Stonehenge: ancient mystical sandstone bastions of Druidic history or just old pile of rocks near a motorway that English Heritage charge to visit – what are your expectations?
My first introduction was 10+ years ago – I’d just moved to the UK and for my first Christmas as an expat as my work was closed for the festive period, so I decided to spend 10 days in exploring Bath and the Wiltshire countryside.
There wasn’t a jot of homesickness to be seen, just an unmitigated delight to be adventuring around the British landscape, and a very boozy Christmas Day celebrated with a ragtag bunch of expat ‘orphans’.
* Taken 10+ years go. It hasn’t changed much actually. *
In amongst getting to know the twisting lanes of golden stone around Bath, I decided to book a couple of day trips in as well – one to Salisbury Cathedral (super easy to get to from Bath on the train) and a cheeky little mini-van trip to one of the wonders of the ancient world.
That’s Stonehenge btw, not the wizened and cheerful local who drove us around. Just to clarify.
I didn’t really have monumental (excuse the pun) expectations because I’m a realist (though one with a penchant for feeling most things exponentially compared to normal people eg. not just happy but euphoric, not just sad but melancholic) and my heart leapt as the standing stones came into view, tucked against the crest of the undulating landscape (burrows I was to learn.)
10 years later, I’ve certainly changed and so has the visitors centre (including model huts and an exhibition), but the standing stones unsurprisingly haven’t.
Still beautiful, still mysterious, still surrounded by click-happy tourists who flock to Stonehenge.
This time we actually got a few photos with me and my friends in them (I’m always a bit wary of sharing non-blogger’s images so you’ll just have to trust that I have IRL friends) and I posed up a storm in the wind.
(And no, I don’t know why I decided to pose like an 80s bopper dancing like an Egyptian. No idea.)
Beautiful. Everytime. Why is Stonehenge a cultural icon and a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. Constructed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC and consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.
Stonehenge is positioned at the centre of a hub, or network, of ley lines, making Stonehenge an energy portal, or a place of power according to the Druids. These ley lines interconnect all of Britain’s ancient sites.
If you can’t get to Stonehenge, you could always pop into nearby Salisbury to see Fudgehenge…
A few tips for visiting Stonehenge
- Book online in advance via English Heritage – it’s a little cheaper and they often book out in summer
- If you have an English Heritage or National Trust membership it’s free entry
- Make sure you charge your camera before you go
- (While you’re there, make sure to explore Salisbury, Bath and Wiltshire – don’t forget to go to Bulford and see the 130m tall Kiwi carved into the hillside.)
Have you visited Stonehenge (or loved somewhere so much that you’ve been back?)
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