QUEEN ELIZABETH GARDENS, SALISBURY
One of the major parks in Salisbury, this riverside park has beautiful views of Salisbury Cathedral and the River Avon, a good play area, plenty of places to relax and some great paddling spots.
Opened in 1960 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II seven years earlier, 'Lizzie Gardens' as it is know to the locals, is the park which is closest to the town centre. Flanked on two sides by the River Avon and with a shallow tributary running through it, the park is dominated by the presence of water.
Paths traverse the park and around the water's edge, and at one corner there is a bridge across the river to 'Town Path', which leads people through the ancient water meadows to the suburb of Harnham. From here you can see Salisbury Cathedral and the view painted by John Constable in one of his most famous paintings.
It is possible to see kingfishers and other river wildlife swooping around the area, or a family of swans gliding by on the still river.
A central island surrounded by shallow water is the perfect place for children to paddle in the summer, and the water is often filled with them splashing around with nets and balls, while parents picnic on the grass verges. Summer also sees Music In The Park - regular events where people can just turn up and enjoy free music in the sunshine, as well as Park Yoga - free yoga sessions on Sunday mornings.
There is also a really good play park for children, with a wide variety of equipment, including some which is accessible for wheelchair users.
Lizzie Gardens made international headlines in 2018, when Salisbury was at the centre of the Novichok poisoning scandal. It is thought that the spies mixed the poison in the facilities here, and is where the poison was found in a perfume bottle and given to a local resident, who tragically died. The park was cordoned off from the public for several months, and had to be fully decontaminated before it was opened up again.
Nowadays though, it is just a lovely park for a peaceful stroll, or to rest on one of the many benches overlooking the river. It's not just a park for the summer though, as autumn sees the leaves changing colours, spring has a plethora of bulbs and in the winter, it makes an excellent spot for snowmen and snowball fights.
VISITING QUEEN ELIZABETH GARDENS
How to get to Queen Elizabeth Gardens
Postcode: SP2 7TD
what3words: There are several ways in, the main entrance is at shop.dimes.factories
Public Transport: The park is within an easy walking distance of the train stations. The nearest bus stop is the Fisherton Street Clock Tower stop, with a short walk by the river to the park.
Parking: If you are driving, which I don't really recommend in Salisbury, there is paid parking right next to the park at the Lush House Car Park.
When is the Queen Elizabeth Gardens open?
The park is open all hours, all year round.
How much does it cost to visit Queen Elizabeth Gardens?
The park is free to visit.
Are there any facilities at Queen Elizabeth Gardens?
There are public loos and often an ice cream van. Shops, cafes and restaurants are a short walk away.
See our Salisbury City Guide for details on how to get to Salisbury, locally owned accommodation, restaurants and shops, further places to visit and things to do.