Properties for sale in Wiltshire

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* Sizes listed are approximations. Please contact the agent to verify actual sizes.

Wiltshire Area Guide

Canal locks at Seend, Wiltshire. Image courtesy of Flickr user crabchick

Wiltshire is quite a remarkable county. The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and ancient monuments like Stonehenge, Avebury, Woodhenge and Silbury Hill are dotted throughout the countryside. Moreover, the natives have a remarkable story for their nickname. They are commonly called moonrakers, because according to legend, in Wiltshire smugglers avoided detection by creating ripples in a pond that held the barrels of their contraband alcohol. The authorities asked them what they were doing, and they claimed they were trying to get the giant wheel of cheese in the water, which was actually the reflection of the moon in the pond.

Today, Wiltshire has a large number of people employed in the manufacturing, defense and public administration sectors, and most of the population live in the only city in the county, Salisbury, or in the twenty smaller towns. Swindon is also within the borders of the ceremonial county of Wiltshire, but it is a unitary authority of its own.

Demographics

Wiltshire has a population of 471,000, as of the 2011 census, and just over 60% of the population is of working age. Around 18% of the population is aged under 15, which is close to the 17.6% of England's population that is the same age. The percentage of the population which is retirement age (65 and over for men and 60 and over for women) is 21.5%, higher than England's 19.5%.

Wiltshire is not particularly diverse: 96.7% of the population describe themselves as white and white British. In fact, 93.4% of the population describe their ethnic background purely as white British. Comparatively, 85.5% of the population of England describe themselves as white or white British.

In 2011, the unemployment rate in Wiltshire, 2.9%, was much lower than in England, which was 4.4%.

Education

Most of the primary schools in Wiltshire are rated "good" by Ofsted, though there are several "outstanding" schools as well. These include Trowbridge's Keevil Church of England Primary School and Greentrees Primary School in Salisbury.

There is a more solid mix of secondary schools, with independent schools and those rated "satisfactory", "good" and "outstanding" in fairly equal number. The outstanding schools largely have converted to academies, including Springfields School in Calne and Warminster Kingdown in Warminster. Independent schools with excellent reputations include Dauntsey's School in Devizes and St Mary's Calne girls' school.

There are two colleges in the county. Urchfont Manor College is an adult education college run by the council, and Wiltshire College provides further education courses and training. There are no universities in the county, though Bath Spa University has a centre at Corsham Court.

Transport

Wiltshire benefits from a number of major roads, including the M4 which runs from London to South Wales. The A4 goes from London to near Bristol, going through Wiltshire, and the A303 links the county to Basingstoke and Honiton in Devon. The A350 breaks away from the M4 in Wiltshire, continuing on to Poole, whilst the A417 goes to Cirencester and to Berkshire.

Wiltshire is also served by several rail lines, its major stations are Salisbury, Westbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge. The Great Western Main Line also connects Wiltshire to London and South Wales, and the Wessex Main Line goes from Bristol to Southampton, via Wiltshire. The West of England Main Line connects the county with Basingstoke and Devon. The Reading to Taunton Line breaks away from the Great Western Main Line to go to Reading, and the Golden Valley Line diverges from the Great Western Main Line at Swindon, continuing to Cheltenham Spa. The Heart of Wessex Line goes from Bristol to Weymouth, through Wilthsire. The South Wales Main Line goes from South Wales to Bristol.

Amenities and Shopping

Museums and Galleries

Then Kennet and Avon Canal Museum has exhibitions on the planning, construction, use and eventual decline of the Kennet and Avon canal, and the Wiltshire Heritage Museum explores the history and art of the county. The Science Museum at Wroughton stores the large objects of the Science Museum in London. The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum has one of the best collections of Stonehenge and other archaeological sites in the area.

Wiltshire also has several art galleries and exhibition spaces throughout the county. The Salisbury Arts Centre hosts contemporary art exhibitions, and the New Art Centre in Roche Court features modern sculptures, paintings and more. The Black Barn Gallery is a converted barn that showcases the work of local artists, and the Summerleaze Gallery is formed of two converted barns, with exhibitions and lectures by the artists regularly hosted. The Young Gallery in the Salisbury Library features an extensive collection of watercolours, drawings and other works by Edwin Young.

Theatres and Venues

Many of the biggest venues are in Salisbury. The Studio Theatre puts on a range of plays, from modern comedies to Shakespeare. The Salisbury Arts Centre is home to experimental theatre troupes Hoodwink Theatre Company and Big State Theatre. The Salisbury Playhouse is regional theatre that puts on large-scale productions.

In other parts of the county, the Arc Theatre is part of Wiltshire College in Trowbridge, and Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford-on-Avon hosts classical musicians from around the world. The Cause Music and Arts Centre in Chippenham hosts world musicians and also hold exercise, dance and meditation classes and more.

Festivals

WOMAD, the World of Music, Arts and Dance, has a regular festival in Malmesbury. The Salisbury International Arts Festival celebrates performance, visual, musical and other arts from around the world. The Devizes Carnival, and its side event the International Street Festival, showcases street theatre and live music. The Trowbridge Arts Festival, the Larmer Tree Festival and the Swindon Mela celebrate arts, jazz and world music, respectively.

Sport

There are a couple of sport teams in Wiltshire, including Wiltshire County Cricket Club, which play in the Minor Counties league, and Salisbury City Football Club, which play in the Southern League Premier Division.

Shopping

The Wilton Shopping Village is a factory outlet has shops selling homewares, fashion and more, all along the riverside. Most of the towns have independent boutiques, but the biggest shopping towns are Salisbury, Marlborough, Devizes and Bradford-on-Avon. Marlborough has one of the widest high streets in the UK, and it is lined with modern shops set in traditional buildings. Devizes has The Shambles, an indoor market that specialises in antiques. Bradford-on-Avon is an ancient town in a gorgeous setting that benefits from a large number of independent shops and boutiques.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.