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On our most recent trip to London, we had the opportunity to go on a couple of day trips, outside of the city. One of those trips, wast to Stonehenge. This is definitely one of the more touristy spots to visit in England, but I still think it is worth seeing for yourself. Today, I’m going to share about our experience, visiting Stonehenge, and maybe convince you to add it to your list.
Getting to Stonehenge
Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, England and there are a few different options for getting there. If you are comfortable renting a car and driving, then of course you can do that. You can also take the train to the Salisbury station, but you will still need to take a bus to Stonehenge, from there. The easiest option, in my opinion, is a coach tour. The tours include travel there and back, plus the purchase of your tickets for viewing the landmark. If you navigate there on your own, you should probably purchase your ticket ahead of time. We chose the tour bus option and I’m glad we did. The coach was large and comfortable, for the 2 hour trip, and it was nice to relax the whole way there. I even had a nap on the trip back to London.
Our tour was around six hours in total, which left us with around two hours to explore. That was plenty of time to see everything, take photos, explore the gift shop, and get a quick snack. Once you arrive at the visitor center, you aren’t able to see the stones right away. A small bus transports everyone to and from the site, but it is a very quick ride and the wait for the bus isn’t long.
The main thing that I took away from our tour, was that there is still a lot of mystery surrounding Stonehenge. Archeologists have determined that it was built during the Neolithic period. However, it is not known for certain, how or why the monument was built. There has been a lot of speculation over the years. Theories range from a burial ground to a celestial observation ground, but no one can be certain. It’s so impressive to think of people of that time period, building Stonehenge, without all of the modern machinery that we have today.
There is more to this area, than just the stone circle itself. The audio tour taught us a lot about the surrounding landscape and the time period that Stonehenge was built. There are barrows off in the distance, that are actually Bronze Age burial sites. According to the tour information, it was important for people in that region to bury their dead near Stonehenge.
Heel Stone is also of some importance, due to the light show that can be seen during solstice. We did not visit at solstice time, but it seems like the way the sun rises over Heel Stone causes light to stream directly through the center of the monument.
Located right outside the Stonehenge visitors center, are the Neolithic houses. They are replicas of the homes that were built in this area, around the same time period as Stonehenge. Even though the construction on these replicas, did not begin until 2013, they look like they came straight out of ancient history. This is because the English Heritage organization used authentic local materials to construct them, such as chalk, hay, and wheat-straw.
If you are considering a trip to Stonehenge, then I say go for it! Sure, its a typical tourist stop, but it contains a lot of history and it’s pretty cool to see up close.
If you have already been to Stonehenge, what did you think? Let me know!
Until next time!