Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an English Heritage site (the National Trust cares for the surrounding landscape) and is situated in the county of Wiltshire close to the cathedral city of Salisbury. The stones were raised 4500 years ago as an ancient temple by prehistoric people.
The visitor’s centre
When you are visiting Stonehenge you will arrive at the visitor’s centre was our first port of call. It consists of a very good exhibition, a café and a gift shop as well as an outdoor gallery where the reconstructed Neolithic houses can be found. As I mentioned the exhibition is very good we spent quite some time looking at the exhibition and learning more about Stonehenge and the surrounding area.
Outside the centre are reconstructed Neolithic houses which you can go inside and gain some insight into how people lived 4500 years ago.
Can you imagine lugging one of these across half the country!?!!
Getting to the stones
There are buses that then take you up to the stones themselves. When I last came to the site the visitor centre was across the very busy A303 but that has now been demolished and the larger visitor centre built a little bit further away from the stones. Although it was a breezy, cold and rainy April day there were still a lot of visitors to the stones – such is their attraction.
There is a free audio guide available to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or you can pick up an audio guide at the site (cost £3.00)
The surrounding landscape is full of barrows – Bronze Age burial mounds. And standing at Stonehenge you really get a sense of how it looked during prehistoric times.
The heel stone – during the summer solstice the sun rises behind the heel stone and its rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge.
After a good walk around the stones we caught the bus back to the visitor’s centre and warmed up looking around the gift shop! There were lots of Stonehenge themed merchandise to suit everyone’s taste and pocket! As I am collecting fridge magnets from each World Heritage Site I had to buy one!
Logistics when visiting Stonehenge
Plan and BOOK your tickets in advance!
Entrance to Stonehenge is managed through timed tickets. If you want to guarantee entry on the day and time of your choice then you will have to pre-book! It states on the website that by booking in advance you will also benefit from an advanced booking discount.
I booked my tickets on-line – click the link HERE . When we arrived we collected them from the ticket office.
Entry is free to members of English Heritage and members of the National Trust in England or those who hold a National Trust Touring Pass only.
Click through to the Stonehenge website to plan and book your visit! Enjoy!!
Pin – Visiting Stonehenge