SALISBURY, huddled below Wiltshire’s chalky plain in the converging valleys of the Avon and Nadder, sprang into existence in the early thirteenth century, when the bishopric was moved from nearby Old Sarum. Today, it looks from a distance very much as it did when Constable painted his celebrated view of it, and though traffic may clog its centre, this prosperous and well-kept city is designed on a pleasantly human scale, with no sprawling suburbs or high-rise buildings to challenge the supremacy of the cathedral’s immense spire. The city’s inspiring silhouette is best admired by taking a twenty-minute walk through the water meadows southwest of the centre to the suburb of Harnham.

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