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A delight for all Shoppers
Shopping Areas in Salisbury
Member Name: markysparky
Shopping Areas in Salisbury
Advantages: Wide range of large national and smaller independent shops
Disadvantages: Your credit cards will take a pounding
I have lived in Salisbury all of my life (40 + years) and like shopping, so what a subject to write about!. I could bore readers with painstaking detail of every shop but what I'd really like to do is paint a picture of the City, what it has to offer and hopefully convince a few people that it is truly somewhere worth visiting.
Salisbury is a medieval City with a 13th/14th century cathedral itself nestled within a wonderfully spacious (and ideal for picnics) cathedral close - all a very short walk from the main shopping area. The City is located in rural south Wiltshire and serves as a shopping focal point for many villages from quite a wide surrounding area. There are a number of park and ride schemes operating on the main access routes into Salisbury (although the final one, off of the A36 southampton Road won't be open until 2010) plus a number of car parks (open and covered) which are well sign posted within the City's boundaries (and close to the shops). Parking costs, as at april 2009, about £3 a day, for a car and all passengers, in the park and ride and £5.50 a day in the City centre parks.
Tuesdays and Saturdays are "market" days and the market square (smack in the middle of town) is a throng of activity with 80 (a top of the head guess) or more stalls selling foodstuffs, clothing, gifts, second hand books etc etc. If you're out for a day's shopping then these are good days to visit.
There are frequent French themed and farmers' markets on other days and these can also be worthwhile visiting.
The heart of the City's shopping area is the Old George Mall a, recently renovated, arcade of about 40 shops. Here you'll find old favourites such as Marks & Spencer (a medium-sized branch with all the usual departments and a small upstairs coffee shop), BHS, WH Smith, Mothercare, River Island, Next, Millets, Thorntons, New Look, Clintons, HMV amongst others - mostly the sort of shops you'd find on many other city shopping streets
At one end of the George Mall is the High Street (which leads to the Cathedral). Here we have a few smaller independent type shops including a wonderful Belgian chocolate shop (with tearooms), a Casa Fina (stylish homewares and so much more) a post office, upmarket ladies' shop and, the more well known, ELC, Poundland, Jones the Bootmakers, Waterstones and others (plus an empty shell where Woolworths once reigned supreme).
The Canal boasts a number of small fashionable clothes and shoe shops (including Clarks, Shoon, Monsoon, Baby Gap, Austin Reed, Blacks) plus Paperchase, Cargo, 2 Country Casuals and a Ulla popken (I kid you not).
Next is Catherine Street where there are a decent number of small shops including 4 (of the City's 10) charity shops, an independent sports goods shop (John Eadie's), a 3 story antiques market (complete with a smashing top floor tearooms - highly recommended), a leather goods shop (Ingrams) and, again, much more.
Milford Street adjoins Catherine Street and the New Canal and has a few shops of interest, being Rowlands of Bath, Chas Bakers and Twenty-One B (all upmarket clothes shops), Just Jane (a lingerie shop for the discerning lady of all ages), Greenfields (shotguns, barbour jackets, tweed and the like) and QS.
On Queen Street you can find a Crew Clothing, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, London Camera Exchange, an interesting bead shop (Bayoux Beads or some such name) and Salisbury Health Food Shop. A small mall (the Cross Keys) is dominated by TK Maxx but also boasts a linen shop, leathergoods shop, Rymans and Panasonic shop.
Winchester street has a McDonalds, some betting shops as well as some interesting small independents including Hayballs (cycles), Regent's men's clothing (top quality gear) and a second hand bookshop.
Back into the market square, we have a large Debenhams, The Entertainer, a Pizza Hut and Pizza Express (note that there are dozens of good places to eat in Salisbury from posher hotel fodder such as the wonderful Red Lion Hotel, pub grub, multi-national fast food chains, tearooms, bakers, most notably Reeves the Bakers) and a shipload of coffee shops (Pasty Presto being my own personal favourite).
The cobbled Butcher Row has many shops of interest some, such as Hawkins Bazaar, Fat Face, White Stuff and Goldsmiths are part of well known chains, others including an art shop, Reeves the Bakers and a delightful deli, are not.
Silver Street has a large Boots the chemist, Animal clothing and JoJo Maman Bebe. Fisherton Street's shops include The Fisherton Mill Gallery which is worth a visit to explore a wonderful converted mill, packed to the rafters with all sorts of artwork to suit all pockets and a super eating area for a decent coffee and cake treat.
The other significant shopping area is The Maltings, which is home to Sainsburys, The Works, Robert Dyas, Superdrug and Culpeppers as well as fashion boutique Jabot and a Riekers shoe shop.
I have missed out a number of shops (as my objective was to give a flavour rather than a definitive list of the City's shopping). To get the most out of a Salisbury shopping experience, I recommend exploring the sidestreets where local shopkeepers nestle, away from the high rent spaces occupied by the muscular big-boy national chainstores. As you walk through the shopping streets try and find time to look up at the fabulous architecture, which is so often covered up by street level shop facades.
If your significant other is not so keen on shopping then they can explore the cathedral or museum, frequent one of the many good hostelries (pubs and inns are round every corner) or relax in the Odeon multiscreen cinema (set in a medieval banqueting hall in the heart of the City) or use the facilities of the nearby Salisbury Leisure Centre (with fun pool).
If you have the opportunity to visit Salisbury, for the first time, then take it. The locals are friendly and the shopping enviroment is one you're sure to enjoy.
Summary: A great shopping experience in a medieval setting