Because most of us have seen pop culture references to Stonehenge, the expectation is that the mysterious rocks are huge and majestic. It’s not huge, but it’s definitely still majestic. The series of stones was believed to be a burial ground (human bones have been found there) but there are plenty of other theories, namely that the location of the stones helped to determine the calendar because of the way the light fell during different times of the year.
You can’t get up close to the stones anymore (thanks, all those people who thought it was cool to try and carve your initials into the side), but there’s plenty of beautiful countryside around the site and plenty of opportunities for unobstructed photos. There’s a very good audio tour included with the price of admission, and history buffs will like the opportunity to listen to extra sections or get additional information on their favorite topics. (Also, literature majors will appreciate the shoutout to Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which has a scene set at Stonehenge.)
Once you’ve fully circled the formation and gotten the necessary Facebook photos in front of the Heel Stone, there’s not much else to do but check out the gift shop and cafes.The shop includes specific Stonehenge gear like books, magnets, and even lollipops (they’re blackurrant flavored), as well as Englishy treats like knit blankets and boxes of tea. Getting a history rundown and a stuffed Wilshire sheep in one quick jaunt seems like a pretty good deal, and you can be back in London before dinnertime.
[Photo: Darkest Before Dawn]