With its medieval monuments and ancient wonders, Salisbury is a must for history buffs.
Salisbury is best known as the gateway to Stonehenge—arguably the world’s most famous prehistoric stone circle—but there’s more to the historic city than its headline act. Marvel at the medieval masterpiece of Salisbury Cathedral, admire the half-timbered buildings as you browse the shops, or tuck into some traditional British food at a city pub. Campers have options on the outskirts of the city, and the Wiltshire countryside has stately homes, National Trust gardens, and scenic walking trails. For the best views, set sail on a boat cruise along the River Avon.
North of the city, the sloping chalk hills of the Salisbury Plains provide ample opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and camping. A visit to Stonehenge is top of everyone’s itinerary, and intrepid campers can time their visit for the annual Summer Solstice Festival. Further north, hike through the North Wessex Downs AONB, where giant white horses are etched onto the hillsides.
Salisbury lies on the eastern edge of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB, with its sweeping grasslands, flower meadows, and river valleys. Hiking, cycling, and horseback riding are popular activities, and with much of the region undeveloped, campers will find it easy to escape the crowds.
East of Salisbury, historic Winchester is Hampshire’s most charming city, with cobblestone shopping lanes, a lively street market, and a grand Gothic cathedral. To the south, the ancient woodlands of the New Forest National Park are a natural playground for campers. Walk or cycle along forested trails; spot deer, wild ponies, and other wildlife; or head down to the south coast to camp by the beachside.
Day-trippers descend on Salisbury and nearby Stonehenge in July and August, so make an early start to avoid the crowds. The most pleasant weather for camping is from spring through autumn, and the surrounding landscapes change with the seasons. Plan a late-spring visit to admire the wildflowers or head to the New Forest in fall to stroll beneath the changing foliage.