Wiltshire museum, lunch at the Red Lion, Avebury and tour

This morning, we set off by coach for a guided tour of the prehistory galleries at Wiltshire Museum, which contain the largest collection of Early Bronze Age gold on public display in England, and much more. Discover more about Stonehenge, the county's most famous landmark, before handling some real artefacts and then looking around the rest of the museum independently.

Our journey into ancient Britain continues as we drive to the World Heritage site of Avebury, the world's largest stone circle. Our first stop is for lunch at the famous 'Red Lion' - a traditional pub situated in the centre of Avebury's stones - before a guided tour and a talk.

There's free time after our tour, to explore Avebury's National Trust museum or to browse the town's mystical shops. Or you could wander down West Kennet Avenue which connects Avebury Henge with a site known as The Sanctuary. From here you can make out the prehistoric chalk mound of Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow. The coach takes us back to our hotel at the end of the day, with plenty of time before dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Salisbury Cathedral and private Stonehenge experience

Today we enjoy two highlights of our holiday, starting with a private guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral. Featuring impressive Gothic architecture, exquisite stonemasonry and Britain's tallest spire, the cathedral also houses an original Magna Carta from 1215 - one of the world's most important written documents. Afterwards, there's time to explore at your own pace, or the chance to join a private tour of the stonemasonry yard.

From here, we have a few hours at leisure before an early dinner, ahead of our special visit to the neolithic site of Stonehenge. It's a short drive to the famous World Heritage site on Salisbury Plain. Arriving just before sunset*, we have private access to the museum where guides are on hand. We are then transported right into this remarkable prehistoric site, entering the inner stone circle of Stonehenge which is usually roped off to visitors. During this once-in-a-lifetime experience, we are free to walk among these mystical 5,000-year-old stones, feel the history and wonder at their significance.

At the end of this extraordinary evening the coach takes us back to our hotel.

*On some departure dates we will visit Stonehenge at sunrise instead of sunset.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Full day at leisure to uncover more of Salisbury’s treasures

With a free day ahead, you could continue exploring at your own pace. Just outside the cathedral, the Salisbury Museum houses impressive collections, from local archaeology and natural history to art. Among other fascinating artefacts, you can view stunning gold items from the Iron Age and Roman period. Other curiosities include the skeleton of the Amesbury Archer, found near Stonehenge, the scale model of a coal-fired engine which once ran along a track in the cathedral grounds, and artefacts from Old Wardour Castle.

Another place to visit is Old Sarum, two miles north of the town, where you can walk on the ramparts of this iron-age hill fort for views across the Wiltshire plains. The site of Salisbury's earliest settlement, the Norman motte and bailey castle was built by William the Conqueror, and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was imprisoned here.

Salisbury has a great choice of eateries, with traditional pubs, steakhouses, and restaurants offering everything, from French to Mexican food.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - A heritage train ride on Swindon & Cricklade Railway, a visit to the STEAM museum

After breakfast we set out by coach to Blunsdon station where, after time to look around the railway museum, we board a heritage steam train* for a round trip on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway into lovely Wiltshire countryside. On our return, there's time to find lunch independently at the station's Whistle Stop Café before we head to Swindon to visit STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway.

Following an hour-long guided tour we are free to look around the iconic locomotives, wander along the station platform, try out the interactive features in the museum - such as the train driver and signal box simulator - or hear some of the stories of people who worked at Great Western Railway.

At the end of the afternoon we transfer back to the hotel for dinner.

*Trains are steam-hauled where possible, however due to timetable changes or weather conditions, heritage diesel locomotives may be running instead.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Exploring Old Wardour Castle, then a trip on the East Somerset Railway

Today we visit Old Wardour Castle, to look around and discover its fascinating history and stonework. Built in the 14th-century as a luxury residence and fortress, after surviving two dramatic sieges the castle was eventually destroyed with dynamite by its owner during the English Civil War.

We are free to explore independently and you could roam the castle, climb the steps to the east tower, or maybe walk down to the lake and discover the fairy grotto in the grounds.

From the castle, we transfer by coach to Cranmore Station for a 5-mile round trip on the East Somerset Railway*. But first there's time find lunch independently at the heritage railway station Whistle Stop café. We climb aboard the heritage steam train for a relaxing ride into the rural countryside around Shepton Mallet. On our return we are free to explore the museum, miniature railway and access the engine sheds. Later, we drive back to the hotel, with time to relax or revisit Salisbury before our final dinner.

*Trains are steam-hauled where possible, however due to timetable changes or weather conditions, heritage diesel locomotives may be running instead.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Homeward bound

This morning our holiday in Wiltshire draws to a close. After breakfast, you are free to check out of the hotel and set off home, or could continue to explore the historic county of Wilshire on your own. Wherever you head to next, the memories of these iconic World Heritage sites are sure to remain.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Mercure White Hart Hotel, Salisbury

Mercure White Hart Hotel, Salisbury

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East Somerset Railway
Swindon and Cricklade Railway

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