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No visit to Wiltshire is complete without spending time in Calne. Our friendly historic town is the place where the traditional English technique of curing ham and bacon – the Wiltshire Cure - was invented by the Harris family. The factory is no longer here but Calne is proud of this part of its history.
Talking of history, for a small town Calne packs in a lot of it. Its story begins around AD 978, and covers Medieval England and the Industrial Revolution, right through to the present day. It’s a story of drover’s trails and coach roads, the rise and fall of canal and rail travel, woollen broadcloth and meat production.
Calne has always been a town of discovery. Did you know that Joseph Priestley “discovered” oxygen here whilst working at nearby Bowood House? Shortly after, Jan Ingenhousz built on the work of Priestly and “discovered” photosynthesis.
Visit Calne’s heritage quarter, concentrated around St Mary’s Church, to experience each chapter of its past.
Now Calne is a great place from which you can discover the timeless wonders of Wiltshire. We are on the edge of the North Wessex Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a great example of Wiltshire’s timeless beauty. Nearby is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Avebury, yet another part of our pre-historic landscape which includes Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow and, a little further afield, iconic Stonehenge.
On our doorstep is magnificent Bowood, home to one of Capability Brown’s most splendid parks; a great place to spend a day or even longer.
For travellers on the A4, Calne is a great place to take a break and wander. The A4 goes through the heart of Calne’s heritage quarter and Calne offers some of the best free parking of any town on the route. Stop off and visit our selection of independent shops and cafes, the Heritage Centre, the delightful Castlefields Canal and River Park, and the outstanding Atwell Wilson Motor Museum.
Visit Calne today and see what you can discover.
View Calne's Instagram page for inspiring images from the town and surrounding countryside and use #CalneOurPlace to share your own photos and experiences.
Map & Directions
On the A4, east of Chippenham. South of M4 Junction 16 or 17.
Public Transport Directions
Nearest railway station at Chippenham with direct links from London Paddington. Local bus services and taxis available.