Bristol and Stonehenge Whirlwind

Thoughts from Alanna…

After visiting Oxford and Bath, the end of my trip found me in Bristol. Although I was only here for a few hours, I’m glad I did. The city gives off a Toronto-vibe: lots of street art, food trucks and modern-looking buildings.

As always, I visited the local museum Bristoland wandered. Here you’ll find both typical museum finds (plus a really great Ancient Egypt section) along with an art gallery on the upper floors with free entry. About an hour later and I was onto the next site.

Once out, I walked down the very hilly streets to Cabot Tower. You can climb to the top of the tower for free and get some great views of the city and the river. Be careful on a windy day, it can get chilly up top!


Views from the top of the tower

Banksy’s “The Lover”

Bristol is known for the birthplace of guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy and you’ll see his work spotted around the city, often in plain sight. Bristol also has tons of cafes, pubs, music and shopping all within walking distance of the city’s center. Unfortunately by this time, I was absolutely exhausted from walking through Oxford and Bath, so my time here was short and sweet.

Next was East to Stonehenge, the ancient monument everyone speculates about.

The first stage of the monument was built over 5,000 years ago. One of the really neat things is that some of the giant stones used were taken from over 150 miles away. How could it be possible?

When visiting, you either pay for parking when you arrive with cash and then buy a ticket at the main building, or pre-buy your ticket online and get free parking. Because it’s such a massive tourist-spot, if you buy online you’ll need to choose a timed-ticket to allow you to enter during a certain time. You can also pay to rent an audio guide which I would suggest doing as there isn’t a lot of information at the stones.

Once at the main building, there’s a café, gift shop, ticket office, indoor exhibition and bathrooms. Here, you can either take a coach bus to the stones (takes about four minutes and leaves very frequently) or hike the trail. It’s not overly far but it can feel like eons if you’re walking in the rain!

Then you’re there, in front of these massive, ancient stones set against the English countryside. There’s a low rope around the site so you can’t get too close, but you can see everything easily. Make sure to dress appropriately as the area is totally exposed. If it’s raining or windy, you’ll feel it!Stonehenge

What I didn’t know is there are many other sites around the area that you can visit, such as ancient burial mounds within sight of the stones. If you have the time, make sure to hike this area to see it all. You’ll get a map of the nearby locations so they’re easy to find.

From here, it was time to head home to Kent.

After my whirlwind tour of Oxford, Bath, Bristol and Stonehenge, all I want to do is rest my sore feet but can’t wait until I can go back again.Stonehenge