This year I’ve been doing a fair share of traveling, mostly for work, inside the UK. But I have been absolutely rubbish about writing about it, haven’t I!? Whereas my international destinations are exotic, I look at my domestic work travel as rather “blah”, forgetting that the places I am going often tend to have their own treasures just a few miles away. (This is, after all, quite a small country.)
A few weeks ago between stops in Bath and Birmingham I stopped by Stonehenge, which has been on my must see list since I was about 7. It was just over an hour’s drive from Bath, through pretty little English towns full of thatched roof cottages. It was so easy to get to I am really ashamed it’s taken me this long to go!
It was a very hot afternoon, and the place was positively swarming with tourists.
But one very effective way to beat the crowd is to walk, rather than take the bus to the monument. It’s about a mile, but if you walk off the road and through the farmland path, it’s truly beautiful.
There are a lot of military installations throughout this area of England, and I think because the day was so clear and warm, they thought it ideal to hold lots of drills and exercises, so I saw tons of helicopters and even heard a plane breaking the sound barrier!
Once at the monument I was surprised by how huge the rocks were. At the entrance, you learn how the early people got the stones from Wales to their current location (rolling logs through the hills- can’t have been easy), but it doesn’t hit you how insane that task was until you see the monument. There were quite a few people there, but most were not lingering in the sun. Many seemed to have given up altogether and drove on the roadway that edges the monument; I saw several near accidents as people slowed down to take a gander from out the window of their car.
Stonehenge is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re already in Bath, Bristol or the surrounding area. It’s so cool to live in a place with such ancient history so readily accessible!