May 2010


>A chance to catch the sunrise in a most magical place…………..

The Summer Solstice at Stonehenge is a truly magical time to be there. It’s an ad hoc celebration that brings together England’s New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, travelers and party people.

Solstice nowadays is a peaceful and moving experience, but that wasn’t always the case. For years, Wiltshire police fought pitched battles with the people who were drawn to see the sunrise on the longest day of the year at Stonehenge. Every year the news carried the numbers arrested. In 1985, in a notorious event named “The Battle of the Beanfield”, Wiltshire police were accused by participants journalists and other witnesses, of brutality against a convoy of New Age travelers heading for the site. The event resulted in law suits against the police that went on for years.

At last the authorities saw the light

In more recent times, everyone has seen sense.

For many the impulse to arrive at Stonehenge in time for the Solstice is a little like all those people drawn to the strange rock in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s akin to a spiritual experience. Anyone who has witnessed the crowd become silent as the sky begins to brighten can attest to that.

English Heritage, who manage Stonehenge, have establish a set of ground rules and now allow visitors to spend all night – From sundown to sun-up. By contrast to the wild and wooly 1980s, the atmosphere is peaceful and happy. There is usually impromptu music, sharing of picnics and the like and if you are in the UK for the Summer Solstice it is a fabulous way to see Stonehenge.

The Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2010

When: Sunday evening, June 20 to Monday morning, June 21

Parking:

Parking is free.

The parking lot opens at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. Cars will not be admitted before then.

Last admission is 6 a.m. Monday morning, June 21.

The car park must be vacated by noon on June 21.

Access to the monument: 7:00 p.m. Sunday evening to 8 a.m. Monday morning.

The shortest night: Sunset on Sunday 20th June 2010 is at 9:26p.m. Sunrise occurs at 4:52 a.m. on Monday 21st June 2010.

Visit the English Heritage Website
Visit Stonehenge Web Site
Private Stonehenge Tours – HisTOURies UK
Salisbury Guided Tours

David – Stonehenge Tour Guide (see you there!)

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>THE first crop circles of the year in Wiltshire have appeared at Old Sarum and Stonehenge.

The one at Old Sarum was discovered in a field that is part of Little Durnford Farm last Tuesday.

Estate manager Philip Simmonds said it had been created overnight, but people living in former farmworkers’ cottages nearby did not see or hear anything unusual.

Since then enthusiasts from across Europe have been travelling to Salisbury to see the intricate design, photographed by Old Sarum flying instructor Mark McClelland.

“People have come from Holland, and this morning two ladies arrived from Austria,” Mr Simmonds said on Saturday. “On Thursday evening we had a Dutch film crew, and we’ve had an approach from a Californian film crew to film here next week. It’s all over the internet.”

The circle is in a 110-acre field of oil seed rape, owned by Lord and Lady Chichester.

“I’ve not seen one in a rape field before,” said Mr Simmonds, “although we did have a simple circle in the adjoining field, in a crop of barley, about five years ago.”

Unfortunately for Mr Simmonds the circle has caused £1,000 worth of damage to his crop, so to recoup his loss he is charging visitors to view it close up.

Excitement grew with the discovery of the second circle – or rather three swirling interlinked circles – across the A303 from Stonehenge at 9am on Monday.

Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group sent up photographer Olivier Morel to take aerial pictures of the design, estimated at 350ft long.
According to the group’s website http://www.wccsg.com, another circle appeared in the same field in 1996.

Salisbury crop circle researcher and lecturer John Bannister, who has been fascinated by the phenomenon ever since seeing his first circle in a 1950s newspaper article, said: “The geometry of these things is inch-perfect. And no two are ever the same. We send soil samples from the circles away for analysis and they show significant changes.
“We usually get between 60 and 70 in Wiltshire each year because we have got so many ancient sites and ley lines.”

HisTOURies UK, a tour operator based in Salisbury have already started taking private tours to the circles.  The manager, Tim quoted “this is great for tourism in Wilsthire” and looks forward to a bumper year of mysterious crop circles.

David
Stonehenge Tour Guide

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A Histouries UK tour guide has just sent this information through.  The very first crop circle in Britain for 2010, see image below.  We have also been sent an aeriel image of a crop circle next to Old Sarum hillfort – 8 miles southj of Stonehenge, we will add more details as we get them.  A big thank you to Histouries UK for keeping us up to date, keep up the good work!

David – Stonehenge Tour Guide Private Stonehenge and Crop Circle Tours
Crop Circle Tours and private guided tours of Salisbury and Stonehenge – click here (Histouries UK)

>London coach tour operator Evan Evans launches new Stonehenge tour that includes a sunrise viewing beyond the fences and before the site is open to the public.  Many would say that their itinerary is a little ambitious (see below) and that they are just copying other companies offering such tours.  Anway I have included their itinerary below and there are links on my blog to book them if you desire.  I will aslo add some alternative links below:

A PRIVATE VIEWING OF THE INNER CIRCLE AT STONEHENGE – a later start gives the opportunity to visit the state apartments of Windsor Castle, a walking tour of Oxford and a private visit to the inner circle of Stonehenge.

Included Highlights

Entrance to Windsor Castle and a tour of the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel


Walking tour of Oxford


Visit Christ Church college (where Harry Potter was filmed)


Private Visit ot the Inner Circle of Stonehenge at Sunset


First-class luxury Motor-coach and the services of a Professional Guide
Windsor Castle

Our day starts with a visit to Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world and the home of the Royal Family for 900 years. Its proud, strong walls dominate the delightful town that has grown around the castle over the years. You’ll see the lavishly decorated State Apartments containing priceless furniture in glorious colours and St George’s Chapel, home to the 14th Century Order of the Royal Garter, our senior chivalric order
Oxford

The colleges in Oxford date back to the 13th century and among its famous students were Bill Clinton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. We take you on a fascinating walking tour, which includes visiting the Great Hall in Christ Church, where many scenes from Harry Potter were filmed. We’ll also see the Bodleian Library and the picture perfect college courtyards for which Oxford is famous.
Private Viewing of Stonehenge

Most visitors to Stonehenge are not allowed direct access to the stones. On this special day trip from London, you’ll be invited to enter the stone circle itself, and stand beside the mysterious rocks towering above you. Your guide will unlock the secrets of this ancient World Heritage site. Enjoy the peace, away from the crowds, as you experience Stonehenge at its atmospheric best at sunset.

Departures April to September 2010
Days of operation: Monday, Friday

Tour Starts: 10.30am, Royal National Hotel

Tour Finishes: 9.00pm, Victoria Train Station

Departs from:

10.30am Royal National Hotel, Russell Square


10.45am, Guoman Thistle Marble Arch


11.00am, Grosvenor Victoria


11.15am, Millennium Gloucester


11.30am, Kensington Hilton
Adults: £84.00 Children (3-16): £74.00


Seniors (60+)/Students (with ID): £79.00

Other recommended Stonehenge Tour Companies:
The Stonehenge Tour Company – click here

Premium Tours – Click here
International Friends – Small group tours – Click here

Histouries UK Tours based in Salisbury – click here

David
Stonehenge Tour Guide
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website