I’ve walked three complete trails this year: North Downs, Limestone and Ridgeway. In each of these cases, the ending of the trail has been a strange experience. Given all the work that goes into promoting and maintaining these routes, I’m surprised more thought doesn’t go into the ends.
Walking the Ridgeway against the grain, from Aylesbury to Avebury, meant a more exciting destination, but a less impressive final stage. Much of day five was open countryside and tame scenery – but it was good to spend a night in Avebury, a short distance from the stone circle.
The final day began with a boring stretch of roadway. The weather was cloudy which was a relief after four days of harsh sun.
As usual there were strange sights along the way. The sign on the tree shown below read “Christmas is the warm, happy ending to our family’s story each year”
The endings of these hikes often feel odd. You’ve achieved something, but often the only marker of the trail’s end is a signpost pointing in only one direction
Avebury is a fascinating place to visit, with some incredible ancient sites. As it was mid-Summer, the hill up to Kennet Long-Barrow was covered in golden corn. I somehow missed this the last time I came to Avebury, so it was good to explore.
I think it’s a shame we’re no longer allowed to climb Silbury Hill. Who are we saving it for?
As it was just after the solstice, Avebury had been visited by people on the way back from Stonehenge. The Red Lion pub, inside the stone circle, was surrounded by fences. Security guards kept watch. I learned these were not designed to keep hippies out, but to keep everyone safe from stumbling into the road.
Avebury is a great place to explore. Putting your head against these stones, you can feel the energy thrumming through them.
In the local Avebury shop there is a binder with pictures of the year’s crop circles.
After a couple of hours exploring, we took buses and trains to make our way back to Brighton, just in time to set off on my next hike with Katharine and Romi. The Ridgeway was a fun trail to explore. The route followed did have the feeling of one followed in ancient times.
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