Situated at the point where the Rivers Avon and Nadder meet, Salisbury has been significant in Wiltshire’s history for hundreds of years. With origins dating back as far as the early Iron Age, Salisbury has preserved much of its history from mediaeval times to today.
The modern city of Salisbury has existed since the 13th century and was built around the large cathedral that stands there today. The city is also close to several ancient sites, including Salisbury Plain, Avebury and Stonehenge, making it a popular base for visitors to explore the region.
Anyone planning to visit Salisbury will need to be aware of the new ETA system being implemented by the UK government. The following is a guide to visiting the city, as well as details on the requirements of the UK ETA for Salisbury.
The History of Salisbury
Old Sarum: Iron Age to Norman Conquest
While the region around Salisbury has seen activity since Neolithic times, the first settlement that would form the basis for modern Salisbury was developed sometime between 600 and 300 BCE. The settlement was originally called Sorviodunum — or Old Sarum as it later came to be known — and was built as a hill fort to serve as a market and protect the surrounding communities.
By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 CE, Old Sarum was an important market town held by the Atrebate tribe. The Atrebates were allies of the Romans, and under the Roman occupation, the town continued to flourish.
When the Romans left Britain, Old Sarum’s fortunes began to decline. The town on the hill was largely abandoned by the Saxons, who preferred to settle in the lowlands. However, Viking invasions in the 9th century led to King Alfred restoring its fortifications.
Old Sarum became the site of a castle in 1070 after the Norman conquests. Bishop Herman was appointed the first Bishop of Salisbury in 1075, and he began the construction of the first cathedral.
Modern Salisbury: Middle Ages to Today
The original cathedral served Old Sarum until a site for a new cathedral was chosen in the neighbouring valley in 1218. The new cathedral was completed in 1226, and a new settlement called New Sarum grew around it. The previous cathedral was eventually demolished, and Old Sarum was abandoned.
In 1227, King Henry III granted a charter that made New Sarum a city, with Nicholas de Brookeby elected its first mayor. During the 14th century, the city gates were added, and the New Sarum — now known as Salisbury — became a centre for the production of cloth, wool and cutlery.
Today, much of the infrastructure in Salisbury has survived its mediaeval origins, including the cathedral, the streets and several timber-framed buildings. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, the city is a major centre for industries such as farming, engineering, brewing and printing.
What To See in Salisbury
Salisbury Cathedral has been at the centre of the city’s history for over 900 years. The cathedral itself is a popular example of Early English Gothic architecture and houses various attractions. These include one of the oldest working clocks in the world, dating from the late 14th century, and one of the few surviving copies of the Magna Carta, dating from 1215.
The ruins of Old Sarum, the Iron Age fort that predated modern Salisbury, can be explored just north of the city centre. The hill features the remains of the original ramparts and cathedral site, plus offers views of the city and surrounding region.
Stonehenge is one of the most popular attractions in the UK, and many visitors come to Salisbury due to its close proximity to the site. The Neolithic stone circle was built around 3,500 years ago, and many come to the site to speculate on how and why it was created.
Weather in Salisbury
Salisbury has an oceanic climate. The coldest month is January, with an average low of 5C, while the warmest is July, averaging a high of 17° C. There is the possibility of rain throughout the year, including summer, so visitors should prepare in case of wet weather during their stay.
Getting To Salisbury
There are several ways to get to Salisbury. If coming by rail, then the South Western Railway runs through Salisbury from London Waterloo, while the Great Western Railway runs services from Cardiff, Bath, Southampton, Bristol and Portsmouth. Poole and Portsmouth are the nearest ferry ports to Salisbury, and the closest airports are Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton, Bournemouth and Bristol. National Express runs coach services to Salisbury, and Salisbury Reds operate bus services within the city. If arriving by road, Salisbury is reachable via the A303 via the M3 if coming from London and the A36 if coming from Bath. There are five Park & Ride sites available throughout the city that are free of charge.
Introducing the New UK ETA for Salisbury
The UK government has proposed a new process called the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) programme to improve the border entry system for foreign visitors and border security agents. The government hopes that this new system will make it easier for foreign visitors to enter the country while also providing border control agents with everything they need to process visitors efficiently. All foreign visitors should be aware of some information on the UK ETA for Salisbury.
Who Needs To Apply for the UK ETA for Salisbury?
At this time, ETA eligibility applies to citizens of 92 countries who do not require a visa to enter the country. All British passport holders, including British nationals, those from overseas territories and protected persons, are exempt. At this time, the exemption also applies to Irish passport holders. The ETA system is scheduled to go live in 2024.
What Are the Requirements for the UK ETA?
To meet the ETA requirements for entering the UK, all foreign passport holders must have a valid, non-expired electronic passport issued by a visa-free country. All visitors must enter the country solely for the purpose of tourism, business or transit. The applicant must have no prior immigration violations or a criminal history that could jeopardise security, and their stay in the country is limited to a maximum of six months. Finally, before travelling to the UK, all visitors must have completed the ETA application, paid the associated fee and received approval confirmation.
Why Is the UK ETA Being Implemented?
The goal of the UK ETA system is to improve security by tracking each individual visitor to the UK. The system is intended to keep track of when each visitor enters the country, what they do during their visit, and when they leave. Furthermore, the UK government expects the ETA system to effectively pre-screen all those who may pose a security risk before they enter the country. This system should benefit visitors because it significantly reduces time spent at the border. It also provides border control officers with the information they need to process each traveller efficiently.
How To Apply for the UK ETA
The ETA application requires information about each person entering the country. This includes personal information such as name, birth date and gender, as well as contact information such as a home address, email address and phone number. The applicant must also enter their passport details, as well as any current employment information, including their employer’s contact data. Finally, they must enter any pertinent information concerning criminal history, immigration history, ongoing health issues, and so on. Once completed, the applicant must enter their credit or debit card information to pay the associated processing fee.
What To Do When the UK ETA is Granted
The application for an ETA takes a few days to process, so applicants should plan their journey ahead of time. The applicant will be notified if their application is successful once it has been processed. All carriers will have access to this information, and passengers will only be allowed to board if they have an approved ETA. Each ETA is valid for six months from the date of issue or until the traveller’s passport expires, after which a new ETA must be obtained before they can re-enter the UK. More information is available on the ETA FAQ website.
With a well-preserved history, Salisbury is a city in close proximity to several major historical and cultural attractions. Those planning a trip should be aware of the new UK ETA for Salisbury in order to be fully prepared for their trip.