Long, lazy days filled with sunshine, gardens bursting with flowers, picnics on the grass... July is a lovely time of year to explore Wiltshire's timeless countryside. And there are lots of fun activities and events taking place this month to make your visit here extra special. From live music to garden tours and family farm days to theatre beneath the stars, here's what to do in Wiltshire this July...

Open Air Theatre
Gather the family, pack a picnic and settle down to watch an outdoors play this July. Open air theatre makes for a relaxed and atmospheric summer evening out, and its a lovely, gentle way to introduce young children to the theatre. On 11 July, head to the grounds of Lacock Abbey to enjoy the classic comedy of manners and matrimony Pride and Prejudice. On the same day, Miracle Theatre bring their rollicking music-filled theatrical adventure A Perfect World to Ogbourne Maizey. Next, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream will be peformed by the multi-award nominated Immersion Theatre amongst the beautiful surroundings of Lydiard Park in Swindon on 12 July.

Festivals & Carnivals

Love stand up comedy? You're in luck! The annual Chippenham Comedy Festival will be back from 4 to 7 July, curated by local stand up comedian Wil Hodgson. With performances from the likes of Desiree Burch, Tony Law, Phill Jupitus, Jen Brister, John Robins, Danny Buckler, plus up-and-coming acts from the south west, this is one not to be missed.

Every year, the Devizes Carnival Procession fills the pretty town of Devizes with vibrant floats, bands, and thousands of spectators. For 2019, the carnival takes place on Saturday 13 July and the theme will be 'Through the Ages'. Expect giant puppets, performers, amazing costumes and an afternoon of colourful spectacle. And if you are visiting Devizes for the Carnival, why not book to stay at the lovely Devizes Marina Lodges? You can enjoy your own hottub and a view over the narrowboats in the marina!

Meanwhile, Salisbury Museum's Festival of Archaeology promises a weekend of education and entertainment for the whole family on 13 and 14 July. There will be live demonstrations, hands-on activities and fascinating talks about local sites and stories, including forgotten dwellings at Old Sarum, Stonehenge, prehistoric discoveries and the 'Operation Nightingale' soldiers at Barrow Clump. Or, if your love of history is more geared towards vintage cars, the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum welcomes an array of classic vehicles for their 17th annual Classic Vehicle Show on Sunday 14 July. This year's theme is in celebration of 60 years of the Mini. 

children and parrots at Longleat safari park

Family Fun
Need to find something to do with the kids during the school holidays? There are plenty of family-friendly activities and events taking place in Wiltshire this July. Throughout the summer, children can discover all sorts of exciting animals including koalas and hairy-nosed wombats at Longleat's Australian Summer. There will also be daily performances from live didgeridoo music to acrobatic break dancing - all in addition to the safari park's flocks of animals including parrots, tigers, giraffes, deer, sea lions and more. 

Head to Neston Farm Shop & Kitchen near Melksham on 14 July for their Little Farmers Fiesta, a fun day on the farm with tractor rides, bouncy castle, face painting, storytelling, crafts and more. To continue on the farm theme, head to Roves Farm for a whole season of family summer holiday events, including a Bear Hunt from 22 to 28 July. On 13 and 14 July, discover miniature steam engines, historical re-enactments, craft stalls, arena events, entertainment and activities for the whole family at the The Market Lavington Vintage Meet.

Live Music
Summer sunshine means dancing outside and muddy camping... Take a look at our list of upcoming music festivals in Wiltshire to discover the huge range of big and small festivals taking place in the county in July. There are also some exciting one-off concerts coming up... At the start of the month, ten-piece brass ensemble Decadent Brass perform an eclectic programme of timeless classics, ranging from Bach to the Beatles, in the stunning surroundings of Salisbury Cathedral. The Wessex Concert Orchestra present an evening of light classic music inspired by dance on 6 July at the Corn Exchange in Devizes. There will also be two free Music in the Park concerts taking place in Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury this month; on 7 July, Break Cover play classic rock from the 60s onwards, then on 21 July, Sticky Toffee Jazz play vintage jazz and swing. Music in the Park is free to attend, so why not bring a picnic and make a day of it?

Food and Drink
Get ready to indulge yourself and take your time over some delicious food and drink this summer... Try tasty tapas, watch a cocktail masterclass and enjoy live jazz on Friday 5 July when the Stones Hotel in Salisbury celebrate the launch of their new outdoor Gin Bar with an evening of Gin, Jazz and Tapas. The same weekend, the Swindon Cheese and Chilli Festival returns to Swindon's Lydiard Park. There will be cooking demonstrations, taste tents, a beer festival, street theatre, live music, crazy golf, and lots of children's entertainment. On 28 July, its Street Food Sunday in the Market Place in Salisbury. Wander through the stalls and sample a wonderful variety of street food and drinks from across the South West.

Bowood gardens in Wiltshire

Gardens and Guided Tours
Wiltshire is home to some marvelous stately homes and gardens. Make sure you visit one or two during your July stay! You can see Italianate gardens, formal parkland, imposing mansions and lovely water gardens. A prime example are the gorgeous gardens at Georgian Bowood House in Calne, which are simply stunning and have won numerous awards. Book your place on one of their special Garden Tours on Wednesday 10, 17 or 26 July for a chance to explore Lord and Lady Lansdowne's Private Walled Garden and gain an intimate insight into the history and beauty of the award winning gardens. The exculsive tour also includes a 2 course lunch served in the Stables Restaurant. On 19 July, Bowood will also be hosting a Planning Planting Garden Workshop where keen gardeners can learn more about how to design a garden that looks attractive all year round. If you are visiting pretty Bradford-on-Avon, explore one of the town's hidden gems with a guided tour of Grade I listed Jacobean House The Hall which are running throughout the month. 

Phew! Is that enough to keep you busy? Well it's still not nearly everything! There are plenty more things to do this July in Wiltshire... Take a look at our full list of upcoming events here.

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