Malmesbury is an attractive Wiltshire town set on a hilltop that carries the distinction of being England’s oldest borough, with a history that’s been traced back to the 5th century, which is pretty astonishing. Go for a browse round and you’ll find medieval streets with lots of centuries old buildings and that gorgeous honey coloured stone that you’d expect in a town on the edge of the Cotswolds; the lively high street has mostly independent shops and a weekly farmers and artisans market, there’s an old courtroom and historic almshouses, and glory of glories, a splendid 12th century abbey where you can see the tomb of King Athelstan, the first proper king of England.
Rather lovely, especially for plant lovers, are the Abbey house Gardens that straddle the River Avon; a sight worth seeing indeed at certain times of the year, with over 2,000 different roses, and 100,000 tulips – phew-eee!
Not far from Malmesbury are Westonbirt Arboretum and Lacock Abbey and Village; Bath is only a 45 minute drive.
All information correct at the time of writing