Stonehenge: Ancient Rocks, Motorways and Velvet Ropes

day trips from london

Visiting Stonehenge is a bit of a mandatory step when visiting the UK for the first time. With such a mystique, intricate history, it attracts more than 800,000 visitors per year, some of which with high expectations.

Those people will definitely be disappointed.

Visiting Stonehenge

Visiting Stonehenge – A Few Surprises

Stonehenge itself isn’t bad at all – the sheer fact that these rocks were probably hauled all the way from Wales back in 2000 B.C. is actually very impressive, to say the least. To this day, specialists still don’t agree with its vocation: was Stonehenge a healing temple, a  sun worshiping place, a burial site or a life-size calendar? No one knows for sure.

What’s not impressive, however, is the setting of the monument.

The nearby motorway definitely ruins the atmosphere of the visit – how can you concentrate on Neolithic rocks when all you hear is the buzzing of speeding cars? I don’t know who had the bright idea to trace not one, but two motorways there, but it definitely wasn’t is shining moment.

Visiting StonehengeVisiting StonehengeVisiting Stonehenge

Another contributing factor of disappointment when visiting Stonehenge is the distance from the rocks. I do understand the need to preserve the vestiges, but is placing the rope 40 feet away really the best solution? I don’t know anyone who has an arm’s reach of 20 feet, nevermind 10 feet. The only way to get up close and personal with the rocks is to convert to druidism and celebrate the solstice and equinox.

Anyone interested?

I was really sad when I left the site. Maybe because I was expecting too much, and hoped to feel the magic and mystique of its history. But it was very far from that. Maybe I should have visited the other henge

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Marie is a native Montrealer trying to balance a deep love for her hometown and an unquenchable thirst for travel and discovery. She has been to more than 36 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels -- especially if it involves chocolate.