A walk around the Cathedral Close, Salisbury

Walking trail

Whilst visiting Salisbury, take this walk around the historic Cathedral Close and soak up the atmosphere and history of this special place.

Front view of Mompesson House


 Map route for walk around the Cathedral Close


Mompesson House


Start your walk at the front of Mompesson House. The Close surrounding the Cathedral was originally built to house the clergy. Today the majority of houses are leased from the Cathedral by private residents. Turn right and walk towards the corner of Chorister’s Green.

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Turn left and walk down the West Walk. On your right is the Wardrobe, now the home of the Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum. Its use as the Bishop’s store during the 14th and 15th centuries lends it its name. Next door is Arundells, the home of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath from 1985–2005.

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Half way down the West Walk you get a spectacular view of the west front of the cathedral. A little further down West Walk is the King’s House, the home of Salisbury and South Wilts Museum. Continue along the West Walk, passing the Walton Canonry, leased by the artist Rex Whistler in the 1930s, and Leaden Hall, depicted by the artist John Constable in a painting of 1820. He stayed here with his friend Archdeacon John Fisher.

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At the end of the West Walk is the South Canonry, the home of the Bishop of Salisbury. Turn left here, walking past the car park to one of the four original gates in The Close wall, the Harnham Gate. The Close gates are still locked every evening.

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Go through the gate into De Vaux Place and continue straight on. (If you don’t have time for the full walk, turn left here to return to Mompesson House via the west front of the Cathedral.)

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Where De Vaux Place meets St Nicholas Road, turn right to take a short detour to the Ayleswade Bridge. Take in the view across the River Avon with Harnham Hill in the distance.

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Return back the way you’ve just come, turning right to walk alongside The Close wall.

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At the roundabout, turn left following The Close wall back towards the city centre. Along this section of the wall, you may be able to spot masons' marks, left by the original builders of the wall. As you walk along Exeter Street you pass entrances to the Cathedral School, housed in the original Bishop’s Palace, and then Bishop Wordsworth's School, where the Nobel-prize-winning author William Golding taught during the 1940s and 1950s.

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Turn left through St Ann’s Gate to re-enter the Cathedral Close. On your right is Malmesbury House, with a splendid sundial on its south wall. Continue walking along the North Walk passing Sarum College. A college of theology has stood on this site since medieval times.

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Cross Chorister’s Green to arrive back at Mompesson House.

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Mompesson House

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A walk around the Cathedral Close, Salisbury


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A walk around the Cathedral Close, Salisbury

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A walk around the Cathedral Close, Salisbury

How to get here

Mompesson House, The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2EL
By train
Salisbury station 0.5 mile (0.8 km).
By road

Park and Ride on all main routes into the city centre; pay and display available in city centre (not National Trust).

By foot

0.25 mile (0.4 km) from city centre, follow signs for the Cathedral.

By bus

Buses to city centre from surrounding area; information on the morebus website.

By bicycle

National Cycle Routes 24 and 45 - visit the Sustrans website for details.