Shall I say that again?? We WILD CAMPED at STONEHENGE.
Yes, that ridiculously world-famous monument of incredibly massive stones dragged 100’s of miles by prehistoric man to be arranged in a circle and no-one really knows why. That Stonehenge.
Turns out, you can wild camp right next to it for the night. For free. Seriously, this was our view when we woke up the next morning!
We were looking for a campsite on our way to Bath and were excited to find ‘The Drove’ on searchforsites.com. We LOVE this website- full of loads of great overnight stop and wild camping locations like this, right across the UK.
The Drove is a service access lane which runs right next to Stonehenge. Overnight parking is allowed and free! As far as we know, you can only access it from the A303 going East- we had to go up to the roundabout and turn around when we arrived as we were heading West and it’s not possible to get across.
For those who don’t know, the A303 is a really busy road, especially in summer and ESPECIALLY near Stonehenge. Everyone slows down to have a look and the traffic jams are horrendous. But worth sitting in for view like this.
BE WARNED: the Drove is FULL of ENORMOUS potholes. Anything not secured in the van will get airborne. I actually had to hold on- the holes were massive, everything was rolling and the van was filthy afterwards. It was like being back onboard our boat. It’s worst right next to the main road but, as you can see from the photo, it’s pretty bad all the way down! We decided to drive down and turn around so we were facing the right way to leave in the morning (or middle of the night if we were moved on- always a possibility.)
The Drove is a tiny lane with a rickety looking gate at the start. There is a lock on the gate but we don’t believe it was locked at all whilst we were there, which was in September. However, you might find it gets locked around the major festivals of the stones, such as the summer solstice on June 21st.
When we were there, there was probably around 10-15 other vehicles already wild camping, all stretched along a mile or so of lane. Some looked like they had been there for some time. There is loads of room and pretty much all of it has spectacular views of the stones.
We got up at 5am (yes, really) and braved the freezing cold- even in mid September it felt really, really chilly. I was so grateful for my mug of tea in my thermal cup! It wasn’t supposed to be that nice weather, the rest of the weekend was horrible, but we were blessed with one of the most incredible sunrises I have EVER seen.
We launched the DJI Mavic Pro (have I mentioned how much I love this drone??) – this was in the days before our quiet propellors had been added so we were trying to be really quiet so we didn’t wake the neighbours. Luckily they both got up too, so we could talk at a normal volume.
As you can see on the video, the mist swirled around the stones and added to the utter magic of it all. We were surprised by how spiritual it felt. Neither of us are particularly religious, but we really felt the spirit of our ancient ancestors and wondered exactly how many people had stood looking at these same stones over the years watching the same sun rise above them. It was pretty powerful stuff!
Just a note: You CANNOT get in to see the Stones via the Drove. There is a path which takes you really close to them, but if you want to go in through the English Heritage access, you need to turn right on the A303 (which is pretty much impossible, so go left then turn around) and then follow the brown signs for Stonehenge/ English Heritage. This leads you to the attraction car park where you will be charged around £16 each (2017 prices). You can’t go into the stones and touch them, which is a shame but they were being damaged, so in my honest opinion I feel the view from the path is more than enough. Full details can be found on the English Heritage website here
Whatever you choose, there’s nothing to stop you wild camping for the night first and getting a view very few other people will ever experience.
Here’s the video link if you’d like to see the drone footage of Stonehenge at sunrise:
Where’s the best place you’ve ever wild camped? Let me know below- I’d love to check it out.
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