United Kingdom
Stonehenge

Here you’ll find travel reports about Stonehenge. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

56 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Castle, Henge, and Hostel

    October 25 in the United Kingdom

    After an interesting night full of tripping over other people's bags, trying to get my toiletries in total darkness, someone having socks on the heater next to my bed (ew), and then making sure I got up early enough to not get a parking ticket... I finally got started.

    When I went in to Cardiff Castle, again in the city center, I was all set to just explore but when they offered a tour for just £3.50 more I jumped at it. I learned that it was a roman fort built 2000 years ago, but was abandoned by the 5th century, and then became a normand castle. The whole place was in disrepair by the 15th century, until the Victorian period when it was taken over. I wish I could remember by who. The clock tower was built in 1869, and took two years to build, but three to decorate; and that was just the clock tower, the whole thing took 19 years. With the zodiac signs along the roof, windows displaying days of the week, and in the corners the times of day (i.e. sunrise, midday, etc.) My favorite part was the greek monster typhon above the entryway to scare away women from the "smoking lounge." It was an amazing tour, and I know I've said this before, highly informative. If only I had an eidetic memory. The tour lasted about 50 minutes, and I knew I had time to spare on the parking pass, so I made sure to climb the keep that was there. A lot of the castles I've been to have seen almost removed from society, but from the top of the tower was old mixed with new; looking out you could see the castle with new skyscrapers dotting the background. It was quite the juxtaposition. Once I had climbed down, I decided it was time to head to my next stop... Stonehenge.

    After a fairly easy drive, stopping only when I saw something of interest (I still don't know what it was), I'd made it. I really don't quite know what to say about this place. The techniques required to build it is astonishing, but along with that is why they built it, a topic still debated to this day. The types of stones were brought from different areas, and it was also a burial site that they had brought their ancestors to. The stones even align with the sunrise and sunset during the winter solstice (if I remember correctly.) It was astounding, and honestly, I think I've yet to grasp how amazing it was. So, after walking around, and visiting their museum (and gift shop) I decided it was time to head off. Not before I made a new friend though, who also happens to be staying in London, so we exchanged information and said we would meet up later.

    Making my way to London was a breeze, driving in London, not so much. I think my left leg is going to fall off from holding the clutch down so much in traffic. Although not as bad as LA traffic, I'll be pleased to be dropping off the car tomorrow. Once the hostel was finally located I felt a huge sense of relief. This is where I'm going to be spending the next week of my trip, and the reception could not have been better. There was a group of people playing a game in the front, and everyone was laughing and chatting. For a moment I thought maybe it would be a little like a clique, but they quickly included me in their conversation. Once I got my things set up in my bunk, the most spacious one I've had so far, I decided to head downstairs and check out the situation. Within a couple of minutes someone was asking if there was anyone who was willing to play a game of chess, and being a glutton for punishment, I said I'd play. It may have been the best game of chess I've ever played, but I did still lose. Fortunately my competitor wound up being excellent conversation and was able to give me tips about what to see on my stay here, as well as when I head to Edinburgh. Although I only saw two sights today, I'm utterly enervated, and after I return the car tomorrow I think I'll spend the day planning the rest of my trip in London. I'm thinking an actual day of rest might be a good way to keep me going.
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  • Day9

    Stonehenge

    April 3, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    I picked up a rental car at Gatwick Airport (I fly out of there in a few days) and headed for Stonehenge. The traffic was pretty bad on the motorways with lots of holdups and roadworks. Google maps was a saviour taking routes to avoid traffic when it could.

    Stonehenge was crowded with bus loads of people and cars everywhere. I downloaded the audio app and decided to walk the 20 minutes to the stones while listening to the history commentary. It is quite remarkable that it has stood for so long without being damaged. I took a few photos and also snapped some French karate black belts jumping around.Read more

  • Day4

    Stonehenge

    April 25 in the United Kingdom

    We had great weather all day today, that is, except when we went to Stonehenge. It was not only raining, but quite windy as well. We were soaked and cold in no time... and could barely see because either our glasses were wet and foggy or rain was hitting us in the eyes so much you couldn't see. We quickly snapped a few photos and hid our cameras from the weather.

    Yes, it's just a pile of rocks.. but it was still pretty darn cool.Read more

  • Day97

    Day 97: Stonehenge

    May 23, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Another day, another UNESCO World Heritage site! Up early again for the 90 minute drive south-east from Bath to Stonehenge. As with many popular sites, for Stonehenge you need to buy timed access tickets - your ticket will only allow you in during a certain time window. We'd chosen 10am as a good balance of driving time and "early enough before the tour buses arrive", and were reasonably rewarded when we arrived - only about 10 buses!

    Everything at Stonehenge has recently changed, as the authority want to keep the site as "original" as possible, ie looking like it's still in the middle of a grassy plain. So you actually park at the visitor's centre a couple of miles away, then hop on a shuttle bus which drives you most of the distance, then you walk the last couple of hundred metres yourself.

    It's a strange feeling, getting close to such an iconic place. Both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time - a sense of "I've been here before" combined with "wow this is crazy" combined with "I actually thought it was bigger". But the delight is in the detail here, when you start noticing little things like the perfect earthwork around the edges (there's a noticeable ditch and dike that runs around the perimeter), or the way the stones have stood perfectly for so many thousands of years. Even the Romans have records of the stones being here, built by unknown people for unknown reasons.

    But although a lot of it remains a mystery, we do know a bit more. For example, the larger inner stones were quarried 300 miles away in Wales and moved here deliberately. Frankly that's insane - firstly that the builders knew about quarries in Wales, and secondly that they had the time and manpower available to bring hundred-ton stones several hundred miles, but not leave any other noticeable records.

    It's also thought that the outer earthworks are much older than the stone constructions, and that the current shape of the stones is just the most recent version - they had probably been moved over the centuries as well.

    Filming done and fully awed, we headed back to the car park via the gift shop and museum. The museum was OK though we did skim fairly quickly, and I bought a beer from the gift shop. The lady at the counter didn't miss a beat when I asked for a bottle opener, even though it was 11:30am and the beer was quite warm. When I said I was joking, she said it's actually a fairly common request!

    Back on the road, we started heading north to the other part of the World Heritage site - the lesser-known stone circle at Avebury about 30 miles north. Stopped on the way at a small village pub where we both had tasty burgers for lunch along with local cider.

    The stone circle at Avebury is actually older and much larger than Stonehenge, so much so that there's an entire village, complete with pub, chapel and post office inside the circle! It's about 330 metres in diameter, compared to Stonehenge which is about 30. But of course there's much less of it to see, and the stones don't have the distinctive lintels (cross-beams) that give Stonehenge it's pi-shaped look.

    It's thought that Avebury is probably what very early versions of Stonehenge was like, and there were originally two smaller stone circles within the larger one. Again, nobody is quite clear on the purpose of the circles, but burials, astronomy observations and religious festivals are the most common/accepted guesses. It was nice here at Avebury since there weren't many people around, and you could walk right up to the stones and touch them, unlike Stonehenge. Dogs were also no problem to walk around, so Schnitzel had great fun running around the grass and chasing sheep.

    Sadly, the reason it's not in great condition is because in the 14th century, the pious locals decided since they obviously weren't Christian monuments, they were the work of the devil, and started toppling them over into trenches, then burying them.. One day, a worker was digging a trench when the stone toppled onto him, killing him instantly. That was DEFINITELY the work of the devil, so the remainder of the stones were left alone. Until of course the 18th century, when another batch of pious locals took to blasting them with gunpowder and re-using the stones to build houses. Alas!

    Back in the car for the drive home, where we again stayed in to get a bit of work done and save a bit of money. It's exhausting business, this endless holidaying!
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  • Day61

    Stonehenge

    July 9, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England. Construction started in 3000 BC and was opened in 2000 BC. I enjoyed listening to the audio guide, learning about the history and how the stones had been moved from another location.

  • Day59

    Stereotypical England

    October 21, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    The last full day of my trip.
    I'm flying out of Gatwick and had to return the car here at 4pm so a leisurely drive, view some iconic attractions, clean the car and check in to the hotel by 4:30pm.

    Simple!

    I started with the Cerce giant. It was only a short distance from where I was staying and I found it easily. Two problems: it needs rechalking so is much harder to make out than the photos I've seen and it was a foggy morning so that made it even more difficult.

    Next stop was Stonehenge, but on the way I stopped at a walled garden. It was gorgeous with vegetables and autumn flowers. I spent some time walking around but had to keep moving as the tickets for Stonehenge are timed.

    If Stonehenge hadn't been on the way and free (I bought an English Heritage membership at my first Castle which gave me free entry into all their sites) and on the way I don't know if I would have gone.

    It is one of those places full of selfie sticks and their annoying users. I downloaded the audio guide last night so could use headphones instead of having to hold the device to my ear.

    I think the reason I wasn't really impressed is I couldn't sense the history as I have been able to in so many of the other places I visited. I'm not sure if that's because so little is known, the setting or that I couldn't get up close. I'm afraid it's a "been there, done that, don't need to go again" place for me.

    I left Stonehenge at 1:30, it would take me a bit over an hour and a half to get to Gatwick, leaving me time to clean the car.

    I thought I'd stop in Basingstoke to clean the car but do you think I could find a car wash? Google maps let me down as none of the petrol stations it directed me to had car washes.

    So I kept going to Gatwick, at some point I got on the M25. I don't know how many crashes there were. I saw the aftermath of one, I don't know if that just had a massive knock on effect or whether there were others. It took me an hour to travel 2 miles. I wish I was exaggerating but I had 10 miles until the turn off and I watched those .1 of a mile change very very slowly in the gps. I gave up hope of returning the car by 4pm, especially since I was still inching along at 5pm. It did clear just after that and I made it to Gatwick by 5:30. By the time I filled up, found some very efficient blokes to wash the car (I had given up on DIY by then) and found the rental place on the third try (sometimes you need to ignore the GPS and follow the signs) and checked into the hotel it was 6:45pm.

    My room is large so I'll have plenty of room to spread stuff out to repackage it all and hopefully get a good night's sleep.

    Photos
    Cerne giant - I can't see him either
    Three types of kale and beans
    Autumn flowers
    Heel stone at Stonehenge
    Stonehenge
    Stonehenge
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  • Day7

    Stonehenge

    January 26, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    It was interesting to hear the history of Stonehenge and the Salisbury plains. Some of the first stones were from glacial activity. The plains didn't support trees well so it as perfect for hunting and gathering which made it popular with the early people. Interesting place with several sites I would have liked to have time to visit. I'd highly recommend it for a longer stay on a summer day as it is quite unique. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StonehengeRead more

  • Day2

    Amesbury, United Kingdom

    July 5 in the United Kingdom

    A short drive down the M4 to Salisbury for a quick look at Stonehenge. Despite 36 hours of traveling, no sleep, and 26 degs of beautiful English summer sun .... someone decided not to take the bus and we walked the 2 miles through the farm land to the old rocks ..... and back again !!!
    Quite an amazing place to take in ...... much better that Stonehenge Aotearoa

    Everybody was suitably exhausted as we set off for our first stop at Longleat Caravan Club - beautiful caravan park.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Stonehenge, Stānhencg, ستونهنج, ষ্টনহেঞ্জ, Stounhenc, Стоунһендж, Стоўнхендж, Стоунхендж, স্টোনহেঞ্জ, ستۆنھێنج, Côr y Cewri, ސްޓޯންހެންޖް, Στόουνχεντζ, استون‌هنج, Ki-sa̍k-chhṳn, סטונהנג, स्टोनहॅन्ज, Սթոունհենջ, ストーンヘンジ, სტოუნჰენჯი, 스톤헨지, Stounhendžas, Stounhendža, Стоунхенџ, Стоунхенж, स्टोनहेंज, စတုန်းဟင်းချ်, स्टोनहेज, ਸਟੋਨਹੈਂਜ, سٹونہنج, ஸ்டோன் ஹெஞ்ச், สโตนเฮนจ์, سٹون ہینج, Stounhendž, 巨石陣, 巨石阵

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