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This has been a very interesting and enjoyable wild camp as I took time to revisit a place that I have only ever looked at in passing as a tourist. The wonderful thought provoking and inspiring World Heritage Site of Avebury in Wiltshire.

Hopefully the podcast will say it all, however here’s a few photos to help you visualise the area and some of the places I describe in the audio.


West Kennet Long Barrow. This is an ancient burial tomb which has been proven to be in use from 3700BC to as recent as 2000BC. This was a place where the rich, powerful or the mighty were lain to rest and as each generation died they too were entombed there. Facing due East the mighty stones caught the early morning light. The Barrow runs from the far left of the picture to the front stones.

Open to the public you can step inside and see the massive construction, firstly of stones and then the huge amount of earth piled on top.
This is located on top of a hill remember, so these stones had to be transported there. How I wonder?

Silbury Hill looks innocent enough and not of much importance from a distance as seen from the trail path.

But as you start to get closer, you can appreciate the sheer size of this mound. Remember it is 4500 years old!

It looks almost new doesn’t it? All those cars driving past every day have no idea!

Through Avebury I hurry up to the Ridgeway to try and find a location to camp. It’s getting cold and dark once again as I search for somewhere out of the biting wind.

Result! Tarp and Bivvy Bag sorted in a small copse, out of the wind and away from the all the Hawthorne bushes and Brambles which aren’t good for my expensive gear!

It’s a frosty morning and was well below freezing. I didn’t feel a thing last night …. thankfully!!

The sun brings with it a little bit of warmth and cheer and makes me wonder what drovers thought every morning as they walked this path with their stock many years ago.

The sheer scale of Avebury mustn’t be underestimated. The arrow points to a dog walker. These ditches were over 30 feet deep in their prime.

Looking down from one of the ramparts on one of the quadrants of stones, the arrow is pointing to my shadow. The main road slices the village and stones in half.

It is hard to express the scale, however this stone is twice my height.

The stone on the left is The Cove and estimated to be over 100 Tonnes in weight! There is a further 3 metres (10 feet) hidden beneath the ground. How would you transport an item this size, bulk and weight across open ground these days, let alone by hand 4500 years ago?

Finally The Avenue, with small concrete posts marking the missing stones, you can see how the avenue weaves its way left before crossing the road and heading into the trees.

Read more about Avebury here on the English Heritage website.

Read more about Silbury Hill here on the English heritage website.

Read more about West Kennet Long Barrow here on the English Heritage Website.

Kit list for those who missed it.

Wearing – Montane Halo Jacket, Montane Atomic over trousers, Montane Terra Pants, Embers merino base layer and Embers long sleeve merino crew neck, Buff, Montane beany, Waterproof insulated gloves, X-socks, Salamon Trail Shoes

Insulated clothing added at night – Montane Prism Pants, Ran Generator Smock, Chocolate Fish Possum hat, woollen socks

Sleeping – Rab Ascent Bivi, BPL.co.uk 3 Season Quilt, BPL.co.uk Silk Liner, Thermarest Prolite 3 short, Thermarest sit mat

Shelter – BPL.co.uk Duo Tarp, various cord and 12 pegs

Cooking – BPL.co.uk Pocket Stove, Toaks Siphon Meths Burner, Evernew Solo Set, folding Ti Spork, 500ml Trangia Bottle, 3 x 1 litre Platypus with water,

Pack – Gossamer Gear Mariposa

Accessories – MP3 recorder, iPhone, Lumix Camera, food, Toilet Trowel kit

10 thoughts on “No 383 – Wild Camp 4 – In Ancient Britain”

  1. Bob, that stopped abruptly at 46 minute or so…….just as it was getting interesting!
    I’ve driven from Essex to North Devon countless times in the 80s for holidays and for 6 years or so lived in the Forest of Dean but hahave never visited Avebury or Stone Henge. Must visit both.
    Great podcast as usual mate.

  2. Bob — I very much enjoyed your podcast on Avebury. I visited Stone Henge when one was allowed to touch the stones. Now I want to see this site. You may just get me to do another trip to the UK, even though I swore I would never go there again. A beautiful presentation of combining your hike (gear and all) with the history.

    I also enjoyed you personal comments. I did not realize there has been such a scrubbing of “pagan” physical history in Britain.

  3. Brilliant podcast Bob! A lovely combination of gear, camping and history. I had to visit the site to see these photos and I’m so glad I did – so very, very impressive. I’m loving the wild camping series. Thanks

  4. Hi Bob
    That was good to listen to,enjoyed it very much reminds me of the book The Ridgeway by the rambling man.I want to do this walk including Avebury the walk is covered in neolithic history.did you have any problems with your toaks syphon stove using titanium in that cold weather ? Good photos and informative.

    1. Not sure what the stove was called, I only know it by the Toaks code, but we’ve ordered some in anyway as it fits perfectly inside the Pocket Stove and is easy to fill and light. However I just did the usual and put it and the meths in my pocket for 5 mins to warm it up, and it fired up first time πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks Bob.I really enjoyed the Avebury podcast, as I do all of the others too.
    It’s an area that I know well, not living too far away and having a seemingly magnetic attraction to Silbury Hill.
    It’s apparent how much hard work and research you put into the podcasts.Please don’t stop!! .I especially liked the “voices” of the historians you were describing.A talent we haven’t seen much of yet Bob.

  6. Hi Bob, I recently stumbled across your website & found the podcast. I have listened to lots of episodes…… but this ‘Wild Camp In Avebury’ is my favourite of all of them. I must have listened to it a dozen or so times in the past few weeks. I think the choice of music helps to capture the mystical feels of the place.

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