Not far from London, is the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of over 100 stones. But is Stonehenge worth seeing?
Stonehenge is approximately a two hour drive southwest of London. The construction of Stonehenge started roughly around 3000 BC. It was built in phases and was continuously used for over 2,000 years. And although we have been able to learn much about the site through archaeological means, there are still many unknowns about the monument.
Findings such as cremated human remains reveal that early on it was used as a cemetery. But what about later on? Some have speculated that it was a place of healing. Others, that it was a druid temple. Of course, there’s always the alien theory too. Today, most archaeologists have come to the consensus that Stonehenge was a temple that was built in alignment with the movement of the sun. Today, there are still those that believe Stonehenge is a sacred monument and living temple, visiting during the autumn and spring equinoxes and the mid-summer and mid-winter solstices.
The prehistoric monument is comprised of sarsen stones and bluestones. The sarsen stones are a type of sandstone and an average stone weighs 25 tons. The sarsens most likely were brought over from an area called Marlborough Downs, approximately 20 miles away. The smaller bluestones, weighing between 2 and 5 tons, were brought from Preseli Hills in south-west Wales which is over 150 miles away. That’s a long way to carry those heavy stones! Did they transport the stones over water? How did they move it over land? These are questions that we may never know the answers to.
So is Stonehenge worth it? We definitely say yes. We love history and we’re fascinated by what humans have been able to do and create over the centuries. While we were there, we marveled at the stones and wondered what it must have taken to move the stones over so many miles. What drove them to do it? If we were living back then, could we have helped? Would we have wanted to? We felt the same way in Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and we know we’d feel the same way in Egypt.
If you’re not that into history, maybe you’d think it’s just a pile of rocks. If you don’t like crowds, maybe you’d get a little annoyed. Stonehenge is one of the most visited sites in Great Britain, with over 1 million visitors a year. If you are expecting a towering monument; you might be a bit disappointed in the size. They’re big, don’t get me wrong. But Stonehenge has been built up so much that we think everyone has this idea in their head that they’re some huge gargantuan sized stones. However, with all of that said, we still think it was one of the highlights to our recent trip to Europe.
We’re often asked, Can you get close to Stonehenge? If you’re expecting to walk among the stones, sorry. To preserve the site, visitors are only allowed to walk around the stones. But you can still get pretty close.
At the end of the day, we still think it’s worth the visit because there’s more to the site than just the stones. With your Stonehenge entrance fee you get a free audio guide so as you’re walking around Stonehenge you get to learn about the different stones and during what phase of construction they were built. There is also a museum with over 250 archaeological items found in the area, and recreations of Neolithic houses that show visitors what homes looked like 4,500 years ago. You can also test your strength and see if you could move a sarsen stone. For more information on things to do on site, we recommend visiting Stonehenge’s website.
Have you been to Stonehenge? What do you think, is Stonehenge worth visiting? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂
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