Southwest England — Just what were ancient Britons playing at when they hauled these giant stones into place all those millennia ago?
Stonehenge , on Salisbury Plain near Amesbury, is a monumental, undeniably mind-boggling achievement. But despite decades of academic study, no one really has the foggiest why Stonehenge is there. Oriented around the solstices, it forms part of a larger sacred site, including barrows, burial mounds, earthworks and a ceremonial pathway, the Avenue. But what did this site mean to its builders?
- Recursos mundiales: El Medio Ambiente urbano (Recursos mundiales: La guía global del Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo Sostenible nº 2) (Spanish Edition).
- Das Kind der Prophezeihung (German Edition).
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Is it a temple? A sacrificial centre? A place of healing? A memorial to the ancestors? An astronomical timepiece? The truth is, nobody knows. People come in search of the scenic splendour and bucolic experiences that inspired Wordsworth, Coleridge and the English Romantics.
For more modern pursuits, the adventure centre at Brockhole, on the eastern side, has a zip wire running between year-old oak trees. Most activity is focused on the twin towns of Windermere on a hill overlooking the lake and busy Bowness-on-Windermere, which is home to the boat docks, a cluster of shops and the World of Beatrix Potter, which brings to life the most famous creations of the writer who dedicated her life to the preservation of the Lake District. Wholly deserving of its number 10 Travelist slot, this ravishing stretch of cliff-flanked coves, thrashing seas, wildflower-freckled moors and hedge-lined tracks leading to one-pub villages still feels like a great escape.
Life around here moves in the slow lane. Tenby in the south offers a classic dose of ice-cream-licking, bucket-and-spade fun. But the further west you head, the wilder it gets, with the likes of crescent-shaped Barafundle Bay, reached on foot through the dunes, surf-hammered Freshwater, and tucked-away Marloes with its high sea cliffs, shipwreck and boats heading over to puffin island, Skomer.
A terrific base for beach-hopping and coastal-hiking is St Davids. To up the adventure, go coasteering with the pros at eco-lodge Preseli Venture. Or turn your focus inland to the lonely Preseli Hills, a windswept range of rocky outcrops, low-lying peaks capped with prehistoric standing stones, and moorland flecked with gorse and heather. Want to start exploring and experiencing the best the UK has to offer?
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