Visiting Salisbury - what to expect

Also a gateway for visiting Stonehenge independently

Nuggs 1268: Tudor cafe in Salisbury town centre

Recently restored cafe: old tudor building in town centre

Salisbury is approximately 80 miles south west of London and an easy day trip from London.


Unlike its cousins, Salisbury did not evolve gradually over centuries, with constant additions and renovations. Rather, it was built nearly to completion within a single generation.


As a result, it presents a unity of vision that is remarkable. Every year more than 600,000 visitors come from all over the world to the Cathedral and Close, the largest and best preserved Cathedral Close in Britain.

Just outside current day Salisbury is Old Sarum (Old Salisbury) originally an old Iron Age hill fort that was Salisbury until medieval times.


Salisbury is also the main jumping off point for world famous Stonehenge.


We have a page covering the logistics of making a visit to Stonehenge by public transport from Salisbury.

Salisbury Cathedral

The single biggest attraction within Salisbury itself is Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest Gothic Cathedrals in England. For US visitors, the Magna Carta on show in the Chapter House is a special attraction. Tower tours are especially popular.

Every year more than 600,000 visitors come from all over the world to the Cathedral and Close, the largest and best preserved Cathedral Close in Britain.

Salisbury Cathedral - more details


The City of Salisbury

In the rush to see Canterbury Cathedral and then push on to nearby Stonehenge, the city of Salisbury is sometimes overlooked.


The city was at its height arguably back in medieval times, a centre for the wool industry. Many of the buildings in the centre are the wooden-framed houses dating back to this time.

It's worth at least a stroll through the shopping area, perhaps taking a leisurely cream tea.

City of Salisbury - more details


Old Sarum (Old Salisbury)

Salisbury, despite its medieval street plan and wooden houses, is not that old comparatively for an English city. Modern day Salisbury grew around the Cathedral from the 13th century.

Its predecessor, Old Sarum, sits up on the hill above current day Salisbury. The battlements of the Iron Age Hill Settlement that it originally was are impressive and you can see the remains of the original Salisbury Cathedral and Norman Castle.

Old Sarum - more details


Getting to Salisbury by public transport

Salisbury Rail Map

Salisbury by train

It is quite an attractive proposition to take a 3 or 4 day tour of the main English attractions. There are frequent trains connecting Salisbury, Bath and Oxford.


Salisbury is a good base for visiting Stonehenge in addition to its own charms. Oxford is a few miles from Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds and Stratford Upon Avon.


Frequent trains run from London's Waterloo station taking approximately 90 minutes to do the journey to Salisbury.


There are normally two trains an hour operating up until very late evening.

London - Salisbury train times & fares

The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways


Salisbury & Stonehenge tours

Both Salisbury and Stonehenge are under 2 hours drive from London and each are within 30 minutes of each other.


Evan Evans offer a regular tour that visits both Salisbury and Stonehenge in the first half of the day before travelling over to Bath in the afternoon. A fascinating and varied day tour in an air conditioned coach with knowledgeable guide.

Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath Day Tour from London

In complete contrast an International Friends small group tour stays in the area all day. Unlike the big coach tours, International Friends will take you to visit Old Sarum and the idyllic English countryside and villages up the Woodford Valley to Stonehenge.


The tour also visits Avebury, a larger henge with much else Neolithic besides to fascinate. Unlike Stonehenge you can walk among and touch the stones at Avebury.

Salisbury, Old Sarum, Stonehenge and Avebury Tour London


Stonehenge Tour Bus

Tour Bus: independent to Stonehenge

The Stonehenge Tour Bus

The Stonehenge Tour Bus is the only regular public transport to Stonehenge. It normally runs at least hourly and more frequently in the summer months. The Stonehenge Tour Bus also allows you to stop over at Old Sarum, which is worthwhile.


The journey itself is quite scenic. The Stonehenge Tour Bus starts from Salisbury Rail Station and also picks up at the Bus Station. There is no left luggage facility at the train station but the Cat Tavern, a pub about 100 yards down the approach road of the rail station acts as the left luggage service for Salisbury - though its not advertised on the outside of the premises.

Stonehenge Tour Bus - more details

Most Popular Public Tours From London 2018

With Adult Fares Stated & Links To Tour Detail Pages

Visiting Stonehenge and/or Bath and/or Windsor

Stonehenge Morning Or Afternoon Half Day Tour- £49

Stonehenge & London Day Tour - £52

Windsor Castle Windsor Morning & Afternoon Tours - from £44

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (inc Lunch, no adm Roman Baths) - £105

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (no Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - £89

Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £89

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group - Max 16 people) - from £139

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £57

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Baths adm) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £64

Stonehenge & Avebury - from £59

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £92

Windsor, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £69

Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £93

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £101

Visiting Cotswolds and/or Oxford and/or Stratford and/or Warwick

Oxford, Stratford & Warwick Castle - £87

Stratford & Cotswolds (inc Anne Hathaway’s) - £84

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch - £88

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch (Small Group) - £145

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & Cotswolds Tour - £82

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £101

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £92

Downton Abbey & Blenheim Palace (Small Group) - £145

Visiting Canterbury, Leeds Castle & Dover

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury with river cruise - £87

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury (Small Group Apr - Oct) - £145

Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Canterbury - from £69

Special Theme Tours

Stonehenge Special Access (Walk Among Stones) Tours

Downton Abbey + Highclere Castle Tours

Harry Potter Tours

Small Group Tours (Maximum 16 people)

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath - from £139

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Winchester - from £139

Salisbury, Stonehenge & Avebury - from £139

Lacock, Bath & Stonehenge - from £139

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch (Apr to Oct) - £145

Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford - from £139

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury (Apr to Oct) - £145

1, 2 & 3 Day Breaks to Paris, Scotland & Amsterdam

Day Trip to Paris - from £155

3 Day Paris - from £249

Day Trip to Edinburgh - from £184

2 Day Edinburgh - from £275

3 Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekend - from £289

3 Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekday - from £479

3 Day Amsterdam - from £239

Special Offer Day Tours From London
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