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Top 8 Hidden Gems in and around Salisbury to visit

Updated: Mar 7

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track locations scattered across Salisbury in Wiltshire.


You'll be pleased to know there is so much more to Salisbury than meets the eye. Whether you're a resident who has lived in the area all your life, or a visitor spending a day in the beautiful city, these are some of the hidden gems in and around Salisbury just waiting to be explored by you!


In this article, we share the top 10 hidden gems in Salisbury which you need to add to your Wiltshire bucket list this year. We hope you enjoy!




1) Ludgershall Castle & Cross


Amazing castle ruins to see, however unfortunately there is not much to see nowadays! It is a great piece of history, and a very pleasant place to come for a walk. The boards provided by the EH do give some imagination of what once this castle was like back in the day!


FAQs/Things to know when visiting Ludgershall Castle & Cross


1) What is Ludgershall Castle & Cross?

Ludgershall Castle & Cross is a historic site located in Ludgershall, Wiltshire, near Salisbury. It consists of the ruins of a medieval castle and a medieval market cross. The castle was originally built in the 12th century and served as a hunting lodge for the kings of England.


2) How do I get to Ludgershall Castle & Cross?

Ludgershall Castle & Cross is accessible by car and public transportation. It is located off the A342 road, approximately 16 miles north of Salisbury. There is limited parking available nearby, and the site is also accessible by bus and train, with Ludgershall railway station within walking distance.


3) Are there any facilities at Ludgershall Castle & Cross?

Ludgershall Castle & Cross is an outdoor historic site, and there are limited facilities available. Visitors will find informational signage providing details about the history of the site. However, there are no visitor centres, cafes, or bathroom facilities on-site. It's advisable to plan accordingly and bring any necessary supplies for your visit.


Places to stay near Ludgershall Castle & Cross


Image of Ludgershall Castle and Cross in Salisbury

2) Old Wardour Castle


Old Wardour Castle is a great castle to explore which is set on small grounds but it is very peaceful and serene. It is a true hidden gem; with lots to explore in the castle ruins, including lots of rooms and windy staircases to climb! You'll also be rewarded with great views when you get to the top.


FAQs/Things to know when visiting Old Wardour Castle


1) What is Old Wardour Castle?

Old Wardour Castle is a historic ruin located near Tisbury, Wiltshire, approximately 15 miles west of Salisbury. It is a 14th-century castle built in the shape of a hexagon, known for its unique architecture and picturesque setting. The castle was partially destroyed during the English Civil War but remains an iconic landmark in the area.


2) How do I get to Old Wardour Castle?

Old Wardour Castle is accessible by car and public transportation. It is located off the A30 road, and there is a designated parking area for visitors. Additionally, the castle is accessible by bus, with a bus stop located nearby. From Salisbury, it's about a 30-minute drive to reach Old Wardour Castle.


3) Can I explore inside Old Wardour Castle?

While Old Wardour Castle is a ruin, visitors are allowed to explore certain parts of the castle's interior. The castle's central octagonal tower, spiral staircase, and some rooms are accessible to visitors, providing a glimpse into its medieval architecture and history.


Places to stay near Old Wardour Castle



Image of Old Wardour Castle in Salisbury

3) East Knoyle Windmill


This little gem is a pleasant location to come for a walk and admire the East Knoyle Windmill. Unfortunately you are unable to go inside the windmill, but it's amazing to look at! Opposite this gem, you'll be amazed at the stunning views which are on offer.


FAQs/Things to know when visiting East Knoyle Windmill


1) What is East Knoyle Windmill?

East Knoyle Windmill is a historic Grade II* listed building located in the village of East Knoyle, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. It is a traditional tower mill that was built in the early 19th century and operated until the late 19th century. Today, it stands as a picturesque landmark and example of rural industrial heritage.


2) Can visitors go inside East Knoyle Windmill?

Currently, East Knoyle Windmill is privately owned and not open to the public for interior tours. However, visitors can still admire the exterior of the windmill and take photographs from the surrounding area. Please respect any private property signs or barriers around the windmill.


3) Is there parking available near East Knoyle Windmill?

There is limited parking available near East Knoyle Windmill, mainly along nearby village roads. Visitors are advised to park considerately and be mindful of any parking restrictions or local regulations. Alternatively, visitors can park at designated parking areas in the village and walk to the windmill.


Places to stay near East Knoyle Windmill



Image of East Knoyle Windmill in Salisbury


4) Temple Of Apollo


Temple of Apollo is a stunning place to visit and stop to admire if you're ever in the Stourhead Estate. The temple is relatively small compared to how big it looks in the photos, but it is definitely worth the climb up the hill to get the amazing views over the lake!


FAQs/Things to know when visiting Temple Of Apollo


1) What is the Temple of Apollo?

The Temple of Apollo is a historic monument located in the grounds of Wilton House near Salisbury, Wiltshire. It is a neoclassical structure designed by the renowned architect Inigo Jones in the 17th century. The temple is dedicated to the Greek god Apollo and serves as a picturesque feature within the landscaped gardens of Wilton House.


2) Can visitors go inside the Temple of Apollo?

Currently, access to the interior of the Temple of Apollo is restricted as it is a historic structure located within the private grounds of Wilton House. However, visitors can admire the exterior of the temple and explore the surrounding gardens as part of guided tours or special events organized by Wilton House.


3) Is photography allowed at the Temple of Apollo?

Yes, visitors are permitted to take photographs of the exterior of the Temple of Apollo and its surrounding gardens. However, it's essential to respect any signage or guidelines provided by Wilton House staff regarding photography restrictions or designated areas. Additionally, commercial photography or filming may require prior permission from Wilton House management.


Places to stay near Temple Of Apollo



Image of Temple of Apollo in Salisbury

5) King Alfred's Tower


Built several centuries after King Alfred had resigned, this tower was built to commemorate the end of the Severn Years War and to celebrate Alfred's victory in battle. The army he assembled for that battle was done so on the very spot the folly is built! Unfortunately you are unable to get into the tower, however it can be observed and admired from all around.


FAQs/Things to know when visiting King Alfred's Tower


1) What is King Alfred's Tower?

King Alfred's Tower is a historic folly located in the Stourhead Estate near Salisbury, Wiltshire. It is a Grade I listed building that stands at a height of 49 meters (160 feet) and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The tower was built in the 18th century and is named after the legendary Anglo-Saxon king, Alfred the Great.


2) Can visitors climb to the top of King Alfred's Tower?

Yes, visitors can climb to the top of King Alfred's Tower to enjoy the views from the viewing platform. The tower's spiral staircase leads visitors to the top, where they can admire the scenic vistas of the Somerset countryside and beyond. However, please note that the tower may occasionally be closed for maintenance or due to adverse weather conditions.


3) Is there an entrance fee to visit King Alfred's Tower?

There is no entrance fee to visit King Alfred's Tower itself. However, visitors may need to pay for parking if arriving by car and access to the Stourhead Estate may require a separate admission fee. It's advisable to check the latest information on admission prices and opening hours before planning your visit.


Places to stay near King Alfred's Tower



Image of King Alfred's Tower in Salisbury

6) Heavens Gate


There's no better place to watch the sunset and admire the stunning views across the Longleat Estate than at Heavens Gate. The views from where the sculptures are located are phenomenal, and the sculptures themselves feel very mystical.


FAQs/Things to know when visiting Heavens Gate


1) What is Heavens Gate?

Heavens Gate is a scenic viewpoint located near Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, near Salisbury. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, including Longleat House and the picturesque landscape of the Longleat Estate. The viewpoint is popular among locals and visitors for its stunning vistas and tranquil atmosphere.


2) How do I get to Heavens Gate?

Heavens Gate is accessible by car or on foot from various nearby locations, including Longleat Safari Park and nearby villages such as Horningsham and Warminster. There are designated parking areas near Heavens Gate, and visitors can follow well-marked footpaths or trails to reach the viewpoint. Additionally, visitors can enjoy scenic walks in the surrounding countryside to explore the area further.


3) Are there any facilities at Heavens Gate?

Heavens Gate is primarily an outdoor viewpoint with no on-site facilities such as bathroom or visitor centers. However, there are benches and seating areas available where visitors can relax and enjoy the views.


It's advisable to bring any necessary supplies, such as water and snacks, as there are limited amenities in the immediate vicinity. Additionally, visitors should be mindful of the natural environment and take any litter with them when leaving the area.


Places to stay near Heavens Gate



Image of Heavens Gate in Salisbury


7) Nunney Castle


A small castle ruin located in the most tranquil place. It may not be as good to look at as other castle ruins in the UK but it is still quite impressive for those who enjoy admiring castle ruins as a whole. It's free to enter and there is also free parking available, what's not to love?!


FAQs/Things to know when visiting Nunney Castle


1) What is Nunney Castle?

Nunney Castle is a medieval castle located in the village of Nunney, Somerset, near Salisbury. It is a Grade I listed building and one of the finest examples of a French-style moated castle in England. Built in the 14th century by Sir John Delamare, the castle features a striking cylindrical tower surrounded by a water-filled moat.


2) Can visitors go inside Nunney Castle?

Yes, visitors can explore the exterior of Nunney Castle and its surrounding grounds. The castle is managed by English Heritage, and admission is free. Visitors can walk around the perimeter of the castle and admire its well-preserved architecture, including the impressive circular tower and the moat.


However, please note that access to the interior of the castle may be limited, as it is a historic monument undergoing conservation work.


3) Is there parking available near Nunney Castle?

Yes, there is limited parking available near Nunney Castle, mainly along nearby village roads. Visitors are advised to park considerately and be mindful of any parking restrictions or local regulations.


Alternatively, visitors can park at designated parking areas in the village and walk to the castle. Additionally, there may be parking facilities available at nearby attractions or amenities, such as the village pub or village hall.


Places to stay near Nunney Castle



Image of Nunney Castle in Salisbury

8) Fairy Cave Quarry


Now this location is a bit complicated, just a heads up! It is used for practising tad climbing, and the entrance is locked with a combination padlock. So if you're into your tad climbing, we'd definitely recommend visiting the Fairy Cave Quarry as there are a good selection of routes for beginners and experienced climbers.


FAQs/Things to know when visiting Fairy Cave Quarry


1) What is Fairy Cave Quarry?

Fairy Cave Quarry is a former limestone quarry located near the village of Stoke St. Michael, Somerset, near Salisbury. It is renowned for its impressive rock formations, underground caves, and picturesque scenery. The quarry is popular among rock climbers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts for its unique geological features and natural beauty.


2) Can visitors explore the caves at Fairy Cave Quarry?

Yes, visitors can explore the caves at Fairy Cave Quarry, but it's important to note that access to certain areas may be restricted or require permission from the landowner. The caves are known for their intricate limestone formations, underground passages, and chambers, making them an intriguing destination for spelunkers and adventurers.


However, visitors should exercise caution and be aware of potential hazards such as uneven terrain and low ceilings.


3) Is there parking available near Fairy Cave Quarry?

Yes, there is limited parking available near Fairy Cave Quarry, mainly along nearby roads or designated parking areas. Visitors are advised to park considerately and be mindful of any parking restrictions or local regulations.


Additionally, please note that access to Fairy Cave Quarry may involve walking or hiking along trails, so it's advisable to wear appropriate footwear and carry any necessary supplies for your visit.


Places to stay near Fairy Cave Quarry



Image of Fairy Cave Quarry in Salisbury

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known places which are scattered around Salisbury. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Wiltshire trip even more memorable!


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