21 February 2024

Explore Wiltshire’s hidden histories with new heritage app

Visitors and residents can explore their local history and discover Wiltshire’s rich cultural heritage with today’s launch of a new ‘Explore Wiltshire’ app.

The new app features information about historical landmarks, cultural sites and significant events that have helped to shape Wiltshire’s landscape.

The free, easy-to-use location-aware app also includes historical photos, engravings and information from the archives of the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.

The app has initially launched featuring information and trails for Salisbury, Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Cricklade, Devizes and Warminster, plus a link to the Explore Malmesbury webpage.

The new app replaces the Salisbury Trails app that launched in 2020.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Heritage, Arts and Tourism, said: “We are delighted to launch this new and exciting app, encouraging our residents and tourists alike to get out and about, feel the benefits of fresh air and exercising, whilst at the same time exploring the rich and diverse heritage of Wiltshire’s parishes, towns and city.

“With interactive maps, walking trails, hunts and challenges; plus photographs, audio and visual clips, people can explore their local area in an exciting way, from anyone wanting to go on a quiet walk on their own to families looking to have a fun, entertaining experience discovering new hidden treasures in our towns.

“As per our business plan, we want to have vibrant, well-connected communities. We hope that the launch of this app will support our Wiltshire Towns Programme, aiming to not only increase the footfall throughout the county but also boost the local economy by encouraging people to spend quality time in our shops, bars and restaurants during their visits.

“It’s vital we keep up with people’s habits, and that’s why we want our town and city centres to continually evolve and offer experiences that internet shopping simply can’t provide.”

Once launched, new trails and content will be added over the coming months with opportunities for town and parish councils alongside their local communities to contribute content and share their stories.

It is planned that new trails covering the areas of Marlborough, Pewsey, Tisbury and Trowbridge will follow later in the year.

Phil Harding, from Wessex Archaeology and a popular member of the former Channel 4 Time Team programme, features on the app providing an introduction for each town. Phil said, “I’m not ashamed to say I love Wiltshire which makes me really pleased to have any opportunity to promote the county.

We’re a county that has so much to see and enjoy beyond the iconic monuments in the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage site and our magnificent Salisbury Cathedral.

The incredibly varied landscape is dotted with modern vibrant market towns that contain Saxon or Medieval roots.

Working to help compile this app has made me aware of how it will help show things to look out for and make any trip just that little bit more enjoyable.”

The app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils and Bristol-based app developer Calvium on the Place Experience Platform, which supports the local and visitor economy. 

Explore Wiltshire is available free for download to Apple and Android devices by searching ‘Explore Wiltshire’ on the Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/pt/app/explore-wiltshire/id1664891446?l=en and Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calvium.pep.visitwiltshire.

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns