A small city with heaps of history, Salisbury is famed for its medieval Salisbury Cathedral. The church boasts the tallest church spire in England, as well as a copy of the Magna Carta. Located in Wiltshire, about two hours' drive from London, Salisbury is also a convenient stop-off point for those visiting Stonehenge.
The quaint English cathedral city of Salisbury showcases 1,000 years of history. Its architectural mix includes everything from half-timbered Tudor homes to Victorian terrace houses, plus verdant oases such as Queen Elizabeth Gardens. The soaring Salisbury Cathedral (and its copy of the Magna Carta—one of only four in existence) is a highlight. Other popular attractions include the Salisbury Museum, Wilton House, and Old Sarum, an Iron-Age site that represents the earliest settlements in the area.
Salisbury is often included in multipart, full-day tours of the region, which also frequently feature stops at nearby Stonehenge and Lacock Abbey, a country home with monastic origins.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Salisbury's Charter Market, held on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the historical Market Place, is a must-stop for local foods, gifts, and more.
- Authors ranging from Charles Dickens to Thomas Hardy have written about Salisbury; John Constable made several paintings of the Salisbury Cathedral.
- The city includes an array of traditional pubs and restaurants, and the cathedral’s Refectory Restaurant is a popular spot for afternoon tea.
How to Get There
Roughly 30 trains depart daily from Waterloo Station and reach Salisbury in less than two hours. Alternatively, organized tours frequently include bus or car transportation and offer a convenient way to visit.
When to Get There
There’s no bad time of year to visit Salisbury, as the cathedral city is as scenic in summer as it is when covered with a dusting of snow. Salisbury does host several popular annual festivals—including celebrations for St. George’s Day in late April and the early summer Salisbury International Arts Festival. Summer Solstice remains a popular time to visit Stonehenge.
In addition to its own historic charms, Salisbury is also the perfect jumping-off point for visitors looking to explore UNESCO-listed Stonehenge. The prehistoric stone circle is roughly a 20-minute drive from Salisbury; alternatively, visit Stonehenge on a tour, or via the dedicated Stonehenge Tour Bus, which makes multiple hop-on hop-off journeys between the city and Stonehenge every day.