Salisbury Travel Guide

Discover the beauty of Salisbury in Wiltshire with this comprehensive travel guide. Explore its cultural and natural attractions, hiking and biking trails, food scene, accommodations, local culture, and customs, and more.

Introduction to Salisbury

Salisbury, located in Wiltshire, in the West Country of England, is a city steeped in history, with stunning architecture and leafy streets. It is famous not only for its gorgeous Cathedral, but also for its historic Market Place with its charming shops and restaurants, and its well-known parks, such as the water meadows at Harnham and the nature reserves in the surrounding countryside. Salisbury is the ideal location for those looking for a fantastic cultural experience or a chance to explore the English countryside.

List of Places to Visit in Salisbury

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

One of the main attractions for visitors to Salisbury is the cathedral, which boasts one of the tallest spires in the country. Inside this medieval masterpiece, you will find the world-renowned Magna Carta, one of the most significant historical documents in the world. You can also see an array of beautifully decorated fan vaults and intricate stained-glass windows.

Another historically significant spot to visit is Stonehenge. Just a few miles outside of Salisbury, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, dating back nearly 5,000 years. Visitors can also explore the neolithic houses, which were reconstructed from excavated evidence as part of the English Heritage’s interpretation of the site.

For lovers of English literature, Salisbury is also associated with the writer John Constable, who depicted the nearby landscape in his oil paintings. You can visit the Salisbury Museum, which has an impressive collection of sculptures, pottery, and other decorative arts of the 18th century.

Natural Attractions of Salisbury: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

For nature lovers, Salisbury has a lot to offer. Walk around the water meadows at Harnham, and you may spot otters, dragonflies, kingfishers, and other wildlife. The nearby New Forest National Park is also worth a visit for its picturesque views, where you can hike, bike, or explore the stunning woodlands and heathlands.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Salisbury

For outdoor enthusiasts, Salisbury has numerous hiking and biking trails. One particularly popular trail is the Avon Valley Path, which runs along the river, offering stunning views of the countryside and wildlife. Other popular walking and cycling routes in the area are the Wessex Ridgeway and the Clarendon Way.

Best Things to Do in Salisbury: Activities and Tours

Besides visiting the Cathedral and Stonehenge, Salisbury has plenty of other things to do and see. You can take a boat ride on the river, play a round of golf at the local courses, or attend a live performance at the Salisbury Playhouse Theatre.

For more traditional sightseeing, take a guided walking tour and explore the narrow streets and buildings of the city center. There is also a range of unique attractions, including the Salisbury Escape Rooms, a fun and immersive puzzle-based game.

Week-Long Itinerary for Salisbury

If you plan to visit Salisbury for a week, here is a suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1: Visit Salisbury Cathedral and see the Magna Carta.
  • Day 2: Take a trip to nearby Stonehenge.
  • Day 3: Visit the Salisbury Museum and learn about the city’s history.
  • Day 4: Take a relaxing stroll around the gardens of Mompesson House and Arundells.
  • Day 5: Explore the Salisbury Playhouse Theatre and enjoy a night out.
  • Day 6: Take a bike tour along the Avon Valley Path, and experience the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.
  • Day 7: Take a day trip to the charming town of Bath with its Roman Baths and Georgian architecture.

Food and Drink Scene of Salisbury

Must-Try Dishes

Salisbury offers a wide variety of culinary experiences. From traditional British pubs to international cuisine, Salisbury has something for everyone. One of the signature dishes of the city is the Salisbury steak, with a flavorful gravy served with mashed potatoes and veggies.

Other must-try dishes in the area include tasty lamb chops, savory pies, and local cheeses.

Local Beverages

To accompany their food, locals in Salisbury drink a variety of local beverages. Try some of the ciders and ales brewed in the local Wiltshire breweries. You can also find a range of local wines and spirits produced in the surrounding vineyards and distilleries.

Where to Stay in Salisbury: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Salisbury has a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels.

If you’re looking for a unique and historic place to stay, try the Mercure Salisbury White Hart Hotel or the Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel, both located within historic buildings.

For backpackers and budget travelers, the Wilton House Hostel and Sarum College are great options.

What to Buy in Salisbury: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

One of the best places to buy local souvenirs and products is the Salisbury Market Place. Here you can find a variety of crafts, jewelry, and unique local products like honey and rare locally brewed tea.

Local Culture and Customs of Salisbury

Salisbury is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with events held throughout the year, including the Salisbury Fringe Festival and the Stonehenge Solstice Festival. The city also has a strong military history, with the Salisbury Plain being used as a military training ground for many decades.

Best Time to Visit Salisbury

The best time to visit Salisbury is during the spring and summer months when the weather is sunny and warm. However, remember to plan for crowds as these months can get busy with tourists. Autumn and winter are also great times to visit, with the city often quieter, and the nearby nature reserves boasting breathtaking autumn foliage.

Do’s and Don’ts of Salisbury


  • Do take a guided walking tour through the city’s historic architecture.
  • Do try the local cuisine and beverages.
  • Do visit the surrounding countryside to discover the natural beauty of the area.


  • Don’t feed the wildlife, especially the swans at the river.
  • Don’t park in restricted areas or designated residential parking zones.

Safety and Health

Safety in Salisbury

Salisbury is a relatively safe city with low crime rates. It is important always to be aware of your surroundings and take normal safety precautions, especially in the city’s busier areas or at night.

Health in Salisbury

The city has several pharmacies and has easy access to medical facilities, including Salisbury District Hospital. Always ensure you are covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy when travelling abroad.

Getting to Salisbury: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Salisbury

The nearest international airports to Salisbury are London Heathrow and London Gatwick. From these airports, you can take a train or rent a car to get to Salisbury.

Bus Stations Near Salisbury

Salisbury has a central bus station, which has connections to major towns and cities in the surrounding area. From London, you can also take a National Express bus directly to Salisbury.

Other Options

From London, you can take a direct train, or a short flight to Southampton Airport, which is only a short distance from Salisbury. Alternatively, you can rent a car and explore the city and the surrounding countryside at your own pace.

How to Get Around in Salisbury

Salisbury city centre is relatively small and easy to explore on foot. It is also possible to rent a bike to explore the surrounding countryside and the natural paradise it offers. There is also a local bus service, making it easy to get to other towns and cities in the area.

Where to Go Next from Salisbury: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

There are many exciting places to visit in the surrounding area after exploring the city of Salisbury.

Some of the most popular nearby destinations are:

  • Bath: a popular city full of Roman history and Georgian architecture.
  • The New Forest National Park: a nature lover’s paradise with beautiful woodlands and heathlands.
  • Bristol: a bustling city with lots of museums, theaters, and galleries.


Salisbury is a fascinating and beautiful city with a rich cultural and historical heritage, natural beauty, and outdoor activities. Whether you want to explore the historic city center, hike in the countryside or learn more about England’s history, Salisbury is the perfect location to give you an unforgettable experience.