Is a move to Salisbury on the cards for you? You’ll certainly be in good company if it is! Moving house can bring a lot of emotions ranging from confusion to excitement, and that goes double considering how much choice there is in this area.
Is Salisbury a good place to live?
In 2019 Salisbury was awarded the coveted title of best place to live in the UK by the Times. There are lots of reasons for this – Salisbury and the nearby area are packed with attractive places to live, work and play. Whether you’re thinking about moving to Salisbury to help you climb the career ladder, raise children or simply enjoy life more, this is a city that appeals.
Salisbury is well situated when it comes to getting around, with Winchester just 25 miles to the east. You can be in Southampton in just half an hour on the train, or ride the rails to Bristol in a little over an hour or London Waterloo in around 90 minutes.
As far as roads go, the A36 will take you down to the New Forest and the south coast beaches, or up to the beautiful North Wessex Downs and the southern Cotswolds beyond. Head northeast to Andover and you can pick up the A303 and M3 to Basingstoke, too. There’s plenty to keep you in Salisbury itself, though, with the 2019 Sunday Times guide naming it the best place to live in the UK.
The Housing Market in Salisbury
You’ll have plenty of options when it comes to buying property in Salisbury. Figures from rightmove.co.uk show that over the past 12 months, the average property price was around £292,500. This isn’t far from the national average, and it’s lower than in some nearby towns. What this means is that now is a great time to buy a home in Salisbury.
It’s clear that many people feel the same way, since the rightmove.co.uk stats show that prices have risen by 4% since 2016. This strong demand suggests that now could be an ideal time for you to get in on the act before prices go up any further.
There’s good news if you’re hoping to buy your first home here, since terraced houses were the most popular sales over the last year. This also means you’ll have a number of options even if you’re looking close to the city centre. If you have a larger family or are looking for something a bit more spacious, though, relax – there’s also a good supply of detached and semi-detached houses in Salisbury.
Schools in and around Salisbury
As an important local centre with a population of around 45,000 – and considerably more in its wider urban area – Salisbury can offer you a wide selection of schools to help your kids learn and grow.
The city has quite a few schools which have received glowing reports from Ofsted. At primary level, the likes of Downton CE, Greentrees and Wyndham Park all gained the coveted “Outstanding” rating at their most recent inspections. Plenty more were awarded “Good” status, so there’ll b3e no difficulty in finding a school that offers high standards of education.
For older children, Salisbury has the only two grammar schools in Wiltshire, and both have excellent reputations. Both are single-sex schools: Bishop Wordsworth’s for boys and South Wilts Grammar for girls, and they each achieved “Outstanding” status at their last inspections.
If you’d rather send your children to state schools, Sarum Academy won praise from inspectors for the head’s strong leadership and its culture of high expectations. This could make it the perfect choice for older children who need the reassurance of knowing they’ll be helped to achieve their full potential.
The Stonehenge School is another popular secondary option. Ofsted assessed this school has having strong and inspirational leadership, and noted that its students made great ambassadors for the school because of their impressive standard of behaviour and obvious pride in their school. For children with special educational needs, Exeter House Special School on the Somerset Road was given high praise for the quality of its safeguarding, and consequently its ability to make pupils feel happy and secure at the school.
Since some secondary schools in Salisbury teach pupils from 11 to 16, sixth form colleges offer continuing education to A Level standard. The simply-named Salisbury Sixth Form College was noted by Ofsted for its very strong links with local schools, as well as its high achievements in vocational qualifications. The city’s campus of Wiltshire College also offers further education, as well as certain higher education courses provided by Bournemouth University.
Leisure and Retail Options in Salisbury
You certainly aren’t going to be short of things to do when moving to Salisbury. Despite being a fairly small city, this place has a wealth of shopping and entertainment options just waiting to be discovered.
If you’re into the arts, you won’t want to miss the Salisbury International Arts Festival. This takes place in May and June each year and covers a wealth of options covering performing and visual arts, music, dance and talks. If live music on a more intimate scale is more your thing, then Salisbury Live could be for you – a weekend packed with exciting performances at many of the city’s pubs.
It’s not just at festival time that the city comes alive, though. Salisbury Playhouse near the city centre is among the region’s foremost producing theatres, and you’ll want to be there in the festive season for their famous annual panto! You can also find exciting amateur productions at the Studio Theatre in Ashley Road.
You’ll find a fascinating range of artworks at the Fisherton Mill gallery, and you can even buy some of it to enjoy at home. Look out too for special events and installations at Sarum College and Salisbury Cathedral. Naturally, the stunning cathedral is worth visiting in its own right; don’t miss the Tower Tour to get up close to the inside of England’s tallest church spire.
Just a short walk from the cathedral is Salisbury Musuem, located in the historic King’s House. A must-see exhibit is the Wessex Gallery, which hosts a sensational collection of prehistoric artefacts, including many associated with nearby Stonehenge. For something a little more offbeat, there’s a collection of objects discovered over the years in the city’s medieval drains! If you’d prefer something a bit more modern, head out fo town to Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, where you can sit in more than 30 aircraft and cockpits.
Shopaholics won’t suffer withdrawal symptoms when moving to Salisbury. The Market Place dates back more than eight centuries and the twice-weekly market is still stuffed with stalls of all kinds. As if that wasn’t enough, there are regular farmers’ and vintage markets, and for the young – or young at heart – there’s even a teenage market four times a year.
As well as retail parks in Southampton Road and Churchill Way West, there are no fewer than three shopping malls in the city centre alone. Old George Mall is where you’ll find many of the country’s biggest brands, while the Cross Keys Arcade offers a mix of big names and independent shops; it’s also a fine place to relax with a coffee. Many of Salisbury’s independent retailers can be found in the third mall, the Maltings.
Just outside the city is the Wilton Shopping Village, where you can pick up items from brands such as Cotton Traders and Edinburgh Woollen Mill at great outlet prices. The centre also plays host to Roleplay World, where children can experience environments such as a construction site or a supermarket to learn in a safe, supervised environment.
Top 3 Restaurants in Salisbury
Feeling peckish? You’ve come to the right city! Salisbury is renowned as one of the best places to eat in central southern England, with options to cater for every budget and culinary preference. Whether you’re into Italian food, enjoy a taste of Asia or prefer the English classics, you’ll find that this is a place that can satisfy your tastebuds.
Tinga right in the city centre is a Mexican restaurant where the superb food is only part of the experience – though the chilli is out of this world! The whole restaurant is themed to give the feeling of eating in Mexico itself.
If you’re looking for something a little more English, then head for The Chapter House in St Johns Street. You can still add a touch of the exotic, though: as well as mouthwatering rump steak, there’s often spicy South African sausage on the menu. For excellent Indian cuisine, Anokaa in Fisherton Street has visitors raving about its amazing curries!
Top 3 Bars in Salisbury
Pubs and bars abound in this city, so there’ll always be a welcoming hostelry nearby, whether you’re simply after a swift pint of bitter after work or whether you’re in town for a while to relax with friends or family. With Salisbury’s long history, it’s not surprising that some of its pubs have been going for hundreds of years – make sure you spend a little time soaking up the atmosphere!
There’s nothing artificial about Deacons in Fisherton Street. This is a true old-fashioned local in the best sense, where you may well end up leaving with more friends than you had when you came in! Don’t be put off by its apparent smallness – there’s another room at the back.
On the eastern edge of town in Laverstock is The Duck Inn, voted Country Pub of the Year by CAMRA a couple of years ago – though it’s not quite as rural as that makes it sound. Still, people have been known to travel miles for its roast dinners! Then there’s The Village Free House in Wilton. Lots of real ales, some interesting old railway photos and a landlord noted for his friendly welcome. What’s not to like?
That brings us to the end of this guide to moving to Salisbury, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what this popular city can offer. There’s plenty more to see and enjoy, as you’ll no doubt discover for yourself once you’re here. After all, to uncover all Salisbury’s secrets you’ll have to get to know the locals – and the best way to do that is to make the city your home.
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