36 Hours in Salisbury, England

posted by Andy Farenden on August 09, 2013

Photo: Salisbury Cathedral via Wikimedia Commons

Salisbury, England -- 35 minutes away from the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens near Sixpenny Handley; home to peacocks, macaws, and one of the UK's premiere alternative music festivals, End of the Road, the winner of the UK's "Best Small Festival" award in 2011.

While you might never have heard of Sixpenny Handley or Larmer Tree Gardens, chances are you've heard of Salisbury (we hope). It's the home of the druids, a thriving arts culture, and spitting distance from Stonehenge and the UK's first Safari Park, Longleat. So whether you're coming for the festival August 30-September 1 or for one of the town's other attractions, here's an itinerary for 36 hours in Salisbury.

If you are heading to the town for End of the Road, make sure to grab your tickets and peep the lineup that includes Sigur Rós, Belle and Sebastian, David Byrne & St. Vincent, and Eels.

Day One

2:30pm: Arrive in Salisbury
South Western Road
Just an hour and a half from London on the train from Waterloo Station with no changes. No delays either plus free tea and coffee if you upgrade to first class.

3:30pm: Up the tower of Salisbury Cathedral
Choristers Square
After dropping bags at the CityLodge it's off to Salisbury Cathedral with the tallest spire in the UK - 404ft.! - a spire with 332 steps to the top of it to reveal beautiful panoramic views of Wiltshire. Breathtaking it more than one way.

5pm: Not so traditional English pub at Cosy Club
49 New Street
The Cosy Club, Salisbury, occupies the former Grande II listed Arts College. It's a hybrid of a traditional gentlemen's club and a cocktail bar with their own twist on a pot of tea - Put the Ketel on. It's served in a teapot no less! Perfect after a trip up the Cathedral spire.

7pm: A La Carte at Charter 1227
Off New Canal
Described by locals as, "the best fine dining experience in the area," this place is too good to pass up. Amazing A La Carte Menu served by friendly and welcoming staff, not to mention some simply stunning desserts. Also, they do a three course set menu form Monday to Thursday if you're on a budget.

9pm: Chill out at Qudos
38 Castle Street
The Music Bar at Qudos hosts a wide range of styles from jazz to cover bands and serves a great range of cocktails. It's the perfect place to unwind after a day of traveling, exploring, and dining.

Day Two

10am: Breakfast time at Boston Tea Party
Old George Inn, 13 High Street
A strong, rich espresso and baked eggs with chorizo. Ideal to set you up for a day visiting Stonehenge! If you want something a little sweeter then you can't go wrong with one of Boston Tea Party's homemade gluten free brownies.

11am: A little retail therapy at Old George Mall
37 New Street
Post breakfast it's time for a little shopping before heading to Stonehenge. The Old George Mall houses a wide selection of contemporary, if slightly mainstream, shops.

12:30pm: On the bus - The Stonehenge Tour
Pick up and drop off at Salisbury Rail Station, South Western Road
You couldn't visit Salisbury and not visit Stonehenge, and the bus tour is the perfect way to do so. It makes the trip really easy and you can opt for either just the bus trip when purchasing or the bus plus admission into Stonehenge itself.

3pm: Enjoy a late lunch at Caffé Nero
48-52 Silver Street
Back in the city center, drop into Caffé Nero for an excellent coffee and a panini while watching the world go by.

4pm: A little more culture at the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
The King's House, 65 The Close
As well as housing prehistoric relics, this museum features over 4000 pieces of area art, clothing, and costumes from the last 250 years plus a Social History Exhibition.

6pm: An early dinner at the traditional Ox Row Inn
10-11 Ox Row
After a day of heritage what better way to refresh and refill than within a traditional English pub? Serving Fuller's Real Ale and classic English fare from Steak & Ale Puddings to Beer Battered Fish & Chips.

8pm: A Little more culture at Salisbury Arts Centre
Bedwin Street
The Salisbury Arts Centre resides in a beautifully converted 13th century church complete with its original stained glass windows. It offers a wide variety of events from Opera to comedy and anything in between.

11pm: Get on down at The Chapel
34 Milford Street
Salisbury's multi-event entertainment hub hosts great club nights and is a favorite with the locals.

Day Three

10am: Breakfast in a gallery at Fisherton Mill Café
108 Fisherton Street
The café at Fisherton Mill resides in the largest independent art gallery in the Southwest and serves a great range of foods throughout the day. While you're here, why not check out the gallery and studios, which include contemporary arts and a beauty therapy suite.

11:30am: Tour the city with a private guide
Location determined when booking
So you've seen Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral, why not check out what else the town has to offer with a private guided tour?

1pm: Say farewell at The Cough
Blue Boar Row
Finish off your visit with a final dose of Real Ale and pub fare in this haunted pub.

See Also:

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