1 Stonehenge is, of course, the most famous of all Wiltshire’s ancient sites and easily among the most famous anywhere in the world. For all the research carried out over the years, there is no conclusive proof as to why it was built millennia ago by people whose culture and technology are themselves a mystery. Is the circle the remains of a place of worship? A gigantic solar timepiece? An aid to navigation? Information for would-be visitors can be found at english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/

2 The stones of Avebury may not get as much global attention as those of Stonehenge, but some people say they are the greater Neolithic spectacle. What can never be disputed is the stones’ status as the largest arrangement of their kind. The stones of Avebury are also more accessible than those of Stonehenge. Visitors can readily reach the community by car, bike or public transport, walk among the stones and touch them.

3 Barbury Castle often features in lists of visitor attractions in Swindon and Wiltshire, and not without good cause. To walk in and around the earthworks of the Iron Age hill fort just outside Wroughton is to follow in the footsteps of the ancient tribes for whom it was a home and a protector. Those who commanded high ground had a significant advantage over would-be agressors. The spectacular views of the surrounding countryside make the location a favourite with walkers and kite fliers.

4 There are enough chalk horses across Wiltshire and surrounding counties to form the basis of a specialised sightseeing tour, but the one at Uffington in Oxfordshire is among the most fascinating and historic. Unlike certain other horses, whose origins are either relatively recent or highly debatable, Uffington’s has been pinpointed by archaeologists as predating the Christian era by as long as 1,000 years or more.

5 There is debate over whether the white horse at Westbury – it is on Salisbury Plain a little over a mile away from the town – is older than Uffington’s. Like all chalk figures apart, perhaps, from those created in recent decades as advertising stunts, it is steeped in folklore. One of the more prominent theories is that it was created to mark an important military victory by King Alfred in the ninth century.

6 What motivated an ancient people, who lived some 4,500 years ago, to gather hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of earth and create the prehistoric mound we call Silbury Hill? As with many other ancient wonders, including the stone circle of nearby Avebury, the short answer to the question is that nobody knows. There have long been rumours that a treasure chamber lies at the core of the mound, but excavations have failed to find any such thing. The most ambitious of these of these investigations began in 1968, used mining techniques and was shown on television.

7 Like Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow is one of the Avebury area’s prehistoric wonders. Unlike the stones or the mysterious mound of earth, however, there is no ambiguity over the barrow’s purpose. Built more than 5,000 years ago as a tomb, the site was the final resting place of almost 50 people. The identity of those people was, of course, lost to history millennia ago, but the fact that their tomb must have taken thousands of hours to build may be a clue.

8 Readily accessible during a visit to Barbury Castle, The Ridgeway is one of the nation’s most ancient roads. It is contemporary to or predates many of our ancient monuments, and was a vital early trading route which allowed access to the coast, Europe and beyond. When some item of Continental or more distant origin is found by archaeologists at a millennia-old site, there is a good chance that it was carried along The Ridgeway.

9 Old Sarum - english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/old-sarum/ - lies north of modern Salisbury and represents the earliest traces of human habitation in the area. Like Barbury Castle, the site was an iron age hill fort.

10 Durrington Walls is a National Trust property - nationaltrust.org.uk – and the site of prehistoric settlement two miles from Stonehenge. It is sometimes spoken of as a place the people who originally used Stonehenge would have called home.