Things to do in Salisbury

Our most recommended things to do in Salisbury

Southampton–London via Salisbury, Stonehenge & Windsor

1. Southampton–London via Salisbury, Stonehenge & Windsor

The first stop on your excursion is Salisbury, boasting one of the finest Gothic Cathedrals in Britain, built in the 13th century, and a stunning medieval town center. You’ll spend an hour in Salisbury before departing for mysterious Stonehenge. The drive from Salisbury to Stonehenge takes you through some beautiful English countryside and villages, passing historic churches and thatched cottages. 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 (admission fee not included), 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 (admission not included, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). If you opt not to enter Windsor castle, enjoy a stroll through the old town and Eton. 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.

Stonehenge, Windsor, Bath & Salisbury Tour from London

2. Stonehenge, Windsor, Bath & Salisbury Tour from London

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 Bath. Departing from central London, drive west to the monoliths of Stonehenge, which have confounded people for over 5,000 years. Having baffled historians and archeologists 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. 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. Then, drive to Bath on the slopes of the River Avon. Explore the first city in England to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gorgeous 15th-century Abbey, stunning Georgian architecture and romantic Pulteney Bridge - modeled on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence - are all sights to linger at. You will be free to explore on your own, with plenty of time for tea at the Pump Rooms, or a visit to the Jane Austen Centre. 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, Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury Day Trip

3. From London: Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury Day Trip

Mystical Stonehenge You'll never forget your first glimpse of spectacular Stonehenge, 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 123m (404ft)! 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. Bath Standing proudly on the slopes of the River Avon, beautiful Bath was the first city in England to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The gorgeous 15th century Bath Abbey, the stunning Georgian architecture, the romantic Pulteney Bridge, modeled on Florence's Ponte Vecchio, are all sights to linger on in the memory of your day. Explore the delights of Bath at your leisure. 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 so is well worth visiting while in the UK.  This tour will finish at approximately 8:00 PM in London.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

4. 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 Bath: Private Stonehenge and Salisbury Trip with Pickup

5. From Bath: Private Stonehenge and Salisbury Trip with Pickup

Stonehenge is the greatest and most iconic marvel of prehistoric Britain and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Travel back in time and discover what inspired stone age people to start erecting this monument 4,500 years ago. Upon arrival your guide will offer you an entertaining and informative privately guided tour of this unique Stone Circle and you will learn about recent archaeological discoveries. Stonehenge still retains its power and sense of wonder over all those who gather here. Later, enjoy a traditional pub lunch in the centre of Salisbury and explore this charming mediaeval city. Soak up the splendour and scale of Salisbury Cathedral, which boasts Britain's tallest spire, the world's oldest working clock, and the best-preserved original 1215 Magna Carta, an ancient pact safeguarding individual liberty. This document inspired America's Founding Fathers to write their Constitution and Bill of Rights. Journey back to the delightful Georgian City of Bath, where you will either be dropped off at your accommodation or in the centre of town. This will definitely be a day to remember.

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Salisbury? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Salisbury

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 250 reviews

I thought I was going to be able to get the entrance tickets for Stonehenge and Windsor Castle from the guide, but that wasn't the case. While we were able to get entrance tickets to Stonehenge when we arrived, we were not able to get entrance tickets to Windsor Castle because it was sold out. I was very disappointed to not be able to go into Windsor Castle.

We caught this tour after our cruise and it was the best way to finish off a great vacation. Rob provided great insight and historical information of these sights, as well as some other insights into the town. We were limited on time at these great stops but overall, with everyone penny. Highly recommend it!

Really great way to get from the Southampton port to London after a cruise. The bus was great - modern tour bus, and the tour guide was very knowledgeable. Stonehenge was a great learning experience, and seeing Windsor was good for someone from the USA.

It was a great trip with wonderful Tour guide name Sona. She is very knowledgeable, open to people and very friendly! All four stops are great, a lot of knowledge, things to see and enjoy. Highly recommended.

The pass is recommended. Paying locally is much more expensive.