Places to visit in Salisbury


Salisbury is a historic Cathedral city in South Wiltshire, famous for its Cathedral. In this post we give you some inspiration for your time spent with family and friends as we share some of our favourite places to visit in Salisbury, or within a few miles of the city.

What is Salisbury most famous for?

The most historic sites in Salisbury are the Cathedral, Old Sarum & Stonehenge. There is a handy bus route which links all 3 sites.

1.      Salisbury Cathedral

Address: The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EJ

Entry cost: Recommended donation of £8 in advance or £9 on the day

Salisbury Cathedral - things to do in salisbury

Enter the city from any direction and you will catch a glimpse of Salisbury Cathedral’s magnificent 123-meter spire. The cathedral was built over the space of 38 years and was completed in 1258, with numerous additions having been made over the centuries, including the famous spire which was topped off in 1549. There is a lot to see at the cathedral including:

    • Check out the largest cloister clock in the country
    • Head to the Chapter house where you will find the best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta (one of just four remaining original documents)
    • Take a stroll around the 80-acre Cathedral Close which is the largest in Britain, featuring 21 Grade I listed building as well as a host of impressive houses andand museums
    • Listen to music being played on the famous Father Willis Organ
    • Marvel at the infinity font in the nave
    • Try to spot the peregrine falcons which nest yearly at the base of the tower
    • Climb the 332 steps and take part in a tower tour, exploring the ancient roof spaces not normally accessible to the public

There is a lot to see and do at Salisbury Cathedral. Once you’ve seen as much sightseeing as you can fit in, we thoroughly recommend heading to The Bell Tower Tea Rooms to admire the cathedral and relax with a cup of tea.

2.      Stonehenge

Address: Near Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE

Entry cost: £21.50 for adults or free for English Heritage and National Trust members.

stonehenge - places to visit near salisbury

Just 10 miles north of Salisbury city centre is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments, Stonehenge. At this UNESCO World Heritage ite, you can walk in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors and unravel the story behind this formation of standing stones located on Salisbury Plain.

Stonehenge has been a sacred site for many thousands of years with the first monument being built around 5,000 years ago. Today the stones we see now date from around 2500 BC. The wider landscape surrounding the henge is filled will burial mounds from the Bronze age. The exhibition hall contains over 250 archaeological objects and treasures which help to explain the story of this iconic stone circle.

3.      Old Sarum

Address: Castle Road, Salisbury SP1 3SD

Entry cost: £6.50 for adults or free for English Heritage members

things to do in salisbury wiltshire - old sarum

Old Sarum is the original site of the city of Salisbury. However, in the 13th century the city moved its ancient hilltop two miles down the road to the location of the current cathedral. At Old Sarum, you can learn about the set of circumstances that led a whole city to move from a windy hill top down into the valley.

Old Sarum has a rich and complex history having first been a Neolithic settlement and then an Iron Age hill fort. The Normans built a royal castle at Old Sarum on the distinctive motte (mound). Surrounding this motte today you can still see the footprint of Salisbury’s first Romanesque cathedral.

It’s a fine spot for a walk around and is popular with locals for exercise and dog walking.

 

Things to do near Stonehenge:

Looking for things to do after your visit to Stonehenge? Here are some other local attractions that might interest you.

1. Wilton House

Address: Minster Street, Wilton, Salisbury SP2 0BJ

Entry cost: £12.50 or two English Heritage members can gain entry for the price of one.

Wilton House near Salisbury

Wilton House has been the seat of the Earl of Pembroke for over 400 years, but you may well recognise it from film and TV. Wilton House has been used as a filming location for Bridgerton, The Crown, Tomb Raider and The Young Victoria in recent years.

The house currently found on the site dates back from 1647, although generations of Pembroke’s have remodelled, extended the building, and left their mark. The house stands in 21 acres of stunning landscaped parkland with rose gardens and a Palladian Bridge, which is one of its most famous architectural features.

As well as being a stunning historical building, Wilton House is also home to Lord Pembroke’s classic and supercar collection, which is a real wonder for any petrol heads.

2. Boscombe Down Aviation Collection

Address: Hangar 1 South, Old Sarum Airfield, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 6DZ.

Entry fee: £10.50 with gift aid for an adult

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection Salisbury

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection is the go-to place for aviation enthusiasts. The exhibit includes aircraft, cockpits, model weapons, and trial equipment that tells the origin of flight testing at Boscombe Down. Feel like a captain yourself as you explore the insides of the cockpits, and fire up the simulator.

3. Salisbury Plain and the lost village of Imber

Address: Imber does not have a postcode. The grid reference is ST965 485.

Entry: Free, but only on specified days each year

imber salisbury

Imber is an uninhabited village in part of the British Army’s training grounds on the Salisbury Plain. The village was taken over by the military in 1943 so it could be used to train American soldiers for the D-Day landings. The villagers were given just six weeks to pack their belongings and leave. They were assured that once the war was over they would be allowed to return.

The military never gave Imber back to the residents, however, and more than 70 years later it remains in the heart of the Salisbury Plain training area and is off-limits to visitors except for a few weeks each year. The best way to keep up-to-date with the opening times is to subscribe to the Imber Church newsletter.

 

What can you visit in Salisbury that is free?

On a tight budget? Not a problem. There are some great things to do in and around Salisbury that are free.

1.      River Bourne Community Farm

Address: Cow Lane, Salisbury SP1 2SR

Entry Cost: Free

Salisbury community farm

River Bourne Community Farm is a free entry city farm including 54 acres of beautiful water meadows. Visit for a great opportunity to see a working farm and to get up close to pigs, sheep, alpacas, donkeys, goats, cows, ducks, chicks, guinea pigs and rabbits. Children can feed the animals for a small additional fee.

The farm sits alongside 53 acres of adjacent water meadows which are owned by the Devenish Bradshaw Charitable Trust and leased to the community farm. There are a number of paths and nature trails to follow around the farm with maps available in the farm café.

The farm has a shop and a warm, cosy cafe on-site with indoor and outdoor seating areas. Free-range eggs and meat are available in the farm shop as well as a range of other produce and gift items.

2.      Queen Elizabeth Gardens

Address: Mill Road, Salisbury, SP2 7RZ

Entry cost: Free

free things to do in salisbury - queen elizabeth gardens

Enjoy a tranquil few hours in Queen Elizabeth Gardens. This riverside park is filled with colourful flowerbeds and towering trees. Access to the park is completely free. Our recommendation is to take a seat on a bench, marvel at the scenery, and watch the world go by for a while in bright, cheery surroundings.

 

Shopping in Salisbury:

Salisbury is a thriving city with traditional markets twice a week. There is both a selection of major national retailers and independent shops. Here are some of our favourite places to shop in Salisbury.

1.      Fisherton Mill

Address: 108 Fisherton St, Salisbury SP2 7QY

Entry cost: Free admission

Fisherton Mill is an art gallery and gift shop located in a beautifully restored Victorian grain mill in the centre of Salisbury. Jam-packed with an ever-changing array of affordable art and working artists’ studios. There is also an award-winning café serving freshly prepared food, and they regularly run workshops if you fancy honing a new creative skill.

If you fancy a break from Salisbury’s historical sites we’d definitely recommend taking a pit stop and shopping break at Fisherton Mill.

2.      Charter Market

Address: The Market Place, Salisbury SP1 1JH

Entry Cost: Free

Salisbury Charter Market is open every Tuesday from 8am until 2.30pm and Saturday from 8am until 3pm..

The historical market dates back to 1227. The modern market is made up of approximately 70 different products including food, clothes, shoes, bags, , flowersand homeware. There is a central hot food area offering different cuisine from around the world.

3.      The Guild (formerly Wilton Shopping Village)

Address: King Street, Wilton, Salisbury SP2 0BH

Entry Cost: Free with free parking

On the outskirts of Salisbury in a regenerated carpet factory, you’ll discover a distinctive mix of independent and national brands. Within The Guild there is a mixture of specialist shops ranging from homeware, interiors, lifestyle, and gifts. There is also a café that uses locally-sourced produce to provide an ever-changing seasonal menu.

 

Living in Salisbury

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide featuring places to visit in Salisbury. We think Salisbury is a great place to live and that’s why we have built an independent-living complex for over 55s close to the city centre named Chapters. Homeowners can enjoy a range of communal facilities including a homeowners’ lounge, bistro, activity room, and space to sit outdoors in the secluded landscaped gardens. Get in touch with our team today to find out why Platinum Skies in Salisbury could work for you.