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Wiltshire UK locator map 2010.svg
Wiltshire within England
Coordinates: 51°20′N1°55′W / 51.333°N 1.917°W / 51.333; -1.917 Coordinates: 51°20′N1°55′W / 51.333°N 1.917°W / 51.333; -1.917
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region South West
Established Ancient
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police Wiltshire Police
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Sarah Troughton
High Sheriff > Sir Charles Hobhouse (2021–2022) [1]
Area3,485 km2 (1,346 sq mi)
  Ranked 14th of 48
Population (mid-2019 est.)720,060
  Ranked 34th of 48
Density207/km2 (540/sq mi)
Ethnicity2011 Census, excluding Swindon: 93.4% White British
1.3% Asian
1.2% Mixed Race
0.6% Black
0.2% Other


Wiltshire has thirty county secondary schools, publicly funded, of which the largest is Warminster Kingdown, and eleven independent secondaries, including Marlborough College, St Mary's Calne, Dauntsey's near Devizes, and Warminster School. The county schools are nearly all comprehensives, with the older pattern of education surviving only in Salisbury, which has two grammar schools (South Wilts Grammar School and Bishop Wordsworth's School) and three non-selective schools.

There are four further education colleges, which also provide some higher education: New College (Swindon); Wiltshire College (Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury); Salisbury Sixth Form College; [19] and Swindon College. Wiltshire is also home to a University Technical College, UTC Swindon, specialising in engineering. A second UTC, South Wiltshire UTC, was based in Salisbury but closed in August 2020.

Wiltshire is one of the few remaining English counties without a university or university college; the closest university to the county town of Trowbridge is the University of Bath. However, Bath Spa University has a centre at Corsham Court in Corsham, and Oxford Brookes University maintains a minor campus in Swindon (almost 50 km from Oxford). Swindon is the UK's second largest centre of population (after Milton Keynes) without its own university.[ citation needed ]

Service Children's Education has its headquarters in Trenchard Lines in Upavon, Wiltshire. [20]


The county registered a population of 680,137 in the 2011 Census. Wiltshire (outside Swindon) has a low population density of 1.4 persons per hectare, when compared against 4.1 for England as a whole. [21] [22] [23]

Usual resident population470,981209,156680,137
Age 65 or over18.1%13.7%16.8%
Density (persons per hectare)

Historical population of Wiltshire county: [24]


Politics and administration


At the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, Wiltshire voted in favour of Brexit. [25]

Westminster Parliamentary

At the 2019 general election, all seven Wiltshire constituencies (including the two Swindon constituencies) returned Conservative MPs.


The ceremonial county of Wiltshire consists of two unitary authority areas, Wiltshire and Swindon, governed respectively by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council.

As a result of elections held in 2017, Wiltshire Council comprises 68 Conservatives, 20 Liberal Democrats, seven Independents and three Labour members.

Until the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, Wiltshire (apart from Swindon) was a two-level county, divided into four local government districts, Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury and West Wiltshire, which existed alongside Wiltshire County Council, covering the same area and carrying out more strategic tasks, such as education and county roads. However, on 1 April 2009 these five local authorities were merged into a single unitary authority called Wiltshire Council. With the abolition of the District of Salisbury, a new Salisbury City Council was created at the same time to carry out several citywide functions and to hold the city's charter.


The County Ground, Swindon is the home of Swindon Town, the only football league club in Wiltshire Kingswoodstand.JPG
The County Ground, Swindon is the home of Swindon Town, the only football league club in Wiltshire

The county is represented in the Football League by Swindon Town, who play at the County Ground stadium near Swindon town centre. They joined the Football League on the creation of the Third Division in 1920, and have remained in the league ever since. Their most notable achievements include winning the Football League Cup in 1969 and the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1970, two successive promotions in 1986 and 1987 (taking them from the Fourth Division to the Second), promotion to the Premier League as Division One play-off winners in 1993 (as inaugural members), the Division Two title in 1996, and their promotion to League One in 2007 after finishing third in League Two.

Chippenham Town is the area's highest-ranked non-league football club; they currently play in the National League South after winning the Southern Premier League in 2016/17, with a league record points tally of 103. After Salisbury City went into liquidation in 2014, a new club, Salisbury, was formed and plays in the Southern Premier League.

Wiltshire County Cricket Club play in the Minor Counties league.

Swindon Robins Speedway team, who compete in the top national division, the SGB Premiership, have been at their track at the Blunsdon Abbey Stadium near Swindon since 1949. Swindon Wildcats compete in the English Premier Ice Hockey League, the second tier of British ice hockey, and play their home games at Swindon's Link Centre.

Principal settlements

Wiltshire has twenty-one towns and one city:

A bridge over the River Avon at Bradford-on-Avon Wiltshire.bridge.750pix.jpg
A bridge over the River Avon at Bradford-on-Avon

A list of settlements is at List of places in Wiltshire.

Places of interest

The flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon Canal Caen.hill.locks.in.devizes.arp.jpg
The flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon Canal
AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
UKAL icon.svg Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country parks.svg Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
HR icon.svg Heritage railway
HH icon.svg Historic House
AP Icon.svg Places of Worship
Museum icon.svg
Museum icon (red).svg
Museum (free/not free)
NTE icon.svg National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo

Places of interest in Wiltshire include:

Areas of countryside in Wiltshire include:



Roads running through Wiltshire include The Ridgeway, an ancient route, and Roman roads the Fosse Way, London to Bath road and Ermin Way. National Cycle Route 4 and the Thames Path, a modern long distance footpath, run through the county.

Routes through Wiltshire include:

Canals subject to restoration


Three main railway routes, all of which carry passenger traffic, cross Wiltshire.

Other routes include:

The major junction stations are Salisbury and Westbury, and important junctions are also found at Swindon, Chippenham and Trowbridge.

There is also the Swindon and Cricklade Railway in the Thames Valley.

In general, Wiltshire is well served by rail, with 14 stations within its boundaries, although towns not served include Calne, Marlborough and Devizes. Several destinations on bus routes, including the aforementioned three towns, have integrated through ticketing where one ticket may be bought to cover both the bus and rail journey.


Airfields in Wiltshire include Old Sarum Airfield and Clench Common Airfield. RAF Lyneham was an air transport hub for British forces until its closure in 2012. Airports with scheduled services near Wiltshire include Bournemouth Airport, Bristol Airport, Cardiff Airport, Exeter Airport, Gloucestershire Airport, Oxford Airport, Heathrow Airport and Southampton Airport.

See also

Related Research Articles

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  17. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
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