With midsummer heralding the summer solstice commemorations Britain’s mystical places get more visitors as people come to experience the sites. There are many famous places around Britain from standing stones to ley lines and huge monuments. Here is a guide to some of the most famous mystical places in Britain.
Imagine living in a village surrounded by an ancient stone circle. Then just try to imagine how the stones got there thousands of years ago, and why they are aligned on ancient ley lines. Avebury in Wiltshire is the only village in Britain that is completely enclosed by a stone circle. Just outside the village is the conical structure known as Silbury Hill. Thought to be a burial chamber its origins are not totally clear. This is a fascinating place with many of the theories as to its origin as yet unknown.
Scottish Gaels were converted to Christianity by St Columba, who arrived in Iona after being driven out of Ireland. He was very influential in the West of Scotland and even today Iona feels very spiritually connected. St Columba established a monastery in Iona which is the symbolic heart of Scottish Christianity. Its landscapes and scenery are quite mesmerising and this is a very atmospheric island to come and reflect in peace and tranquillity.
The massive monument and stone circles at Stonehenge is a famous landmark renowned the world over. One of the best times to be there is at sunrise on Midsummer Day when the sun shines through the stones in perfect alignment. The mysteries of Stonehenge are still being discovered with archaeology and research but it remains a highly significant place to druids and other mystics. This Neolithic settlement has an excellent exhibition detailing what is known about the lives of the people who lived here in prehistoric times but getting up close to the stone circles is an absolute must.
Steeped in legend the Vale of Avalon is full of sacred sites. One of the most famous is Glastonbury Tor as it rises above the Summerland meadows in Somerset. This is reputed to be home to the Lord of the Underworld, Gwyn ap Nudd and the location of the fairy folk. It is Where King Arthur rescued Guinevere from the King of the Summerland, and where Morgana resided. Another legend connected with Glastonbury Tor is that this is where Joseph of Arimathea visited with the Holy Grail. Glastonbury Tor is significant to Celts and Druids, and sits on ley lines connecting it to other mystical sites across Britain. It is also reputed to have magical powers, such that people walk up it in a low mood but come back down cheerful and full of joy.
St Nectan’s Glen, Cornwall
St Nectan’s Glen is an exquisite waterfall dropping 20 metres into an eroded bowl. This rock formation is in North Cornwall and is believed to be the place where the Knights of the Round Table were blessed before searching for the Holy Grail. It has an air of mystery about it and is very atmospheric. There are connections to people from Celtic, Christian and Druid backgrounds here and the Romans used the well in ancient times.
Callanish Stones, Scotland
The stone circles at Callanish are believed to have been placed around 2600-2900BC. This village in the Outer Hebrides It is believed that the stones helped people develop a calendar system based on the moon cycle. Even today this is one of the finest places to be to watch the moon on Midsummer Day and where a stone avenue points towards the lunar event.
Many ancient sites were formed in alignment to the elements and are compelling places to visit in Britain. These are just a few of the major sites which are sacred and special places to visit and where the more you see the more you want to try and understand. Even today we still do not know everything about these structures with new theories emerging all the time.