Using Bath as our base, we selected a Mad Max Tour for a long day trip to Stonehenge, the Cotswolds, and the Avebury Stone Circles. We were extremely happy with both the tour company and the stops on the route. It was a smaller bus and tour, with about 15 people total. The driver was extremely knowledgable and even memorized all of our names.
Stonehenge is a series of massive standing stones, arranged in a circular pattern, and surrounded by hundreds of burial mounds. Each stone weighs about 25 tons, stands 13 feet high, and 7 feet wide. Although little is known about Stonehenge or its builders for certain, it is widely believed to be the remains of a burial ground or a place of worship constructed between 3,000 and 2,000 BC. It is the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World.
Stonehenge was our first stop, in order to arrive before the crowds. We were let off the tour bus, and then boarded shuttles to take us up the road to the famous sight. It was a very cold and windy morning, and although we were at a higher elevation than Bath, it didn’t seem that way. As we approached Stonehenge, it did not look the way we anticipated.
The stone shapes were not so recognizable at the start of the tour.
We had unknowingly circled around the back side first. But as we rounded to the front, the appearance of the infamous stones became familiar. When you stood in front of it, you could really understand the massive size and wonder of the stones.
This is what boys do wherever we are, even at a Wonder of the World!
At the Visitors Center, there was an outdoor display of Native tents. The best part was the rope attached to a stone. Your job is to “pull” one of the massive stones, just as the ancient people had once done to form the iconic circle.
We boarded the bus to head to our next stop, stopping briefly to photograph the Cherhill white horse. The image was carved out of the chalk hills in 1780 at the direction of a wealthy physician. It stands 131 feet high and 142 feet long.
We also viewed some interesting displays on the thatch rooftops of homes along the way, such as these rabbits below:
Occasionally we would spy an old red telephone box, converted into something interesting, often a library.
Avebury Stone Circles
Our next stop was the Avebury Stone Circles. These had a different feel then Stonehenge, yet built around the same time as Stonehenge. Avebury is a neolithic henge monument, containing three stone circles, in which the town of Avebury was built around. Many people destroyed or moved the stones over the years, until it was later preserved and partially reconstructed.
There were homes and stores in the small quaint Village. It was fun to see the sheep wandering among the stones.
The Tour guide brought metal energy sticks to let us feel the energy paths coming off the rocks.
The feel of Avebury was very peaceful and relaxed. I enjoyed the contrast between this and Stonehenge.
Next blog post: Part 2 of our Cotswolds tour ——–>