To look at Wiltshire means that you share in a visual feast. It has more prehistoric sites than any other county, including in Avebury and Stonehenge, two of the most important in Europe. Just around the corner from Avebury is the enigmatic Silbury Hill – the largest man-made mound in Europe – whose purpose, despite extensive research, remains a mystery. There is also the Ridgeway, arguably Britain’s oldest road, and a number of chalk carvings – again, more than any other county. There is plenty of less obvious history too, in the form of numerous Iron Age hill forts, and ancient tracts of woodland such as Savernake Forest.
This is a beautiful and quintessentially English landscape, from the rolling hills of Cranborne Chase in the south, to the edge of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the north. Sparkling waters abound, from the magnificent Lake Shear Water near Longleat, to the quiet, unassuming beauty of the chalk streams flowing through Salisbury Plain. And the county has more than its fair share of historic buildings and some charming villages, including Castle Combe, surely one of the prettiest in England.
In more than 140 stunning images, master photographer Mark Bauer celebrates the wondrousness of Wiltshire, this most photogenic – indeed perfect – of counties.