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How to spend a stylish 48 hours in Salisbury

Gothic architecture meets modern glamour in Wiltshire's only city - and we've found the best of both. Read on for a guide to the most Muddy bars, restaurants, shops, things to do and under-the-radar highlights. Oh, and wine. We almost forgot the wine.


Did you know that among the medieval magic of Salisbury’s gothic architecture there’s plenty of contemporary cool, from rustic coffee houses to stylish pot shops (think houseplant, not hashish)? It’s an arty, culture-crammed city, small enough to preserve the tread on your white Converse but large enough to keep you entertained all weekend long. Ready to find out more? Please find our insider guide at your service…


Feast like it’s going out of fashion at Wilding

Let’s start with the essentials – food! You’ll be pleased to hear that Salisbury punches well above its weight when it comes to quirky independent eateries, so let’s take a tour.

First up, Nole Pizza serves sourdough styles scrumptious enough to stop you counting calories. Fresh ingredients, inventive toppings, expert dough and friendly staff – when pizza’s this good it’s hard to beat. Get your fix at four local outlets, the most central being On The Square (pictured below).

Next on the list is Wilding on the High Street – a bar-restaurant with its trademark ‘library of wine’ – a shop stocked with over 400 bottles to take home in your tote (not all at once, obv). However, to make the most of your trip, drink in and take full advantage of the ten varieties on tap, 50 by the glass and staff who’ll take you on a voyage of vino. With so much choice you’ll definitely need to eat, and luckily the locally-sourced, sustainable menu includes sharing boards, small plates, and all kinds of grills and roasts from burgers to roast duck breast to roast cauliflower to rump steak. Add to that an atmospheric French-brasserie-feel interior with inky blue-green walls, wooden tables and atmospheric pendant lighting and you might just forget your cab home.

Anokaa Salisbury

Anokaa on Fisherton Street (above) is the go-to place for gourmet Indian and Persian cuisine in a glamorous setting. Forget creamy chicken korma or too-hot-to-handle Vindaloo with paper napkins and coloured pilau rice – this place is designed to look as good as it tastes. Its sultry interior of black padded walls, pendant chandelier lighting and intricate screens is the perfect backdrop for vibrant, artistic dishes like Chardonnay-soaked crispy duck breast and Persian spice rub or honey and orange glazed multani chicken shashlik with bell peppers. There are also several different set menus, vegetarians are well catered for and you can order takeaway too.

For Indian street-food and craft beers, head to Cafe Diwali, near the cathedral (above). It’s a more informal but no-less lip-smacking experience where the chefs pride themselves in making nearly everything from scratch – including the chutneys and some of the drinks – plus they’re also one of the few places locally that also serve Thalis and Dosas. Best of all, you can sit outside in their 44 seater colourful courtyard on warmer days. Their menu, which caters well for vegetarians and vegans, changes regularly, keeping more than just the ingredients fresh.

The Salisbury Orangery
Do you even need an excuse to eat this? Brunch special from Salisbury Orangery.

Of course, you’re not always in the mood for a three course meal which is where The Salisbury Orangery on Crane Street might just come in handy, especially if you’re feeling a bit delicate the morning after. It’s a brunch restaurant with a cool white and green botanical-influenced interior (soothing for fuzzy brain cells), and serves everything breakfasty, from a full english to avocado on toast to waffles. Oh and it serves beer, fizz and wine too. Just saying.


Cocktail and wine bars, craft beer taprooms and pubs…for a small city Salisbury is big on stylish and/or entertaining places to sip the night away.

Tinga Tequila: the first of many.

Let’s start with Tinga– a Mexican-inspired bar that’s a hit with locals and visitors alike (booking advised). Its crazy-colourful interior of wall art and handmade palm tree pillars screams Friday night tequilas and quesadillas – although you’re welcome all week long. Treat yourself to a cocktail poured by one of the bar’s mixologists and order a selection of street-food influenced small plates to take your mood from okay to amazing.

Come evening (or lunch, depending on how you roll), Craft Bar at The Salisbury Arms offers not only plenty of artisan beer and cider (as you’d expect), but also top cocktails, live music events and welcoming vibe. It’s an independent, family business, which we always like to hear, and the gourmet burger and rosemary fries are legendary.

Need to lend a sense of occasion to proceedings? Caboose (above) is a 1920s-inspired bar to help you get your Gatsby on with its delightfully over-the-top interior and cocktails to match. Decadence reigns in the downstairs bar which is decorated in deep teal and gold while upstairs the eight boutique B&B rooms are painted a restful pretty peachy-pink. Book one and you won’t have far to toddle-off to after a few Gin Fizzes. Naturally, afternoon tea is a must at any self-respecting vintage-style establishment and luckily, the weekend tea and cake treats look splendid too.

The Haunch of Venison pub: spooky but well-stocked

For a glimpse into the city’s past, prop up the bar at the CAMRA-listed Haunch of Venison – it’s the oldest hostelry in Salisbury (and said to be the most haunted). Look out for the former bread oven with a smoke preserved mummified hand inside (for real – an 18th century whist player lost it in a card game while cheating) and a “Horsebox bar” – originally called a “Ladies Snug” from the days when mainly men visited pubs. This bar has rare early 20th century gravity-fed spirit taps and was used by Churchill and Eisenhower during the planning of D-Day landings in 1944.  

If you prefer to sample your beers in 21st century surroundings, Salisbury has its own craft brewery too – Dark Revolution – which is a ten minute Uber from the centre and whose tap room is open at weekends.

But when it comes to all-round friendly pub fun you must visit the Old Ale and Coffee House (above) with its contemporary rustic wooden interiors and old-fashioned service. Not forgetting its popular bold food (we especially heart the Sunday Roasts), bookable beach huts out the back, plus a lively rosta of events from quizzes to live music. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your name – or will do by the time you leave.


Coffee. Weekends can’t start without it.

Salisbury has a thriving café scene including: The Yard, a shop and gallery as well as tea rooms – think mismatched furniture in a renovated warehouse; Muddy Award winner The Cafe at Fisherton Mill and Culture Coffee, a greek-influenced coffee house with an eclectic all-day menu that includes an egg and bacon sandwich with red cabbage and pickles.

Say YAS to cakes at The Yard.

For a supercool, dog-friendly coffee shop with a female founder (Ebony), visit Sonder Coffee which serves the very popular Extract Coffee from Bristol and that also provides a co-working space (not that you will need it if you’re here to enjoy yourself). For cathedral views, visit The Bell Tower Tearooms (Spring-Summer only) to drink in the north lawn vista with your Twinnings. It’s on Cathedral Close, where you’ll also find former Prime Minister Ted Heath’s home Arundells and its beautiful garden.

Finally, if you want to fly the flag for a local hero who launched during the pandemic, visit one of The Wood Bar’s three outlets; their wooden caravan in Churchill Gardens (below), concession in Parkwood Health and Fitness Gym or kiosk in Victoria Park.

The Wood Bar’s caravan in Churchill Gardens


Naturally you’ll want somewhere sophisticated to slumber when you visit Wiltshire’s only city so we’ve sorted out a few luxe lie-in locations for you!

Sleep soundly just outside the city at Bird & Carter

You’ll find some of the most boutique or quirky options just outside the city, like the five boutique rooms at Bird & Carter on the Fonthill Estate. The thirty-minute drive to and from central Salisbury is well worth it for the Scandi-style interiors, artisan breakfasts and peaceful rural setting. Plus you can eat breakfast or lunch on the terrace or heated tent (which has Friday night late events during the warmer months – booking essential).

The Old Mill Hotel is a little nearer and brimming with history. It’s set in a 15th century building with features dating back to 1250, and views of the Harnham Hills, River Nadder and pretty riverside garden from the 11 ensuite rooms. You’re also just a 10 minute stroll to the 21st century through the beautiful Harnham Water Meadows, often painted by John Constable from the early 1800s.

Nole Pizza is served at the barn at The Pembroke Arms in Wilton

Also nearby, in the little town of Wilton, there’s The Pembroke Arms (a Muddy Awards Finalist, no less) where trad pub meets Soho House- cool in its nine individually designed rooms – and where they also serve the delicious Nole Pizza in the barn (see our Eat section). And don’t forget the art-deco design of the rooms at the centrally-located Caboose cocktail-bar (for more info see the earlier Drink section).


Salisbury is small so a walk around the centre is easily do-able in a day. Wander around at your own pace or if you fancy a history lesson, the Salisbury City walk is a goodie heading past the Cathedral (the home of one of four original surviving copies of Magna Carta) as well as the world famous Doom painting and the store where the Duke of Buckingham’s ghost haunts the Blue Boar Inn.

When your feet have had enough, Salisbury Punting will take you out on the water to see the city as you never usually would. If you’re feeling romantic, book a luxury hamper to take with you and when back on dry land, stroll with your DH over to Padlock Bridge, just off Fisherton Street. Not as famous as the similar Parisian landmark, but still adorned love locks left by no less passionate people.

If you’re in the mood to get your pulse racing, then put your prettiest dress and have a look at what’s on at Salisbury Racecourse at Netherhampton, just outside the city. In addition to the wide range of racing fixtures, there’s also live music like cover bands and family fun events like live cinema screenings.

You’ll need a drink after a ghost walk or Escape Room event

Feeling spooky on a Friday night? Get the chills with Salisbury Ghost Tours (check website for operating dates) or sign up for a haunting Escape Room event at one of two venues; there seems to be no shortage of gruesome material in this City’s past. But for more lively (living) nightlife, have a look at what’s on at The Chapel Live -there’s everything from cover bands to comedy to conversations.


You’ll be in the pink at indie Oso Boutique

There are some inspirational indie treasures tucked away if you know where to look, like OSO Boutique (another Muddy Award-winner). Nestled on the High Street, it’s a beautifully curated collection of stylish and affordable jewellery, clothing and accessories sourced by a mother and daughter team. For cookware, seek out Dinghams Cookshop and go to Paloma Lily for the best blooms in town, while Botanic Folk in Fisherton Street is the place for botanical gifts, accessories and workshops. Finally don’t miss Casa Fina for its creative mix of vintage and new homeware and gifts – it’s even stylish enough to have made an appearance in a recent episode of Interior Design Masters.

By far the artiest place to visit is Fisherton Mill Gallery and Cafe, a converted Victorian grain factory with the Muddy Stilettos award-winning cafe we mentioned, a gallery, independent artisan shops in the courtyard and creative studios upstairs. There’s a regular rosta of exhibitions and workshops taking place so check the website before you visit to see what will allow your inner Tracey Emin out to play. And for literal street art (plus artisan gifts and live music), keep an eye out for regular Sunday markets in the square during Spring and Summer – like one curated by Salisbury Arts Scene and the other by Salisbury Council


Treasure Trails is a great way for kids to see Salisbury – they offer a murder mystery-themed walking trail around the city which’ll keep them busy for an hour or two – or rent bikes from Hayballs and explore the flat traffic-free trails around town. Then there’s Splash of Colour in Fisherton Street, where you can put your feet up with a flat white whilst the kids get creative with pottery.


There’s always something quirky going on through Wiltshire Creative.

For screen-free entertainment, Google what Wiltshire Creative is up to. It’s a pan-arts organisation formed by Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Playhouse and supports a wide range of art and performance. They put on everything from experiential al fresco shows (often FREE), to big-hitter, high-quality theatre in one of their two venues.

Naturally, no-one can go to Salisbury without thinking of Stonehenge which is also just a 20 minute drive out of the city or stay central and at visit the cathedral for a heritage fix.


Head to the edge of the city (walkable in an hour) and you’ll find this pretty market town which has become a hub of cool happenings. The Guild (formerly known as Wilton Shopping Village, above) is a collection of local and national brands, eateries and creative studios housed in regenerated carpet factory and includes Herbs & Wild and Hole & Corner workshops.

Bird & Carter farm shop is perfect if you fancy a picnic and don’t miss stately home Wilton House with its stunning grounds, impressive art collection and adventure playground (an afternoon out in itself). Phew, with so much to do, it’s time for a G&T – now, where to choose?


Check out the brand new Insider Guides to cities and towns from the other Muddy Stilettos editors…


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