The UK’s Best Vintage Sites, as Voted by Readers

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Winning Tip: Burial Chamber, Betws-y-Coed

High in the hills above Snowdonia’s Conwy Valley is Capel Garmon Burial Chamber, a nearly symmetrical three-chambered Cotswold-Severn Neolithic tomb, bare and exposed to surrounding peaks, sheep and stormy weather . Set in countryside with easy access from the road or marked trails, it makes a great mini-pilgrimage on foot from Betws-y-Coed (about three miles), or parking is easy, less than a mile south of the village of Capel Garmond.
Matt Lunt, West Kirby

Neolithic stones in the moonlight, Orkney

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

Visit the Ring of Brodgar on Mainland Orkney after hours if you want to see this Neolithic henge and stone circle in all its unobstructed glory. In the height of summer, the days are longer and the nights are shorter, with no real darkness around the summer solstice, so there’s plenty of room to plan your visit. A lake forms a great backdrop for the light of the moon and the rising sun. From there emanates the first light, which cuts out the monumental magnificence of the stones.
Chris HuntBirmingham

Mysterious Foou, Penzance

Carn Euny ancient village near Sancreed, West Cornwall.

Carn Euny ancient village near Sancreed, West Cornwall.

In the center of Carn Euny, an Iron Age village high on the moors west of Penzance, where ancient Britons glimpsed the sparkling sea on the north, west and south shores and could see distant galleys heading for buy tin at Ictis Insula (Monte de San Miguel) – it’s a fogou. There are only 15 of these strange underground chambers in the world – they are all in Cornwall and no one knows why they were built. Nearby is a clootie (sacred) well near Sancreed Church, a favorite burial place of Newlyn School artists, and no wonder… Carn Euny is beauty, peace, history and mystery, with free admission .

John Cosgrove, Camborne, Cornwall

Solstice Stones, Foula

Foula Island, off Shetland.

Foula Island, off Shetland. Photograph: Martin Langer/Alamy

A short flight from Shetland takes you to the island of Foula, which is said to be the most remote inhabited part of the UK, although the debate is still going on. Walking up rugged Foula in 2021 (population: 28), I almost missed the tiny stone circle I was excited to see due to the thick fog. The Brothers were built to align with the winter solstice, at least 3,000 years ago. Now they were sunken, half swallowed by the earth. My friend, losing the stones, kept walking. I had a private moment with the Brothers, so important to someone, so long ago. I wish I had stayed there, the world swept away in mist, thinking of those who came before. If you visit Shetland, take that flight to lonely Foula.
Phoebe Arslanagic-Wakefield, London

Arthurian legend, Cornwall

The Battle of Camlann led to the fall of King Arthur at a place called Slaughterbridge, which is between Tintagel and Camelford, a wonderful place to visit for legend hunters! See the stone that dates back to 540 and marks the spot. You can learn more at the Arthurian Center or enjoy the 16-acre Vale of Avalon.
Leeann Stanford, Bideford, Devon

Roman Ruins, River Tees

Remains of the Roman fort behind the houses in the main street of Piercebridge

Remains of the Roman fort behind the houses in the main street of Piercebridge

Piercebridge Roman Fort is a fascinating ancient monument in the picturesque village of Piercebridge on the banks of the Tees. The site is a perfect place to rest along the beautiful Teesdale Way. There were Romans here from about AD 70 to at least the early 5th century. There was an associated bath house in Piercebridge, and another vice (settlement) and a villa south of the river at Cliffe. The fort was on Dere Street, the famous Roman road that linked York to the far north of England. It was strategically placed to control the Tees Junction, and the ruins of the old bridge can be found near the fort.
Mike Ladyman, Manchester

Iron age settlement, Rousay

Midhowe Broch on the Westness Heritage Trail at Rousay

Midhowe Broch on the Westness Heritage Trail at Rousay

Any visit to Orkney literally involves stumbling into some archaeology, but it’s worth looking beyond Skara Brae. Rousay Island is wonderful as a day trip from Mainland Orkney, and would make a lovely (hilly!) cycle ride. On the salt-swept south coast, Midhowe Broch is more exposed and more evocative of everyday life than its better-known neighbor across the strait at Gurness (and freely accessible, via a steep footpath). Near the broch are Midhowe’s grave and the remains of a farm. The continuity of architecture through time, the small daily life of humans and the connection with the landscape are palpable in the fallen stones. A moving place with panoramic views!
Asters, Scotland

Danebury Fort, Hampshire

Aerial image of Danebury Ring

Aerial image of Danebury Ring

Hampshire is definitely the place to go to visit an iron age hill fort. Danebury is amazing in its amazing setting. It’s almost magical when you see the once-hidden gate, and it doesn’t take much imagination to envision those who held Danebury’s defenses eons ago. To think that a community of around 350 people lived here for over 400 years! Imagine the people who have to fight off the invaders: the noise, the chaos, and most likely the death of many in the fight. It was in 1958 that the Hampshire Council purchased the fort on the hill; Thankfully they did, allowing us all to watch and enjoy!
Meryl Clark, Surrey

Roman Palace, West Sussex

Mosaic in the Roman Palace at Fishbourne.

Mosaic in the Roman Palace at Fishbourne. Photograph: Lesley Pardoe/Alamy

At Fishbourne Roman Palace, near Chichester, the floors are surprisingly well preserved and it has the largest collection of in-situ Roman floor mosaics in the UK. The location is also worth a visit as it is close to the old port of Chichester.
Rose Skelton Pearson, Hove

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