Mysterious Stonehenge

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Driving through the Salisbury Plain with its yellow rapeseed was a very nice way to get to one my most anticipated experiences. Arriving at Stonehenge I however realized it was all so much different than what I had believed it to be. First, the stones are so close to the road, that they must be a traffic hazard. You can basically do a drive-by. Next was how organized the whole thing is. Thinking back I don’t understand how I could think it wouldn’t be put into some kind of system… There is a big visitor’s centre with all the amenities you need – like hot drinks after the freezing cold visit to the site itself. You can definitely feel the effects of the plain, with the winds going right through you. All I can say is dress warm! A bus takes you from the visitor centre to the stones. You can get off about half way and walk the rest. Had it been a warm summer day I’d walk the whole way. At the site you are able to walk full circle. The stones are all fenced in, so no close encounter 😦 – I get it, but would have been cool! At this point the same feeling hit me as upon seeing them roadside – they are so much smaller than I thought. Small, and all of a sudden not so mysterious anymore…

I visited Stonehenge as part of a tour with Anderson Tours (andersontours.co.uk). Was picked up at London’s Earls Court, which are one of the many pick-ups you can choose from. A bus took us to a bus station outside the city centre, where people were put on the correct buses (several tours were departing around the same time). Only negative was it took forever for them to come pick us up. So late that you’re starting to wonder if they forgot about you. Earls Court was second to last pick-up, so that could have something to do with it. Back in London there are (only) 4-5 drop-offs, which was not a problem for me. And, last, but not least, great guide!

Website: english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge
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21 thoughts on “Mysterious Stonehenge

  1. i visited Newgrange, a monolithic tomb in Ireland, in the 1980s when you could basically pull over to the side of the road and walk in. Now also there is a visitors’ center, parking, guides, gift shop. I also get it: these things are old and valuable and you want to protect them. But you do lose something not just being able to wander around and touch them. Glad you enjoyed your visit overall!

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    • I get that all of the hundreds of thousands that visit every year can’t touch the stones. Wish it wasn’t so though 🙂 You can on special tours for solstice, sunrise and sunset, I think it was.

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  2. Many famous monuments are cleverly photographed to look bigger than they really are. Sometimes I think we have become conditioned to admiring the well lit photographic image more than the real thing! When I was younger (40 years ago) there was no visitor centre at Stonehenge, you parked up by the side of the road and walked right up to the stones. My family sometimes stopped off there on the way back from holidays in Cornwall. Of course, in the end it was decided that too many people touching and feeling the spirit of the stones was not good – so now we have the fence and the visitor centre 😦 It’s a shame…

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    • That’s true. With all these fancy editing tools available everything looks stunning. Would have loved to visit back in the day. Sounds like my family’s vacations. We’d also stop by well-known (at least locally) attractions on our way home.

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  3. Thanks for mentioning the rapeseed – I drove up to Stonehenge 7 years ago with some friends and we had no idea what we were looking at as we passed by those yellow fields! Yeah, it’s not as big as you’d imagine and that’s really all there is to it – but it’s also intriguing how it remains such a mystery after all this time. We didn’t linger either though! luckily we also went to Bath as part of that day trip.

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