A MEDIEVAL fair, a flower festival, and a pilgrimage from Old Sarum to The Close are among the events planned to help Salisbury Cathedral celebrate its 750th anniversary this year.

A programme of recitals, choral and orchestral concerts, exhibitions and community events is lined up to mark the cathedral's consecration in 1258, culminating in an anniversary service of thanksgiving in September.

The year starts with the arrival of Odyssey, an exhibition of carved wooden figures each 2.5 metres high, by Robert Koenig, which has travelled from Poland where it originated via towns and cities across Europe.

The exhibition has followed the path that Koenig's mother took to England when she fled from Nazi-occupied Poland in 1942.

In each venue, Koenig carves another figure to take its place in the exhibition.

He will carve the Salisbury figure during the exhibition's run here from January 22-February 28.

Breaking from the cathedral's classical music traditions, it will host Singalonga Joseph in March.

Berlin Philharmonic Choir visit in May with a performance of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in conjunction with Salisbury Musical Society, which is also behind a concert of Vaughn Williams music in July.

Other highlights include an exhibition tracing the cathedral's history in the cloisters, running from April until September, a patronal festival weekend in April and an open day that month giving people a chance to look behind the scenes at the day to day running of one of the country's most iconic buildings.

The Mayday bank holiday weekend will see a medieval fair set up in Marsh Close, harking back to the cathedral's medieval origins, and the cathedral will be filled with summer blooms for a flower festival in June.

In July, a pilgrimage will make its way from the site of the old cathedral at Old Sarum to the new one in Salisbury and Salisbury Civic Society will be devoting this year's heritage open days in September to sites linked with the cathedral.

Cathedral archaeologist and historian Tim Tatton-Brown has been commissioned to produce a commemorative coffee-table style souvenir guide book to be published in conjunction with the anniversary.