The City of Salisbury lies in the Avon Valley at the confluence of five rivers. It is a medieval ‘new town’, being founded in 1220 when the construction of the new cathedral commenced. This was finished in a remarkably short time in 1258 and is therefore one of the most complete examples of Early English building in Britain. The tower and soaring spire, visible for miles around, were added in the 14th century. The walled Close with its historic clergy houses is one of the finest of all cathedral settings.
A short distance south of Salisbury beside the Avon is Longford Castle, the home of the Earls of Radnor. This is a remarkable country house built 1580-91 by Sir Thomas Gorges, on an eccentric triangular plan with corner towers, possibly alluding to the Holy Trinity. It holds a world-class collection of paintings by such as Holbein, Claude, Poussin, Gainsborough and Reynolds, which is administered by the National Gallery, and there is also a very important collection of Georgian furniture. The park was landscaped by Capability Brown.
Train times provisional
08.20 Departure from Waterloo Station.
09.43 Arrive at Salisbury Station: 10-minute walk/
by car: parking in central car parks: 10-minute walk.
10.15 Coffee in cathedral café. WC available.
10.45 Assemble in Cloister for tour of Cathedral.
11.00 Commence guided tour of Cathedral.
12.00 Guided tour The Close.
12.30 Lunch in The Close at various cafés or picnic, or visit St. Thomas's Church.
13.15 Assemble for departure to Longford Castle. Taxis can be arranged.
13.45 Arrive at Longford Castle.
14.00 Guided tour of Longford Castle.
16.00 End of tour. Visit gardens.
16.30 Return to Salisbury. Taxis can be arranged.
17.00 Tea in Salisbury, optional.
18.26 Departure from Salisbury Station for Waterloo Station.
19.52 Arrive Waterloo Station.
Images: Salisbury Cathedral © Antony McCallum www.wyrdlight.com from Creative Commons.
Longford Castle courtesy of property website