The cathedral city of Salisbury is the only city in Wiltshire. Although Swindon is a larger settlement, it is classed as a town.
The beautiful cathedral has the tallest spire in the UK at 404ft/123m. Notably, it contains the best preserved of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta the oldest surviving mechanical clock in Britain, installed 1386.
John Constable famously painted Salisbury Cathedral and the surrounding water meadows. A walk down the city’s Town Path takes you past one of the spots where he painted.
The city was originally known as New Sarum to differentiate it from Old Sarum – the site of the first cathedral. Old Sarum is now owned by English Heritage.
There are markets in Salisbury held in the Market Square on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Regular markets have been held here since 1227. There is also a Farmers’ Market on a Wednesday where you can buy local produce.
In 2012, Salisbury was awarded Purple Flag status. Purple Flag is the accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night. Entertainment areas that achieve the standard offer a better night out to visitors
Historic Salisbury still contains many beautiful old timbered buildings. The Close is home to a large number with Arundells, the former home of ex Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath being just one. The award-winning Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum and the Wessex Gallery of Archaeology can also be found here.
Just off the Market Square is the Poultry Cross – the only surviving of four original market crosses. There was also a cheese and milk cross, a wool and yarn cross and a cattle and livestock cross.
Five rivers meet in Salisbury – the Nadder, Ebble, Wylye, Bourne and Avon.
Nearby are Salisbury Plain where great bustards have recently been reintroduced and the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge.
Salisbury International Arts Festival – May/June
Salisbury Art Trail
Salisbury food festival
Salisbury Illuminated Carnival
Charter Fair in the Market Square – 3 days from 3rd Monday in October
Old George Mall
Cross Keys Chequer
Churchill Gardens – Salisbury’s largest park . Includes a skate park, playground and the River Avon
Queen Elizabeth Gardens – where the town path starts
Bourne Hill Gardens