Lady Goes to Stonehenge

What do you think of Stonehenge: magical, or just a bunch of rocks? I always thought of the place as magical, as evidenced by my thoughts on my first trip to Stonehenge five years ago. But when I went back last weekend, I wondered whether the legendary circles of sarsen stones would awe me as much the second time as they had the first.

Stonehenge

My trip took place on a day that was almost identical to the previous one. It was winter, it was freezing, and it was brilliantly sunny and beautiful outside. I arrived on a tour with Rabbie’s instead of a train, but the rest was the same. The crowds were sparse given the time of year, and I walked right up to the ticket booth, collected my ticket (compliments of VisitEngland), picked up an audio-guide, and proceeded through the tunnel under the road.

Stonehenge

When I emerged, I stood face-to-face with Stonehenge. Well, there was a bit of distance in between. The site was roped off so that visitors couldn’t get too close, a welcome change from the days when tourists used to buy hammers in the nearest town so that they could chip off a piece of the sarsens as a souvenir.

Stonehenge

As the voice on my audioguide went over all of the various theories of why Stonehenge was created and how the stones were transported from what is thought to be a quarry way out in Wales, I only half listened. The stones themselves, silhouettes in the warm sunlight, were mesmerizing.

Stonehenge

Maybe it’s just me. I have always been a sucker for history, and the further something dates back, the more awe-inspiring I find it. I used to spend all of my lunch breaks at the British Museum, and I have traveled the world to see the likes of the Pyramids of Giza and the ancient city of Damascus.

Stonehenge

As I circled Stonehenge, taking in the scene and learning about the craftsmanship involved in the construction and the fact that the sun falls through a different slot in the stones every month of the year, I knew I wasn’t the only one that felt the importance of the place. Other people were standing in admiration, too.

Stonehenge

In fact, the only ones that didn’t seem impressed by the sarsen stones were the resident sheep, who grazed in the adjacent pasture as if unaware of the greatness that pervaded their surroundings (okay, so maybe they were completely unaware. But they have an excuse. They’re sheep.).

Sheep at Stonehenge

Once I had completed my circuit of the circles, I returned to the tunnel, handed in my audioguide, and headed for the van. I felt satisfied that my second trip to Stonehenge was as satisfactory as my first, and assured that everyone else felt the same way (save for the sheep, who are feeble minded and therefore don’t count in my incredibly precise analysis).

Stonehenge

Then I received a text from a friend in the area. “Just drove by Stonehenge,” it began, “it is such s*&!”. Deflated and resisting the urge to classify my friend as a sheep, I decided to put the question to my readers. So, to return to the first sentence of this post, what do you think of Stonehenge: is it magical, or just a bunch of rocks on the side of the road? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

20 Comments on Lady Goes to Stonehenge

  1. Allie
    December 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm (2 years ago)

    Magical, but not a fan of the way it’s been roped off and the museum has been put in in the beginning. It’s magical on it’s own, I don’t love the attempts to cash in on it even further!

    Reply
  2. Fiona Maclean
    December 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm (2 years ago)

    I like avebury, which you now need to visit, if only for comparison! you can get up close and personal there.

    When I was a kid I remember climbing on the stones at stonehenge:)

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      December 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Yeah, I would love to visit Avebury someday!

      Reply
  3. Andi
    December 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Sounds magical to me, love the shots!

    Reply
  4. Barbara Falconer Newhall
    December 18, 2012 at 12:56 am (2 years ago)

    Lady, It looks like a pile of rocks to me. But then I have a thing about rocks; they’re magical to me. Especially your photos, which really bring them alive.

    Reply
  5. Katherine Dunley
    December 18, 2012 at 7:33 am (2 years ago)

    When was the last time you really enjoyed any cultural attraction from your car? Stone Henge is aamazing – visiting it with thousands of other people as a tourist trap is not.

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      December 18, 2012 at 8:25 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Katherine!

      Reply
  6. jon
    December 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s magical

    Some great photos: Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      December 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm (2 years ago)

      You’re welcome! Glad you like them, and thanks for sharing your opinion.

      Reply
  7. Whitney
    January 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm (2 years ago)

    IT looks magical!! We are visiting London next month (february) would you say that is a tourist month? I would love to go to stonehenge but it will take some dragging on my part to get my family to go, too.

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      January 4, 2013 at 8:17 am (2 years ago)

      February isn’t a big tourist month, so the crowds shouldn’t be too bad. It would be great if you could get out to Stonehenge!

      Reply
  8. Kelli Anne
    January 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm (2 years ago)

    This is my first time visiting your blog and I am happy to have found it! I am planning a trip to London this upcoming March, and perhaps a day trip to Stone Henge while I am there. I did nto realize that the area around Stone Henge is roped off, and while this is not detterring me at all, I am glad to know it in advance, so I am not disappointed when I get there! Any other tips you have about visiting London in March would be appreciated! (I am going to be combing through your blog in the mean time!)

    Actually- do you have any input on whether or not the London Pass is worth getting?

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      January 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m glad you found the blog post helpful, Kelli Anne! I hope you have a great trip in March. I haven’t used a London pass personally, but I think they make sense if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing while you are here.

      Reply
  9. Melinda Wilson
    January 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm (1 year ago)

    I was worried that I would arrive at Stonehenge and discover a depressingly uninteresting pile of rocks. I found completely the opposite. Stonehenge was truly magical. It just felt different there. The sunshine, the wind and the reverential tourists all added to its magic for me.

    Reply
  10. Sarah
    January 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm (1 year ago)

    I can feel age catching up with me, when I visited Stonehenge many years ago you could walk amongst the stones. Understandable, but a shame you can’t do that any more…still, a very atmospheric place.

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      January 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm (1 year ago)

      That’s great that you were able to get close to the stones!

      Reply

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