Stonehenge Tours, London

London: Stonehenge from London - TripAdvisor  October 20, 2013 – 06:11 am
Stonehenge Tours. Guided Sightseeing Day Tours From London

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Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. It is at the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Different parts of the monument date back to 3100 - 1600 BC. The earliest part being the circular bank and ditch (.3, 000 BC) within which Stonehenge as it is seen it today was constructed some 500 years later. A ring of 56 pits known as the 'Aubrey Holes' also date from around this time (they lie just inside the tail of the bank, and today those which were excavated are marked on the ground) these may have held posts, or as some think, small stones. Both the ditch and Aubrey Holes have yielded cremated human remains. There were several periods of stone construction and reconstruction, the first stone phase used not the massive sandstone (sarsens), but the much smaller and exotic 'bluestones', these were later re-used within the Circle. The final structural activity appears to have taken place around 1600 BC and is represented by be the cutting of two mysterious concentric rings of pits (the 'Y & Z holes) juts outside the sarsen circle. Recent archaeological research is moving away from the idea that Stonehenge was an 'astronomical observatory' and considers the burials and the precise mirrored geometric design of the monument as providing an insight into the mindset behind its construction. It is also now considered by most archaeologists that Stonehenge was laid out to 'face' the midwinter sunset (1).

Getting to Stonehenge by public transport is a bit of a trek - either take a 2 hour bus journey from Victoria (or from Heathrow) to Amesbury and then walk for 2 miles (or take a taxi) or take a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury (Salisbury is about 10 miles from Stonehenge) and then take a local bus or taxi. For cheapest tickets try the Trainline? (saves around 40%).

One way to avoid the trek and hassle and make the best use of a day of sightseeing is to take bus tours that combine Stonehenge with Windsor and Oxford or Windsor and Bath. Most sight seeing tours offer 2 versions - a cheaper version in which customers buy the entrance tickets for the attractions they want to enter after getting there or a slightly more expensive version that includes the entrance tickets and helps customers skip the queues. Golden Tours, Premium Tours and various others offer Coach Tours to Stonehenge (not Woodhenge!) in part of their program and pick up from your London hotel. 'Flying Purple Pig Tours' and a few others offer a private car tour service and will personalize your tour for you - but normally only six can travel per vehicle.


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