Salisbury has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, so my husband and I thought now would be the perfect time to write about it! In addition to being a wonderful place to spend a sunny afternoon, Joe went to college here years ago and it’s been a place we’ve visited often as a couple, so it is full of happy memories for us. It is a wonderful city, full of culture and heritage, and the atmosphere is more akin to that of a charming town of historical interest with its period buildings and array of boutique-style shops. Although there are a number of bigger high-street names, we visit less for the shopping and more for a hearty lunch and a leisurely stroll.
Currently home to the Magna Carta, Salisbury Cathedral is the main attraction from a tourism perspective. It sits in the heart of the city and is surrounded by stunning period houses and beautiful walled gardens, each perfectly manicured by their current residents. The Cathedral its self is a work of art, but it too plays host to a collection of more modern art throughout the well-maintained grounds. The juxtaposition of the old and the new is interesting without being distracting, and there is just enough space between each piece to be able to snap a shot of one without the other. As we approached the building, we were drawn in by the sound of the choir as their harmonies carried down the nave and out on to the lawn. It turns out this was the Sunday Choral Eucharist service which takes place every Sunday at 10:30, however the choir does sing every day at specified times. We did not pay the recommended donation of £7.50 to enter the main part of the Cathedral or visit the Magna Carta (we have done this on previous visits and would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been before), however you can walk freely around the Cloisters, visit the shop, cafe and amenities and soak in the atmosphere. The Cathedral costs £14,000 per day to run and relies solely on public donations, so even if you don’t enter the main building, it is worth spending some money in the gift shop or buying a tea in the cafe just to help keep it going for generations to come.
Following light refreshments and a walk around the Cathedral grounds, it’s time to walk back in to the centre, resisting the urge to buy handmade fudge, fresh cream cakes and chocolates on the way! As you meander through the shops and cafes, taking in the atmosphere and admiring all of the wonderful flowers that decorate the city, you will find yourself on the banks of the tranquil River Avon. Trickling through the heart of Salisbury, the river affords you the opportunity to pause for a moment and enjoy your surroundings on one of the bank’s many benches.
Time For Tea
After a few hours of pounding the pavements, you will have worked up a healthy appetite. Fortunately for you there are many, many places for you to refuel so you can continue to enjoy your day! Whether you fancy a light lunch in a local cafe, a sit down meal in a restaurant, a bite from the bakery or even a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap with a side of roast potatoes (yes, such a thing does exist, and it is as amazing as it sounds), you will not be short of ideas! In fact, the hardest thing about a day out in Salisbury is choosing where to eat! Today we chose Wildwood as we fancied an Italian style lunch in relaxed surroundings, but we also love Reeve The Baker & The York Roast Co. if you want something quicker or to grab-and-go.
Salisbury has so much more to offer including a number of well kept parks, a truly unique Odeon cinema and a lovely walk through Harnham Water Meadows. It has great connections throughout the South West and London by train, not to mention plenty of parking spaces throughout the city, so its easily accessible to all. Only 9 miles North of the city is Stonehenge, and the official tour runs every 30 minutes throughout the summer from various points in the city centre. If you’re planning on visiting for more than 1 day, I highly recommend visiting this site of historical interest.
For those of you who are wondering, despite recent news evens, Salisbury is very much business as usual. There are a few areas of the city cordoned off by police, however the majority of the city is unaffected and it didn’t have any impact on the enjoyment of our day what so ever. We carried on our day just as we have done in previous years, and if it weren’t for the headlines, we wouldn’t have known anything had even happened!