From the BlogSubscribe Now

Last updated by at .

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, Pt II

After leaving Stonehenge, we drove through the English countryside towards Bath, arriving there just before lunch. Named  World Heritage Site in 1987, Bath is a picturesque city located on the Avon River in Southwest England, and part of the south Cotswolds. Its well-known Great Bath (Bath Spa) and historic Georgian structures attract more than 250,000 visitors annually. 

What Not to Miss in Bath:

  • The Royal Crescent – Designed by John Wood the Younger, between 1767 and 1774, the 30 Georgian style terraced houses are laid out in a crescent shape.
  • The Circus – John Wood the Elder began construction on the Circus, a group of Georgian style townhouses arranged in a circle, in 1754 but died before he could complete it. His son, John Wood the Younger, finished it in 1768
  • Bath Abbey – The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul was founded in the 7th century.
  • Pulteney Bridge – Completed in 1774, the bridge is one of four in the world that have shops that span its full length on both sides.
  • Jane Austen House – the author of classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, lived in Bath from 1801 – 1806. The center on Gay Street, about a 10 minute walk from the center of town tells the story of Austen’s time in Bath. There’s also a small gift shop with Jane Austen-themed goods. A must for Austen fans!

Westbury White Horse

The Westbury White Horse was not on our itinerary but it’s hard not to miss it standing as it does against the green Westbury Hill. The horse is 180 feet tall, 170 feet wide and was carved around 1778 into the chalk soil of the area.

Westbury White Horse

Westbury White Horse

Silbury Hill

At about 5,000 years old, Silbury Hill is about 130 feet high. It is the largest prehistoric mound in Europe. Made primarily of clay, which is all over the area, it is still unclear why it was created.

West Kennet Long Barrow

Located near Silbury Hill – you can see the hill from the barrow – and about 2 miles from Avebury, West Kennet Long Barrow is a prehistoric burial ground about 330 feet (100 meters) long. When its five chambers were excavated, the remains of about 40 adults and children who were buried around 3,600 BC were found along with grave goods, pottery and stone implements.

Avebury

I didn’t know what to expect as we headed towards Avebury from West Kennet Long Barrow. Then I noticed a few small upright stones. If this is it, I thought, I’m not impressed. But our driver kept going. Where was he going? I wondered.

As he continued, I started seeing more and more stones, planted in a row – like fence posts – and they seemed to go on and on.

Whereas the circle at Stonehenge is concentrated in a comparatively small area, Avebury’s circle and ditch are spread over nearly 30 acres.

That is impressive!

Constructed around 2600 BC, with three circles – the outer one measuring 1,088 feet, and a henge 460 feet across – Avebury is the largest stone circle in Europe. Unlike Stonehenge that is in a wide open area where you can see the circle clearly, Avebury’s circle and henge are part of the community with houses close by and a busy main road which dissects the site. 

Avebury circle and village

Part of the circle and village of Avebury

Although Avebury is free and open to the public, it wasn’t overrun by visitors as Stonehenge is. It also isn’t strictly controlled. While we were there, I saw people climbing on top of the stones, sitting on and posing for photos on them. 

If you’d like to see a real henge monument up close and without the crowds, Avebury is the place to go. 

Avebury and Stonehenge were co-listed, along with Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill as Avebury, Stonehenge and Associated Sites, and were inscribed in 1986 to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Avebury, the Red Lion pub

Avebury, the Red Lion pub

Once you leave the site, walk over to the Red Lion  – look left, look right, then left again before you cross the road – and have a glass of wine, a pint or some fish and chips. It’s not hard to miss.

Avebury, Prince Charles portrait

Avebury, Prince Charles portrait at the Red Lion

PS: You won’t find a pub anywhere near Stonehenge!

Linking to Budget Travelers SandboxRachel’s Ruminations, and Tanama Tales.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Textured

Artefacts from Bath

Artefacts from Bath

Travel Photo Thursday – Pulteney Bridge

Avon River at Bath

The Pulteney Bridge over the Avon River, Bath

Named after Frances Pulteney, heiress of Bathwich, the Pulteney Bridge was built in 1773 over the Avon River near Bath.

The river is mesmerizing, I could have watched it for hours.

Avon River at Pulteney Bridge, Bath

Avon River near Pulteney Bridge, Bath

Enjoy the views!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

Sometimes, the best photos are the ones imprinted on our minds. They capture more than just the images.

That thought was in my mind as I looked through my collection to select the photos for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge. There’s an image related to water that I wish I had captured on film so I could share.

Fountain at the Louvre - Maynephoto

Some people can’t live without the mountains, I can’t live without water. I love looking at, playing in and being around it. But from time to time, I get so caught up in the everyday that I forget that I need water to wash away the rough edges, to balance and smooth me out. Sometimes, I even forget that I actually live on an island and am therefore surrounded by water.

I remember the day several years ago when I jumped into a cab in a mad rush to get to Penn Station. I was late and pressed the driver to hurry. I could feel the tension in my body when I settled into the back seat.

As the cab zoomed crosstown, I became so overwhelmed by the worry that I wouldn’t make the train that I was oblivious to everything around me. When the car turned onto the West Side Highway, something caused me to look up.

There it was. The Hudson River. I fell silent as I stared at the water, deep blue and sparkling under the mid-day sun. My worry fell away and a calm washed over me. I continued to stare even as we turned off the highway.

There would be another train, I thought.

In a canoe off Jamaica's southwest coast, ©Maynefoto

More thoughts on the significance of water came to me as I sifted through my photos. I used to reject anything that came easily. Life was about struggle. Swimming upstream meant whatever was achieved was worth it.  Then I realized how sweeter it is to be in alignment with one’s purpose and go with the flow.

Cape Town, South Africa, ©Maynefoto

I was looking out the window in the kitchen of my uncle’s house in Canada when the scene changed and I was standing on the beach in Jamaica that I used to go as a child. I was near a sea grape tree, looking towards the ocean. I could taste and smell the sea and raised my hand to shade my eyes from the sun dancing on the waves. Suddenly, I was back in the kitchen but overwhelmed by homesickness. I decided to go home and did the next morning.

I spent a beautiful week with the only grandfather I knew. He died a week to the day I arrived.

Golden Mile Beach, Durban ©Maynefoto

Me, a teenager, sneaking off to the river with friends when my mom said not to leave the house and almost getting carried away by the current. I stopped struggling and floated to the surface.

Avon River, Bath, England ©Maynefoto

Going to Coney Island Beach one rainy Thanksgiving Day. Passing the changing area and stepping onto the sand to the sound of the waves as they crashed ashore, the birds calling to each other and feeling at peace. I cried that day on the beach, in the rain. For joy.