Back in January, when I was booking somewhere to stay I noticed most of the places were fully booked and I thought to myself, "gosh Salisbury is a popular location!"
It wasn't until I had finally booked a B&B after a lot of searching that I thought I would check to see if there was a particular reason for that weekend being so busy.
Indeed there was and it was a case of not putting facts I knew together!
One of the reasons I wanted to go to Salisbury is because the cathedral is home to one of the copies of the Magna Carta, the best preserved one in fact. I was also well aware of the fact that this year is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. So knowing those 2 facts and that everywhere was almost full right at the beginning of the year you would have thought that I would have worked out that it would be the anniversary whilst we were there! I'm a dope.
Day 1 consisting of exploring and shopping. Fisherton Mill, appropriately located on Fisherton Street, is amazing and most definitely worth a visit! It's a wonderful space filled with exceptional goodies, all of which were exquisitely handmade (perfect for picking up my pops a Father's Day present too). There was a lovely coffee shop on the ground floor with yummy looking cakes but sadly we had just eaten. I was told by another customer though that the coffee was the best he'd had in a long time. Upstairs are a number of studios, well worth exploring.
Born To Knit, as the name suggests it was filled with lovely yarns, books and tools. I was very restrained and only bought a single ball of wool but I certainly couldn't leave empty handed. Next to that was Create Escape, a boutique haberdashery and bespoke soft furnishing makers, there I picked up a couple of lovely fat quarters. There were many other studios worth having a look around as well as higgledy-piggledy floor boards and old machinery.
Also on the same street was a wonderful shop called Franklins, the downstairs of which was mainly dedicated to sewing and including machines, fabric threads etc. Upstairs housed all the yarns and books, notions and what-not. All in all another great shop.
Our plans for the Sunday included lots of history and culture, we went to the cathedral to see the Magna Carta.
We also visited the ruins at Old Sarum managed by English Heritage. We were pleased to discover vintage buses had taken over the main square as the local bus service "Salisbury Reds" which cover Wilts & Dorset routes were celebrating their centenary.
Another part of the celebration was "The Barons' Trail", 25 life-size, decorated baron sculptures representing the barons who represent the wealthy landowners who signed the Magna Carta alongside King John. My favourite was Baron 1 "Conrandin", the design is based on medieval illustrations of the Guilds and craft workers who helped create Britain!
In the evening on our way to dinner we stumbled across some yarn-bombers- appropriately disguised with knitted facial hair.
Their mission was to promote their group Yarn ARTivists, they looked like they were having a lot of fun doing so, this is their Facebook page. Great stuff!
I would recommend a weekend in Salisbury, lots of lovely shops (most importantly good crafty ones) and restaurants and plenty of sight-seeing (although not all the celebrations we were lucky enough to encounter)
Until next time, craft in earnest! Craftin' Ernest x