Visiting Salisbury in England

February 11, 2020

Salisbury is a fabulous city and is situated in Wiltshire, South West of England and has fantastic scenery surrounding its city. It’s about nine miles from Stonehenge. I visited Salisbury this year and I noticed a city that was booming, especially with driving schools. They were everywhere you looked. One driving school I kept on seeing regularly was Superdrive Academy in Salisbury so this was a good sign that the population is growing and with an expansion in population comes and expansion in business. If people are taking driving lessons in Salisbury then there’s obvious signs of a thriving town, city and community.

Salisbury is fast becoming a main tourist destination once again after suffering a decline in tourists visiting the city after the infamous chemical attack. However, my time in Salisbury shown that locals and even tourists had forgotten about this incident and it was business an usual.

Salisbury is steeped with history and in it lies somewhere between myth and fact. Legends mingle with historic chronicles to form a feast for the imagination. There’s no way to know exactly how long ago humans first settled in Salisbury. There is some evidence that the hill fort at Old Sarum has been occupied since at least 8,000 BCE. Salisbury have been a part of the myths and legends of the Iron Age, Roman occupation, the history of King Arthur and his knights, and the brutal invasions of the Saxons.

Old Sarum – The settlement at Old Sarum is likely connected to the stone monoliths of Stonehenge and Avebury. The hill stands at the intersection of two ancient trading paths. The Romans were definitely not the first to occupy Old Sarum. When the Romans took over, the fort was already occupied by a tribe of exiled Gauls called Atrebates. Old Sarum was next captured by the Saxons.

In 1070 William the Conqueror decided that Old Sarum was strategically valuable. He built a motte-and-bailey castle right in the middle of the hillfort. Can you imagine what they must have found in 1070? Digging the foundations on top of eight-thousand years of history probably turned up some amazing artefacts. Historians think that the original castle was built of timber. The fortified stone structure doesn’t appear until sometime in the thirteenth century. Sadly, little remains of this castle today other than exposed foundations. For 150 years Old Sarum was an important centre of both secular and religious government.

Historically a centre of the cloth industry, Salisbury-the county town of Wiltshire-lies at the point where the Rivers Nadder and Bourne flow into the River Avon. The city is most famous for its beautiful cathedral, a masterpiece of the early Gothic style that dates to 1220, when the building’s foundation stone was laid.

The old city centre is also worth taking time to explore and is the location of many important tourist attractions. Notable for its checkerboard layout, with lovely enclosed gardens squeezed between the houses, Salisbury was to become a model for medieval town planning.

On receiving royal market privileges, a bridge was built across the Avon in 1244, thereby creating perfect conditions for Salisbury to become a major trading centre. These days, Salisbury is a much-visited tourist destination not just for its rich and storied history-not to mention its proximity to Stonehenge, just 10 miles north of the city centre-but also for its many fine boutique shops and first-rate dining opportunities.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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