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Belas Knap (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Early Sunday morning 31/11/2004 (Halloween) I took a party of four mates here. They were sceptical about mystic vibes and the like but we were all pleasantly surprised by how the day turned out. We parked on the road halfway up the hill next to a handy sign pointed barrow-wards, and found the walk up to be not too taxing, despite the fact that two of our party had been up all night and red wine was not proving good walking fuel.

First impressions were non-committal, kind of like, "now we're here, where's the magic?" but we ended up staying almost two hours, walking round the barrow, on top of the barrow and inside the chambers, smoking up some nice hotboxes... despite collective cyncism, all remarked on the chilled nature of the place; we had a good time, chatting and laughing and druid-spotting (there were a few other visitors who did not appear to be just ramblers). Myself I detected a weird feel around and about, almost scary, almost sinister but not negative somehow... hmmm maybe just some kind of power that should be respected, adjusted to and enjoyed. I imagine that if you went on your own at some less popular time it would be very easy to sit and zone out here. It should be noted that I was the only member of the party not to have a smoke...

The rest of day was spent in and around Winchcombe and the day continued to be good fun, as if we took a little of where we'd just been with us for a while. We met strange Winchcombe people and strange Winchcombe sheep, and enjoyed one of the best days out I can remember. Recommended.
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