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The Buying Agent Insider Guide
Overlook Wiltshire at your peril. It might not have the immediate cachet of some of the more familiar counties further South West, but with its wide open spaces, lovely towns and villages and easy access to both the capital and the coast, it truly is a county of opportunity, as the growing numbers who have chosen to live there will attest to.
With its high downs and wide valleys, predominantly based on a chalk structure, Wiltshire is a county of stunning scenery and iconic monuments and historic places such as Stonehenge and the numerous chalk horses etched into its hillsides. Wide open spaces abound but there are still enough communities and beautiful villages to make it a popular place in which to live.
The county’s stately homes are truly special too – make a beeline for the world famous Longleat House or visit Stourhead in the autumn for colourful scenescapes which truly take the breath away.
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Swindon – originally boosted by its links with the rail industry, Swindon still offers a nod to its past with involvement with train-building and servicing, but it more than looks to the future with its investment in high-tech industries and manufacturing plants. The abundance of economic opportunity means new developments jostle with the historic settlements for housebuyers, with many fabulous properties available in the pretty villages which ring the town.
Salisbury – sadly, it is unavoidable to mention Salisbury without acknowledging it found its grisly place in the headlines with the Novichok poisonings foisted on its community in 2018. Look behind the headlines though and Salisbury remains what it always was - a truly beautiful and historic cathedral city which is a delightful place in which to live and work.
Marlborough – centred around its wide high street, Marlborough is a charming and historic town where property prices have been boosted by the popularity of living in this easy community which offers a slice of town life in a relatively rural setting.
Westbury – close to the border with Somerset, Westbury has a handy mainline rail link and a resulting commuter population who love its distance from the capital yet the ease with which one can be in London.
Chippenham – bright and busy, Chippenham is one of those towns which goes under the radar to many and yet being just a few moments from the M4 motorway and with a good rail link, its communications mean it is a popular spot for those who want easy access to London and Bristol, but appreciate the more affordable house prices when compared to the likes of Bath and Oxford.
Best hotels in Wiltshire
Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa (https://www.lucknampark.co.uk) is the very definition of a country house hotel doing things brilliantly, with its amazing rooms, fine dining delights and exceptional service. The Manor House Hotel (https://www.exclusive.co.uk) is a lovely spot, offering comfort and a wide range of facilities in five star surroundings. The Rectory Hotel (http://www.therectoryhotel.com) is a lovely getaway spot – quiet, unobtrusive and yet offering luxury and amazing, beautifully refurbished rooms in an historic setting.
Best restaurants in Wiltshire
The Harrow at Little Bedwyn (https://www.theharrowatlittlebedwyn.com) deserves its Michelin star rating for the outstanding food it offers, plus a truly wonderful wine list, which has won accolades. The Methuen Arms (http://www.themethuenarms.com) may well be a pub, but this is no ordinary pub – fantastic rooms, amazing menu options and a truly delightful atmosphere make this a place to make a beeline for. The Dining Room at Whatley Manor (https://www.whatleymanor.com) is a treat not to be missed: exceptional menus created using the best of local produce.
Best schools in Wiltshire
Dauntsey’s School (https://www.dauntseys.org) prides itself on the exam achievements of its pupils (girls and boys aged 11 to 18) and their favourable comments on the level of pastoral care on offer. Stonar (http://www.stonarschool.com) offers a broad curriculum and a family-like atmosphere for boys and girls aged 2 to 18. Marlborough College (http://www.marlboroughcollege.org) has a history of outstanding academic achievement which continues to this day, offering a first class education to its girls and boys aged 13 to 19.
Buying Agents Wiltshire Fact
The iconic TV series Poldark may be all about a Cornish hero in his home county but many of the street scenes claiming to be Truro are actually filmed in Corsham, the charming Wiltshire town which retains much of its period architecture.