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Destinations > UK > West Country > Salisbury guide

Salisbury is often described as traditional England and this is not surprising with it incredible history, historical houses and museums. The surrounding area and countryside is home to traditional English village greens and thatched roof cottages, plus fabulous countryside views and wildlife.

Salisbury is a beautiful medieval city, and is home to 6000 years of history. It boasts a spectacular cathedral with the tallest spire in England, which is some 404 feet in height. The cathedral was built between 1220 and 1258 and is perhaps Britain's finest example of medieval architecture. The spire was added a generation later and can be seen for miles around. Salisbury is also home to a massive Iron Age hillfort Old Sarum (Old Salisbury). The Romans, Saxons, and Norman's, later reused it, then it became a flourishing Medieval settlement. This fantastic site in Salisbury reflects it rich history and heritage.

Why not take a trip into the countryside, the surrounding area has many historical castles to discover. No trip to this area would be complete without at least some exploration of the rich pre history that it has. There are plenty of pre-historic monuments to explore, such as Woodhenge, Stonehenge and many others that are just as fascinating.

However if all this exploring seems too much there are plenty of parks in Salisbury to relax in, take a stroll or a picnic.

Salisbury has one foot firmly in the past but today it is also a vibrant and lively city. It is a great place to shop or take time out in one of the many coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, or why not try out one of the many pubs, some of which serve good food at competitive prices.

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Salisbury Arts Center
Offering exciting and varied performances. Specializing in "Global culture", with everything from contemporary, classic theater to dance and family shows. There are also arts based workshops for all ages available, all housed in a former 13th century church.
Location: Bedwin Street
Telephone: 01722 321 1744

Salisbury Play House
Here you can enjoy some of the finest theater in the region, from classic drama, musicals to comedy.
Location: Malthouse Lane
Telephone: 01722 320 117

Studio Theatre
Enjoy five to six performances a year from Salisbury's leading amateur drama company. Their performances are excellent and vary from classic to modern plays. In July they also stage an open air Shakespeare production.
Location: Ashley Road
Telephone: 01722 322 468

City Hall Entertainment Center
Enjoy a host of amateur events as well as many of the national touring shows.
Location: Malthouse Lane
Telephone: 01722 334 432



Salisbury Cathedral
Built between 1220 and 1258 this cathedral is one of Britain's finest examples of medieval architecture. The Chapter House has a unique medieval frieze and an original Magna Carta.
Location: St Mary's Cathedral, The Close, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 555 120

Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
Travel back in time to pre historic Salisbury and surrounding area. Explore the Stonehenge gallery or learn about Old Sarum (old Salisbury) from the time of the Romans and Saxons. Marvel at the 17th century rooms and the collection of Wedgwood, porcelain, pottery, plus water colors by Turner and much more.
Location: The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 332 151

Old Sarum Castle
This is a great Iron Age Hillfort, it was reused by the Romans, Saxons and Norman's, it then became one of the most flourishing settlements in medieval England. A magnificent place to wonder around the ruins and soak up the atmosphere of the surrounding views of the countryside.
Location: Castle road, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 335 398

The Medieval Hall
Here you can discover the secrets of Salisbury on a 40-minute introduction to this Medieval City.
Location: The Close (2 minutes walk from the Cathedral on the West Walk)
Telephone: 01722 324 731

Old Wardour Castle
Protected by acres of woodland, the unusual hexagonal ruins of this castle have a peaceful lakeside setting, which masks its bloody past. This castle is great for days out and picnics as well as exploring its history.
Location: Near Tisbury (About a 20-minuet drive, west of Salisbury)
Telephone: 01747 870 487

Larmer Tree Garden
General Pitt Rivers created this exciting garden in 1880, there is everything from an open air theater, Roman Temple and Nepalese Carved buildings and Water features.
Location: Tollard Royal (Off the B3081, 20 minutes South West of Salisbury)
Telephone: 01725 516 453



Salisbury and the surrounding area is without a doubt full of history and heritage, some of which dates back to the civilizations of the Stone and Bronze Ages between 5000 and 3000 years ago. The great and ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is perhaps the most renowned monument of it time in this area if not the entire country. However Stonehenge is not an isolated monument of its time, in fact the whole area is a rich prehistoric landscape filled with the remains of ceremonial and domestic structures, some older than Stonehenge itself. There are many earthworks, burial mounds and other circular henge monuments. At Avebury the town itself is built inside a giant stone circle, with an avenue of some 200 paired stones that lead from the south entrance to another ceremonial site The Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is a short distance away and consists of concentric stone rings. There is also Silbury Hill, built in 2700BC, this is the largest man made prehistoric mound in Europe, it stands 130 feet high and covers 5 acres. There are many more sites in this area that are just as fascinating and well worth exploring.

A short distance from Salisbury City center will bring you to the ruins of Old Sarum Castle. (Sarum is Salisbury's ancient name) This is a massive Iron Age Hillfort, which was reused by the Romans, Saxons and Norman's, it later become one of the most thriving medieval settlements in England. Take a trip to the Medieval Hall in Salisbury to learn about the city's fascinating Medieval history.



If it is sport and leisure activities you want Salisbury has a great choice on offer. The city is blessed with a number of parks, which are great for a stroll, a picnic, or to enjoying the wildlife. They also offer crazy golf, tennis, basketball or football, plus a skateboarding park. During the summer months the parks are venues for great live music. If you like you sporting activities with more adventure then why not try your hand at Karting, laser shooting, off roading in Land Rover's, or enjoy the views of the area from a hot air balloon. There are also a number of leisure centers with great facilities from swimming pools to fitness suites and work out areas.

The surrounding countryside is so beautiful, so why not take a drive, a walk or even a cycle and discover the many hidden delights. There are great views, historical monuments and superb wildlife to discover.Salisbury Swimming Pool
Location: College Street, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 339 373Tisbury and District Sports Center
Location: Weaveland Road, Tisbury
Telephone: 01747 871 141Salisbury Leisure Center
Location: The Butts, Hulse Road, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 339 966Salisbury & South Wilts Golf Club
Location: Netherhampton, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 742 645The Rapids of Romsey
Location: Southhampton Road, Romsey, Hampshire
Telephone: 01794 830 333Avago Karting & Laser Shooting
Location: Windrush Cottage, West Dean, Salisbury
Telephone: 01794 884 693Hayball Cycle Center
Location: 26-30 Winchester Street, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 411 378Ottons Land Rover Off Road
Location: Old Sarum Park, Salisbury
Telephone: 01722 414 400Cameron Balloon Flight
Location: St Francis Chambers, 23 High Street, Pewset, Wiltshire
Telephone: 01672 562 277



There is everything here from high street names to craft shops and unique boutiques. Many off the shops are housed in beautiful historic medieval timber framed buildings. The center of the city also has a shopping area that is pedestrianised, giving extra safety and comfort when you explore the shops and ancient streets. Salisbury has an indoor shopping center the Cross Keys for that essential weather proof shopping, in the Cross Keys Shopping Center you will find everything from bridal wear, fashion, to home wear, plus much more. There are two outdoor shopping centers in the center, The Maltings Shopping Center and the Old George Mall, here you will find everything from high street fashion to crafts. Just a little outside Salisbury is The Wilton Shopping Village, this is located on Minster Street in Wilton. This is a great shopping experience in an historical, riverside setting. Salisbury also has a great market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, here you will find everything from local food goods to exotic foods, homeware, fashion and carpets. There is so much at the market to see, with plenty of tempting aromas, it is great to wonder round and soak up the atmosphere.




Salisbury's nearest airport is Bristol Lulsgate, London Gatwick, or London Heathrow.


Salisbury is easily accessed by car from the M3, M5, M4 and A303, A27. Ones in the center there are many car parks to choice from in different part of the city, all of which are sign posted and pay and display.


Salisbury bus station is in the center of the city on Endless Street. Here there are regular services to and from all over the Salisbury and the surrounding area. If you are wishing to travel to Salisbury by coach, or continue your journey by coach from Salisbury, National Express Coach services run all over the U.K. offering a good service from a wide range of pick up points and destinations.
Telephone: National Express - 0990 80 80 80


Salisbury's train station is situated in the center of the city on Western Road. There are services from Salisbury all over the U.K. if not direct there will be good connections.
Telephone: 0345 48 49 50


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