A Taste of Stonehenge

What is the oldest thing you have seen in person?

We couldn’t come to the UK without seeing the famous site of Stonehenge. It’s thought to be over 5000 years old and was once used as a burial site. It also marks the winter and summer solstices and could have had spiritual significance.. however, no one really knows for sure why it was built.

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Over the years, access has become more restricted. Tourists used to be able to actually climb on the stones, and a long time ago, chisels were even provided for extracting a keepsake. Now, the 800k annual visitors are kept to a designated path, not even permitted to walk amongst the stones except with a special permit at restricted times.

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When making our own plans to visit, we wanted to get the best photos we could. We really wanted to be there for golden hour, either right after sunrise or just before dusk. Though it would undoubtedly be more crowded, we opted for sunset as it was still within the operating hours of the site (and we couldn’t pick up a rental car in time to drive out without incurring an extra day of rental fees).

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We also looked into the sunrise and sunset permits, but they sell out months in advance.. and they were prohibitively expensive. As it was, we couldn’t quite stomach the €19-per-person entry fee. Fortunately, you CAN visit Stonehenge for free.

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We just parked at the visitor center and walked through to the path to the stones. Tickets aren’t required until you get closer, and then you can walk to the north of the main entrance onto a public path that goes next to the stones. We were a little farther than those who paid, but we had a decent enough view.

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As we were leaving, someone else on the path asked if we were there for the harvest moon. We weren’t even aware there was one that evening! We stuck around a few extra minutes and were rewarded with the beautiful orange orb ascending in the east. We only wish we had thought to position ourselves west of the stones earlier!


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4 thoughts on “A Taste of Stonehenge

  1. I have been twice to Stonehenge and the first was many, many years ago when you could still walk among the stones and touch them. When my friend and I visited there was hardly anyone there and it was magical. I was fascinated with all the burial mounds you could see from the Henge and looked for the “road” from the campsite to the Henge where the workers would come and stay while working on the site. There is a wonderful book about the building of Stonehendge (Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutherfurd). It is fiction but really gives you a sense of what the history may have been like. History geek signing off….

    1. I love this, Barbara! I wish I could have seen it back before it was such a hot tourist spot… I fear a lot of places will go that way eventually. I just try to appreciate as much as I can while I can! I’ll have to check out that book.. it sounds fascinating!

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