How To Visit Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a beautiful, unique, and historical place to visit.  Thousands of years old, it was built by an ancient pagan community.  Large rectangular stones, henges, stand upright in a circle, thought to have religious significance regarding the sun the summer and winter solstices.

Present-day Druids, an ancient pagan and Celtic cult, still gather there today to celebrate Midsummer, where the sun is at the highest point in the sky, bringing light and health to the earth.  Midwinter is also celebrated, signifying the end of the old year and the beginning of a new year.

Stonehenge stands in the English county of Wiltshire, about 85 miles south west of London's Heathrow airport.  It takes about 90 minutes to drive there from Heathrow, providing you are travelling there from outside the country, and it is a beautiful drive, with lots of rolling hills and beautiful countryside.  One could drive the local routes instead of the highways to really get a feel for the quaint countryside and small villages surrounding Salisbury, the major town outside of Stonehenge.

When you arrive at Stonehenge, you may be surprised to learn that you cannot, most of the time, actually walk up to the structures.  There is a large fence surrounding the circle of stones.  It is considered the oldest stone structures in the world, dating back to the Bronze Age.  The stones, or henges, are also surrounded by burial mounds. It is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites, owned by the British Crown, and managed through the English National Trust. The National Trust is an organization in England which, according to its website, "preserves and protects the countryside, coastline, and buildings of England..."  And Stonehenge is no exception.  The ancient pagan history of Great Britain is no less interesting, and more intriguing in its development; it clearly demonstrates the foundation upon which modern Britain was built.

When you arrive, you can park your car and visit in the gift shop, which has plenty of Stonehenge themed trinkets.  A visitor can think about this visit from a few different viewpoints.  To the casual observer it may just look like a pile of old rocks;  you may think "what is the big deal?"  But, for the individual who is sincerely interested in history, there is a plethora of information available if you scratch the surface.  For astronomers, archaeologists, and New Age adherents, there is an aspect of Stonehenge's history that will appeal to each - and for the casual observer, it may open up a new avenue of historical learning.


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