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Walking in to Stonehenge

Salem, Oregon
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5,414 posts
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Walking in to Stonehenge

We walked 2.5 miles (5 mi round-trip) in to Stonehenge the other day. It was very cool when the monument appeared for the first time and it was a real pleasure watching it as we walked down a chalk lane. It was so small, we were in a high spot looking down, there was no traffic sound, only birds, and we were surrounded by beautiful green fields. The cars weren't even noticeable from the distance.

When we got close, though, crossing the A303 was scary. Traffic is very fast and comes over a close rise to the left. I can't dash any more so I had to wait quite awhile for an opening. Crossing the A344 to get to the entry point was very easy by comparison. On the return a traffic jam made it easier to cross the A303.

The weather was perfect for walking -- big, moving clouds, glimpses of blue sky, cool. We parked near Druid's Lodge (just outside Berwick St. James) to the southwest of Stonehenge and walked on a byway. It wasn't field walking (which is my favorite), and there were no stiles to cross. The track was fairly rough and we were glad to have our boots.

Poppies in the verge were gorgeous, some were a crimson shade. The mustard was done, only a few flowers clinging to the big, twiggy plants in one field. The grain fields were a deeper green, really beautiful sweeps of color with fat heads developing.

Pigs live the good life in Wiltshire. We passed 2 lots of them, with loads of darling tiny piglets and no smell. In the first place each sow had her own quonset hut and her own lot. The lots were defined with simple 2-strand electric wire. From a distance it looked like a big open field, but was actually fairly small spaces. The second lot was free range. Again, quonset huts, but the sows and babies congregated in groups.

In each instance the sows made a gesture of standing firm and tall and facing us directly, grunting at us to not come near. They made other sounds that were clearly understood by the babies. In one case, she said, "Go get down behind the water trough" which they did, all eight of them scrambling away immediately. Another one said "Get behind me," which they did, no questions asked. We enjoyed watching them.

A plover or killdeer (or similar) caught our attention, as she intended, with her insistent shrieking. She flew in circles to our left, making a demanding noise. So we looked to our right and saw a baby plover or killdeer walking/trying to run in the field. Apparently these birds are not as smart as pigs.

When we arrived at Stonehenge they would not accept our Royal Oak membership cards for entry (as they have done many times before). RO is the American affiliate of the National Trust. You can read all the details here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186216-i15-k36870…

Instead of going in to the monument we visited the tumuli in the field to the northwest. There also were a number of tumuli in the fields along the byway. On the walk back to the car the mother bird again caught our attention. This time we rested against the fence and watched the baby for awhile. Suddenly, there was a commotion between my husband's boots and another baby scampered toward the center of the field. We could see how really small and unfledged these little creatures were. So sorry we disturbed you with our presence! Even up close we could not find any evidence of a nest. We don't know where that baby came from.

This is the way we had wanted to visit Stonehenge for years. We are glad to have finally got the chance.

Wiltshire, England
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300 posts
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1. Re: Walking in to Stonehenge

What a lovely report, thank you. :-)

Devizes, United...
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2. Re: Walking in to Stonehenge

Sheer poetry britfan. I've walked the track that you took a few times and it is indeed a lovely way to approach the stones. I wonder how many visitors even notice the tumuli in the adjacent fields?

I drive by Stonehenge several times a month and it never fails to instil a sense of wonder in me.

Hampshire, United...
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for Amesbury, London
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3. Re: Walking in to Stonehenge

Lovely report, Britfan. Thanks for sharing with us ☺

I think the birds maybe lapwings, as they are found in the area.

Salem, Oregon
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4. Re: Walking in to Stonehenge

Thank you, Whitehorsewalker. Nice to meet you. I love your name, it brings up favorite images for me (walking, Wiltshire, white horses). FYI, Wiltshire is still my favorite shire. I just spent another week there, followed by a week in the Yorkshire Dales. They were fabulous, but Wilts still has my heart.

Wiltshire, England
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300 posts
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5. Re: Walking in to Stonehenge

britfan, I took the name because I live in Wiltshire very close to one of the horses, love walking and have walked the White Horse Trail. :-)

It's certainly a wonderful place to live.

6. Re: Walking in to Stonehenge

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