Salisbury Christmas Market, Salisbury

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Salisbury Christmas Market, Salisbury

Festival/Fair, Market

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80% positive

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Review of "Salisbury Christmas Market, Salisbury"

published 17/12/2016 | RICHADA
Member since : 20/06/2004
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Good
Pro Accessible. Crowd Free. Paved Square.
Cons Less to see, do and buy than at other Christmas Markets.
exceptional
Prices
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"A CHRISTMAS MARKET WITHOUT THE CRUSH"

Salisbury's Guildhall makes a poor cathedral substitute for a Christmas Market setting.

Salisbury's Guildhall makes a poor cathedral substitute for a Christmas Market setting.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS

You will probably be relieved to know that this is my last Christmas Market review for this year; one by one they are now being dismantled as shoppers thoughts turn, presumably, to mince pies and turkey, or more likely the January sales starting near you by now!

Whilst I have spent remarkably little money at the various Christmas Markets in my tour around south and south west England (my sleigh has consumed plenty of diesel, but that’s another matter) I have had a blast re-visiting some favourite cities and even enjoyed some great roads and scenery getting to them.

Bath and Salisbury were visited on the same day, by the time I arrived in Salisbury it was around 16.00 and just starting to get dark – these markets are always best visited in twilight and after dark as they seem to come alive – on this score, Salisbury had an unfair advantage over Exeter and Bath, both visited soon after midday, but not Winchester, which definitely came alive after dark.

LOCATION 8 / 10

“Location” here is the city, rather than the Market itself, and for most, Salisbury is just a touch off the beaten track, certainly by road it is far further away from the motorway network than any of the others that I have visited.

Salisbury is located in the heart of central, southern England in the county of Wiltshire. It is in the centre of a largely rural area, although is surrounding in ancient settlements and is just nine miles south west of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain.

ACCESS / PARKING 7 / 10

Get your timing wrong, either of the extended rush hours – particularly the afternoon one, and Salisbury is an absolute nightmare to either circumnavigate on the ring road, or indeed to drive into the city centre, gridlock is the order of the day.

Get your timing right however, and it is a breeze, I also know where to park for a couple of hours for free, a very short walk from the city centre, an even shorter walk from the fabulous cathedral. If you are prepared to pay to park there appears to be a better choice of car parks than in most ancient cities.

Salisbury is more friendly for less able bodied visitors than most of the other cities visited as the historic centre of it is almost completely flat, it is also largely pedestrianised.

From London's Waterloo Station, Salisbury is an 84 mile journey on South West Trains, there are 48 trains a day from the capital, the journey taking an hour and a half…...

……which coincidentally is exactly what it takes me to drive the 86 miles there from Brighton!

SETTING & AMBIANCE: 8 / 10

Does it give you a fuzzy warm Christmassy glow?

Please don’t get me wrong, the Guildhall Square setting is lovely, especially dressed and lit for Christmas and, being fully paved, ideally practical too, it is just that in a famous cathedral city such as Salisbury, one expects a cathedral backdrop a la Exeter, Winchester or even Bath with its Minster. Here in Salisbury the Market must be three quarters of a mile from the cathedral and well out of sight of it. For me, in a strange way this diminishes the attraction of the Christmas Market, making it more purely a commercial venture, in the commercial setting of the Guildhall Market Square.

There are advantages though, there is space aplenty and of all the Christmas Markets that I have experienced over the last three years or so, this is the most spacious and able to accommodate the crowds, there being a much greater separation between the traditional wooden huuts – sorry, “chalets”.

Sadly, enhancing that sense of space was the fact that of all the markets visited this was by a mile the least busy. The traders were standing around chatting to one another. As in Winchester last year, the children were coming out of school, but rather than hanging around here, enjoying the fast food, they were walking on by……

WHAT IS ON OFFER? 6 / 10

……and there is probably a very good reason for that in that there was very little fast food available there, certainly nothing to tempt my taste buds. There were plenty of local food vendors – meats, cheeses preserved produce, all local, plus a French delicatessen, but, German beer tent (at four in the afternoon on a weekday? I think not!) apart, there was nothing here to “hold” me.

As with the other markets, there were local artisans selling some very attractive glass and china ornaments, knitted garments and calved wood items too, including some lovely toys and puzzles. A chalet selling locally made sheepskin products was unique to Salisbury’s Christmas Market.

I even spotted an old friend in the guise of “The Knife Sharpener Guy”, we first met him in the Brighton Centre a couple of years ago – his knife sharpening devices (about £12) are ace and would indeed make a great Christmas present!

IS IT WORTH A DAY TRIP? 10 / 10

Salisbury is very much worth a day trip. The cathedral is one of the best in the country and there are often exhibitions and events on there too. You could quite happily spend a whole morning or afternoon visiting the Cathedral alone.

In terms of shopping Salisbury is a good regional centre and has a fair range of shops, although for department stores you would need Southampton instead. As with many town or city centres these days there do seem to be an inordinate number of cafes, coffee shops and chain fast food outlets, partly explaining – and forgiving – the lack of catering chalets offered on the Christmas Market here.

RICHADA’s Christmas cracker rate: 78%

To be fair, with a mere 75 chalets – even if it didn’t feel like that many, the Salisbury Christmas Market is only half the event that the other Christmas Markets visited were and, sadly, were you not in Salisbury anyway, the Market would not be sufficient to attract you there on its own merit.

ADDRESS:

Guildhall Square
Blue Boar Row
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP1 1TP

info@salisburychristmasmarket.co.uk

OPENING HOURS:

Salisbury's Christmas Market has now finished for another year. I leave the dates and times below as a guide for next years' event.

Thursday 24th November - Sunday 18th December

Monday-Wednesday 10.00 – 18.00
Late night shopping on Thursdays 10.00 – 20.00
Friday and Saturday 10.00 – 18.30
Sunday 10.00 – 16.00

If this is the last RICHADA review that you read before Christmas – and it may well be – Adrianna and I would like to take this opportunity wish you and all your families peace and joy this Christmas.

© RICHADA / CIAO 17.12.2016.

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exceptional

Comments on this review

  • Saraa23 published 19/01/2017
    Great review
  • rolandrat123 published 06/01/2017
    feel all christmassy again now!
  • missrarr published 06/01/2017
    Great job as always
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Product Information : Salisbury Christmas Market, Salisbury

Manufacturer's product description

Festival/Fair, Market

Product Details

Country: England

Type: Market, Festival/Fair

Continent: Europe

City: Salisbury

County: Wiltshire

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Listed on Ciao since: 09/12/2016