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The city of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, south-west of London, dates back to the 13th Century. Salisbury, on the banks of the River Avon, is best known for its proximity to Stonehenge and for its glorious cathedral. However, the town itself has some nice examples of architecture throughout the ages, dating back to Medieval house and through to the modern area. Often passed through without stopping, the town is worth a visit for those heading to Stonehenge.
The city of Salisbury was founded as New Sarum in 1220, after the Bishop of Sarum decided that they would move the Cathedral from the nearby town of Old Sarum down into the valley near the convergence of 5 rivers. The building of the new cathedral was begun by Bishop Richard Poore in that year, and a nearby market was established.
In addition to the options below, more information can be found at the tourist information office can be found on Fish Row (just behind the main Market Square). The phone number is (0) 1722 334956, and is open Monday to Saturday all year round, and on Sundays during the summer.
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The massive Iron Age hillfort of Old Sarum was used by the Romans, Saxons and Normans before becoming one of the most flourishing settlements in medieval England. The site contains the ruins of a castle, cathedral and bishop's palace. Entry to the park and ability to see the cathedral is free. Old Sarum offers a great view across Salisbury and the Cathedral. Admission to the castle ruins cost an additional £3.
Old Sarum is located on the Castle Road, about 2 miles from town. Routes 5 and 6 run from Salisbury bus station to Old Sarum. The Castle is a pleasant walk along a cycle path by the side of a river, the start of the cycle path runs parallel with Castle Street, the easiest way to find it is to go through the cut through next to the library and follow the river north. once you reach the cycle path stay on it until the end then turn left and head up along the edge of the large playing field (Hudson Field), the castle mound is visible from the playing fields.
Discover over 750 years of history, including Britain's tallest spire, the world's best preserved original Magna Carta and Europe's oldest working clock, on a tour with one of our volunteer guides. Built between 1220 and 1258, in one architectural style, Salisbury is Britain's finest 13th century Gothic Cathedral.
The Cathedral contains one of only 4 remaining original copies of the Magna Carta.
Opening times can be found at the Salisbury Cathedral website.
There are three main attractions within the Close. The first is the National Trust’s Mompesson House, a Queen Anne style house built in 1701, and its walled garden (closed on Th and Fr, open between late March and late Oct). A
Also in the Cathedral Close are two museums – the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, set in an old medieval building known as the King’s House (open Mon-Sat plus Sundays in July and August), and the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment Museum, in a 1254 house that was one of the first buildings erected in the Close (open Tues-Sun in Feb, Mar & Nov, daily Apr-Oct).
Market days are every Tuesday and Saturday. The market features everything from fruit stalls, food vendors to household goods.
Behind the market square are Fish Row, Butcher Row and Silver Street, lined with shops and restaurants with butchers and patios.
Held in the Salisbury Cathedral, The flower festival is spectacular five day festival of colour as the Cathedral comes alive with an extravagance of flowers many arranged by parish groups from within the Diocese. The festival takes place in mid-June.
A large festival running from mid-May to Early June, covering a wide range of arts including music, theatre, dance and film across a wide range of venues in Salisbury. View the official festival website for more details.
Held in September the food festival has a wide variety of food stalls as well as live music and children's activities.
Train service runs every half hour from London Waterloo station (going to Exeter) on South West Trains. The journey takes 80 – 90 minutes. Trains also run roughly every half an hour between Portsmouth (via Southampton) and Cardiff (via Bristol) The train station is located about a 10 minute walk from the Medieval city centre.
Salisbury can be found on the A30, A36, A338, A345 and A360.
If you are driving:
There are park and ride facilities on the main routes into town, with buses running every ten minutes if you want to avoid the traffic in town. There is (reasonably expensive) parking in the town, central car park is largest car park and best located. The centre of town has a one way system that gets clogged up during rush hour.
Buses are run by the Wilts & Dorset bus website.
Salisbury centre is pretty compact and you can easily walk from one side of the centre to the other in a few minutes.
There are cyclepaths running to the centre of town along most of the main routes into the town. There is a nice circular cycle route, called the Golden Way, that goes from the Cathedral past Old Sarum and into the Avon valley. Find out more about cycling around Salisbury here.
Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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