Louise Maidment from handmade lampshade design business Lolly & Boo shares her tips on the best places to shop, eat, stay and visit in her home town of Salisbury in Wiltshire.
Where in Britain is it?
Salisbury is located in Wiltshire and is very accessible from many parts of the country. Being around an hour and a half from London it’s the perfect place for a quick getaway from the pace of city life.
Why should I go there?
The area has so much to offer. Of course there is Salisbury itself, a beautiful city with lots of history. The countryside and villages around Salisbury are really pretty and it is only about 40 minutes to the coast.
We take it for granted, but one of the best views around Salisbury is that of Salisbury Cathedral spire – there is a real sense of coming home whenever I see it.
Will I find interesting local products to buy?
Well apart from our vintage and bespoke upholstery shop Sharp & Noble (pictured below) and sister business Lolly & Boo, you’ll also find a beautiful selection of handmade products at Fisherton Mill.
There are artists and craftspeople in residence and also a gallery where many pieces of work are available to buy, including some wonderful hats by Amy Money. It also has a great café which serves afternoon teas and jazz brunches (pictured below).
There are also a growing number of independent shops in Salisbury such as the The Salisbury Chocolate Bar & Patisserie which sells a range of sweet treats, Casa Fina for homewares, The Strawberry Fox for fashion accessories, Hana Rebdi for designer women’s fashion, and Regent Tailoring for bespoke suits. Winchester Street is certainly worth a wander down as there isn’t a chain store in sight (almost!).
Where can I eat locally sourced food?
Bird & Carter deli in Salisbury is great. The restaurant at the Red Lion Hotel has wonderful food, or a little way out of Salisbury you’ll find the The Angel Inn at Heytesbury (pictured) which has a great menu. We popped in on a whim recently and were very glad we did.
Can I stay somewhere with a bit of character?
You can’t beat the Red Lion Hotel for character. It’s in the heart of the city and is older than the Cathedral itself. In fact it is supposed to have been built to house the draughtsmen who built the Cathedral. It is an old coaching inn with a beautiful courtyard which is wonderful to sit out in.
A little different is Quidhampton Mill B & B (pictured below) which is only about two miles out of Salisbury. It has beautiful contemporary rooms and was featured in The Sunday Times as one of the ‘Best Stays in Wiltshire’.
What should I see, do or visit while I’m there?
Obviously the Cathedral but for me my absolute favourite place is wandering through the Close which surrounds the Cathedral. Such amazing houses and although very popular with tourists, it is like stepping into a film set because it is strangely quiet.
Wilton House is about 3 miles outside Salisbury and has a great adventure playground but the house itself is well worth a look around. Home to the Earl of Pembroke and his family, it has been used as a film set many times.
Nearby there is Stonehenge of course and Salisbury Races is a great day out and for a little peace and quiet there are lots of places to escape to for a walk such as Fonthill Lake which is so pretty. Not forgetting the The New Forest which is only 20 minutes away.
When is the best time of year to go?
Any time! Because we have such beautiful countryside there is something to do all year round. There is also the Salisbury International Arts Festival every May and June, and this year there will be the first ever Christmas Market from 29th November with lots of wooden chalets selling festive products in front of the historical Guildhall.
To find out more about Sharp & Noble vintage a bespoke upholstery, visit www.sharpandnoble.co.uk
For more information about visiting Salisbury and the surrounding area, take a look at www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury
Map of Salisbury
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