Trains to Old Sarum
If you're getting the train to Old Sarum, head for Salisbury station. Visitors coming from London can reach it direct from Waterloo, with a journey time of about 90 minutes. There are also direct services from Portsmouth Harbour, Cardiff Central and Bristol Temple Meads. Salisbury station is about two miles away from Old Sarum - the number 8 bus route will take you within five minutes' walk of the site, and a taxi will take about 10 minutes.
About Old Sarum
On a hill about 2 miles north of modern Salisbury lies Old Sarum, the site of the earliest known human settlement in the area. There is evidence of prehistoric habitation as early as 3000 BC, and the site is close to the great monoliths of Stonehenge and Avebury. Later centuries brought an Iron Age hill fort, and the site was subsequently occupied by the Romans and then the Saxons, who used it as a defence against the Vikings.
The Normans established a motte and bailey castle and a cathedral on the site, and a royal palace was later built that played host to Plantagenet kings. But a series of disputes led to the relocation of the cathedral to the Salisbury plain, and as a new city grew up here, Old Sarum slid into disuse.
Little standing masonry survives at Old Sarum today, but the layout and foundations are clear to see. Visitors can appreciate the earthworks of the Iron Age hillfort, the central stronghold of the Norman castle, and the remains of the cathedral.
The views of the surrounding Wiltshire countryside are magnificent, and there are 29 acres of pretty chalk grassland to explore on foot. Historical re-enactments bring Old Sarum's history to life, and there is a range of child-friendly activities.
Useful travel tips
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