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Planning a visit to the world's most famous building blocks construction and ancient stone circle on the Salisbury Plain

Although Stonehenge is associated in many people's minds with Druids, that Celtic religious sect was merely using an existing site. Stonehenge was a ancient mystery even to the 1st century BC Druids.

It was begun by an unknown people before 3,000 BC and added to up until 1,500 BC.

All we really know about Stonehenge is that it is a remarkable feat of engineering—some of the stones came from dozens of miles away—and acts like a huge astronomical calendar, aligned with the summer equinox and still keeping track of the seasons after more than 5,000 years.

Visiting Stonehenge

Stonehenge itself is, in some ways, a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong—it's still one of the most incredible sights in Europe, highly conducive to contemplating the earliest dawn of human endeavor and terribly romantic when the sun sets behind it.

Sadly, a rope barrier keeps you 50 feet away from the concentric circles of enormous standing stones; past visitors were fond of scratching their names into the venerable rocks.

A new walkway lets you circle the stones, but seriously mars the beauty of the site—if you can score a ticket, definitely try to book one of the limited entries to the stone circle itself, which are offered for the morning both before the site opens for regular hours and again at the close toward sunset. These book up far in advance, but keep calling, because you never know. On a recent trip to England, for whcih i was told all entry times had been sold out, on a whim I called again just three days before I was going to be at Stonehenge and managed to snag four tickets thanks to a last-minute cancellation. (Call tel. +44-(0)1722-343-834; You can also book this as part of a day trip from London via our partners at

Near the junction of A303 and A344/A360, about 2 miles west of Amesbury
tel. +44-(0)870-333-1181 or +44-(0)1722-343-834
Open daily



Intrepid Travel

This article was last updated in May 2007. All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2010 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.