cathedral city in Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom

Salisbury is a cathedral city in the English county of Wiltshire, in the West Country.

Salisbury cathedral

Get in Edit

By plane Edit

The most convenient airports are:

  • 1 London Heathrow Airport (LHR IATA) is about 75 mi (121 km) drive from Salisbury via the M25 (anti-clockwise), M3 (southbound), A303, A346 and A30. There is a Railair coach service to Woking station, where mainline trains to Salisbury can be boarded; two services an hour give a journey time of just over two hours for the whole journey. National Express also offer several coaches a day from Heathrow to Salisbury.
  • 2 London Gatwick Airport (LGW IATA) is about 100 mi (160 km) drive from Salisbury via the M23 (northbound), M25 (clockwise), M3 (southbound), A303, A346 and A30. By train, catch a London-bound train which stops at Clapham Junction (the Gatwick Express does not stop there) from the airport rail station, and change at Clapham Junction for services to Salisbury; two services an hour give a journey time of just under two hours for the whole journey.

Regional Airports nearby include:

  • 3 Southampton Airport (SOU IATA) is about 25 mi (40 km) away, and is probably the easiest to access, both by car and train. Driving is simple - to get to Salisbury, take the M27 (westbound) towards Bournemouth, then exit at J2 onto the A36 towards Salisbury. Southampton Airport Parkway train station is at the airport terminal. There is one direct train an hour from the station to Salisbury, taking just under an hour or alternatively travel via Romsey, with total journey time varying between 45 minutes to an hour. The X7 Bus for Salisbury leaves from Outside Southampton Central Station regularly.
  • 4 Bournemouth Airport (BOH IATA) is also 25 miles away. It is an easy drive - the A338 Bournemouth - Salisbury road takes you all the way. However public transport links to the airport are poor, and you should get a taxi from Ringwood or Bournemouth - the X3 bus links Bournemouth, Ringwood and Salisbury every half hour. Bournemouth airport is mostly served by charter flights, and a small number of short-haul scheduled flights.
  • 5 Bristol Airport (BRS IATA) is about 60 mi (97 km) from Salisbury, and is the only nearby regional airport with daily services to the USA. Many other short-haul destinations also have frequent flights from here. A frequent coach service (3 per hour) links the airport with Bristol Temple Meads station, which provides onward train connections to Salisbury (destination Southampton or Portsmouth). Through tickets are available. Driving is a little more complex, and you are advised to get a good map or good directions.

By train Edit

  • 6 Salisbury railway station, South Western Road, SP2 7RS. On the secondary main line from London to Exeter. From London, travel from London Waterloo rail station; there are two trains an hour which take about 1 hr 30 min for the journey. If you are on a budget, Megatrain offers highly discounted train travel from London Waterloo to Salisbury, starting at £1 each way. Megatrain is only available from London.    

Hourly trains also run through Salisbury on the Cardiff to Portsmouth secondary main line. These trains also link Bristol, Bath, Romsey and Southampton with Salisbury.

Connections for the North of the UK are available at Bristol, Basingstoke (on the London line) and from various stations in London. Connections for Wales and rail connections to west Wales for boats to Ireland are available by changing at Cardiff. For Cornwall and the South West Peninsula, change at Exeter.

Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling +44 845 748 4950 from anywhere in the UK. The station is a five-minute walk from the town centre, just head down Fisherton St.

Local rail connections to nearby towns are described at Three Rivers Rail

By bus Edit

National Express operate services to Salisbury from cities throughout the UK including London. Advance ticketing is required.

For those with a special interest in West Country cathedral cities, Wilts & Dorset operate the branded Cathedral Connection between Salisbury and Winchester, taking in some very attractive countryside on route. Despite its branding, this is a rural bus service (number 68) with no need for advance ticketing; it operates six times a day (except Sundays) and takes about 1½ hours for the journey. Timetable details can be found on the website, or by telephoning 01722 336855.

Wilts & Dorset also operate local services throughout the Salisbury area, including services to Stonehenge from the bus station and train station forecourt.

Salisbury Reds operate services at the five bus based park and ride facilities: 1 Beehive, 2 Wilton, 3 Britford, 4 London Road and 5 Petersfinger. See National Park and Ride Directory. Salisbury Reds also provide service from nearby towns and from as far afield as Swindon, Southampton, Bournemouth, and Dorchester. Fares vary by distance, so tell the driver your destination when you get on.

By car Edit

Salisbury has been a major regional crossroads for thousands of years, and this is still the case today, with the A30, A36, A338, A345 and A360 main roads crossing here. Traffic is notorious in Salisbury, particularly on a Friday, and generally on the A36 Southampton Road, because there is no motorway connecting the major cities of Southampton and Bristol. Through traffic is kept out of the partially pedestrianised and traffic-calmed city centre by the modern dual-carriageway ring road. If you are driving, you may want to consider using one of the Park and Ride sites[dead link] dotted around the edge of the city. If you want to park closer, there are a number of large car parks with direct interchange onto the ring road, but beware the high prices charged. The cathedral grounds have limited parking but are a good deal - £6 for all day until 11PM, including a free tea or coffee - perfect if you want to see the cathedral and then have dinner in town. Driving in the city centre is not recommended, as there is a complex one-way system, and a large amount of traffic on the non-pedestrianised roads.

If you are driving:

  • from London, take the M3, A303, A346 and A30,
  • from Bristol the A4 and A36,
  • from Southampton the A36,
  • from Portsmouth take the M27 and A36,
  • and from the North travel via the A34 (Oxford), A303 and A338.

Salisbury is a major routeing point on the road network, and will be signed as a destination at the appropriate exits on the M3, M27, A4 and A303.

Get around Edit

The bus station is just off the Market Square on Endless St. Buses travel to surrounding villages and towns, and further afield to Swindon, Bournemouth and Southampton.

The main taxi rank is in New Canal Street, opposite the cinema, with smaller ones at the train station and Fisherton St.

The city centre is small enough to walk across in a few minutes. Old Sarum, which is on the edge of the town is a 50-minute walk from the town centre along the river valley.

Bicycles can be hired from Hayballs on Winchester St.

See Edit

North transept of Salisbury Cathedral
  • 1 Salisbury Cathedral, +44 1722 555120. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-4PM. Constructed between 1220 and 1258 to replace the previous cathedral at Old Sarum, this Gothic-style cathedral has the highest spire in the United Kingdom at 404 feet (123 metres). Cathedral services take place daily and opening times can vary at short notice depending on services. The cathedral close is especially beautiful with fine lawns surrounded by elegant and historic buildings. There are daily 90-minute guided tours up the tower (extra payment) - not for those scared of heights but the views are magnificent, and 60-minute floor tours led by volunteer guides. Suggested donation: adults £7.50, seniors £6.50, students £4.50, children £3, families (2 adults + children) £15.    
    • Magna Carta (Great Charter). Apr-Oct: M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su noon-4PM; Nov-Mar: 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su noon-3:45PM. For history buffs, the chapter house displays the best-preserved of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta.
        Photography of the original Magna Carta is not allowed.
    • Oldest working clock. The oldest working mechanical clock is on display and has been ticking apparently over 4 billion times since 1386. The bell however only rings on special occasions.    
  • 2 Old Sarum, Castle Road, SP1 3SD (from Salisbury Marketplace, it's one-hour walk from Salisbury Marketplace up Castle Street, or take bus PR11 (every 15 min), 8, X4 or X5 about 8 minutes north.), +44 1722 335398. Located on a hilltop north of modern Salisbury, Old Sarum is the site of the original city, showing evidence of habitation from 3000 BC to 1219 when the bishop relocated Salisbury Cathedral to its current location. Until 1832 Old Sarum was a 'rotten borough', which elected two members of parliament despite long periods during which there were no residents. Most of the site is free to enter, although there is a charge to enter the Inner Bailey. Adults £4.80, children £2.40, concessions £3.60.    
  • 3 The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, SP1 2EN, +44 1722 332151. M-Sa 10AM-5PM (Jul-Aug Su 2-5PM). This small but varied museum houses displays on the history of Salisbury, costume, ceramics, pictures and the Stonehenge Gallery. In 'Notes from a Small Island', Bill Bryson comments that "Salisbury museum is outstanding and I urge you to go there at once"! Adults £5, child £2.    
  • 4 Bulford Kiwi, Canberra Drive (not numbered). Kiwis longing for home, might want to do a pilgrimage to the Bulford district, where a 130-m-high image of a Kiwi bird (covering 1½ acres!) was carved in the chalk rock by New Zealand soldiers waiting to return home after the end of World War I. Free.    
  • 5 Mompesson House, The Close, SP1 2EL, +44 1722 420980, . 18th-century house.    
  • 6 Dinton Park and Philipps House, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HH (8 miles west of Salisbury), +44 1672 538014, .    
  • 7 Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Hangar 1 South, Old Sarum Airfield (Off the A345, 5 miles south of Amesbury, 2 miles north of Salisbury near Old Sarum). Mar-Oct: Tu-Su and Bank Holiday Mondays 10AM-7PM; Nov-Feb: Sa Su 10AM-4PM. Last entry one hour before closing. The big attraction here is sitting in a variety of aircraft cockpits and playing with the controls. The museum is run by dedicated and very helpful volunteers. Adults £8.50, seniors/students/disabled/serving UK military personnel £7, children 5-16 £6, children under 5 free, families (2 adults, 2 children) £23.

Do Edit

Buy Edit

  • 1 [dead link] 75 New Street Contemporary Jewellery, 75 New Street (just off the High Street crossroads by the Cathedral Close entrance), +44 1722 328518. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. 75 New Street is a gorgeous little gallery in a grade two listed building in central Salisbury. It shows a selection of exceptional contemporary jewellery and has a working studio where you can see pieces being made. Really close to the main city sights - it's an unusual destination worth a visit.
  • 2 The Charter Market, Salisbury Market Square. Tuesday and Saturday (except third Tuesday in October) 8AM-4PM (3:30PM between Christmas and Easter). A retail market consisting of 90 stalls plus 10 farmers' stalls.

There are a number of smaller specialist shops and two main shopping centres; The Old George Mall and The Crosskeys.

Eat Edit

  • 1 The Haunch of Venison, 1 Minster St. Salisbury SP1 1TB (opposite the Poultry Cross, just east of the River Avon), +44 1722 411313. Traditional, hearty English food done very well, in a beautiful and well-preserved mediaeval building with sheltered views of the 13th-century Church of St Thomas. Lots of game and poultry on the menu, exquisite wine selection, impeccable service and gorgeous food, for a very decent price. In World War II, the tiny "Horsebox" bar downstairs was used by Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower to plan the D-Day offensive. This place positively crawls with history, and dinner here is classy, interesting, and completely unpretentious. c. £30 per person for three courses including wine.
  • Cactus Jacks, Water Ln (just off Fisherton St). a Mexican restaurant overlooking the river.
  • Fisherton St has many curry houses and Chinese restaurants. Around the Market Square there are a variety of restaurants, there also some upmarket restaurants along New Street near the Cathedral Entrance.
  • 2 Everest Brasserie, 155 Fisherton St, SP2 7RP (head down Fisherton street, under the railway bridge, it is located just before the roundabout on the left side), +44 1722 341600. 6PM-midnight. Good, modern Indian and Nepalese restaurant. £22.
  • 3 Carwardine's, 2 Bridge St at High St, +44 1722 320619. M-W 8:30AM-7PM, Th-Sa 8:30AM-9PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea or supper. Licensed. Gluten-free cakes available. English breakfast £4.65.
  • 4 Zizzi, 1/3 Castle St, +44 1722 237474. Italian chain restaurant. This branch gained worldwide media coverage when it was closed for an extensive cleanup during the aftermath of the Skripal's novichok poisoning.

Drink Edit

Pubs Edit

There are a lot of pubs in the city centre; the main axis of drinking is Fisherton Street, through the centre and up Milford Hill. Many of the larger pubs stay open until midnight, or later at weekends. Smaller 'local' pubs are found across town.

Clubs Edit

  • The Chapel, 34 Milford Street. The largest club, but it is expensive to get in (£8-10 usually, but cheaper before 10-11PM).
  • N&N, 6 Endless Street (by the bus station).
  • Goldfingers, 48 Catherine Street.

Sleep Edit

Budget Edit

  • 1 Byways Guest House, 31 Fowler's Rd, +44 1722 328264. A large bed and breakast located in a quiet area of the town centre, within 10 minutes walk of the market square. Free Wi-Fi and parking, prices start from £39 for a single room.
  • 2 Hillside B&B. Hillside B&B is in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside in a village called Odstock, around 3 miles south of Salisbury. £27.50 for single, £45 for double/twin, discounts for longer stays.

Mid-range Edit

  • 3 Edwardian Lodge (Edwardian Lodge), 59 Castle Road, Salisbury, SP1 3RH (head north from the town centre along Castle Street, go straight under the roundabout onto Castle Road, it's on the right about 300 m after the roundabout), +44 1722 413329. Guest house, halfway between the city centre and the castle of Old Sarum. single: £42, double £60, family £75.
  • 4 Sarum College, 19 The Close (Cathedral Close, city centre), +44 1722 424800. Rare opportunity to stay inside Salisbury's Cathedral Close. City centre, yet quiet and just 150 m (490 ft) from medieval cathedral. Rooms for all budgets. Premier rooms are refurbished and have uninterrupted views of the cathedral. £45-£105.
  • 5 Pembroke Arms, Minster St, Wilton (A few miles west of Salisbury). Gorgeous old building with luxury rooms and excellent food. The parking lot is convenient for drivers, since parking is difficult in the centre of Salisbury. £85.
  • King's Head Inn, 2 Bridge St, +44 1722 438400. Comfortable modern hotel above a Weatherspoon's pub in a 29th-century building. A 10-min walk from the train station in the centre of Salisbury. Friendly staff. Doubles from €79.
  • 6 Leena's Guest House, 50 Castle Rd SP1 3RL, +44 7814 897907. Cosy multilingual B&B open May-Dec, no dogs. B&B double £100, cash only.

Splurge Edit

  • 7 The White Hart (Mercure Salisbury), 1 St John Street, +44 1962 312801. In an elegant Georgian building near the gates to the cathedral grounds. Excellent, upscale, B&B hotel. £150-300.

Connect Edit

Salisbury's area code is 01722 when dialled from within the UK or +44 1722 from outside the UK.

Go next Edit

  • Stonehenge – the ancient monument about 15 km from Salisbury. Started in the Neolithic era (about 2500 BC) and completed in the Bronze Age. Iconic. You can get sightseeing buses straight there from the train station, or you can get buses from the bus station to Amesbury and walk from there (approx 3 km). For the more energetic is only a short cycle from the town centre, about 8 miles (23 km) each way, through the beautiful, and relatively traffic free, Woodfood Valley. After Stonehenge head to the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, which has many finds from the Stonehenge area, on the way to the stone circle at Avebury.
  • Swindon – Known for its history as the heart of the Great Western Railway, an hour and 15 minutes by car on A338 and A346
Routes through Salisbury
YeovilShaftesbury  W   E  → Stockbridge → Basingstoke
BathWarminster  NW   SE  New Forest (East) → Southampton
Swindon  for London  N   S  New Forest (West) → Bournemouth
END  N   SW  Blandford ForumDorchester

This city travel guide to Salisbury is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.