Alternatives to Stonehenge; Avebury & Other Amazing Historical Places to Visit in Wiltshire

You’ve probably heard of Stonehenge. One of most famous of all historic monuments in the world, situated in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside of southern England, the iconic ring of ancient standing stones dates back nearly 3000 years BC, during the Neolithic period.

However, in the surrounding area, there are many further sites of equally historical importance, apart from the likes of Avebury nearby, West Kennet Avenue & Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and The Sanctuary are all locations that form the ‘other’ parts of the Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site; locations that show an incredible glimpse into our Neolithic past that sometimes go unnoticed alongside their more famous big brother.

Here are some the best alternatives to consider visiting on a trip to Wiltshire, or if you’ve seen Stonehenge and leave wanting to see more.

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Europe Roadtrip 2009 – Part 6; a Daytrip to Rome I

Back in the summer of 2009, shortly after graduating from university, I had the chance to join five school friends for an epic road trip – a Grand Tour, if you will – departing from England by ferry, down through Spain to Barcelona via the San Fermin festival, the (in)famous running of the bulls in Pamplona. From Catalonia, we would head east through France and the Cote d’Azur and down into Italy, basing ourselves in the picturesque Umbrian countryside for a few days before turning north, heading home via Lake Garda, the Austrian Alps, the Black Forest in Germany and finally northern France.

This is part six of my recollections and photos of the trip; the first of two sections covering a short single day visit, walking through the heart of the capital; Rome.

Salisbury & the Magna Carta; Visiting one of Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’ Cities for 2015

In late 2014, the Lonely Planet website ran a ‘Best in Travel’ collection of destinations to visit for the following year. Coinciding with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, it selected the city of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, as the seventh best city in the world to visit during 2015 from a wide ranging host of alternatives, beating the likes of Vienna, Chennai and Toronto in the top ten.

Inspired by the selection by Lonely Planet, I decided to visit Salisbury for the first time to properly to see it for my own eyes.

Here are some of the reasons why it has beaten some formidable competition as a place to see in 2015.

Isolated Beaches & Singing Sands; Exploring Kentra Bay

An isolated stretch of flat, white sand; not a person to be seen or heard. Waves gently lapping at the shore. A seal is playing in the water, popping it’s head above the surface every minute. This beach is a special place, up there with the best beaches in the world. A small Caribbean cove? A hidden tropical island? No, better. These are the Singing Sands, near Kentra Bay, in Scotland.

To the Countryside on the London Underground; Walking the Chiltern Hills

Some twenty five miles out from the centre of London by underground train, you’ll find the market town of Chesham. In just a few minutes walk, you enter into a world so different from the urban metropolis you have just left behind.

With a recent flurry of snow on the ground of the gentle hilly landscape, I set off on a cold Saturday morning for a walk, armed with my Oyster card and my walking boots, taking this ‘underground’ line through the countryside to discover the Chiltern Hills.

Europe Roadtrip 2009 – Part 5; the Historic Landscapes of Umbria, Italy

Back in the summer of 2009, shortly after graduating from university, I had the chance to join five school friends for an epic road trip – a Grand Tour, if you will – departing from England by ferry, down through Spain to Barcelona via the San Fermin festival, the (in)famous running of the bulls in Pamplona. From Catalonia, we would head east through France and the Cote d’Azur and down into Italy, basing ourselves in the picturesque Umbrian countryside for a few days before turning north, heading home via Lake Garda, the Austrian Alps, the Black Forest in Germany and finally northern France.

This is part five of my recollections and photos of the trip, exploring the hills and landscapes of the Italian region of Umbria, including Perugia, Castiglione del Lago and Lago Trasimeno.

In the Shadow of Ben Nevis; a Winter Walk Underneath The North Face

In the winter of 2014, I walked the short distance from the Forestry Commission Scotland North Face car park near Torlundy, up to the CIC hut in the shadow of the North Face for a close up view of these incredible features that do Ben Nevis the justice it deserves. What Ben Nevis lacks in height on a global scale, it certainly makes up for in character – the north face certainly has plenty of that.