Portland, England, United Kingdom
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 6 Hours
Meals not included
Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the world's most famous groups of megaliths. The two sanctuaries consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These holy places and the nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable testimony to prehistoric times.
Visit Stonehenge, Britain's most remarkable and intriguing prehistoric monument. As old as the great temples and pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge exerts a mysterious fascination.
This mighty symbol of pre-history draws thousands of visitors each year to witness its majesty. Simplicity, solitude and a powerful air of mystery surround this enigmatic and ancient circle of stones set within a grassy landscape. Seen by some as a sacred site, the henge attracts with its uncertain but ancient history, sheer size and shape, and fame. Built in several stages from about 2500 BC, Stonehenge is also Europe's most famous prehistoric monument. Anthropologists can only guess at the rituals that took place here, but the alignment of the stones leaves little doubt that the circle is connected with the movement of the Earth relative to the sun and the seasons.
It is thought that the stones, aligned with the rising of the mid-summer sun and set within a landscape of ceremonial structures, may have been built by sun worshippers or as part of a huge astronomical calendar. Whatever their purpose, it is recognized that the transport, engineering and shaping of the stones -- some of which came from South Wales -- represented an enormous effort in time, organization and physical labor.
The prehistoric builders possessed a sophisticated understanding of both arithmetic and astrology and built this monument with only primitive tools to help them cut and shape these huge stones. Stonehenge remains as compelling today as it was to the people who built the first phase more than 5,000 years ago. It commands attention, inspires awe and generates speculation. The mystery of why and how it was built may never be properly solved, but the fascination persists for scientists, historians and visitors.
Travel time to Stonehenge is approximately two hours each way. Wear comfortable walking shoes. An electronic audio guide can be downloaded onto your phone; bring earphones. The Stones are seen from a distance, and there is no opportunity to touch or walk within the Stone Circle.