Christmas in Wessex
Based in Salisbury, enjoy Christmas with us as we explore the archaeology of Wessex. The chalk downs of this ancient kingdom have been a focus for monumental building and funerary ritual for more than five millennia. Henges, burial mounds of all shapes and sizes, causewayed camps, early field systems and ‘cursus’ monuments are scattered everywhere, forming a landscape full of clues and interest, but unintelligible to the untrained eye. Our archaeological excursions include a day among the stone circle in Avebury as well as visits to Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, and – on the morning of Christmas Eve – we visit the world-famous monument of Stonehenge. We also explore medieval Salisbury, paying a visit to its splendid cathedral and then it’s on to the Christmas market in nearby Winchester. On Boxing Day, we spend time in the countryside at Cranborne Chase, where we take a walking tour of the archaeological monuments of the area.
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Single supplement: £395
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Day 1 - Salisbury - Winchester
We meet at our hotel in Salisbury this afternoon. From here, we make our way to Winchester to enjoy a stroll around the local Christmas market in its picturesque location in the Cathedral Close. It is considered as one of the best of its kind in Europe.
|Hotel||The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury|
Day 2 - Avebury
Today we explore the fascinating history of the Avebury area. In the morning we wander the Neolithic henge built in the 3rd millennium and, contained within a huge bank and ditch, the largest stone circle in Britain which encircles two smaller stone circles. After a lunch in a local restaurant, we pay a visit to the Alexander Keiller Museum to view finds from the excavations. A short drive brings us to two nearby monuments, Silbury Hill, the largest artificial mound in Europe, and West Kennet, where we explore the chambers of the Long Barrow, located on a hilltop.
Day 3 - Stonehenge - Salisbury
A short drive brings us to the UNESCO listed site of Stonehenge built in the 3rd millennium in an effort which defies reason, making the site Europe’s most famous prehistoric site. Besides the impressive monument itself, we will see some reconstructed Neolithic houses and artefacts from the excavations. This afternoon, we visit Salisbury Cathedral, famous for housing the Magna Carta and for having the tallest spire in England.
Day 4 - Salisbury
On Christmas Day morning, we will take a leisurely stroll through Salisbury and investigate the city’s medieval buildings. Although Salisbury is the best-preserved example of a planned medieval town in England, it has somehow remained under the radar. We will explore the streets of the historic centre with its timber framed buildings and 14th century clock tower, as well as its Charter Market which dates to 1219. We will also explore the world-famous water-meadows beside the River Avon which surround the cathedral immortalised by John Constable when he visited in 1830, before heading back to our hotel for traditional Christmas Day Lunch.
|Hotel||The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Day 5 - Cranborne Chase
We spend Boxing day exploring the Cranborne Chase area where we enjoy a walking tour through its diverse landscape wandering past some of its many archaeological monuments. We will look at Bokerley Dyke the defensive dyke which might date back to the Bronze Age and which was dissected by the Ackling Dyke, a Roman road. We continue to the Dorset Cursus, a 10-kilometre-long Neolithic Cursus monument and to the Knowlton Henges, a complex of earthworks from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.
Day 6 - Salisbury
Our tour ends this morning after breakfast in our hotel in Salisbury. We disperse and journey home on our own.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Meals as per the itinerary, tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Availability|
|22 December 2021||AWEX211222||22 December 2021 (Wednesday)||27 December 2021 (Monday)||Dr Paul Tubb||£1,995