Beautiful Wiltshire is characterised by chalk hills and valleys and the mainly rural location offers some stunning views. The Marlborough Downs are in fact part of the North Wessex Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
The great wild expanse of Salisbury Plain is well known for the ancient monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury but also as the training ground for the British Army and the home of the county bird, the Great Bustard.
The county has one city – Salisbury – and 21 towns including Swindon (the largest) and Royal Wooton Bassett.
Landlocked Wiltshire neighbours the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire. Its highest point at 295m is Milk Hill ridge in the Pewsey Vale and Tan Hill near Allington is only slightly lower at 294m. The 2001 Census recorded over 610,000 inhabitants in industries from the military to farming.
The ancient county town used to be Wilton where the county court sat and parliamentary elections of county members were held until 1832. The county town is now Trowbridge and Wiltshire Council which was formed in 1889 has its base there.