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Front view of Mompesson House, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Mompesson House, in Cathedral Close | © National Trust Images / Peter Cook

A walk around Cathedral Close, Salisbury

While visiting Salisbury, take this short circular walk around the historic Cathedral Close in the heart of the city and soak up the atmosphere and history of this special place, with some famous former residents.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Mompesson House, The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2EL

Step 1

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

Step 2

Turn left and walk down the West Walk. On your right is the Wardrobe, now the home of the Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum.

Step 3

Halfway 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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.)

Step 6

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.

Step 7

Return the way you've just come, turning right to walk alongside the close wall.

Step 8

At the roundabout, turn left following the close wall back towards the city centre. 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.

Step 9

Turn left through St Ann's Gate to re-enter 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.

Step 10

Cross Choristers' Green to arrive back at Mompesson House.

End point

Mompesson House, The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2EL

Trail map

Cathedral Close, Salisbury walk map
Cathedral Close, Salisbury walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2EL

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