Summer in Salisbury
"No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed, nor will we go upon him nor will we send upon him,
except by the legal judgement of his peers or by the law of the land."
The Magna Carta
Bone-jour, your corguide (corgi-guide) woofing :) Did we ever mention how much we love to travel? We do! It's a bug Maman and Papa caught long before they even thought of welcoming a fluffy member to the family.
Whilst they will leave me behind occasionally (very rarely these days), they find it a lot less stressful and much more enjoyable (and often less expensive) for me to tag along, when reasonable (ie they would not fly me in the haul "just for a holiday" or take me to a place they know will be too warm for me to be comfortable).
So we were really thrilled when VisitWiltshire invited Maman and I, alongside other human travel bloggers, to sample what a Summer in Salisbury has to offer.
Fancy a (dog-friendly) tour? I'm taking you on a weekend to a wonderfully welcoming part of the country that is full of history,fun and great food!
(how to Get There - by car and train)
Salisbury is easily reached from Central London. The 79 miles (126km) take a 2-hour drive (sans traffic) or on average 1h35 by direct train (our preferred option) from London Waterloo station. Train prices start from £9.10 (advance booking always recommended) and there are about 30 trains per day, from 7am until 11.40pm.
Le Hotel (where to stay)
We stayed at the Mercure White Hart (Accor hotels are dog-friendly with a small supplement usually) located at the heart of Salisbury, and the staff was extremely nice, keeping my food in a fridge in the kitchen, retrieving it for every meal and keeping me company when Maman was helping herself at the breakfast buffet (dogs can go in the bar area and gorgeous terrace but not the main restaurant room). And yes I did taste the sausage and it was GOOD.
There are many other properties for fur families, from B&Bs to cottages and inns. Some are listed on the Visit Wiltshire website HERE with others easily found by ticking the "pet-friendly" box on popular accommodation booking websites and apps.
Le Evening Stroll (and pub and getting lost)
On our first evening Maman took me for a late walk (because it had been too hot during the day for me to properly exercise) and we ended finding some pretty houses, admiring the cathedral at sunset, getting lost in the cloister, a drink or two at The Old Mill, refreshing dip in the river Avon (a lot of humans were bathing there too) and got lost but luckily found the town path with lights to get back to the hotel via the watermeadows.
Le Treasure Hunt
(are there treats on the trail?)
We teamed with another few bloggers to explore medieval Salisbury's historic inns and alehouses on a self-guided treasure hunt themed treasure trail. The Treasure Trails maps are available for many different places (22 trails for Wiltshire only) all over the country and are a fun and accessible (wheelchairs and pushchairs) way to explore a new place with a theme, great pub stops and a lot of history.
Our 1.5hr tour included 1.6 miles of walking and, had we gotten lost or stuck with a clue, there is a number to text to get help. The single-use maps cost £6.99 and can be ordered HERE.
We headed to Fisherton Mill for a delicious lunch of smoked salmon and crayfish on foccacia bread followed by cake and coffee. The café is located in an old building also housing local artists work and a shop, all very dog friendly.
We were pleasantly surprised to be welcome inside the cathedral where I met other well-behaved dogs on lead wandering around and taking in the history.
The lovely guide gave us a tour of its highlights, with our favourite being the gorgeous cloister, the Les Colombes installation, the font with flowing water, the spire (the tallest in England), World's oldest clock, and of course the best preserved exemplar of the Magna Carta, which I did get to see too!
The architecture of the cathedral is spectacular and its history is intertwined with local dogs and cats, and we loved how there are water bowls that can be refilled at the café for us to stay hydrated too!
Le Tailor (did you know that the French learn English with the sentence "My tailor is rich")
During our free time we had so much fun at Regent Tailoring! We were warmly welcomed by the owner Jason, whose grand father was butler to Ian Fleming, in the back room for a cheeky G&T (they do have other beverages to try and buy).
We also visited the gorgeous tailoring shop set over several rooms, with the Regent brand and more, and features a view of the cathedral on the top. Regent Tailoring welcomes well behaved dogs, a range of accessories for us and a resident dog (albeit a bit static, it's a decorative statue of a dog!).
Salisbury's oldest pub, the Haunch of Venison, was established in 1320 and is said to be haunted! We loved that the rooms have wooden beams and original fireplaces. Maman really enjoyed her starter of glazed goats cheese (I did too ;) ), and main of trio of Hampshire venison (loin, pulled haunch of venison and sausage).
Dinner was followed by a few scoops of ice cream nearby (thanks to my new friend Travis the Canadian-Texan chef for looking after me as the store wouldn't let me in, I know right , how dare they!?) Day 3 Le Original Salisbury
We took a cab to Old Sarum, two miles north of where the city of Salisbury stands now. The mighty Iron Age hill fort is an English Heritage site where the first cathedral once stood. The romans, Normans and Saxons (and me now ;b) have left their mark there, and the site boats 5000 years of history.
It was fun playing knight around the fortifications, chilling in the shade of the trees, snoopervizing locals having a picnic nearby and drinking fresh water which is provided for four-legged visitors by the shop.
Le Sunday Lunch
A surprise was waiting for me at our last stop for the trip, the Old Ale and Coffee House: a bar for dogs complete with biscuit tins (that I may have opened and tipped over) and fresh water bowls!
In the beer gardens we found beach houses and deckchairs, the perfect treat on a hot Sunday! We shared a platter of nibbles for starter, and Maman picked the yummy salmon and quinoa salad whilst others had the more traditional roast. The staff was very welcoming and I did not want to leave!
A weekend was definitely too short! The local businesses, many hit hard by two recent incidents, were all very welcoming and we encourage everyone to not stop at the news to discover the amazing city of Salisbury and its surroundings.
There is a lot to do in the area, so much we will certainly be back very soon to discover more! Thank you VisitWiltshire and the lovely people and businesses (and cathedral) of Salisbury who hosted us!
Watch my Instagram Stories during the trip HERE.
A big thank you to our lovely guide Louisa, and fellow weekenders Jaillan from Savoir There for the photo in the cathedral!