12. STONEHENGE A few miles from Salisbury are the prehistoric standing stones monument Stonehenge. Why the Stonehenge was built and what it signifies is still one of the biggest mysteries. But that doesn't take away from the eerie and almost spiritual ambiance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You might want to check the weather forecast before you head to these stones and perhaps, the day of the week too? I've been there twice - on a typical sparkling summer day and a summer rainy day. I enjoyed both days, but you might not. (Things to do - 15 Must-Visit Places in England #Part2)
1. StonehengeLocated 87 miles (140 km) from London, Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, England. It is home to some of the top monuments dating back to 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Get a sneak peek into the prehistoric culture. You can efficiently manage to visit the place on a day trip from London. Bus and flights both options are available.Flight distance: 77 miles (124 km) | Flight time: 39 minutesTop Airlines: Compare fares offered by American Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic to book cheap flights to London Heathrow.Driving distance: 87 miles (140 km) | Driving Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
Destination 3: StonehengeThis is our last stop for the day – The World Heritage property, Stonehenge.Read about Stonehenge before going there. Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world. It is a very impressive prehistoric megalithic on account of the sheer size of its megaliths, the sophistication of its concentric plan and architectural design, the shaping of the stones - uniquely using both Wiltshire Sarsen sandstone and Pembroke Bluestone - and the precision with which it was built.A mystery still holds true that how on earth those stones reached there??There is a gift shop, restrooms and a restaurant.
Few days ago, on July 13, 2018, a news was published in Washington Post about newly discovered Stonehenge-like site, revealed by extreme drought in Ireland. They were flying a drone over the Boyne Valley in Ireland and spotted this site. Their video depicts what appears to be the footprint of nearly 50 large stone formations.It reminded me about a journey which I did 3 years ago to search for the mystery of Stonehenge. I would always like to explore the places listed in UNESCO world Heritage sites and Stonehenge is one of the world's most famous monuments,built on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge was constructed in several stages between 3000 and 1500 B.C.spanning the Neolithic Period to the Bronze Age. It consists of a circle of standing stones with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, 7 feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. Let me give you a glance at the history and theories excavated by the researchers.
They make me think of giants standing around in circles. And make me wonder what those giants could have been doing standing around in circles. Those stones are stones alright, only unlike your average slab of solidified strata. The stones that make up the circle in Stonehenge seem imbued with meaning and mystery. Those at the Ring of Brodgar are very special too and more on them later.I will always remember the first time I saw Stonehenge (sounds a bit corny, no?). It was from the tour bus as it approached this pre-historic site located off the A303 motorway in Wiltshire. In a scene straight out of a widescreen historical, there was the giant stone circle rising out of a huge expanse of green, and approaching it, like lambs following their shepherd, was a long, slightly-wavy line of visitors, all dressed in dark blue, black, red, yellow and orange-coloured outdoor clothing. There was something timeless about that vision that made it stick in my mind. About 5 months down the line, it refuses to go away.Stonehenge is world famous, and rightly so, for it is a perpetual mystery and despite attempts to get to the bottom of this mystery, only those who have the right intention are meant to solve it.So, what is Stonehenge really? Nobody knows for sure, since it is a Neolithic or New Stone Age site and that means it's like really really old. Older than Jesus and Moses and Abraham and other good 'ol gents and their missuses. But one thing everyone agrees on and it is that Stonehenge is significant in some way. May be it is the alignment of stars above this particular location in England, may be it is the Ley Lines that energise the spot exponentially, may be it was a ceremonial site, where pagans, druids and mystics would gather to honour nature and the elements.Not everyone thinks it was all peaches and cream spirituality, though. Some religionists proclaim that the 'dark arts' were practised here, and that could have involved anything from honouring the dead to sacrificing human babies and animal adults. As with all things 'religion-y', a slight deviation from established practises (which were established AFTER STONEHENGE) and you get labelled a 'witch' or a 'black magician' and Stonehenge has been branded as the watering hole of just these kinds of 'witches' and their 'black magician' BFFs.For me, the visit to Stonehenge was the highlight of my stay in the UK, and I loved every moment of it. Well, almost. It was very windy out there near the stone circle, and even though you cannot go inside the circle except on yearly solstices and equinoxes, you can feel the pure energy of the landscape. It is mystifying and overwhelming, by turns. My hair got all muddy from standing in the fierce wind and then a group of Asian men in their 20s came along, taking pictures of tourists without their permission and generally being loud and brutish and making you feel embarrassed for being from the same continent. When it began raining, I was almost glad to find my way back to the shuttle bus that takes visitors to and from the Visitor Centre, near where all the coaches are parked.As I left Stonehenge, I made a promise to myself to return on a more peaceful day. I'm still to come good on that promise but take solace in the fact that if not Stonehenge again, then I found time to visit its northern counterpart the Ring of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands.