Victoria Visits: Salisbury

Yesterday (Monday 18th December) I went on a day trip to Salisbury with two of my friends. The main purpose of our visit was to see Salisbury Museum, which has an exhibition about the life and works of Terry Pratchett on at the moment, and being as he’s one of our favourite authors, we had to go.

It’s easy to get to Salisbury from Woking, so we jumped on the train and were there in about an hour. Top travel tip, by the way: if there are three or more of you travelling on any train operator in the UK, ask for a group ticket because you might save some money – the three of us saved £10 each on the ticket price.

Walking from the station to the city centre is a short walk, but we found a huge distraction on the way. One of my friends is rather keen on sewing and fabric, and we accidentally found paradise.

Welcome to Franklins, everyone.

This place is literally heaven if you’re into sewing or any kind of needlecraft. Upstairs there was knitting yarn and craft materials, but we vetoed a trip up there otherwise we’d never have got out of the shop. There are sewing machines in here that cost almost as much as my first car, so it’s an excellent shop for the serious dressmaker.

After reluctantly extracting ourselves from paradise, we continued walking, and discovered a little shopping centre near the river, which also had this:

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I love water, and the roar of this part of the river was rather soothing. The shopping centre is just through the archway, and of most interest to me was the crystal shop, where we went to stare at some geodes before moving on.

The Salisbury Christmas Market was in full swing in the main square, so we had a walk round that and entirely failed to take any photos (in my defence I was distracted by a cheese stall named ‘Cheesus of Nazareth’). I bought some ale and mustard cheese and some toffee vodka, which tastes amazing. I’ve had it before but it’s really hard to find where we live, so of course I had to buy a bottle.

While I was cooing over the toffee vodka, my friend spotted a lovely old building across the street which was a restaurant, and as it was midday and stomachs were beginning to growl, we decided to try it out for lunch.

Good choice, friend.

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Behold a rather satisfying lasagne and garlic bread. The place is called Nuggs 1268 and we found it rather good. The only criticism would be that there is only one bathroom, which I imagine during the height of tourist season is an issue, but I would recommend this place if you want a nice reasonably priced meal.

There’s a history of the building in the bathroom, so you’ve got something to read while you’re doing your thing:

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I didn’t see the ghost, which is a shame.

Oh, and while we were having lunch, we were amused by the name of the street opposite:

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It wasn’t endless. We checked.

After lunch we headed to the cathedral and museum. Salisbury is one of those places where you really need to walk looking up all the time in case you miss one of the awesome buildings, and by doing this, we found a random ram on one of the shops next to the old gatehouse:

You pass through the gatehouse and see the cathedral in front of you. I’m going to let the photos do the talking:

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This building is too beautiful. No words can do it justice. We didn’t go inside, but I’ve been inside before and it’s just as wonderful inside as outside. Worth a visit if you’re in this part of the country.

Salisbury Museum is right opposite the cathedral in one of the cathedral close buildings. Inside it’s a wonderful set of galleries about the history of Salisbury, the surrounding area (the Wessex gallery is full of archaeology) and currently the Terry Pratchett ‘HisWorld’ exhibition and the Paul Kidby ‘The Charmed Realm’ exhibition. Kidby has done illustrations for the Pratchett books and all his work is beautiful – I love his style.

If you’re not aware of who Terry Pratchett is, he was a fantasy author who is best known for his ‘Discworld’ series of books. He died in 2015 from Alzheimers, and really was taken too soon. The Discworld books were (and still are) a huge part of my life and I have read them all – it makes me tear up every time I realise there won’t be any more.

The exhibition was great, but it was really hard for me not to well up. It’s on until January 14th 2018, if any of you are fans and are able to go and see it. Well worth a visit.

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The day was fun, but very tiring. It was nice to get home to tea, cake and a TV adaptation of Philip K Dick’s ‘The Commuter’, which had scenes filmed in Woking in it! It’s a little surreal, but worth a watch if you’re into TV shows that make you go ‘wha?’ We mostly watched it just to marvel at our local station being on TV!

Salisbury is very much worth a visit, whether your interests lie in the historical buildings, the shopping or the cathedral. Trains to Salisbury run regularly from London Waterloo and a return ticket is about £30 if you’re not travelling in a group. Make the trip, and spend the day in glorious surroundings with good food and some great opportunities for photographs.

(The views and opinions written here are my own and I was not paid to promote anything mentioned in this post)

 

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