With cobbled streets, independent restaurants and countryside walks aplenty, Salisbury in England’s south-west makes for a sweet weekend getaway. Add in a majestic cathedral, one of the oldest pubs in the UK and a certain world-famous landmark nearby (we’re looking at you Stonehenge!) and you’ve got all the makings of a must-see cathedral city.
There is an old adage: get your coffee right and the rest of your day will follow. Quaint, independent, and home to some of the best beans in Salisbury, Culture Coffee is the best way to begin your trip.
Indulge in fresh cheeses, gelatos, clothes, rugs, vintage jewellery and much more at the colourful Charter Market. It’s true—you can find just about anything. Salisbury city centre also features an array of quaint boutique shops, so you’re unlikely to be starved for outlets to satisfy your retail cravings. Bring a bag.
Explore more than 800 years of history and marvel at the tallest spire in Britain. See ancient delights like the world’s oldest (working!) mechanical clock and one of the only surviving Magna Carta documents. The best bit is the 68m mega-spire, towering over the entire city. Book a tower tour and climb your way to the top.
A few minutes’ walk from Salisbury Cathedral lies Cosy Club, a sprawling open bar inside a grade-II listed building that was once an arts college. With a cosy little terrace at the back, Art-Nouveau inspired décor and velvet pouffes to sink into, it’s not hard to see where the Cosy Club gets its name. Choose from an extensive menu of brunch, sandwiches, burgers and tapas with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.
Discover a lively hub of art, theatre, music, dance, comedy and film exhibitions inside a former church building – the perfect space to indulge your imagination. This multi-art space is a creative little wonder for any curious person to behold.
Time to burn off lunch and the art you’ve absorbed – the walk to Old Sarum is the perfect way to unwind and catch the city’s loveliest sights. Walk up the river path from behind the library and explore the ruins of the old cathedral, with some amazing views of the city up from the ramparts to boot.
The Haunch of Venison occupies a space in just about every Salisbury guide, and for good reason. Step inside for a pint of local ale and admire the ancient wood panelling – the walls here are stained with rich heritage, exuding aromas that capture times bygone. It’s famed not just for being one of the oldest pubs in Salisbury, but also one of the best. A pint, please!
Smack-bang in the middle of Salisbury, Thai Sarocha has been serving deliciously authentic Thai dishes in the city since 2008. Stylish décor, chef specials such as golden seabass and tamarind duck and practically adjacent to the megalithic cathedral, a dinner here will keep you wanting to come back for more.
One of the UK’s leading theatres is right here in Salisbury, on Fisherton Street, just five minutes from the railway station. You’ll get to see classic and modern plays, musicals and pantomimes in one of two special theatres—whatever gets you your culture fix. Stop by the restaurant and café bar for a pre-show dinner and a drink.
With 38 luxurious rooms, grand gardens and panoramic views of the Avon and Nadder rivers, this former-Victorian family residence is a strong choice when it comes to hotels in Salisbury. Four poster and deluxe rooms abound, so get booking!
Hop on a bus from the city centre and within 25 minutes you’ll be transported to a lavish country estate. If the beautiful 17th Century interiors and prolific art collection aren’t enough to draw you into Wilton House, perhaps 22 acres of gardens blooming with roses and burbling with fountains will. After your excursion through the opulent rooms, cool down with an ice cream in the Palladian Restaurant.
How to get to Salisbury
Train: 1hr30 from London Waterloo, 1hr13 from Bristol
Car: 2hr30 from London, 1hr50 from Bristol
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