The Magic of Stonehenge

by farrah on April 16, 2014 · 20 comments

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by things that can’t be explained. As a child I wondered about the origins of the universe, why we’re here, history, and random things like Stonehenge. Growing up in small-town Michigan I dreamed that someday I would be able to physically visit the mysteries that exist on our planet, and maybe a part of me knew that I would. My trip to England allowed me to do just that with one of my burning questions: What’s Stonehenge really like in person?

Stonehenge

How

My friend booked us a tour to see Windsor Palace, Oxford University, and the star of the show: Stonehenge at Sunset. I was expecting that they’d all be fantastic (which they were) and maybe I’d feel some sort of awe if I had the chance to see the stones from afar. The last I had heard was that Stonehenge no longer allowed people to roam amongst the stones- and that was ok. I understood why. People can be idiots (I imagine Clark Griswold backing into them and knocking them over), as we know- and I figured it just wasn’t safe any longer.

Much to my surprise, however, the tour that we took allowed us to actually wander in and amongst them. Mind= blown. Our guide told us that a million people a year come to Stonehenge, but only a few thousand get to see them like we did.

StonehengeAnn & I- no I am not leaning on them!

First of all, they’re huge and set in the rural countryside not far from a freeway. You can see them in the distance as you approach along the road- but they are set off and you’re not exactly sure just how to get there. You have to drive past them, take an exit and park at the brand new visitor’s center. From there, you take a short bus ride up a hill and disembark at a paved path.

StonehengePath up to the stones.

Why

It’s exciting (to say the least) to find yourself walking up to this mysterious circle. Who put them there? How did they get these stones there? Some so large, you can’t imagine how someone would be able to do it today- not to mention thousands of years ago. Some of the stones were brought from as far as 150 miles away- which must have taken years to pull (?) to their location.

StonehengeThe sunset allowed for perfect lighting!

It’s magical. You cannot touch the stones- but you can see scratches of people who have left their mark upon them before they stopped letting people do such things. Our guide told us that a very long time ago- local farmers used to sell picks for people to actually go up to them and take some stone off as a souvenir. Can you imagine that?

Stonehenge

I don’t know what they mean. The main theory is that they are a calendar of sorts- the solstice being when the sun falls directly in line with some of the stones. I know that I felt overwhelmed and thankful to see something so amazing and utterly without explanation.

Do

Should you go? Well, it’s about a 2 hour hike from London. If you’re up for that, and seeing something that feels so rare in this world, than absolutely this is something for you. My photos don’t do it all justice. You need to go in person. They’re worth it.

Stonehenge

I smiled to myself as we had two pregnant ladies in our group. I saw them both taking bump pictures next to the stones. I thought that was adorable and what a unique photograph to have!

StonehengeThe sun going down as our group headed back to the bus. Gorgeous.

I’m so glad that we went. Truly, this was the highlight of my entire visit to London and England in general- which I think speaks volumes. Worth every penny (pence) I say if you can- please go see these stones.

Disclosure: All photos taken with my iPhone. I have no affiliation with Evans Evans tours. 

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gayla April 16, 2014 at 10:12 am

Amazing! I’m a wee bit jealous 😉 I would love to experience the magic and mystery of Stonehenge. You’re so lucky!!

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2 farrah April 17, 2014 at 5:40 am

Thanks! It was really cool- and the weather couldn’t be beat 🙂

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3 Theresa April 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

Thanks for sharing.

My mom and aunt are coming for a visit in June and Stonehenge is high on their list of things to see. Although I don’t really “get” the allure (party pooper) they love that kinda stuff. Going to look into this tour for them 🙂

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4 farrah April 17, 2014 at 5:41 am

No, I get it. Ann and I discussed that and realized that if you weren’t really into it, then it might seem silly and a waste of time. I mean, they ARE just really big rocks! There are several of these tours that they offer- highly recommended. The coach was awesome and our tour guide (Russell) was fantastic. So was Jimmy the driver 🙂

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5 Leighann April 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm

The photo’s are amazing. What a great experience. I can’t even imagine what this must have been like.

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6 farrah April 17, 2014 at 5:42 am

It was pretty cool- thanks Leighann!

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7 Caitlyn April 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

SO JEALOUS. I went to Stonehenge on Friday and even though I loved it, I had to stand back with the plebs and admire them from afar. Nice work!

And LOL, I also mentioned Clark Griswold when we were there… and whenever we have to go around a roundabout twice I will always say, ‘Big Ben, kids… Parliament’.

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8 farrah April 17, 2014 at 5:43 am

That’s crazy- we were there Thursday! I totally put a pic on my husband’s FB wall that said ” Hey Kids!’ and it was ‘Big Ben’. Though now I know that’s not the name of the clock.

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9 Julia April 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Looks awesome! This is on my hubs must do list, he’s fascinated with that sort of thing.

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10 farrah April 17, 2014 at 5:43 am

Ooh- this was a great tour then! I highly recommend it!

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11 Ace April 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I am so jealous! What an awesome experience to be surrounded by such a strange history – and to be there for the perfect lighting in the day, too!

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12 farrah April 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

Yeah, that was pretty cool!

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13 Chamisa April 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

One more in the jealous group! I would love to see them in person. What a gift to be there at sunset, too. Did you discuss theories on the ride back to London? 🙂

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14 farrah April 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

Of course! Aliens.

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15 Eva Maria April 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

I lived in Salisbury for more than one year and I’ve been to Stonehenge few times. Twice I got there for free, so I have few tips for visiting it:
1. it’s easily to hitch-hike from Salisbury to the Stonehenge so you don’t have to spend any money for the bus, which might be expensive for some people.
2. it’s worth having the National Trust or English Heritage membership and than you can go there for free as well as to many other places in the UK – cost for the annual membership is around 30 pounds.
3. twice a year there’s a Stonehenge festival (Summer and Winter Solstice) and than it’s open to the public, you can spend there the whole night and wait for the sunrise. It is for free, you can dance around the stones and it’s very hippie – I was there last year and I’m planning to go this year as well. Some of my photos from the last year you can find here (http://www.evemarie.li/miejsca/stonehenge-summer-solstice-2013/)

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16 farrah April 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

Thanks Eva! That event sounds pretty awesome too- something to try and do if you can!

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17 Corinne May 10, 2014 at 7:15 am

It sounds like I would have enjoyed it better if I took a tour…wow! I don’t often say those words!

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18 Adelina | PackMeTo May 12, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Wow! Another incredibly jealous reader. Having to check it out from far away is nothing like looking at it up close. I think my feelings on these rocks would change if I had the same experience you did.

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