AboutSuperbly situated in southern England’s rural heartland, medieval Salisbury is the perfect fusion of ancient and modern. The city lies at the confluence of five rivers and the awe-inspiring sight of the Cathedral, rising up from the water-meadows, has been described as ‘Britain’s best view’ by readers of Country Life magazine.
Salisbury Cathedral is Britain’s finest 13th century cathedral, a magnificent example of Early English Gothic architecture. It was built in just 38 years (AD 1220-1258) and offers one superlative after another, from the tallest spire in Britain (123m/404ft) and the oldest working clock in Europe (AD 1386), to the world’s best preserved original Magna Carta (AD 1215) and the largest cathedral cloisters in Britain. Situated in the largest cathedral close in Britain, it is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings and eight acres of lawns.
You can explore the roof spaces on a tower tour and experience breathtaking views of the nave from above, as well as over Salisbury and the surrounding countryside. Free guided floor tours of the Cathedral are available most days and all visitors are welcome to attend the daily services sung by boy and girl choristers, continuing a tradition of worship that dates back nearly 750 years.
Other attractions within the Cathedral Close include Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, The Wardrobe Military Museum and Mompesson House – built in 1701, the latter is a perfect example of Queen Anne architecture and featured in the award-winning film of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
One of the great things about shopping in Salisbury is the compact nature of the city centre – from major high street names to specialist independent retailers, nothing is ever more than a short stroll away. Many of Salisbury’s shops are housed in historic half-timbered buildings, while the thriving Charter Market has been coming here every Tuesday* and Saturday for almost 800 years.
From pubs with gardens to pubs with ghosts, Salisbury has plenty of traditional inns where you can enjoy excellent food and drink at reasonable prices. And when it comes to restaurants, the city offers everything from eclectic English to inspirational Indian, indulgent Italian or tempting Thai. The Market Place is bordered by cosmopolitan pavement cafés and there are plenty of cosy tea shops to tempt you in with delicious cakes and pastries.
As a city, Salisbury embraces the arts in the broadest sense: first-class venues such as Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury Arts Centre offer quality entertainment throughout the year, from drama and dance to exhibitions and lectures, and Salisbury is fortunate to enjoy a wide range of musical events, from classical recitals to jazz bands, folk singers to pop groups.
Salisbury also takes enormous pride in its gardens: overflowing with colourful planters and hanging baskets throughout the summer months, the city is fortunate to have many acres of parkland and riverside settings where you can take time out to relax and recharge.
All of which makes Salisbury an unbeatable destination for day trips and short breaks alike!