Stonehenge – a British icon

Stonehenge was something I had always wanted to see. And I can now say I have seen it a few times. But I remember the very first time,  sitting in the bus it was fast approaching. It was getting bigger and bigger as we drew nearer and I all I could say was “wow”. It was mesmerising. It was just standing there, in the middle of a field.

The bus seemed to veer away from Stonehenge. Basically Stonehenge is such a popular place to visit that a carpark and visitor centre has been built on the other side of the freeway from Stonehenge to cope with the large amount of visitors. Stonehenge is then accessed via a tunnel under the highway after paying an entrance fee

My excitement was growing as I walked through the tunnel. Once through I was in an open field and Stonehenge was everything I had expected. It looked exactly like all the photos I had seen. It was a cold day the day I was there, the air was crisp and my breath was moving in front of me. Like many others there I walked around Stonehenge not just once but a couple of times, stopping to take photos at different angles.

Unfortunately due to erosion from the weather and the large number of visitors that have, and that will visit Stonehenge it is roped off from everybody. Being able to touch the structure is not possible, security guards ensure that. Though during summer and winter solstice and with special organised permission you can get closer. Even so, just being in the presence of Stonehenge is something to experience. It is easy to spend a couple of hours just looking at and wondering about this magnificent piece of history.

 

Stonehenge history

Stonehenge has been estimated to have been built around 3100BC. It is so hard to imagine how people from that time were able to put the mammoth blocks of stone, most pieces being around 13 feet high, 7 feet wide and weighing around 25 tons in to such an inspiring circular form. But I guess that is part of the mystery of the place.

Like many I spent about an hour just looking at and walking around Stonehenge before heading back to the visitor centre. Here, you can learn all about the history and other facts of Stonehenge through interactive visual presentations. There are also ancient artefacts to check out before recharging in the café. But it is actually when you stand in its presence that makes the visit well worth your while.

Where is Stonehenge

 

Stonehenge is in Amesbury in Salisbury. It is about 80 miles west of London. If driving you can reach it in about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Being relatively close to London makes it an easy day trip or as it is near other towns such as Salisbury and Bath you can make it a nice weekend away.

How to get to Stonehenge

Getting to Stonehenge is easy as there are a number of options. You can get there by taking a bus from Salisbury bus or train stations. To get there you can take a bus or train from London. You can also drive yourself by taking the M3 and A303 roads. Or you can go on a bus tour like I did the first time. Check out the tours you can do here. Other times I went we visited Stonehenge as a weekend away and visited other places and booked accommodation. To find accommodation for your visit check out Booking.com.

No matter how you intend to get to Stonehenge I would highly suggest you pre-book a ticket. This way you can jump the que cause there is always a lot of visitors at Stonehenge.

 

  • About the Author

    Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. In her 20’s she left Australia on her own and spent 4 years in London & the UK on a working holiday. She currently calls Melbourne home.

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