Monday 2 April 2012

Out and about in Salisbury

I was recently lucky enough to visit Salisbury for the first time. I was immediately struck by how beautiful a city it is, and that all the surrounding area seemed really very picturesque. Naturally, I headed towards the cathedral (with its spire reaching high into the sky it was a good way of keeping my bearings whilst navigating the rest of the city). Unlike some cathedrals which don't let you walk around the grounds without paying, Salisbury cathedral is surrounded by large areas of grass which can be enjoyed by everyone.

 As I'm sure is the case with most visitors I was struck by the spire (the tallest in Britain), and was intrigued to get inside this stunning building and explore. The interior doesn't disappoint, large arches looming on either side of the main aisle, quite awe-inspiring. The only downside was that there was no crypt, a part of cathedrals that I particularly like (and which people find a little odd). There was plenty of fascinating objects to see whilst there though; they have a copy of Magna Carta, and also the oldest working mechanical clock in Britain. I was intrigued by this clock which looks nothing like a modern clock - there is no face, just a complicated series of cogs, and a connection to a bell that chimes on the hour.

There were plenty of other exciting places to visit in close proximity to the cathedral, but I didn't get the chance to visit them (perhaps an excuse for another trip to Salisbury...)

The clock

If history isn't really your thing there's plenty of independent shops to entertain, as well as the usual chains. For food and drink I'd recommend the Boston Tea Party. Service with a smile, tasty food and drink, and the decor upstairs was really quite special.

I also happened upon a lovely little bookshop (I think it was called The Last Bookshop), which was cheap, had a good range, and again very friendly staff. Even though I was purchasing my books not long before they were closing the bookseller still engaged me in conversation about them. If you're like me and have no willpower when it comes to buying books I'd stay away though, you'll end up with armfuls of new books.

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