Weekend Trip from London to Salisbury
Salisbury is famous for the breathtaking UNESCO world heritage site Stonehenge, which attracts over one million visitors each year. Dating back to 3100 BC and said to have taken over 300 million hours to build, the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge is a magical place to visit. The area consists of a group of stone monuments laid out into circular pattern that is believed to have been a burial site. Now used for religious and alternative ceremonies you can definitely see why this tourist destination is so popular. However, Salisbury has so much more to offer than its archeological credentials.
At Stonehenge itself, head to the visitor center for extensive information about the site and the option to buy guided tours, to get the true history that you can relay to your friends back home. With regular exhibitions, you can gain insight into how people lived through the Neolithic period and how the stones were constructed. The site is extremely popular all year round but will be slightly quieter during school term time and winter. If you do want to explore more of this Wiltshire hotspot, there is lots on offer.
Things to do
Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most popular and most stunning structure in the UK. Not only is the medieval cathedral one of the most stunning, it also boasts the tallest cathedral tower in England. You cannot climb the whole 404 ft of the tower but you can climb high enough to enjoy splendid views over Salisbury. When you tear yourself away from the great views, you can venture back down the tower to view the famous Magna Carta that is housed in the cathedral.
The cathedral is amongst dozens of medieval churches to be found in Salisbury and Wiltshire, for those who love to browse lots of holy places and take in the spiritual nature of the place you are visiting. If culture is your thing, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum will keep you entertained for a couple of hours, as will The National Trust’s Mompesson House, where you will find peace and tranquility amongst the grandeur. The house is famously home to the location of the film Sense and Sensibility, so you can retrace the steps of your favorite characters.
Children will love running about in the many green spaces across the town, with parks to be found in and around the center. There is also a Salisbury Treasure Trail to take, so that children can go on an adventure and discover the highlights of the town. If you want to venture further afield, Wiltshire is home to the fantastic Longleat safari park, offering a little African adventure in the UK!
If you are looking for evening activities, head to The Playhouse for a theater show or to The Arts Centre for a little culture. There is also plenty of quality restaurants and cafes to be found, as well as traditional English pubs of course! For lunch head to The Greyhound Inn or The Borough Cafe for a quick and tasty bit and for an evening meal head Charter 1227 or head to Anokaa if you are after something a little more special.
27th November to 20th December sees the town host a very special Christmas market, with over 100 unique stalls and lots of fun activities for all of the family. There is also a regular indoor market held every Tuesday and Saturday plus there are lots of beautiful shops that you can explore as you walk through the tranquil streets of Salisbury town centre. You’ll find the ‘independents’ right across the city but particularly in Winchester Street, Catherine Street, Fisherton Street and High Street.
How to reach
Salisbury is a quick 2 hour drive from the center of London, along the M3. If you prefer to relax and take the train, you can take the Waterloo line direct to Salisbury train station and reach your destination in just under 2 hours. National Express coaches leave regularly from Victoria coach station but will take around 3 hours to reach Salisbury.
Where to stay
The Cathedral Hotel is a good choice for a city center venue that offers a relaxing stay and a great place to explore the area. If you are looking for a more luxurious stay, Lucknam Park hotel and spa is a beautiful venue, where you can mix a busy tourist break with a little pampering. If you are on a budget then there are lots of B&B’s in and around Salisbury and there are good quality inns that are kind on your wallet, The King’s Head Inn is particularly good. If you are planning ahead for a visit during spring and summer, you may want to look at camping options, with cool glamping pods available at Berwick St James, near Stonehenge itself.