This year, Salisbury Cathedral turns 800, making it a great time to visit. Home to the oldest working clock in the world, the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom, and the best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta of 1215. Salisbury Cathedral lies in the city of Salisbury, England, just two hours east of London and twenty minutes from Stonehenge, making it a great addition to your British vacation.
The Cathedral stands as a stunning example of Early English Gothic architecture. The first foundation stone was laid 800 years ago, in 1220, and it took almost forty years to finish the massive tower and spectacular architecture. Today, over 600,000 people are drawn to its breathtaking architecture each year to enjoy the many experiences it offers.
Take a Guided Tour of the Spire
Of all of the stunning spires of British cathedrals, Salisbury’s stands the tallest at 404 feet – almost as tall as the Great Pyramid of Giza! Visitors wishing to climb the 332 steps on a guided tour are treated to awe-inspiring views from the spire, an aerial view of the inside of the cathedral, and an up-close look at the ancient roof spaces.
View a Medieval Document
While at the Cathedral, a must see is the best-preserved copy of the 1215 Magna Carta. This charter was issued by England’s King John in June 1215 and was an attempt to prevent a civil war between the king and his powerful barons. The medieval document is displayed in a permanent, interactive exhibition in the 13th century Chapter House where guided tours are offered.
Additional Tours at the Cathedral
In additional to seeing the Magna Carta and the Tower, you can also choose from many other guided tours to learn of the Cathedral’s architecture and history. You might like a tour of the Cathedral’s medieval graffiti to learn how to interpret the ancient markings and inscriptions, or visit the 15th century library that contains over 10,000 books dating back as far as the 9th century to see a range of specially selected books then enjoy tea and scones. You can also take free tours of the Salisbury Cathedral Close to explore the lives of those who constructed the building and lived there, as well as a tour of the Cathedral’s stained glass.
With so much history and beautiful architecture packed into one building, we suggest a visit to Salisbury Cathedral on your England vacation. Need help planning the perfect trip? If you would like to visit England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Ireland, we would love to design you a personalized luxury vacation package. Call us at 310-791-6101 to speak with one of our Destination Experts, or request a quote online. We look forward to tailoring your next incredible vacation!
To learn more about what there is to see and do at Salisbury Cathedral, visit their website at https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/.