15 Best Things To Do In Salisbury, England

15 Best Things To Do In Salisbury, England

By will

Salisbury, England, is a charming and historic city that offers a plethora of activities for travelers to enjoy.

From its magnificent cathedral to its ancient wonders, Salisbury has something to captivate every visitor.

In this article, I will take you on a journey through the 15 best things to do in Salisbury, providing you with a firsthand account of the city’s hidden gems and must-see attractions.

As you explore Salisbury, one of the first sights that will leave you in awe is the Salisbury Cathedral.

With its towering spire and intricate Gothic architecture, the cathedral is a testament to the city’s rich history and artistic heritage.

Step inside and you’ll be greeted by magnificent stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and the peaceful atmosphere of this sacred place.

Make sure to climb to the top of the spire for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Salisbury Cathedral: A Testament of Gothic Splendor

Salisbury Cathedral
Photo by PAUL FARMER

You can’t help but be in awe as you step inside Salisbury Cathedral, where the grandeur of its Gothic architecture will take your breath away. The moment you enter, you are greeted by the towering nave, with its slender columns reaching towards the heavens.

The high vaulted ceilings adorned with intricate carvings and delicate tracery create an atmosphere of ethereal beauty.

As you wander through the cathedral, you’ll come across the magnificent stained glass windows that drench the space in a kaleidoscope of colors. Each window tells a story, depicting scenes from biblical tales and historical events. The play of light and shadow cast by the windows adds to the mystical aura of the cathedral.

One cannot miss the cathedral’s most famous feature, the spire. Standing at a staggering 404 feet tall, it is the tallest spire in all of England. Its graceful ascent into the sky is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the medieval builders. Climbing to the top of the spire rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

Salisbury Cathedral is not just a beautiful architectural marvel; it is also a place of spiritual significance. It houses one of the four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta, a pivotal document in English history.

The cathedral offers a tranquil space for reflection and contemplation, inviting visitors to connect with something bigger than themselves.

Visiting Salisbury Cathedral is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply in search of a peaceful sanctuary, this Gothic masterpiece will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Exploring History at Salisbury Museum

Salisbury Museum: Display of artefacts 1
Photo by Michael Garlick

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Salisbury by exploring the captivating exhibits at Salisbury Museum. As you step into the museum, you’re immediately transported back in time. You’re surrounded by artifacts and stories that span thousands of years.

From ancient relics to modern artwork, the museum offers a comprehensive collection. It showcases the diverse history of this enchanting city.

One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of archaeological finds from the nearby Stonehenge. You can marvel at the intricate tools and pottery used by our ancestors. This allows you to gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.

The museum also houses an impressive display of Roman artifacts. This gives you a glimpse into the city’s past as a thriving Roman settlement. From intricate mosaics to beautifully preserved jewelry, these artifacts offer a fascinating insight into the lives of the Romans who once called Salisbury home.

In addition to its archaeological treasures, the museum also showcases a wide range of art and history exhibits. From paintings by renowned artists to interactive displays that bring history to life, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

As you wander through the museum, you can learn about the city’s medieval past, the impact of World War II, and the fascinating stories of the people who have shaped Salisbury over the centuries.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the city’s past, a visit to Salisbury Museum is a must-do when exploring this historic English town.

Discovering Ancient Wonders at Stonehenge

Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain
Photo by Alan Hunt

Get ready to be transported back in time as you discover the ancient wonders of Stonehenge and marvel at its mysterious beauty.

As I approached the iconic stone circle, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder. The massive stones, towering above me, stood as silent witnesses to centuries of human history.

Walking around the perimeter, I marveled at the precision and ingenuity of the ancient builders who constructed this monumental masterpiece. The sheer size and weight of the stones left me in awe, as I tried to imagine how they were transported and raised into position.

As I learned from the informative displays, Stonehenge was built over 4,000 years ago, and its purpose still remains a mystery. Was it a burial site, an astronomical observatory, or a place of worship? Theories abound, but the true purpose of Stonehenge remains elusive, adding to its enigmatic allure.

As I soaked in the atmosphere, surrounded by the ancient stones, I couldn’t help but feel a deep connection to the past. The sun cast long shadows across the landscape, creating an ethereal and almost otherworldly ambiance. It was a humbling experience to witness the power of human creativity and the enduring legacy of our ancestors.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply curious about the mysteries of the past, a visit to Stonehenge is an absolute must. Prepare to be captivated by its ancient wonders and to embark on a journey that transcends time.

Enjoying a Relaxing Stroll Along the River Avon

Experience the tranquility and serenity of a leisurely stroll along the picturesque River Avon, allowing the gentle flow of the water and the beauty of the surrounding scenery to wash away your worries.

As I meandered along the riverbank, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the peacefulness that enveloped me. The soothing sound of the water lapping against the rocks created a rhythmic melody that instantly put me at ease. It was as if time stood still, and all that mattered in that moment was the sheer beauty of nature.

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The River Avon offered a feast for the senses. The air was crisp and filled with the scent of fresh grass and wildflowers that lined the riverbank. The vibrant colors of the blooming flora painted a picturesque backdrop against the clear blue sky. Ducks gracefully glided across the water, their gentle quacks echoing in the distance. The occasional boat passing by added a touch of liveliness to the tranquil scene.

As I continued my stroll, I couldn’t help but notice the historic landmarks that dotted the river’s edge. The medieval buildings and charming bridges showcased the rich history of Salisbury. The sight of the famous Salisbury Cathedral in the distance added an air of grandeur to the already enchanting landscape. It was a truly immersive experience, where every step unveiled a new vista to admire.

A leisurely stroll along the River Avon is not just a walk; it is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of nature, history, and tranquility. It offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find solace in the simplicity of a riverside stroll.

So, if you find yourself in Salisbury, make sure to take the time to enjoy this hidden gem and let the river’s gentle flow wash away your worries.

Salisbury Market Square: A Culinary Adventure

Indulge your taste buds in Salisbury Market Square, where a culinary adventure awaits you.

As you step into the bustling square, a symphony of aromas fills the air, enticing you to explore the vibrant food stalls that line the cobblestone streets.

From artisan cheeses and freshly baked bread to exotic spices and local produce, the market offers a delightful array of culinary delights.

One of the highlights of the market square is the opportunity to sample traditional English fare. Sink your teeth into a succulent pork pie, crispy on the outside and filled with juicy meat and savory seasonings. Or perhaps you prefer a hearty Cornish pasty, with its flaky pastry shell and a filling of tender beef, potatoes, and onions.

Wash it all down with a refreshing pint of real ale from one of the local breweries.

But the market square isn’t just about traditional English cuisine. It also embraces international flavors, with stalls offering everything from mouthwatering Italian pasta dishes to fragrant Indian curries.

Allow your senses to be transported as you savor the rich flavors and spices from around the world. Don’t forget to explore the sweet treats on offer as well, with delectable pastries, cakes, and chocolates tempting you at every turn.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking for a satisfying meal, Salisbury Market Square is a food lover’s paradise.

Lose yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, immerse yourself in the diverse range of flavors, and embark on a culinary journey that will leave you craving more.

Immerse Yourself in Art at the Young Gallery

Immerse yourself in a world of creativity and inspiration at the Young Gallery, where art comes alive in every brushstroke and vibrant color.

As soon as I stepped into this artistic haven, I was immediately captivated by the diverse collection of artwork on display. The gallery showcases a wide range of styles and mediums, from traditional paintings to contemporary sculptures, offering something to appeal to every artistic taste.

The Young Gallery not only displays the works of established artists, but it also provides a platform for emerging talents to showcase their creations. This commitment to supporting local artists adds a unique and dynamic element to the gallery, as you can witness the evolution of art in real-time.

Walking through the gallery, I was struck by the talent and skill of the artists, as well as the thought-provoking themes and messages conveyed through their work.

One of the highlights of my visit was the opportunity to engage with the artwork on a deeper level through interactive exhibits and workshops. The gallery hosts regular events and educational programs, allowing visitors to not only appreciate the art but also actively participate in the creative process. Whether it’s attending a painting workshop or joining a guided tour, there are ample opportunities to learn, explore, and be inspired.

The Young Gallery is a true gem in Salisbury, inviting both art enthusiasts and casual visitors to immerse themselves in a world of artistic expression. It is a place where you can let your imagination run wild, surrounded by beauty and creativity.

I left the gallery feeling inspired and with a newfound appreciation for the power of art to evoke emotions and spark conversations.

Salisbury Arts Centre: A Hub of Creativity

Nestled in the heart of Salisbury, the Salisbury Arts Centre is a vibrant hub of creativity that will ignite your artistic passions.

As soon as you step inside, you are enveloped by a palpable energy that emanates from the diverse range of artistic expressions on display.

The center houses a stunning collection of contemporary art, showcasing the talent of both local and international artists. From thought-provoking paintings to innovative sculptures, each piece tells a unique story that will captivate your imagination.

Beyond the visual arts, the Salisbury Arts Centre also hosts a wide variety of performances, including theater productions, live music concerts, and dance shows.

The intimate setting of the theater allows you to get up close and personal with the performers, enhancing your experience and creating an unforgettable connection.

Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or simply looking to explore new creative horizons, the Salisbury Arts Centre offers something for everyone.

Immerse yourself in the buzzing atmosphere, attend a workshop or exhibition, and let your own artistic spirit be nurtured and inspired in this dynamic cultural hub.

Nature and Wildlife at Langford Lakes Nature Reserve

After exploring the artistic side of Salisbury at the Salisbury Arts Centre, I was craving some fresh air and a connection with nature. Luckily, I found just the place at Langford Lakes Nature Reserve.

This serene oasis is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. As I stepped into the reserve, I was immediately captivated by the tranquility that enveloped the surroundings. The air was fragrant with the scent of wildflowers, and the gentle rustling of leaves provided a soothing soundtrack to my adventure.

Walking along the well-maintained trails, I couldn’t help but marvel at the diverse range of flora and fauna that called this place home. From vibrant butterflies fluttering gracefully to the melodic songs of birds echoing through the trees, every step seemed to reveal a new and enchanting discovery.

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As I continued my exploration, I stumbled upon the sparkling waters of the lakes that give the reserve its name. The sight of ducks gracefully gliding across the water and dragonflies darting above the surface filled me with a sense of wonder and admiration for the intricate balance of nature. I found myself captivated by the peacefulness of the scene, taking a moment to simply sit and absorb the beauty that surrounded me.

Langford Lakes Nature Reserve truly offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It allows visitors to reconnect with the natural world and appreciate the wonders that can be found just outside the city. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone in need of a peaceful retreat, this nature reserve is a must-visit destination in Salisbury.

Salisbury Racecourse: A Day at the Races

Get ready for an exhilarating day filled with the thundering hooves of racehorses and the excitement of cheering crowds at Salisbury Racecourse. As you step onto the grounds, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant atmosphere of one of England’s finest racecourses.

Located in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, this historic venue offers a thrilling day out for both avid racing enthusiasts and casual visitors.

Once you’ve found your spot by the trackside, get ready to witness the adrenaline-fueled action of live horse racing. The sight of these majestic animals thundering past is truly awe-inspiring. Feel the anticipation build as the jockeys guide their horses towards the finish line, and experience the rush of cheering alongside fellow spectators. The excitement is contagious, and you’ll find yourself getting caught up in the energy of the moment.

Aside from the thrill of the races, Salisbury Racecourse also offers a variety of amenities to enhance your day. Indulge in delicious food and drinks from the on-site bars and restaurants, or bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Take a stroll around the paddock area to admire the horses up close before they make their way to the starting line. Whether you’re a seasoned punter or simply looking for a fun day out, a visit to Salisbury Racecourse promises an unforgettable experience that combines the elegance of horse racing with the thrill of competition.

Salisbury Playhouse: The Heart of Performing Arts

Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of performing arts at Salisbury Playhouse, where you’ll discover a diverse range of captivating productions and talented performers.

As you step into the theater, you’ll be greeted by a buzzing atmosphere filled with anticipation and excitement. The Playhouse has a rich history dating back to 1947 and has since become the heart of the performing arts scene in Salisbury.

The Playhouse offers a wide variety of performances, from gripping dramas and thought-provoking plays to hilarious comedies and heartwarming musicals. No matter your taste, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The talented performers bring these productions to life with their exceptional skills and dedication, leaving the audience enthralled and moved.

The intimate setting of the theater allows for a truly immersive experience, where you can feel every emotion and connect with the performers on a deeper level.

In addition to the main stage productions, Salisbury Playhouse also hosts a range of community events and workshops, providing an opportunity for local talent to showcase their skills and for aspiring actors to develop their craft. The Playhouse is dedicated to fostering a love for the performing arts, offering educational programs for children and young adults to learn and grow in a creative environment.

Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable night out, Salisbury Playhouse is a must-visit destination in the heart of Salisbury. Allow yourself to be transported into a world of captivating performances and immerse yourself in the magic of the performing arts.

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum: Unearthing the Past

Discover the captivating stories of ancient civilizations and uncover the secrets of the past at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

As I entered the museum, I was immediately drawn to the remarkable collection of artifacts that span thousands of years. From prehistoric times to the Roman era, the museum offers a comprehensive look into the rich history of Salisbury and its surrounding areas.

One of the highlights of the museum is its display of Stonehenge artifacts. Being just a short distance away from the iconic Stonehenge site, the museum serves as the perfect place to delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding this ancient monument. I was mesmerized by the intricate tools and pottery on display, which shed light on the daily lives of the people who built and used Stonehenge. The museum also features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the techniques used in the construction of Stonehenge, providing a truly immersive experience.

In addition to its Stonehenge collection, the museum showcases a wide range of archaeological finds, including Bronze Age treasures, Roman artifacts, and medieval relics. Walking through the exhibits, I felt a sense of awe and wonder as I discovered the stories behind each artifact. The museum’s knowledgeable staff were always on hand to answer questions and provide fascinating insights into the historical context of these objects.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum offers a captivating journey through time. With its extensive collection and engaging exhibits, this museum is a must-visit for anyone looking to uncover the secrets of the past in Salisbury, England.

A Taste of Local Produce at Farmer’s Markets

Indulge your senses in the vibrant atmosphere of Salisbury’s Farmer’s Markets, where you can savor the delectable flavors of locally sourced produce and immerse yourself in the community’s passion for fresh, sustainable food.

As you stroll through the bustling market stalls, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and a symphony of enticing aromas. The vibrant displays of fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, homemade breads, and fragrant herbs are a feast for the eyes and a temptation for the taste buds.

Not only can you taste the difference in the quality of the produce, but you can also feel good about supporting local farmers and producers. Salisbury’s Farmer’s Markets are a celebration of the region’s rich agricultural heritage and a testament to the community’s commitment to sustainable farming practices.

From organic vegetables to grass-fed meats, you can find a wide array of locally sourced, high-quality products that are not only delicious but also environmentally friendly. So, whether you’re a food lover, a supporter of local businesses, or simply curious about the flavors of Salisbury, a visit to the Farmer’s Markets is a must-do experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the incredible bounty of the region.

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Salisbury Ghost Tour: Uncovering Haunting Tales

As I wander through the dimly lit streets of Salisbury on the Ghost Tour, eerie tales of haunted buildings and lingering spirits come to life, sending shivers down my spine.

The tour guide, dressed in a Victorian-era outfit, leads us to the most haunted spots in the city, sharing chilling stories of ghostly encounters and unexplained phenomena. The atmosphere is electric with anticipation as we listen attentively, hoping to catch a glimpse of the supernatural.

One of the highlights of the tour is the haunted Salisbury Cathedral. As we stand in its shadow, the guide recounts the tale of a ghostly figure that is said to wander the halls at night. The cathedral’s Gothic architecture adds to the eerie ambiance, making it the perfect setting for ghostly encounters. The guide’s vivid storytelling paints a vivid picture in my mind, and I can almost feel the presence of the spirits that are said to inhabit this ancient building.

Moving through the city, we visit other haunted locations, such as the Black Horse Inn and the Haunch of Venison pub. Each place has its own chilling story, filled with mystery and intrigue. The guide’s passion for the supernatural is infectious, and I find myself fully immersed in the haunting tales.

By the end of the tour, I’m left with a newfound appreciation for the rich history and ghostly legends of Salisbury. The Ghost Tour is a must-do for anyone seeking a thrilling and spine-tingling experience in this historic city.

Hiking and Cycling Adventures on the Salisbury Plain

As I wrapped up my spine-tingling Salisbury Ghost Tour, I was ready to trade in the eerie tales for some outdoor adventure. Lucky for me, the Salisbury Plain offers an abundance of opportunities for hiking and cycling.

With its expansive landscapes, rolling hills, and ancient monuments, this vast expanse of land is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the most popular hiking trails on the Salisbury Plain is the Stonehenge Landscape Trail. This 15-mile circular route takes you through the heart of the World Heritage Site, offering breathtaking views of the iconic Stonehenge and its surrounding ancient monuments. As I followed the trail, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer magnitude of these ancient structures.

The Stonehenge Landscape Trail also takes you through the beautiful countryside, dotted with wildflowers and grazing sheep. It was a truly immersive experience, connecting me to both the rich history and natural beauty of the area.

For those who prefer to explore on two wheels, the Salisbury Plain has plenty to offer as well. With its network of quiet country lanes and off-road tracks, cycling through this picturesque landscape is a joy. There are various routes to choose from, catering to different skill levels and preferences. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist looking for a challenging off-road adventure or a leisurely rider wanting to take in the scenery at a more relaxed pace, there’s something for everyone.

As I pedaled through the countryside, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of freedom and exhilaration. The fresh air, the stunning vistas, and the sense of exploration made for an unforgettable experience.

With its diverse landscapes and breathtaking views, the Salisbury Plain is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer hiking or cycling, there’s no shortage of adventures to be had. So lace up your hiking boots or hop on your bike, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this captivating area.

Exploring the Wonders of the New Forest National Park

Experience the wonders of the New Forest National Park as you explore its enchanting woodlands, picturesque villages, and diverse wildlife.

The New Forest National Park is a true haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. As you step into the park, you’ll be greeted by a canopy of ancient trees, their branches reaching out and creating a magical atmosphere.

The woodlands are teeming with life, from the gentle rustle of rabbits scurrying through the undergrowth to the melodious songs of birds echoing through the air. Walking through the forest feels like stepping into a fairytale, with each twist and turn revealing a new hidden gem.

The New Forest National Park is not just about its lush woodlands; it is also home to charming villages that seem frozen in time. As you wander through the narrow lanes lined with thatched cottages, you can’t help but be captivated by the old-world charm that exudes from every corner.

You might stumble upon a local pub, where you can take a break and indulge in some traditional English fare. The villages are also a great starting point for exploring the park’s many walking and cycling trails, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

In the New Forest National Park, every step you take is an adventure waiting to unfold. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the bustling city life, this park has something for everyone.

So put on your walking shoes, take a deep breath of the fresh forest air, and let the wonders of the New Forest National Park take you on a journey you’ll never forget.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my visit to Salisbury, England was truly unforgettable. From the awe-inspiring Salisbury Cathedral and its Gothic splendor to the fascinating exhibits at the Salisbury Museum, I was transported back in time and immersed in the rich history of this charming city.

The highlight of my trip was undoubtedly the chance to discover the ancient wonders of Stonehenge, a mystical and captivating site that left me in awe.

Not only did I indulge in the historical attractions, but I also enjoyed the simple pleasures Salisbury had to offer. Taking a relaxing stroll along the picturesque River Avon, I felt a sense of tranquility and serenity wash over me.

The vibrant Salisbury Market Square provided a culinary adventure, with its diverse range of delicious food and local produce. I couldn’t resist exploring the Farmer’s Markets and indulging in the flavors of the region.

Additionally, the Salisbury Ghost Tour added a thrilling touch to my experience, uncovering haunting tales and legends that sent shivers down my spine.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, the Salisbury Plain offered endless hiking and cycling opportunities, allowing me to connect with nature and marvel at the stunning landscapes. And let’s not forget the wonders of the New Forest National Park, where I had the chance to explore its enchanting beauty.

Overall, Salisbury, England has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, this charming city will captivate your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories. I highly recommend visiting Salisbury and immersing yourself in its rich culture, stunning architecture, and natural wonders.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.