Stonehenge – Friday 18th January
We wake up to whiteness. The weather-man was spot on and thick snow covers the world outside our windows. There’s no other course of action, we have to go to Stonehenge and, embrace cliché, literally.
Mark brushes snow off the trusty truck and we head off gingerly, down narrow country lanes, through a landscape blanketed in snow. It truly is a winter wonderland.
The A303 nearly stops us completely, but after queuing 20 minutes or so in nose to tail traffic to go 200 yards, we turn off down a local lane and we’re on our way.
The landscape looks so different today. We could be in another country.
Along the journey we pass a massive delivery truck stranded at the bottom of a hill, then half way up, a coach stuck at the side of the road, defeated by the climb. People stare out open mouthed as we glide past.
Mark says he feels like he has super powers. All those journeys where impatient drivers look at his ancient truck and judging it to be slow and inadequate, overtake, sometimes rashly, fade into oblivion.
In the villages, children and some adults, slide at great speed down the snowy sloping fields.
Approaching Stonehenge, the roads are barely marked by cars. It’s weirdly quiet. Sure enough, the cones are still out on the road blocking off the car park entrance. ‘Welcome to Stonehenge. Sorry we are closed’ says the sign.
There are a couple of EH staff here, security as always, but they can’t open.
We meet a woman out for a walk with her large snow ready dog. He sticks his nose out and makes low moaning howls, then snuffles in the deep white, rubbing his face happily on the ground.
A 4×4 arrives and two men emerge with camera equipment, the BBC come to get some pictures of the most famous local landmark in the snow. They film the funny dog and he performs well, singing his strange happy song and rolling in the snow. Then like us, they get pictures of Stonehenge through the chain link fence.
The blizzard picks up and flows horizontally. Time to leave.
Stonehenge does look magical in the snow. I’m sorry we don’t get to go into the monument field, but we do get to see the stone circle sitting up on a white ground, and it looks just like one of Mark Anstee’s drawings.