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West Kennet (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

I once decided to take two of my kids, aged about 11 and 9 at the time, the two boys, for a two or three day trek up the ridgeway, starting at Avebury. On the first day whilst still at Avebury, we got completely soaked. The next morning the same. So we dediced to give up. We only had one pushbike for transport and we live in Newbury 25 miles away. Oh and we had the dog. So the plan was I had to cycle back and collect a car to collect the boys and the dog.

It was still raining and we needed shelter and safety for two young boys. The only place .... West Kennett Longbarrow I thought....
The boys had been before but they were too young to remember. The youngest one wasn't too impressed with his lodgings for a few hours... He said, "I don't want to stay in this stupid cave". Anyway I managed to persuade him that it was dry..ish and it was a spirtual place and he would be safe there. I didn't dare tell him about what was buried there.

I was quite worried about leaving them, but I had no choice. The ride and a car were the only options. The train was a long walk and infrequent.

I set off in the driving rain.... 25 miles of slog on a mountain bike. I'm was fit , but used to that sort of distance on a nice summers day on a road bike.

3 hours later I returned. As if by magic the sun beamed down. As I walked up the to the Longbarrow my two kids were dancing aroung in the sun, as happy as larry.
The dog had stayed in the Logbarrow for most of the time. She had moved the bits of hay inside and made a nest in one of the chambers, maybe she got the vibes and thought that this was the end, although she wan't upset or frighteneed when I returned and neither were the kids.

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