Cerne Giant's best view other than from an aircraft.
Cerne Giant is a rampant, naked 60 metre male carved into the chalk hillside near Cerne Abbas, an old village about 8 miles (13kms) north
of Dorchester, in Dorset, England.
The photo shows as much of the giant as you will currently
see unless you rent air transport; the carving becomes a lot
more indistinct from close up. For scale you can see a couple
of hikers at the top of the hill on the left.
close, almost impossible view of the Cerne Giant with Cerne
Abbas in the background.
is as close as you can officially get to the giant since the
National Trust installed light wire fencing to keep out hikers
and horny couples and preserve the figure from erosion.
giant grass-carved perspective from here is less than thrilling,
though the overall view is gorgeous. A marked, circular hiking
trail called the Giant Walk - 3 miles/5kms long - runs from
Cerne Abbas village, past the giant and along the Dorset Downs,
where orchids and butterflies (especially the Adonis Blue) are
common sights in season.
photo of a Cerne Valley painting of the Cerne Giant produced
by Dorset County Council.
The main road from Dorchester,
the A352. Dorchester
is the nearest town, 8 miles (13kms) south, while Maiden
Castle a huge iron age (i.e. earth and turf) fort, is one
mile beyond that.
A small, temporary parking area (otherwise known as a lay-by)
from which you will get the best possible view of the Cerne
A bigger, nearer car park that is suited for those who intend
to take a walk.
The giant's enclosure.
Cerne Abbas village and start of
the Giant Walk. Some of the village's sights are: The remains
of 10th century Cerne Abbey, some 16th century Tudor houses,
Kettle Bridge - a stone and flint bridge, and the 13th century
Church of St Mary and punishment stocks.
Avebury and other ancient
sites are not far away in Wiltshire, the next county north-east
are three main theories as to when and why the Cerne Giant was
He was cut out 4,000 years ago in honour of a Celtic fertility
Above his head is a maypole mound that was central to pagan
May Day festivities until 1635, when the church decided that
the wild, all-night, get nekkid scenes that were enjoyed by
locals in the adjacent woods should be discouraged.
Legend has it that barren couples who wish for children should
copulate on the giant genitalia - preferably after dark in case
passing sheep lose their appetites.
He was carved 1,500 years ago in honour of the Roman god Hercules.
He appeared a mere 350 years ago and is a caricature of Oliver
Cromwell, a brilliant and influential though brutal leader (1599-1658)
who gained enormous power during the English Civil Wars, espoused
religious freedom and was offered the king's crown - but refused.
reason that the giant's origin is unclear is firstly that the
only elements remaining in the area are grass and chalk which
have been around for months or millenia, so carbon dating is
not an option, and secondly the earliest written record of the
giant that survives was from the 18th century.
is the nearest town, 8 miles (13kms) south, and Maiden
Castle a huge though simple iron age fort is one mile beyond
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Guide | UK Walks | England
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