Back to Salisbury

On Saturday I returned to a town that I used to visit a lot a few years ago but for some reason just hadn’t been back to in a long time – Salisbury.

I thought I would head back to a few places within the town that I like, the Cathedral and the market.

The Cathedral is simply stunning, a superb example of a mediaeval cathedral.  I loved the ornate alter and knaves.  There’s something mysterious and awe inspiring about these holy places that I just love.

cathedral

Next up was the Salisbury Market that runs twice a week on a Tuesday and Saturday.  This was more than a typical town market, it was more like an amalgam of traditional market and the ever popular farmers market with lots of local produce from local producers.

I got talking to one of the stallholders (Mike) who rears his own pigs for slaughter and sale at the market.  It was great to hear him talk with such passion and enthusiasm for his work and I ended up buying some lovely bacon for tea when I got back home.

Another reason for enjoying the trip was that the transport links to Salisbury are so good, you have a great central train station, lot’s of buses serving the local area and my favourite whenever I’m visiting somewhere new; a superb selection of park and ride options:  details here.

It does irritate me when local authorities don’t invest in these schemes, they really can make or break a city.  Many people have cited the abundance of easy parking with the rise of supermarkets in the UK over the last 20 years, yet town planners still seem behind the times.  Anyway rant over (I’m sure I’ll revisit that soap box subject again).

All in all a fantastic day, and a place I would highly recommend to everyone.  You have a great balance of historic visitor attractions in a semi rural setting, coupled with the hustle and bustle of a modern city centre.  Great fun!

Fond memories

My main memory of the New Forest involves being dumped there by my youth leader at the age of 11, with a map and compass and being told to orienteer our way back to the minibus. I wasn’t dumped there on my own – there were a group of us and possibly even a responsible adult lurking in the background – but it was scary nonetheless. If I didn’t hold that map up the right way and wiggle that compass, we could die out there! Needless to say, we didn’t and may even have had some fun navigating our way back through the trees. The New Forest is an ideal place to go orienteering, with its thick forests and vast plains. Geocaching hadn’t been invented back in 1992 but I’m sure if it had been, it would have been an ideal place to do that too.

Now, it’s 2013 and I’m starting to overcome my fear of dark, wooded places. It’s probably time to revisit the scene of my earlier terror. I’m sure there are lots of things to do in the New Forest that don’t involve writing frantic farewell notes to your friends and family.

Like taking a bike ride. A hazy but more pleasant memory of youth group sees us all wobbling down hills in the autumn sunshine. You can cycle for miles around the forest and there are some beautiful views.

If you fancy something a bit more indoors-y, the Motor Museum at Beaulieu was another favourite of ours as kids. I remember wailing that my brother got to go there and I didn’t. I wanted to ride on the monorail and simulator. I didn’t exactly know what those things were but I wanted to ride on them anyway. Eventually, I got to go as part of a school trip and it was a great day out. Nearly 20 years later, it’s still a great day out.

The New Forest towns are worth a visit too. Lymington is pretty, with its quayside and independent shops. Or there’s the “capital” of the New Forest, Lyndhurst which houses the New Forest Museum.

So, if you visit the New Forest you’re sure to find lots of things to do. Just pack the map and compass, just in case…