Within The North Wessex Downs there are many fascinating places to visit and experience from prehistory to the present day. Along The Ridgeway are dotted some of the most magical prehistoric locations in the country. The internationally renowned Avebury Stone Circle and White Horse Hill are well known to visitors but there are many other interesting sites such as the Neolithic tombs of Kennet Long Barrow and Wayland’s Smithy that are equally mysterious places to visit.
The approach known as Historic Landscape Characterisation encourages us to look at the way in which the archaeological and historic sites fit together as parts of an intricately connected whole. Find out more about this rich heritage using an online tool through which you can explore the area using ineractive maps pictures and text .
The North Wessex Downs is home to some of the England’s finest country houses from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. Highclere Castle (famous as the location of ‘Downton Abbey’ in the television series) has impressive staterooms, an Egyptian exhibition and wonderful grounds to roam. Less well known but just as interesting are the 18th Century, Basildon Park near Pangbourne and the 17th Century ‘Dutch style’ Ashdown House. The Watermill Theatre near Newbury manages to combine heritage, culture and cuisine to deliver the perfect night out on your stay. The historic old watermill set in an idyllic location has established a reputation as a leading regional theatre with a great atmosphere.
Learn more about the geology, heritage, culture, products, activities and transport in this AONB.
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