ignite your imagination. It’s a journey back to prehistoric times. The stone circle is the main attraction. Since its discovery, people have been trying to figure out how it was built and its underlying purpose. After leaving Stonehenge, visitors remain mystified.
Visitors can use a tram to access the site. At the drop-off location, people walk along a designated path. You can use headsets to listen to a self-guided audio tour. The recording points out notable features at marked spots.
Anyone drawn to unsolved mysteries will be intrigued by the prehistoric temple with massive sarsen stones and smaller bluestone that were raised 4,500 years ago. Walking around the roped off perimeter, imaginations can go wild.
Adjacent burial mounds provide only partial clues. Perhaps, Stonehenge was also designed for pilgrimages, a healing center, an astronomical calendar, religious ceremonies and a place to connect with the afterlife, or something else? Due to various stages of construction, no one knows for certain.
Architects, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians as well as daily visitors wonder how these massive slabs were transported in an age that relied on old fashion foot power and no modern technology. Many stand in awe while others may just see a pile of rocks.
If historical mysteries are an integral part of your travel itinerary, don’t pass on this unusual place in the British countryside. However, if you’d prefer visiting a country town with historical value, consider taking a train from London to Bath.
If Time Allows
Walk around the surrounding fields. You can discover less frequented monuments.Visit the Neolithic houses (located near the ticket office). They replicate life 4,500 years ago. Also take time to go through the Stonehenge exhibition that includes a couple hundred archeological artifacts from the Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum. Books and souvenirs can be purchased in the onsite gift shop.
A short distance away is Avebury, another example of Neolithic and Bronze Age henge and stone circles. Surprisingly, it is has received less exposure than Stonehenge. Both sites are linked together. This sister site has the largest stone circle in the world and is considered one of the oldest. The arrangement of the stones suggests the celebration of lifecycle events. Visitors can also tour the Avebury Manor and Silbury Hill, the largest earthwork in Europe.
Before You Go
Check out your transportation options and decide whether you want to include a stop at Avebury. If you don’t mind crowds, consider going for the sunrise on the longest day of the year or the midwinter sunset. Be prepared for rain.
THE ABOVE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 5, 2015. IT IS BEING REPOSTED ON THIS SITE BECAUSE THE EXAMINER SITE SHUT DOWN IN JULY, 2016. SOME PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND THE ORIGINAL SLIDE SHOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon.
Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.