Salisbury Cathedral & Magna Carta
Salisbury Cathedral has been a place of worship, welcome, and hospitality for over 800 years. Its Spire (the tallest in the country and a feat of medieval engineering) rises to a breath-taking 404ft/123m, guiding travelers, merchants, and pilgrims to the historic city.
The story of this great Cathedral is a tale of defiance and ingenuity that begins back in 1218, when the Bishop of Salisbury abandoned the original cathedral at Old Sarum, and moved down to the banks of the Avon, where the Cathedral stands today. You can learn the reasons for this move and about the people who made it happen by following the new family-friendly trail inside the Cathedral.
You can also discover how one of only four surviving original 1215 Magna Carta came to the Cathedral and view it in a special exhibition explaining its origins and continuing relevance to our lives today.
Time in the Cathedral is marked by the tick of the oldest working mechanical clock in the world, accompanied by the sound of water trickling from the contemporary baptismal font. The modern blue ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ window dominates the East end, a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that many have made, and still make, to protect freedom and justice.
In the Cathedral’s Refectory Restaurant, ancient and modern combine with the glass roof offering a stunning view of the Spire above. Next door, the Cathedral Gift Shop offers a wide range of products from homemade chutneys to jewellery, books, and traditional travel mementoes. From late Spring until Autumn, the seasonal Bell Tower Tea Rooms provide a wide range of snacks and refreshments, served at tables and chairs on the North Lawn.
Outside, the Cathedral’s close is Britain’s largest, an oasis in the city with rolling green lawns fringed by historic houses - perfect for picnics!
There are four other attractions to visit in the Close - Salisbury Museum, The Rifles Museum, the National Trust’s Mompesson House and Arundells - each offering a special insight into the history of this charming city.
Be sure to check what’s on before you visit – the Cathedral hosts a wide range of tours, musical performances and family friendly events throughout the year. It is dog friendly too – as long as your furry friend is well behaved and on a lead!
To learn how we will keep you safe during your visit to the Cathedral click here
Parking, transport and accessibility
Parking is available within the Cathedral Close at a fixed cost of £7.00 for the whole day (this includes disabled car park spaces). You will also receive a voucher for a free cup of tea or coffee from the Cathedral Refectory Restaurant and 10% off in the Cathedral shop.
The closest public parking to the Cathedral Close is at the Old George Mall and Lush House car park (pay and display). The Central car park is a 10-minute level walk away alternatively you can use one of the five Park and Ride sites.
Salisbury railway station is under ten minutes away by foot, and the Cathedral is a short stroll away from the City centre and Charter market.
There is a coach drop-off point in Exeter Street, which is a short level walk to the Cathedral.
The Cathedral floor, Chapter House, cloisters, the Refectory Restaurant, shop and toilets are all fully wheelchair accessible. Three wheelchairs are available to borrow during your visit – ask at the Welcome Desk for more details.
There is also:
- A ‘touch and feel’ model of the Cathedral with a linked commentary for those with sight difficulties (currently suspended due to Covid-19)
A hearing loop system during services
Large print versions of hymn books and service sheets on request
- Water for assistance dogs, which you will find near the Refectory Restaurant entrance
|Season (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)|
* Monday to Saturday - There are bookable entry slots every 30 minutes from 10:00 to 15:00.
You can enter up to 30 minutes after your time slot. The latest you will be able to enter the Cathedral is 15:30 and all visitors will need to leave by 16:00.
The Magna Carta and Chapter House are included in your tickets and are open 10:30 to 16:00 Monday to Saturday.
The Refectory Restaurant and Gift Shop are open 10:00 to 16:30 Mondays to Saturday.
Sunday is open for services only - all worship is free to attend but reserving your spaces in advance is required.