micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

UK Tourist & Leisure Attractions - Wiltshire

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Wiltshire Holiday June 2012 - page 2

We took a walk in the lovely Wiltshire countryside from our holiday cottage at Downton and headed to Rockbourne and the Roman Villa, stopping off at the mysterious Mizmaze on the way.  Then we visited Breamore House with its fascinating heritage Countryside Museum followed by the early settlement and Norman fortress at Old Sarum.
This is page one of three.
Wiltshire 1 | Wiltshire 2 | Wiltshire 3 (New Forest)
 

View of the Wiltshire countryside from the holiday cottage
Here's the lovely view of the rolling Wiltshire hills from our Downton self-catering cottage as we set out for our regular holiday ramble, in a car-free day.  We try to get at least one in to do our bit for green tourism and enjoy the countryside.  Now, summer 2012 will doubtless be remembered for all the relentless rain, so it was unsurprising to encounter...

Large muddy puddle in Wiltshire
...huge muddy puddles to negotiate along the way!

Breamore Down in Wiltshire
Our trek took us by Breamore Down where we found a few geocaches along the way using a new mobile app we installed.  Mike was armed with all his other gadgets too - cameras, navigation - although he could travel light as he has all this on the smartphone... oh well, boys and their toys!

The mystic Mizmaze in Wiltshire
The Mizmaze is a turf labyrinth and one of those quirky English ground feature of unknown purpose.  Apparently it's used by witches and is a sacred place for Pagans.  Visitors have reported having very strange feelings at the Mizmaze, however the only one we got was of hunger, so we carried on to...

Rockbourne village
...Rockbourne, and the pub, where we enjoyed a splendid liquid lunch.  Rockbourne's a pleasant and tranquil little Wiltshire village with many thatched buildings and a Roman villa to the south.

Walking near Whitsbury in Wiltshire
This is actually on the return leg and just as we entered Whitsbury.  It's definitely horsey country in this part of Wiltshire!  As you can see, the sun was (mainly) out today - no mean feat on our holiday week!

Rockbourne Roman Villa visitor info boards
The Roman villa at Rockbourne was discovered in 1942 and early excavations revealed a mosaic floor.  Outside we wandered through the villa remains after viewing artefacts in the fascinating small museum.

The Roman underfloor heating system at the villa
Those Romans certainly knew a thing or two - this shows part of the underfloor heating system, called a hypocaust.  Although much has been covered, still visible at Rockbourne Roman Villa are...

Studying the mosaics at Rockbourne Roman Villa
...two mosaics, the bath house and the outline of the 40 rooms which were revealed during excavations that started in 1956 and continued for 20 years.  The villa was occupied for over 350 years.  Rockbourne Roman Villa entry was 3.20 but we used a 2 for 1 voucher downloaded from Visit Wiltshire - see our tourist resources where you'll also find more on other Wiltshire attractions we visited.

Rockbourne Roman Villa: mosaics
The mosaics were relayed in 1982.

Breamore House entrance
Next day it was down to Breamore to visit Breamore House for a guided tour of this fine old 16th century Manor House and to view some very fine...

Breamore House with Aston Martin in foreground
...Aston Martin cars.  However, the car rally had been cancelled and only these two turned up!  And we found the house tour pretty dull and uninspiring.

Vintage garage in Breamore Countryside Museum
But the saviour of the day was a wander round the heritage Breamore Countryside Museum through its wonderful collection of relics from village and farm life in past times such as this garage and...

Breamore Countryside Museum: shop replica
...this village shop replica.  Through the window were arrangements of various products from a bygone era, all carefully displayed.  We just love heritage museums and have visited a fair few during our travels.

Village school room at Breamore Countryside Museum
The vintage school room at Breamore Countryside Museum was rather absorbing with its old desks complete with ink wells, blackboard, olde worlde maps and pictures on the wall, books, and what looked like a learning-to-count frame with beads that moved along!

Breamore Countryside Museum: inside farm worker's cottage
This engrossing display depicted living in a typical farm worker's cottage complete with old-time furniture, crockery, a clock, sewing machine and topped off with drying clothes in front of a coal fire.  The adjoining kitchen was equally gripping.

Farm machinery in the Countryside Museum at Breamore
We moved on to the farm machinery part of the Countryside Museum at Breamore and Mike was in his element among the old tractors and ploughing equipment.  Belinda, meanwhile, drolled over the cider presses while we both admired this...

Burrell Traction Engine at Breamore Countryside Museum
...fine 1926 Burrell Traction Engine, a Fred Dibnah moment indeed!  Also to see at Breamore is the Saxon Church of St Mary.  Breamore is near Fordingbridge in Hampshire and adult entry cost 8 for the house and museum at the time of our visit.

Old Sarum entrance in Wiltshire
We certainly got in some visits to ancient places during our Wiltshire holiday, including Old Sarum just to the north of Salisbury.  It's a great...

Old Sarum, Wiltshire: Iron Age hill fort
...earthworks and Iron Age hill fort settlement which was started around 500 BC and during its time used by the Romans, Saxons and Normans.

Earthworks at Old Sarum in Wiltshire
The Normans were the most important occupiers at Old Sarum and they built a castle and royal palace, which in the 12th century developed into a new town complete with...

Norman cathedral ruins at Old Sarum near Salisbury
...a Norman cathedral.  This was later demolished after Old Sarum was abandoned following a move downhill to what is now Salisbury.  Only ruins now remain to wander among...

Old Sarum: wandering among the remains of the old cathedral
...as we both did here.  Entry to Old Sarum cost 3.80 but we used (another!) 2 for 1 voucher.

 

There's some lovely views from Old Sarum over the Wiltshire countryside, which of course includes to nearby Salisbury and its cathedral.

Now, our holiday planning to Wiltshire means we've collected many UK tourism resources - please take a look if planning a trip!

On our final holiday page we head south of Wiltshire to Burley in the New Forest for another enjoyable holiday walk >>>

 

We've visited similar heritage museums in Gower, Eastbourne and the Dean Heritage Centre, Forest of Dean.
See also our visit to some amazing Roman Sand Sculptures.