In Calne

Calne Almshouses

You may or may not have heard of Calne. Situated on the A4, this town’s roots developed as a stopping point for pig drovers travelling between Bristol and the West Country towards the markets in London. 

There’s more than meets the eye in this small Wiltshire town. Here are ten reasons why you should visit:

1. The quirky alms-houses

Check out the exterior of these quirky alms-houses in Calne’s Heritage Quarter (pictured in the right on the image above). Affectionately also known as the ‘hobbit houses’ by the locals due to their small doors.

Castlefields, Calne

2. Castlefields Canal and River

This tranquil area offers ample walking and cycling opportunities including the national cycleway number 403.

3. The annual Calne Heritage Week

Taking place in early September to coincide with Heritage Open Days, this is a great opportunity to go behind the scenes of some of Calne’s historic sites, learn about the history on talks and enjoy special offers on local attractions. 

4. The Green

Also part of the Heritage Quarter, The Green is a short walk from the town centre. You’ll find historic houses surrounding this large lawned green. 

5. Calne Heritage Centre

Learn all about Calne’s past, from the pig droving to the Harris factory and Calne’s connections to the discovery of oxygen and more at the Calne Heritage Centre. Entry is free. 

6. Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum

Tucked down a residential street you can find the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum. Expect to see displays of cars, motorbikes and other motorised vehicles from times gone by. Tickets can be booked in advance on our website. 

7. Bowood House & Gardens

Just a few miles from Calne is Bowood House & Gardens. Owned by the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, the house features exhibition rooms, the laboratory where Dr Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774 and artwork. The grounds, landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown offer vistas across the lake, floral borders and for the younger visitor, an adventure playground. 

The Head, Calne

8. The sculpture and art works

Within Calne you will find several sculptures and artwork including the ‘head’ outside the town’s library which was created to mark the millennium and the bronze pigs, which marks Calne’s connections to the pork industry. 

9. Stay in a newly-opened B&B

Heritage B&B is a beautifully restored Grade II Listed Victorian Gothic House with three guest bedrooms. The B&B opened earlier in 2017 and is already in the running for an award for ‘Most Beautifully Presented Accommodation’ with the announcement due in October. 

10. Cherhill White Horse and Oldbury Castle

Just a short drive along the A4 and you’ll come across the Cherhill White Horse. Cherhill is the second oldest of Wiltshire’s White Horses and sits alongside the Lansdowne Monument and Oldbury Castle ancient hillfort. Have a look at our video below where you can see an aerial perspective of this hillside:

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration for making a break to Calne this year. If you need any extra information on the town then be sure to contact the Calne Information Centre or check out our website.


Calne (C) Mike Hasted

Looking to visit the amazing town of Calne?...If so, click here to get the latest Calne tourist information direct from the official Wiltshire tourism site!



  1. jenny
    Yes Calne is a lovely town especially at the moment with THE most beautiful hanging baskets,planters and town flower beds absolutely ablaze with colour. Congratulations to all those who have decorated this old town so well for 2017.Plenty to see and do with a great new Deli to visit on Church Street.
  2. frederickgragg
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