Oana and I decided to take a Day trip from London to Stonehenge.
To start off from the beginning, we got onto the tour bus and there were only 2 seats, and they weren't together. One thing we like is sitting together, even though many times with space available travel on airlines, we don't get to sit right next to each other all the time. Many times we ask people to trade seats and that works about 75% of the time when the seat we are giving up is the same or better.
In this case, we weren't going to spend all day on a bus not sitting together. Oana told the operator we would just go another day, and he determined that two people who booked together were sitting apart, because they each wanted to sit by the window! So he made them sit together and now we had our seats.
The drive to Stonehenge also included a running commentary of history and other things that we didn't know. Since we are junkies for odd trivia or historical oddities, we really enjoyed the bus ride and running historical commentary.
With regard to Stonehenge itself, we were told that the rocks used here were likely from a quarry a few hundred kilometers north of here. Which means that some ancient civilization mined these rocks and moved them over 100 miles. They must have either dragged them, or rolled them on logs. My bet is they did a combination of dragging them behind animals (and humans) and rolling them on something. If they had rolled them on logs the entire way, it's possible they could have fractured, cracked, or chipped the granite.
We were also told that if took "generations" to move the stones, likely over about 1,000 years. That's a lot of commitment knowing you are going to work on some job your great grandkids x 10 will never see completed. I have no idea why they just had to build Stonehenge where they did, and neither did the tour guide.
Some cool facts about Stonehenge that we kind of already knew:
- Stonehenge aligns with the winter and summer solstice
- Stonehenge aligns with the spring and fall equinox
- Stonehenge orients to true north
- Stonehenge was built between 5,000 BC and 1,500 BC (they aren't exactly sure)
- Stonehenge was privately owned for about 3 years in the early 1900s to a wealthy oil tycoon.
The site itself is very open, with the exception of a rope that provides a barrier to get close to it. The closest you can actually get is about 30 meters (90 feet). So if you had delusions about going there and doing some rock climbing, forget about it. At least not during the day when the park is open.
Fortunately, our day trip didn't end here. We ended up also going to Bath, which we will discuss in another blog post.
Our recommendation is this is a must-see thing if you are going to be in London. You only have to do it once in your lifetime, but just go. It's going to be more fun than you think, and if you add on the Windsor Castle Tour and the Bath Tour and make a day of it, it's a total win.
Plus saying you've been to Stonehenge gives you "travel cred" with your friends.