City of Salisbury
Wiltshire SP2 0HT
Visitors wishing to explore one of the oldest inhabited regions of England would do well to base themselves near Salisbury in southern England. It is only 85 miles (137 km) from London via a good access road.
This delightful cathedral town retains its medieval atmosphere and is close to the two largest stone circles in England, namely Stonehenge and Avebury.
Attractions range from the beautiful Early English Salisbury Cathedral with the highest spire in England to the 5,000 year old hill fort Old Sarum, the original site of Salisbury. The city is now positioned at the confluence of five rivers which have been redirected and controlled with weirs to run through landscaped gardens.
The town itself is very compact and has an abundance of small shops selling lovely arts and crafts, and a market is held in the Square twice a week. There are many cosy pubs and restaurants in narrow, half-timbered streets and lanes.
The best place to start planning your stay in Salisbury is via the Salisbury Tourist Information Centre (Salisbury TIC) which can be visited either in person or online.
In an effort to reduce the amount of traffic passing through the town visitors are asked to make use of the excellent and cheap Park and Ride facilities. There are 5 car parks, one on each major route into Salisbury. Buses run every 12-15 minutes. For details go to Web: Wiltshire/ Parking & Transport External Link
Salisbury has a strong artistic community, with galleries situated in the city centre. There is a fine museum with a permanent Stonehenge exhibit, in The King’s House opposite the Cathedral’s west front. The Salisbury Playhouse provides regular theatre performances throughout the year.
The International Arts Festival held in late May to early June each year, provides a programme of theatre, live music, dance, public sculpture, street performance and art exhibitions.
The surrounding area is the location of some fine stately homes and gardens such as Stourhead, Wilton and Longleat House & Safari Park.
Perhaps industrial heritage is more of an interest. Wiltshire can cater for this too. The West Kennet and Avon Canal runs across the county through many delightful villages and a very pleasant time can be had following the canal.
Swindon in north Wiltshire is home to the magnificent Steam Railway Museum. The old GWR railway workshops house a superb static collection of GWR engines and relics of this grand railway. It is very ‘hands-on’ - visitors can climb aboard the engines, through the carriages and walk underneath them as well. It is a great day out for both children and adults.
Another amazing attraction in this part of Wiltshire is the Uffington White Horse, a giant prehistoric chalk figure cut into a rolling hillside. The whole area is steeped in legend and myth and is a little over an hour’s drive from Salisbury.
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The city has a good choice of public transport.
- By Bus & Coach
Salisbury Reds provide most local bus services and Park & Ride services whilst National Express run coaches to and from London, Bath, Bristol and the Midlands as well as London Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Go to Web: Visit Salisbury/ Plan Your Visit External Link
- By Rail
Salisbury railway station is the crossing point of the West of England Main Line, from London Waterloo to Exeter, and the Wessex Main Line from Bristol to Southampton. The station is operated by South West Trains. For information go to Web: National Rail Enquiries External Link