Wiltshire, a road trip

The realist will blame the weather, after all, it is very sultry. The spiritual will say that many often feel dizziness and tension in the body. Reason? I am sitting in the middle of a huge crop circle in Wiltshire in southern England – with a splitting headache.

My head felt ok when I started my day down in Salisbury, with my three friends. We visited the cathedral, and I know I should be impressed – it is to be one of the finest in Britain. The cathedral also has the highest spire in the country! But I always walk into churches with mixed emotions… It was the cute little embroidered pillows that you can kneel on that I particularly liked. I stood there, stroking them for a while, thinking they should have sold these in the cathedral’s souvenir shop!

Top left: interesting art in the old cathedral. Top right: the lovely little pillows. Bottom: a beautiful old house in Salisbury, The Old Forge.

It was when we drove to The Barge Inn, the crop circle pub, my head began to murmur. There was a thin layer of clouds above us and we were all feeling very warm. By one of England’s many canals there is this pub where crop circle enthusiasts gather each year. Had we been here three weeks earlier it would have probably been livelier. All the stories and all the enthusiasm that must seethe here in the summer! Not to mention all the theories!

While we waited for the lunch we had ordered I sniffed around a bit. Slightly behind the bar, by the pool table, is a wall full of photos of this year’s crop circles, the name of the place where you can find them, GPS coordinates and any information on whether the circle can be visited or not.
On the back of the building is a camping site. Only a few tents left standing now, the season is almost over. The fascinating circles pop up between April/June and August/September. There have been many of them this year.

Top: season is over. Bottom left: “Croppy” battered fish – with chips and mushy peas of course!
Bottom right: some of the circles of this season. We visited the one at bottom left.

The website cropcircleconnector.com is documenting locations, photos, opinions, theories and practical information on the crop circles. It is also clear about the fact that people should respect the various properties and not tramp into the fields without the farmer’s permission. Not everyone is happy about the circles. From what I had read on the website, I knew that one circle should still be accessible, despite the fact that many farmers have started to thrash. At the edge of the field the farmer has set up a box where you can donate money for the lost grain.

Food and drinks did not help my headache and now I sit immersed in the circle and breathe deeply to make… something ease up. I study the grain, trying to find the familiar signs of the grain being bent rather than broken, and the joints extended. I don’t’ really see anything. Then again, the circle has been lying here for a week and a half and many people have visited it.
When I get up again, I see the other girls and some lines in the grain that goes back and forth. I know from the website how the formation looks, but no way do I get any idea of what I am standing in now. How those who made it know, that two tufts of corn at an intersection of two lines, have anything to offer for the formation as a whole. We are talking about a circle that is 40-50 meters in diameter! No matter who or what has made this – I’m impressed!
And grateful that I had the chance – finally – to visit a crop circle. Yeah, I’m really fascinated by them, and have been for a long time. I also think they are incredibly beautiful.

See more photos of the crop circle here

We leave the field, looking up at one of the white horses that are made on the many hills around here. I thought there was only one (Uffington, Oxfordshire) but apparently, in Wiltshire alone there are about thirteen horses, eight of them being visible today. The one we look at now is surrounded by grazing cattle, so we will unfortunately have to leave it.

Avebury. The small village surrounded by a huge stone circle that is believed to have been made about 5000 years ago. It is still sultry, but the thin layer of clouds is gone now. The sun is on its way down when we walk around the big rocks. Wondering, touching, admiring and taking pictures. We follow the embankment surrounding it all, and while my friends end up under a big fascinating tree whose roots extend beyond the ground, I am looking down on another crop circle. Between me and the circle is a barb wire fence. I leave it. The day is running out and we need to find a place to sleep.

In a cozy B&B, ‘The Old Forge’, we wake up the next day to a delicious vegetarian breakfast and a hot sunny new day. The attractions are queued, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, Woodhenge and Stonehenge. About the latter by the way, I read recently that they have started the work on moving the parking and tourist center a little farther away and generally improving the facilities. They will also grass over parts of the A344, leaving more nature around Stonehenge.

Top: Silbury Hill. Middle: Woodhenge. Bottom: Stonehenge

Wiltshire, lovely Wiltshire! With its charming country roads that meander between large fields and small villages. So much mystery. So much to see. You don’t need to be “alternative” to enjoy a walk around here. It is enough having the desire to see more of England than London’s shopping streets. The topic of conversation is the set: Who really creates the crop circles?


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