Things to Do in Salisbury
- Salisbury's Charter Market, held on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the historical Market Place, is a must-stop for local foods, gifts, and more.
- Authors ranging from Charles Dickens to Thomas Hardy have written about Salisbury; John Constable made several paintings of the Salisbury Cathedral.
- The city includes an array of traditional pubs and restaurants, and the cathedral’s Refectory Restaurant is a popular spot for afternoon tea.
With its dramatic Gothic facade and Britain’s highest church spire at an impressive 404 feet (123 m), the Salisbury Cathedral is one of the country’s most visited religious monuments, drawing some 250,000 visitors each year. As well as admiring the cathedral’s remarkable 13th-century architecture and exquisite stained-glass windows, visitors can climb the 332 steps to the top of the tower for a magnificent view of Salisbury.
The cathedral’s star attraction is an original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta, one of the world’s most famous and significant documents that remains a cornerstone of British law. An interactive Magna Carta exhibition walks visitors through the historic events of its legacy of social justice. The cathedral also holds the world’s oldest working mechanical clock, which dates back to 1386, and afternoon tea in the Bell Tower Tearooms.
The best way to discover the cathedral is on a 90-minute guided tour of Salisbury, with entrance included. Many visitors opt to visit on a day trip from London, often combined with a visit to nearby Stonehenge or Avebury stone circle.
Located in the grand King’s House, in the shadows of the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, the Salisbury Museum is as impressive from the outside as it is on the inside. The award-winning museum is home to one of the UK’s most treasured archaeological collections, the Stonehenge Gallery, which displays items excavated from the iconic stone circle. Many visitors choose to complement their visit with a tour of nearby Stonehenge, just five miles (eight km) from Salisbury.
It’s not just Stonehenge that takes center stage—the fascinating Wessex Gallery exhibition chronicles more than 500,000 years of human history in the region and includes some of the oldest gold objects ever found in Britain. The Costume Gallery displays a colorful collection of clothing and accessories dating back from the 1750s, while the Ceramics Gallery includes rare and unusual items from the Victorian era.
Visit Salisbury Museum on a day trip from London that includes additional stops in Stonehenge and Windsor.