A trip to England just wouldn’t make sense without visiting London’s famous landmarks like Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus. But a few years ago, I made a trip to England and I found that there are plenty of fascinating places to visit outside of London. One of the most familiar destinations outside London is Stonehenge, but a lot of people don’t know that there are similar stone structures in other places and some related historical sites worth checking out along the way. I customized these sites into the ultimate day trip for people interested in the ancient stone builders of England and I tested this day trip out for myself by visiting them all in a single day.
The Stones of Avebury
Avebury has stone structures similar to those at Stonehenge. These stones are smaller and spread around the perimeter of an entire village. Sheep graze among the stones and visitors are allowed to touch the stones and explore the grounds – something the general public is definitely not allowed to do at Stonehenge. Avebury is located in Wiltshire, which is in southwest England. There are three vastly expansive concentric stone circles marking the area. The National Trust manages this area and keeps it open to the public. This area is also where crop circles commonly appear so ask around in the village about helicopter tours. I went by car to Avebury. If you want to go by train from London, the rail from Paddington goes to Swindon several times a day, and there are plenty of buses that go from Swindon to Avebury daily.
Just a short drive from Stonehenge is a little known place called Woodhenge. Markers indicate the prior locations of other circular timber formations similar to the stone formations at Stonehenge. There are now concrete posts that give a visual representation of the timber posts locations. Archaeologists believe this may have been a burial site from the Neolithic period. Because many group tours focus on Stonehenge, many may include Woodhenge because of its close proximity to the site. Ask before booking a group tour if the group will be visiting Woodhenge in addition to Stonehenge. Or if going by car, watch for signs pointing toward Woodhenge once you’ve passed Stonehenge.
Before visiting Stonehenge, I had no idea that a fence now exists to keep visitors pretty far away from these mysterious stone formations. The fence keeps the public at quite a distance from the stones and due to this fact, it is definitely worth scheduling and paying for a private tour of the area in advance. There are lots of tours that take people to this area in groups, but by doing so the trip is limited to only visiting places where the group is scheduled to visit. Stonehenge is located in a remote area of the country side and due to travel conditions in England, it is not always a short drive even though it doesn’t appear to be too far from London on a map. English motorways can get (and stay) very congested.
Crop Circle Helicopter Tours
For those interested in crop circle helicopter tours, there are many places in these areas that offer aerial views of these mysterious circles when they appear. If one is just traveling to England for a short visit, it’s unlikely that crop circles will be there for viewing. Some people get lucky, though. If there’s talk of crop circles at the time of your visit, ask about an aerial tour by helicopter.