Salisbury is situated right next to the River Avon and the only real city in Wiltshire. The biggest draw for visitors is usually its history, rather than the sprawling maze of commercial development. It is quite small and not as intimidating as a typical city. It’s been kept in pristine condition and it feels like your walking back in time, especially the closer you get to the cathedral. Despite its size and demeanour the city is full of shops and places to visit.


Literally standing out amongst the crowd is Salisbury Cathedral. It is one of the most defining visual landmarks the city has, with its gothic architecture and standing at an amazing 123 meters (making it the tallest cathedral in England). Painted by John Constable and built over 600 years ago, it is a highly recommended place to visit.

Stonehenge is one of the most recognisable places in the world and also one of the most important pre-historic sites in the UK, dating back 3500 years. It can be very busy, especially during the summer months, but neither that or the motorway right by it seems to damage Stonehenge’s impact. A highly enjoyable trip but possibly not something that will take up an entire day. Stonehenge is 2 miles west of the city on the A303 and you can easily get there by car or take a bus from Salisbury itself.

The Avebury pre-historic stone circle can be found to the north of the city. It is larger than Stonehenge and is one of the largest in all of Europe. Avebury is well worth a visit and is well suited to a day visit as it has its own museum and restaurant. Avebury is situated about 2 miles north of Salisbury on the Bath road.

Salisbury or ‘new Sarum’ is hundreds of years old, but the remnants of the settlement's original location can still be seen at Old Sarum castle. A visit to the museum (within the grounds) will allow you to discover a past dating back thousands of years. One of the best things about Old Sarum, apart from the history, is the view, from atop the hill you can see the entire city spread below, with the Cathedral towering in the distance.

If you’re short on time, each place can be covered in a couple of hours and due to their proximity to the main roads you should be able to visit quite a few places in a day. There are tours that run in and around the local area, to find out more it is best to enquire at the tourist information office listed at the bottom of this guide.


Most of the shops are located in the town centre and adjoining streets. Whilst there are many common shops and stores that you might expect to see, there are a few that are more unique. These are mainly found in the abundance of local craft and specialist shops that make anything from glassware to local chocolates.

Nightlife and Eating Out

With regards to nightlife, there isn’t really one. Although there are a wealth of pubs, if your looking for a night out (and a bit of a morning), Bournemouth may be the best place, ½ a hour to the south.

Tourist Information

Salisbury Tourist Information CentreFish Row, Salisbury. SP1 1EJ Tel. 01722 334956Fax. 01722 422059


There is no airport at Salisbury, the closest airport is Bournemouth. From there you will have to find alternative transport to Salisbury itself.

However, as Salisbury is at the heart of Wiltshire it can be approached from all directions and it is used as a common route for travelling through the county. If you are using a car, then you may wish to use the park-and-ride scheme situated on the A345 before entering the city. This is mainly as parking in the city can become quite difficult, especially during the peak seasons. Train services run regularly to Salisbury and if you wish to find out the times then contact the rail network or use their website. From London it will take approximately 1 and ½ hours depending on the time of your travel as travelling at rush-hour may take longer.

The Wilts and Dorset Bus Company has local bus services to many places of interest in and around Salisbury.

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