Stonehenge: A Prehistoric Monument
Why you should visit Stonehenge:
To see what many believe is the most important prehistoric monument in Britain. It is believed that Stonehenge was completed 3,500 years ago. However, construction started many, many years before that. The very first part of the monument was constructed in 3100 BC. The second phase of construction started around 2150 BC. It was during this phase that the 4 ton bluestones were transported 240 miles from the Preseli Mountains to the current site. Around 2000 BC the Sarsen stones were added. The largest of these stones weighs 50 tons and had to be moved 25 miles. The final stage of construction moved the stones into their current configuration.
You can visit it any day of the year (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Admission rates are currently £7.80 for adults and £4.70 for children. Hours vary by the season so visitors should check the English Heritage website for the most up-to-date hours. (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/)
It is one of the most interesting ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Once a year, the rising sun aligns perfectly with the Altar stone, Slaughter stone, and Heel stone. Expect to be part of a large crowd if you visit on this day.
Stonehenge is an easy day trip for anyone visiting London. People who choose to drive will find easy on-site parking. Visitors can also choose to take a bus from the centre of London. The bus to Amesbury takes about 2 hours. From there, you will be a quick 2 mile walk or taxi ride to the monument. Or, if trains are more you style, take an hour and a half ride from London to Salisbury. From there, take a taxi 9.5 miles to Stonehenge.
An audio tour is included in the price of admission. Not only do you not have to pay an extra fee, the audio tour is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Dutch, or Swedish.
You can bring your own picnic to enjoy on the grounds. Kiosk style food vendors are also available. If you want to find out more have a look at worldwide-vacation.org
Souvenirs are available in the onsite shop so you can bring home more than just your memories and personal photographs.
Hotels are available in nearby Amesbury and Salisbury. If you are a fan of The Beatles, you may want to stay at the Antrobus Arms Hotel. John, Paul, George, and Ringo stayed there while filming Help!
There are special opportunities to get up close and personal with the stones. When booked in advance, up to 26 visitors can stand in the middle of the stone circle (regular visitors must remain outside of the circle). Stone Circle Access occurs outside of normal visiting hours and lasts for an hour.
Visitors can go to more than one historic site in one day. Woodhenge is only 2 miles north-east of Stonehenge.
Lastly, maybe you’ll figure out the true secrets of Stonehenge. Historians and archaeologists have studied Stonehenge for years yet they still are not certain about its purpose. It may have been a burial ground. It may have been a calendar. It may have been a temple. Will you see something no one else has seen?
Article Provided by Steve at Explore-Earth UKtravelblog.net.