When in England, a “must see” is the prehistoric monument and cultural icon called Stonehenge. North of London in Wiltshire, England, it consists of huge (13+ feet high and 7 feet wide) standing stones connected with horizontal stones in two concentric circles. How was this constructed back in 3000 BC or there abouts? How did these heavy (25 ton) stones get here in the middle of a field in England? Who knows but standing next to them is an experience, some say spiritual in nature, that you will never forget. Enjoy the journey!
The stone circles are aligned towards the sunrise on the summer solstice. On purpose? Maybe. The pilgrims that come to Stonehenge to experience this event think so. Legally protected since 1882, Stonehenge is a World Heritage Site owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage. We made a side trip from Bath in September and, though it was not easy to get there via public transportation, I’m so glad we did it. Standing in that field and gazing at something I have seen over the years only in pictures was a special moment.
This is how we got there-you take a train from Bath to Salisbury (book tickets in advance on GWR app). We had plans for the spa in Bath for the evening, so we took the first train out at 9:33 am and arrived in Salisbury at 10:32. Arriving at the train station, we quickly made our way to the bus stop right outside the station and queued up to get on the bus that runs every hour on the hour (Bus Timetable – The Stonehenge Tour). Our driver was running late due to a staff shortage but eventually we made it to the huge parking lot at Stonehenge and off we went to see some really big historic rocks!
You can buy your tickets in advance online or get them when you arrive to enter the museum (Prices and Opening Times for Stonehenge | English Heritage (english-heritage.org.uk)). Use your entry ticket to see the interactive exhibit, hear all about the theories of how the stones got there, and then get on the shuttle to go out to see the stones up close OR if you wore your comfy shoes, you could just walk up the path (1.5+miles each way) to see the stones for free. If you have a lot of time and it’s not too muddy, you can take a walk through the fields (vs. the paved paths) where the cows and sheep are just roaming around grazing. In retrospect, I wish we had scheduled more time (all day) for this excursion. But we needed to get in/out of Stonehenge with several hours allotted for public transportation, so we bought the $24euro entry tickets, did a quick loop around the museum and hopped on the shuttle that runs constantly back and forth to the stones. Afterward, we browsed in the gift shop, where they sell and offer tastings of booze (of course, all UK museums do!) and got a treat in the café. Then, it was back to the bus, then the train and finally we got to soak in the hot spa waters in Bath. What a great day!
Stonehenge is open: Sun – Sat 9:30 am – 5:00 pm (last entry 3 pm)