I know this is partly ego, but because my name is Salisbury, I'd like to plan my trip in December and attend Christmas Eve services at the Cathedral. I know it's not a recommended season for travel, but how bad can it be? Surely, lodging wouldn't be difficult to book. And there must be some attractions open at that time of year. Aren't there?
Yep, it is cheaper and quieter. Simply understand that you need to arrive a few days before Xmas Eve and that once in Salisbury you'll be there for Xmas, Xmas and Boxing Day.
Up to you to research to find out what will be open. The UK believes in Xmas as holiday. All transport shuts down, trains, buses, the tube in London. So start googling to see what's happening in Salisbury during the Holidays.
The city, like all town and cities, will be busy with pre Christmas shoppers and then after Christmas, the Boxing Day sales. You may find some of the more traditional hotels will be selling Christmas break packages so maybe look at B&Bs if that is not your sort of thing. Here is Salisbury's Christmas website. It shows last year's programme of events etc. http://www.christmasinsalisbury.co.uk/ Take the opportunity to watch a traditional Christmas Pantomime on Boxing Day. Probably too early for next Christmas but keep an eye on this site for details. http://www.bigpantoguide.co.uk/
I can't think of a lovelier place to spend Christmas! And I am not sure why late December has a reputation as "not a good season for travel." Rates are lower, places are less crammed with tourists (although the Cathedral will probably be slammed for services), and you get a more all-local flavor. We go to Paris every Christmas/New Year because of the markets and the lights... and this year, I want to see someplace else. Salisbury is a great idea! I've been there in spring, and would love to see it in winter. I'd love to see Stonehenge in winter, too. And Salisbury has a local website dedicated to how fab it is during the holiday season - check it out! http://www.christmasinsalisbury.co.uk/
You can take a local bus from Salisbury to Stonehenge/Old Sarum. I was on a day trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge and wasn't using it as a base for other sites, which you may be able to do.
You might think about Winter Solstice morning at Stonehenge if the weather's good. You can walk amongst the stones themselves (which normally you can't) and it's free Other things I'd recommend are: - the Doom at Saint Thomas' Church - Salisbury Museum
- the Cathedral Bath is a (really nice) train ride away, too. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to share any local info I've got. Have a great trip! Matt ( http://salisburyandstonehenge.net )
I think it could be great. Just remember that the hours of daylight will be very short. Dark by about 4.30. And unless you go self-catering, make sure you have somewhere booked for meals on Christmas Day and the day after. book now. They fill up fast.
Have a wonderful time!