When a new free 'history tour' app launched aiming to promote the 'hidden parts of Wiltshire's past', I was keen to see if it would be worth the day out.

On a chilly day in January, I downloaded the free app from the Google Play Store and headed to the town of Marlborough, a place I thought I knew a lot about.

When you download the Explore Wiltshire app, you are offered the chance to download walking history tours for ten different towns and cities in the county.

Released by Wiltshire Council in December 2023, these tours are spread across the county quite evenly and currently include Trowbridge, Marlborough, Salisbury, Chippenham, Warminster, Bradford on Avon, Devizes, Pewsey, Malmesbury and Cricklade.

I have reported on Marlborough for the Gazette and Herald for the last six months, and during that time I have already been immersed in its rich history, famous faces and key annual events.

If I'm being honest, I expected a nice afternoon walk around places in the town I already knew - but that wasn't the case.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The app explores the lesser-known history of many Wiltshire towns.The app explores the lesser-known history of many Wiltshire towns. (Image: Ben Phillips)

The 'Marvellous Marlborough' tour covered 14 historic sites and took around two hours to complete (not including a lunch stop along the way).

The tour began with an audio introduction to the town by TV's Time Team and Wessex Archaeology's own Phil Harding, whose voice is about as 'Wiltshire' as they come and set the scene perfectly.

The app then guided me to each historic landmark, some of which I had come across before, such as a plaque the Great Fire of Marlborough plaque and a famous author's house, but many of which I hadn't.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Great Fire of Marlborough raged through the town in 1653, changing its High Street forever.The Great Fire of Marlborough raged through the town in 1653, changing its High Street forever. (Image: Newsquest)

​My partner, who joined me on the adventure and had never been to Marlborough before, was amazed to discover that "that was the actual mound that Merlin was supposedly buried on right there," and particularly enjoyed the fun trivia included at each stop.

The tour was a 2km trip which was easily walkable and wheelchair accessible, and large parts of it centred around the High Street which provided the perfect opportunity to make a day of it and stop for a nice lunch on route.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The childhood home of William Golding, author of 'Lord of the Flies'.The childhood home of William Golding, author of 'Lord of the Flies'. (Image: Newsquest)

I would recommend not doing the app's trails on a Sunday as I did, as I had to skip certain landmarks such as Cardinal Wolsey's bronze cat, located inside St Peter's Church, because the church was closed.

It was also rather chilly as I had chosen a windy day in January and the tour was all outdoors, but I can easily see the app providing the perfect fun day out for all the family as the weather improves.