This vibrant hill-top market town is reported to be England’s oldest borough and its highlights are a stunning 12th century abbey, a weekly market at the original Market Cross and pretty walks along the banks of the river Avon. Coach parking is available.
Malmesbury Abbey, in the centre of town, is free to visit (donations welcome with a £5 suggested gift) and there is a new audio tour taking in the history of the building and its transformation from a 7th century monastery to a 21st century church. King Athelstan, the first king of England, was buried here in 935 before being removed to what is now the Abbey House and Gardens. The gardens span some five acres and groups of 12 or more can benefit from discounted entry with additional options of an introductory talk or a full house and garden tour.
Groups can also browse the narrow streets of the town, taking in its many unique shops and also enjoy a bite to eat in the cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels. Accommodation includes the 12-room Kings Arms Hotel, the 23-room Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, and the 28-room Best Western Mayfield House in the village of Crudwell, close to Malmesbury.