Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire
In cathedral talk, Salisbury stands out from the crowd mainly because at 123 metres high, the octagonal spire is the tallest in Britain; if you’re okay with heights you can book a place on a Tower Tour and climb the 332 steps to the foot of the spire, which takes you 68 metres up. The views of course, are spectacular, over the rooftops of the city and out to the countryside beyond.
Another record the cathedral holds is that of having the largest cathedral close in Britain, at over 80 acres. Within it’s walls are Mompesson House and Salisbury Museum, and it’s picturesque setting among the lush water meadows was the inspiration for many works of art, most famously, John Constable’s masterpiece which hangs in the Tate. It is rather charming that the gates to this vast close are still locked each night.
Something else worth shouting about is that Salisbury Cathedral has the world’s oldest working mechanical clock, and check this out - one of the four surviving Magna Cartas from 1215; it’s on permanent display in an interactive exhibition in the 13th century Chapter House, so go and see it. It’s always good to feel that connection with centuries of history when you go to ancient places, and with the foundation stones laid in 1220, that’s a lot of history here. So when you visit Salisbury Cathedral one thing you should do is take your time; linger in the cloisters, and if you’re lucky enough to visit when the one of the choirs is singing or rehearsing, well – that’s a very uplifting experience. Treat yourself to tea and cake at the Refectory Restaurant or in the summer months, in the Bell Tower Tea Room overlooking the North Lawn. The sense of tranquillity and sanctitude is immense, which is perhaps why peregrine falcons have been breeding here since 2013.
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All information correct at the time of writing