Stonehenge and Greenland

Thinking about archaeological and Arctic Circle walks.

Womad falls at the wrong part of summer. I’d much rather it was at the beginning of the summer holidays and then I could head south for the festival and then go up to Scotland for the rest of the summer. As it is I’m going to have nine days of holiday time before the festival. I’d spend the first few days at home anyway as I always have lots to do and sort out before I can go away. But nine days! I’ll feel like I’m wasting my precious time off. So I’m going to head down to the Wiltshire / Somerset area and have a few days wandering around before Womad starts.

I’d been wondering what to do for these few days, but not doing any actual research as I’ve got other trips to plans first. I’ve just watched a documentary on iplayer about some new archaeological excavations on Orkney and the programme was linking what was being found there with the later stone age ‘buildings’ of Stonehenge and Avebury and so on. I like this kind of stuff so I started thinking about doing some kind of walk linking the various neolithic remains together. Then just as I was flicking through my ‘Walk’ magazine (it’s the magazine issued by the Ramblers) I came across an article about a proposed Great Stones Way which does exactly that. It links Avebury to Old Sarum via Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, Salisbury Plain, the Kennet and Avon Canal, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls. It all seems quite easy to do on existing paths except for the slight problem of the MOD firing range on Salisbury Plain. The route is about 38 miles and so three easy days would do it, though it should also be possible to walk it in two if need be.

Feeling happy as I always do when a plan starts to formulate in my mind, I turned the page. An article on Greenland. More specifically an article on walking the Arctic Circle Trail which seems to be a cheap way to see Greenland. I’ve been looking at ways of getting to Greenland for a few years and haven’t yet managed to come up with a cheap way of doing it. I’d have to fly from Copenhagen and all in all flights would be about £1000. But once there the walking is free, I can wild camp or stay in free huts and even the canoe I would need to paddle across one of the lakes is free. I’d take my own lightweight dried food and so would only need to buy fuel for my stove. The trail is 165km long and to divide it into a hut-to-hut traverse would mean taking nine days. With a few days spent at either end that would give me about a fortnight in Greenland. I could then spend the rest of the summer cycling and camping in Denmark. I’m already feeling quite excited about this. I won’t be able to do it this summer, but I don’t have anything on my calendar for next year yet!

Author: Anne

Join me in my journey to live a life less boring, one challenge at a time.
Author of the forthcoming book ‘Walking the Kungsleden: One Woman’s Solo Wander Through the Swedish Arctic’.

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