Today we went to the world heritage site Stonehenge and made full use of the fact that National Trust members can enter for free. English Heritage maintain the actual stones while the National Trust manage the land around Stonehenge.
On arrival we parked and noticed a rain storm on the horizon making a beeline straight at us so we sat and finished our coffee’s first. The rain came and brought some hail and gales with it so I decided this was the time to test the windproof claim on my umbrella. The claim is well made and the umbrella performed well.
They have created a fantastic visitor centre were we collected our tickets, picked up an audio guide and were directed toward the exhibition centre. The centre is full of information about the site and the stones dating back to 5500BC. Good use of modern technologies provide a slightly immersive experience with the history of the area.
The visitor centre is quite some distance from Stonehenge itself so Heritage England have provided a shuttle service along what remains of the A344. Due to the weather we took the shuttle to the stones but then walked the return journey as the skies had cleared.
The site improvements were long needed and have helped with visitor access to the stones. The following picture shows the Avenue, looking down the centre of the photo you can see 2 dark lines in the grass which mark the edges. This was the main entrance to Stonehenge, the Avenue connects Stonehenge to the river Avon.
The site is very impressive, even for those who have driven past it more times than they can count. You cant grasp the size and stature of the stones and the layout until you spend time walking around them.
Believe it or not you could easily spend a day at Stonehenge. The stone circle is one part of a much bigger landscape covered in history.
Places to visit nearby,
- King Barrow Ridge
- Durrington Walls
- The Avenue
- Winterbourne Stoke Barrows
- The Cursus
- Cuckoo Stone
- The Nile Clumps
- Fargo Woodland
Fargo Woodland is about halfway between the visitor centre and the stone circle and provides an entrance to the Cursus and burial mounds.
All in all a very highly recommended day out.