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FIND YOUR FESTIVE SPIRIT AT SALISBURY’S CHRISTMAS MARKET
Shop ’til you drop at Salisbury’s annual Christmas Market, held in the beautiful Market Place. (24th November – 18th December)
With beautifully decorated chalets, inspiring and desirable gifts and a very warm welcome, be sure to pay a visit to the Salisbury Christmas Market this year.
Meet Father Christmas, enjoy the food and drink stalls and hear traditional music from local choirs and schools whilst you shop.
Many of the chalets sell British made products, making it the perfect place to pick up a unique gift.
After exploring the stalls, make time to explore Salisbury’s other attractions too, including twilight tower tours of Salisbury Cathedral and candle-lit services, where you can see the twinkling lights of the city from up high.
With special offers running in many of the city’s hotels, you can turn your visit into a festive break.
Make the most of your visit to this beautiful city with a visit to the historic Cathedral and surrounding Close or explore the beautiful surroundings with a trip to Winchester, Stonehenge, or the New Forest. There’s a whole city to discover in Salisbury with ample parking and easy access to public transport, together with a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes and plenty of places to stay both inside or near to the city. Wht not organise a guided tour of Salisbury and perhaps Stonehenge or even join a coach tour from London
Content provided by VisitWiltshire
- Find out more about Salisbury’s Christmas Market and plan your visit
- Find more markets in Wiltshire
- Discover more about Salisbury
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Christmas in Wiltshire
Looking for something different this Christmas?
The VisitWiltshire tourism website is a great source of ‘things to do this Christmas’ in Wiltshire;
Come and enjoy some of our timeless pleasures in Wiltshire this Christmas and discover some magical Christmas events for all ages including Christmas markets, carol services, ice skating and much more.
Salisbury will be hosting its popular annual Christmas Market, bringing with it some wonderful stalls in the historic setting of the Guildhall Square.
Shop for an array of festive gifts from locally made crafts and delicacies, meet the friendly traders and listen to some of the festive music which takes place at various times throughout the market.
Christmas Events in Wiltshire for all the family
For a magical Christmas experience in Wiltshire a visit to Longleat’s Festival of Lights will be a treat – see hundreds of illuminated figures dotted around the Longleat landscape – the largest display in Europe!
In Devizes, there’s the Christmas Festival with lantern parade, street theatre and a firework finale – children will love seeing the lanterns and adults can enjoy a spot of shopping in the Christmas market.
Christmas often isn’t complete without a trip to the pantomime! Look out for pantomimes at both Salisbury Playhouse and Wyvern Theatre.
You can meet Father Christmas at several places around the county including Santa cruises on the Kenavon Venture, aboard the Swindon & Cricklade Railway, within the courtyard of Fisherton Mill in Salisbury and at Stourhead gardens.
Join in with Christmas Carols and the Christmas services at Salisbury Cathedral, head to the ‘lost’ church of Imber, now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and only open at certain times of the year for their Festival of Carols and look out for other carol services across the churches in the county.
Find out more
So what are you waiting for?
This Christmas in Wiltshire is going to be a memorable occasion so why not come down, join in and create some fantastic memories for you and your family – we would love to see you!
Getting started is easy, simply use our events calendar to search for Christmas events across Wiltshire and plan your festive visit. Visiting Salisbury? Discover more about Christmas events across the city here.
With so much happening, why not make it a short break and enjoy even more of Wiltshire’s festivities this Christmas!
Visit the VisitWiltshire tourism website for further details.
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May Day History and Folklore. #Wiltshire Bank Holiday Events.
In medieval times, May Day was often celebrated by young men and women dancing on the village green around a specially-decorated tree called a maypole.
The branches of a slender tree were cut off, coloured ribbons tied to the top and the revellers held on to the ends of the ribbons and danced. Some villages still carry on the tradition today.
Before the dancing began there was also a procession led by a woman appointed May Queen for the day. Sometimes she was accompanied by a May King, who dressed in green to symbolise springtime and fertility.
In Germany, it was the tradition that a fir tree was cut down on May Eve by young unmarried men. The branches were removed and it was decorated and set up in village square. The tree was guarded all night to prevent it being stolen by the men of a neighbouring village. If the guard was foolish enough to fall asleep the going ransom rate for a maypole was a good meal and a barrel of beer.
A similar festival existed in ancient Rome called Floralia, which took place at around the end of April and was dedicated to the Flower Goddess Flora. On May 1, offerings were made the goddess Maia, after which the month of May is named.
Pagan groups call the fertility festival by its Celtic name of Beltane.
The church in the middle ages tolerated the May Day celebrations but the Protestant Reformation of the 17th century soon put a stop to them. The Puritans were outraged at the immorality that often accompanied the drinking and dancing – and Parliament banned maypoles altogether in 1644.
But when Charles II was restored to the throne a few years later, people all over the country put up maypoles as a celebration and a sign of loyalty to the crown.
May Day had a boost in popularity again in the 19th century when the Victorians seized on it as a “rustic delight”. But many of the significant pagan aspects of the day were ignored by our strait-laced ancestors and instead of a fertility rite, dancing around the maypole became a children’s game.
For traditionalists other things to do on May Day include getting up before dawn and going outside to wash your face in dew – according to folklore this keeps the complexion beautiful.
“Bringing in the May” also involves getting up very early, gathering flowers, making them into garlands and then giving them to your friends to wear. If you are feeling particularly charitable, folklore advises that it is good time to make up a “May basket” of flowers to take to someone who needs cheering up.
May Day Bank Holiday Events in Wiltshire.
May Day celebrations in Ansty (1st May)
MAY Day celebrations in Ansty will feature dancing round the maypole, a whole range of stalls, the White Horse Morris and a bar run by the villagers. The Morris Men will then be at the excellent nearby 14th Century Compasses’s Inn from 7.30pm (Great food and Ale)
May Day Fun at Old Wardour Castle. Join English Heritage for some May Day fun this Bank Holiday weekend. Watch Morris dancing, take part in hands-on activities and games and relax in the beautiful surrounds of Old Wardour Castle.
Please visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk for details
Siege at Old Sarum Castle: Sun 03 & Mon 04 May
Old Sarum is under siege! Experience a 12th century siege as it springs to life in the castle grounds and witness the forces prepare for battle.
With living history encampments, tales of clashes from days gone by, fun and games activities for young time travellers and an awe-inspiring showdown – this will be a great way for the whole family to discover Old Sarum’s bloodthirsty past.
Please visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/siege-OldSa-03-05-2015/ for details
Visit the excellent Visit Wiltshire website for full details
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Salisbury Museum Festival of Archaeology Planned in Salisbury. July 2015
Salisbury Museum, home of the Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, is hosting a new Festival of Archaeology during the weekend of 18/19 July 2015.
The grand opening of the new Wessex Gallery attracted 2,241 visitors in the space of 6 hours on the 12th July last year. The
gallery is beautifully designed to display many important finds from the Stonehenge World Heritage sites and England’s “Valley of the Kings”.
Alex Langlands, archaeologist and presenter of BBC TV’s Wartime Farm said, “With Stonehenge, Avebury, Old Sarum and the cathedral at Salisbury, there are few counties in the south of England that boast a better line up of archaeological sites. However, as an archaeologist, the real jewel in the crown for me is the Salisbury Museum.
“Following enthusiastic responses to the Wessex Gallery from both public and press, the museum has planned this larger Festival, fuelled by a passionate ambition to inspire further public engagement in archaeology. The Wessex Gallery, led by energetic museum Director Adrian Green, has set its sites to become a major international resource at the centre of England’s ancient archaeological heartland.
“The Festival falls within the ‘Digging Season’ and before the schools summer holidays. The weekend will include presentations and lectures, set against a big showground event. Leading figures in the British archaeology community will be present to debate, make presentations and engage with the public.
“Tucked away in the cathedral close, the Salisbury Museum is an absolute treasure trove of archaeological goodies. In particular, the Wessex Gallery is a hugely impressive exhibition that will have any visitor beguiled. I’m really looking forward to the Festival weekend that the museum is hosting.”
Full article in the Blackmore Vale
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Wessex Gallery grand opening (12th July). Bringing the history of Stonehenge and Wessex to life.
ANTHROPOLOGIST and BBC TV Coast and Origins of Us presenter Dr Alice Robertswill open Salisbury Museum’s new £2.4m Wessex Gallery on Saturday (Salisbury Journal).
The new gallery will house one of Europe’s most extensive collections of Stonehenge and prehistoric artefacts including the Amesbury Archer – popularly dubbed the King of Stonehenge and the Wardour Hoard.
To mark the event the museum will be hosting an admission-free day of action-packed celebrations, special events, living history displays and demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts.
There will also be other celebrity guests including Channel 4 Time Team presenter and field archaeologist Phil Harding, who will be demonstrating flint knapping – the ancient art of shaping tools and weapons from stones – which early the Britons used.
Along with a free view of the new Wessex Gallery, members of the public will have the opportunity to see Norman falconry displays, try on Norman dresses, or get suited and booted in a knight’s hefty chainmail armour complete with sword.
There will also be ancient coppicing, stone masonry, pottery-making and wool dyeing demonstrations as well as a chance for people to try their hand at reconstructing a prehistoric face, carve a Stone Age chalk animal and experience an Anglo Saxon burial ritual.
Museum director Adrian Green said: “The grand opening of our new Wessex Gallery is going to be a fantastic all-day event with lots of exciting activities to see and do for all age groups.
“It’s also a great opportunity for people to see our amazing new Wessex Gallery which brings the prehistory and history of Stonehenge and Wessex to life.”
The Wessex Gallery Grand Opening is on Saturday, 12 July from 10am to 4pm at Salisbury Museum, The Close.
For more information call 01722 332151 or visit: www.salisburymuseum.org.uk.
Read the full article in the Salisbury Journal: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/11321466.New_gallery_set_to_open/?ref=var_0
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The Pillars of the Earth: Meet Ken Follett at Salisbury Cathedral on Sunday 2nd March
Salisbury Cathedral is delighted to announce that Ken Follett is visiting on Sunday 2 March at 6.00pm at the start of a tour of five Cathedrals to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of his global bestselling book The Pillars of the Earth. The author was inspired to write what has become a classic masterpiece by a number of medieval cathedrals in England and Europe, but none more so than Salisbury. He will deliver a lecture ‘Why Cathedrals?’, sign books and meet fans at a reception immediately afterwards.~
Sarah Mullally, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, said “This is truly a rare opportunity to hear Ken Follett talk about cathedrals, the inspiration behind his extraordinary book The Pillars of the Earth, and to meet him in person. He is passionate about these buildings and through his researches for the book, and its sequel World Without End, has considerable knowledge and understanding of them and the people who built them. He will be joined by the actor David Oakes – who played the dastardly William Hamleigh in the TV mini-series of the book – and by Gary Price – the Cathedral’s Clerk of Works and modern day Tom Builder – for a Q&A session after his talk.”
Ken Follett writes “Many times I have been asked why Pillars has such a big impact. There is no simple answer, because a novel is so complex. But I come back again and again to the people who built the cathedrals. Those men and women were by modern standards, poor and ignorant. They lived in wooden huts and slept on the floor. Yet they created the most beautiful and awesome buildings the world has ever known. Human beings have the capacity to rise above mundane circumstances and touch the eternal. That is what Pillars is about and, in the end, I think that may be why it has so profoundly touched the hearts of so many readers for so many years.”
Tickets, £10.00 for the lecture and £17.50 for the lecture and reception with Ken Follett, David Oakes and Gary Price, are available online from www.salisburycathedral.org.uk and at Waterstones Salisbury from 7 February.
The special anniversary edition of The Pillars of the Earth is published by Pan in paperback on 30 January 2014 at £9.99. It is available from Waterstones and all good bookshops.
Read more about The Pillars of the Earth and Salisbury Cathedral connection here.
Salisbury Cathedral event: http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/news/meet-ken-follett-salisbury-cathedral-sunday-2-march (Posted By : Sarah Flanaghan)
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