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Things to do in
Salisbury

Our most recommended things to do in Salisbury

Southampton Port: London via Salisbury, Stonehenge & Windsor

1. Southampton Port: London via Salisbury, Stonehenge & Windsor

After travelling through the stunning countryside and villages of Wiltshire, we arrive for a short photo stop in the charming town of Salisbury. We walk through the Medieval St Ann's Gate and the cathedral close, seeing an impressive collection of historic buildings, and then take time to admire its impressive tower and spire - at 404 feet the tallest in the country - constructed in a short space of time from 1220 to 1258. We then enter the cloisters, built from 1261, and the largest in the country, to complete our walk. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to enter Salisbury Cathedral on this tour. Before arriving at Stonehenge your guide will tell you about the many myths, legends, and facts surrounding this prehistoric structure. Stonehenge has been described as one of the greatest mysteries of the prehistoric world. Was it a temple, a clock, a burial site, or something else? On arrival you’ll have time for a visit and an audio-guided tour around the world famous stones, or time to browse the gift shop. After 90 minutes at Stonehenge you’ll depart for Royal Windsor, where you’re scheduled to arrive in time for a late lunch. You’ll then have some time to explore the city and castle. Windsor Castle is the largest continuously occupied castle in the world and your guide will tell you about its history from William the Conqueror to the current Queen (Windsor Castle is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The coach departs Windsor at 16:00 and passengers will be dropped off at major Heathrow hotels beginning at 16:45. When booking, please specify your hotel and the terminal, if applicable. Drop offs are also provided at terminals 1-5. A drive into London is next, which is less than an hour from Heathrow. The guide will manage the hotel drop offs, where additional vehicles or taxis may be used (included in the price) to ensure the hotel drops are completed as quickly as possible. Drop off options include 250 London hotels and selected main line London train stations.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

2. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

From London: Stonehenge, Windsor and Salisbury Guided Tour

3. From London: Stonehenge, Windsor and Salisbury Guided Tour

Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape of the west of England on a 10-hour tour from London, and learn about the rich heritage of its pagan past and royal history in Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor. Departing from central London, drive west to the monoliths of Stonehenge, which have confounded people for over 5,000 years. Having baffled historians and archaeologists as to how it was built, learn about some of the theories. Continue to the market town of Salisbury, best known for its 13th-century cathedral. Built during the reign of Henry III, it boasts the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom at 404 feet (123 meters), and is one of the finest examples of early Gothic English architecture. Visit Salisbury Cathedral, and be welcomed by a specialist Salisbury Cathedral Guide and given an introductory talk before their tour. Marvel at the Magna Carta, the famous agreement made between King John and his barons at Runnymede in 1215, and now housed in the Chapter House. Explore Royal history with a visit to the queen's official residence, Windsor Castle: witness the changing tastes in decor of the State Apartments over centuries of monarchs living there; see paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt; admire Queen Mary's dolls house, the most famous dolls house in the world; and see St George's Chapel, the final resting place for several monarchs.

From London: Windsor, Stonehenge, & Salisbury Cathedral Trip

4. From London: Windsor, Stonehenge, & Salisbury Cathedral Trip

Discover some of England's must-visit spots on a guided tour from London to Windsor, Stonehenge, and Salisbury. See Windsor Castle in the historic market town of Windsor, discover the mysteries of Stonehenge, and step back in time while exploring the interior of Salisbury Cathedral. Windsor  Windsor is a stunning English town, rich in history and located on the River Thames. The town is famed for its royal connections and is home to Windsor Castle which is the queen’s official residence. Surrounded by gorgeous countryside, it has a diverse mix of history, culture, and heritage. Stonehenge You'll never forget your first glimpse of Stonehenge with its monolithic rocks rising up against the skyline on Salisbury Hill. Theories abound about the mysterious rock formation. Was it intended as a religious temple? An astronomical clock? A Bronze Age burial ground? Salisbury Sample the splendor of Salisbury. Soaring into the skyline, the spire of Salisbury Cathedral stands at an astounding 123 m (404 ft). Erected 800 years ago, the revolutionary spire is considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. Delve into the charms of the bustling market at your leisure.

Southampton: Transport to London with 3 Sightseeing Stops

5. Southampton: Transport to London with 3 Sightseeing Stops

Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape of the west of England on a full-day trip from Southampton. Learn about the rich heritage of its pagan past and royal history in Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Windsor. Conclude the tour with drop-off in London. Departing from Southampton, drive to the monoliths of Stonehenge, which have confounded people for over 5,000 years. Listen to some of the theories about how it was built from your guide. Continue to the market town of Salisbury, best known for its 13th-century cathedral. Built during the reign of Henry III, it boasts the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom at 404 feet (123 meters) and is one of the finest examples of early Gothic English architecture. Upon arrival at the cathedral, be welcomed by a specialist Salisbury Cathedral Guide and receive an introductory talk before taking a guided tour. Marvel at the Magna Carta, the famous agreement made between King John and his barons at Runnymede in 1215, and now housed in the Chapter House. Afterward, explore Royal history with a visit to the queen's official residence, Windsor Castle. Witness the changing monarchical tastes in the decor of the State Apartments over the centuries, and see paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt. Admire Queen Mary's dollhouse, the most famous dollhouse in the world, and visit St. George's Chapel, the final resting place for several monarchs. After your sightseeing trip, head to London for drop-off at your location of choice.

Salisbury: Quirky self-guided smartphone heritage walks

6. Salisbury: Quirky self-guided smartphone heritage walks

If you are Curious About Salisbury, take one of our quirky self-guided walks, where you can explore the heart of this historic city. Not only will you visit the better-known places – we make sure you visit the unusual and intriguing ones too! Added to this we provide compelling stories about the history around you, whilst you have fun following our detailed directions, finding answers to our addictive clues and matching pictures to places along the way. You’ll discover "hidden treasures", whilst reading about the history of Salisbury and the people and events that have shaped it – whether you’re familiar with Salisbury or a first-time visitor, you will spot things you would not have otherwise noticed. Download the walks to your mobile device, then follow the directions and enjoy our self-guided heritage walks at your own pace and level of interest The walks are 1.5 miles and 1 mile respectively. Both walks are suitable for wheelchair and buggy users.

From London: Stonehenge, Windsor and Salisbury

7. From London: Stonehenge, Windsor and Salisbury

Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape of the west of England on a 10-hour trip from London, and learn about the rich heritage of its pagan past and royal history in Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor. Departing from your chosen London location, drive to the monoliths of Stonehenge, which have confounded people for over 5,000 years. Having baffled historians and archaeologists as to how it was built, your guide will explain some of the theories. Continue to the market town of Salisbury, best known for its 13th-century cathedral. Built during the reign of Henry III, it boasts the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom at 404 feet (123 meters), and is one of the finest examples of early Gothic English architecture. Visit Salisbury Cathedral, and be welcomed by a specialist Salisbury Cathedral Guide and given an introductory talk before their tour. Marvel at the Magna Carta, the famous agreement made between King John and his barons at Runnymede in 1215, and now housed in the Chapter House. Explore Royal history with a visit to the queen's official residence, Windsor Castle: witness the changing tastes in decor of the State Apartments over centuries of monarchs living there; see paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt; admire Queen Mary's dolls house, the most famous dolls house in the world; and see St George's Chapel, the final resting place for several monarchs

London and Iconic England Tour & Stay - 6 Days

8. London and Iconic England Tour & Stay - 6 Days

Day 1 (Sunday) London arrival Check in to your 4* hotel - the Thistle Marble Arch hotel (or similar). Day 2 (Monday) - Full day London Meet your Guide on Level 1 of the hotel at 8:45am. Our panoramic tour London tour will depart promptly from the hotel at 9am. Then go directly to The Tower of London and enjoy some free time for lunch in one of the many cafes. Then experience a guided introduction to the Tower of London and a chance to view the Crown Jewels. Unwind on a serene cruise up the Thames with live guided commentary. Your day concludes by viewing the capital from 135 metres high on The London Eye. Your evening is at leisure. Day 3 (Tuesday) London – Stonehenge – Salisbury - Bath Meet your Tour Director on Level 1 of the Thistle Marble Arch hotel at 8:15am before departing from the hotel at 8:30am. Your first stop is Stonehenge - a must see symbol of Britain and one of the true wonders of the world. Your tour allows you time to visit the Monument and enjoy the world class visitor centre. On arrival into Salisbury you will be wowed by the sheer size and spectacle of the Cathedral. Enjoy a walking tour of the town with your Guide and free time for lunch. In the late afternoon we visit the stunning setting of Bath and home for the next two nights on your tour. Check into your 4* hotel located right in the heart of the City and enjoy your evening at leisure. Day 4 (Wednesday) Bath – Full day After breakfast take a leisurely stroll with your Guide to visit the Roman Baths – during the quietest time of day, before the crowds. Walk in the footsteps of the Romans and explore one of the finest spas of the ancient world. Located below street level you will descend to the site of the Sacred Spring - hot water rises here every day as it has for over 2,000 years. Embark on a walking tour of Bath with your guide to see the main highlights including Pulteney Bridge, Sydney Gardens and locations used in 'Bridgerton'. Your afternoon and evening is at leisure to Bath. Day 5 (Thursday) Bath – Lacock – Windsor - London Your day begins with departure from Bath for Lacock village – a location that has inspired many film and television productions. Enjoy a walking tour with your Guide of some of its highlights. We arrive at Windsor in time for lunch. Visit one of the many cafes or restaurants in the quaint cobbled streets, serving everything from cream teas to hot lunches. Then enjoy a full afternoon inside majestic Windsor Castle with time to see the State Apartments, St. George's Chapel and more. The Castle is the oldest and largest occupied in the world and has been home to 40 Monarchs. Marvel at its decorative interior, see an original Van Dyck painting and discover life in miniature with Queen Mary’s Dolls House. Leaving Windsor around 5:15pm we will arrive back at the Thistle Marble Arch in London at around 6:30pm approximately. Day 6 (Friday) - London Departure Check out (11am) after breakfast from the Thistle Marble Arch hotel.

Wonders of Wiltshire (Interactive Guidebook)

9. Wonders of Wiltshire (Interactive Guidebook)

This online travel guidebook helps you create a bespoke road trip to help with planning your break before you travel and when you are on your break. Explore the wonders of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stonehenge and Avebury, where ancient stone circles and historic mysteries await discovery. Discover the rich history of Devizes, home to attractions like the Wiltshire Museum and bustling markets, as well as nearby breweries and other local gems. Experience the marvels of the Kennet and Avon Canal, including the impressive Caen Hill Locks, a testament to canal engineering and history. Immerse yourself in the charm of Wiltshire's market towns and villages, offering bustling markets, historic architecture, and quaint streetscapes. Indulge in shopping at independent boutiques and artisanal stores, then relax in cosy pubs or cafes while enjoying local cuisine and atmosphere. Embark on scenic walks through picturesque villages and along the Ridgeway, or explore the tranquil countryside of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Visit Swindon for a blend of modern amenities, cultural attractions like the STEAM Museum, and easy access to stunning countryside adventures. Marvel at Wiltshire's iconic white horses, ancient hill figures etched into chalk hillsides, showcasing stylised designs and cultural heritage. Discover the timeless beauty of Salisbury, with its majestic cathedral, historic streets, and medieval allure, offering a captivating experience for visitors. Access this Wonder of Wiltshire road trip online on 2 devices (mobile, tablet or desktop) for 12 months to help with planning your break before you travel, as well as on your holiday. Wiltshire: • The suggested mapped route on the online guidebook is fully flexible meaning it will help you plan your trip with places to go and things to see and do, whether from 3 to 14 days • The route is a fully flexible route that allows you to explore West and East Wiltshire separately or together, depending on your preferences and time constraints. Covering an overall distance of 128 miles (207km), the combined route offers approximately 6 and a half hours of driving time. • Depending upon stops, however, you can adjust this to between 3 and 14 nights. Of course, you can tweak this route as much as you like to make your own perfect route. Online & Interactive Destinations Guidebook: • Save hours using our inspiration and signposting to plan your perfect Wiltshire driving route. • The destination guidebook covers 22 destination and location guides on essential places to visit including Stonehenge, Salisbury and many of the traditional market towns The Uncover More map includes: • 20+ Viewpoints • 100+ Places of interest • 30+ Hidden gem The Overnight Stay map includes: • 30+ Campsites • 55+ Motorhome stops & almost wild spots • 50+ Hotels • 30+ B&Bs, guesthouses and lodges

Individual trip to Stonehenge including pickup and drop off

10. Individual trip to Stonehenge including pickup and drop off

This private day trip includes pickup and dropoff from your hotel, cruiseliner or airport from any of the major cities in the description and is for up to 6 people with hand luggage or 4 people with full luggage. We will visit the unique UNESCO world heritage site of Stonehenge where you will have a chance to explore these ancient stones and the information centre as well as museum. Learn about the origin theories of the magnificent megaliths and decide which one appeals to you. Drive around Sailsbury plain to enjoy rolling hills and a nice view.

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Frequently asked questions about Salisbury

What top attractions are a must-see in Salisbury?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Salisbury

Thomas Dowson is the founder of Archaeology Travel, a website for those seeking adventures in archaeology and history. As a professional archaeologist Thomas enjoys visiting archaeological and historical sites around the world. On his blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Salisbury.

What should I do on my first trip to Salisbury?

Salisbury is one of England’s designated Heritage Cities. So there is a lot to see for those who enjoy history. With England’s tallest spire, you will not be able to miss Salisbury Cathedral. England’s tallest spire houses the world’s oldest working clock. And you really should not miss getting up closer. On display in the Chapter House is one of four surviving copies of the 13th century Magna Carter. The Cathedral Close has a number of historic houses, including one that now houses the impressive Salisbury Museum.

What are some hidden gems to see in Salisbury?

St Thomas’ Church houses the largest and best preserved Doom Painting in the United Kingdom. Painted by an unnamed artist in 1470 and depicting the Last Judgement, it was covered in the early 16th century during the Reformation. This extraordinarily detailed painting was not seen again until 1819 and not uncovered fully until 1881. In 2019 Salisbury’s Doom Painting was fully restored, and is on display free, for all to see.

How much time should I spend in Salisbury?

Two days in Salisbury would give most visitors enough time to see a lot that this historic city has to offer. Besides the cathedral, there is the Iron Age and medieval site of Old Sarum on the edge of the city, and the world famous stone circle, Stonehenge, that is not even half an hour from the city centre.

What is the best way to get around Salisbury?

Salisbury is not a very big city. So getting about is very easily done on foot. Even Old Sarum is a pleasant walk from the city centre, at around 40 minutes. Stonehenge, on the other hand, is a bit further out. For those without a car, and not wanting a 3 hour hike, there is public transport from the city centre to the prehistoric stone circle.

What are the best months to visit Salisbury?

Salisbury has a charm of its own throughout the year. But for me, my favourite time to visit Salisbury, as with much of southern England, is spring into early summer, from April to June. That said, on a crisp autumn day the autumnal colours of the trees set against a bright blue sky make October a very close second.

What is neighborhood Salisbury known for?

Not a neighbourhood as such, but Cathedral Close and the area around the cathedral is the historic centre of Salisbury. The Close itself has a number of historic properties, in which a number of Salisbury’s more famous residents have lived. For example, the late Sir Edward Heath - a former British Prime Minister. This is also a wonderful, quiet space to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Salisbury?

Salisbury Cathedral is not just for adults, but children enjoy exploring it too. Besides a walk around the vast church, on offer for the whole family are guided tours up into the church tower. Climbing up into the roof space with its 13th century wooden beams is an adventure itself. Here children are fascinated by the medieval graffiti and being able to stare into England’s tallest spire.

Other Sightseeing Options in Salisbury

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What people are saying about Salisbury

Overall rating

4.4
(266 reviews)

Although we were informed ahead of time, the only down side was that we could not get in to Windsor Castle because it was closed at the time we got there. However, it was the best way to get to London after our cruise and it included three great places to visit on our way. Our guide was very nice! The other plus was that they took everyone to their respective hotels and not all tours do that. I definitely recommend it!

It was an extraordinary, enjoyable and educational experience, the guide Pablo was a fantastic person, educated and with an excellent level of knowledge of what he was showing. This trip is totally recommended due to the convenience of visiting 3 places in one day.

Excellent & the separating of the parties going to the airport & also the rest to London hotels was terrific. It gave your guests remaining in London time to check into their hotel & not be riding to the airport needlessly.

demanding but very well organized both in terms of time and travel. The guide was lovely, and told and explained all the stages in an absolutely interesting way

An excellent trip, an excellent tour guide as well as the driver. The tour guide contributed a lot to the success of the journey!