Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs
Stretching across the south west of Wiltshire, Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs AONB is a site of national importance and one of the largest and most rural of the AONBs in England and Wales. It covers over 380 square miles of diverse and spectacular countryside ranging from rich chalk grassland through to ancient woodland. Almost 14% of the UK's important wildlife rich chalk grassland is found here. This AONB has over 50 sites of Special Scientific Interest and over 220 miles of chalk rivers meandering their way through the beautiful Nadder, Wylye and Chalk Valleys.
The area is a great place to stay and explore. With so many charming rural villages like Tisbury, visitors will be spoilt for choice. There are also immense opportunities for walking, cycling and horse-riding, as well as other outdoor activities such as golf and fishing. Enjoy breath-taking views along The Wessex Ridgeway Jubilee Trail and the Monarch’s Way which cross the area, or enjoy a family day out at many of our local attractions including Longleat, Stourhead, the Larmer Tree Gardens, Bush Farm Bison Centre and Old Wardour Castle which lie within the AONB. A great place to see dark skies at night and rich in history with over 550 Scheduled Ancient Monuments including ancient Iron Age hill forts, burial mounds and field systems. The area was used as an ancient hunting ground for royalty and nobility until 1829 and of all the Royal hunting grounds was the very last one to remain.