Sitting on the Salisbury plain near the English county of Wiltshire is Stonehenge, which happens to be among the most famous groups of megaliths in the world.
A testimony of the Neolithic and Bronze Age, Stonehenge has been listed as one of the most famous places to visit in the world. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stonehenge was built in three phases over a time span of 1500 years. Both Wiltshire Sarsen sandstone and Pembroke Bluestone have been used for its construction. The most interesting aspect about Stonehenge is the fact that there are no written records as to why it was built.
Stonehenge is not a unique structure, per say, within Great Britain, as there are more than 900 similar stone circles scattered all over the country. However what makes it stand apart is the fact that Stonehenge is the largest and most well-known. Its structure consists of a circular bank of earthworks in a manner such that concentric rings of standing stones majestically rise from the earth’s surface. These standing stones or sarsens are approximately nine metres tall. Across the sarsens are the ‘blue stones’ which were dovetailed and joined together.
There have been various theories regarding the reason behind the construction of Stonehenge. One theory suggests the sarsens mark important stages of the year and denote seasonal changes. Thus, many experts have concluded Stonehenge to be a religious or spiritual landmark used as an astrological observatory.
Visitors should note that Stonehenge is open on all days, except December 24 to 26 and January 1. However, opening and closing times are most likely to vary.The fees to visit Stonehenge also varies with the time of the year so it is advisable to check beforehand in case of any change.
As far as the best weather to visit Stonehenge is concerned, travel enthusiasts suggest that every month will have its own charm to offer. Late July to mid September are the warmest months whereas after that, in winter, it tends to get very cold. For moderate weather, the best time to tour is April to early July or October. So depending on the weather in which you feel most comfortable, you can plan your tour to Stonehenge.
There are numerous options available to access Stonehenge. By air, it is best to take a flight to London, which is eighty miles from Stonehenge. From Heathrow, you can opt for public transport. The cities of London, Heathrow, Gatwick, Bath, and Bristol have several bus services to choose from to get to Salisbury and then onto Stonehenge. There is also the option of taking a bus to Amesbury and then walking the 2 miles to Stonehenge. As far as travelling by train is concerned, travellers should note that Salisbury is the nearest station to Stonehenge and you can catch a train every half hour. From Salisbury, there is the special Stonehenge tour service in which a double-decker bus runs every half an hour.
At Stonehenge, the must visit spots include Avenue, the Cursuses, Durrington Walls and Woodhenge. Also, during the sunrise and sunset, the colours of the bluestones and sarsen stones with different hues can be spotted if observed closely. Try not to miss that as well!
So plan a trip to Stonehenge to witness splendor epitomized and personified!