August 2012


Paris – Observatories in Britain, France and the United States, a pharaonic temple in Egypt, a 3,000-year-old pillar in China and a 1920s tower in Berlin have been inscribed on a UN-backed heritage list for astronomy.

Among the first entries are Stonehenge, which is aligned along the axis of the midwinter sunset and midsummer sunrise

Among the first entries are Stonehenge, which is aligned along the axis of the midwinter sunset and midsummer sunrise

The Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy (http://www2.astronomicalheritage.net/) aims to give astronomical sites the same place in public awareness as Unesco’s World Heritage List does for places of historical importance.

The website was launched on the sidelines of an International Astrononomical Union (IAU) meeting in Beijing on Friday, the IAU said in a press release.

It is being backed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The portal has a preliminary listing of around three dozen sites, ranging from prehistoric caves to 20th-century observatories, but should expand swiftly in the coming months, the IAU said.

Among the first entries are Stonehenge, which is aligned along the axis of the midwinter sunset and midsummer sunrise, and the Dengfeng Observatory in Henan, China, where Tang Dynasty astronomers used a pillar to measure the Sun’s shadow and thus calculate the length of the year.

There are also the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Meudon Observatory in France, the Mount Wilson Observatory in California and the 1920s “Einstein Tower” in Potsdam, all sites where important contributions were made in the era of modern science.

Eventually, the portal will not only feature sites and monuments, but also other types of astronomical heritage such as portable instruments and intangible cultural practices, as well as “dark-sky” locations, meaning places where the night sky can be viewed without pollution from man-made light.

“A lot of our most precious astronomical heritage – both ancient and modern – is under threat. If we don’t act to try to protect and preserve it, we run the risk of losing it,” said the IAU’s Clive Ruggles, a professor of archaeoastronomy at Britain’s University of Leicester. – AFP

Link: http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/discovery/un-recognises-astronomical-heritage-sites-1.1371732

Stonehenge Guided Tours.  The Original and still the best!
www.StonehengeTours.om

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These tours sell out very quickly as the demand far outstrips supply of available places – be sure to reserve your place early.
With special access you are allowed right inside Stonehenge, walking among the stones close up and with a maximum of 26 people on the whole site..

Stonehenge private access tours 2013

Stonehenge Close up. Go beyond the fences and enter the inner circle.

Built nearly 5,000 years ago, Stonehenge is the most popular prehistoric monument in the world. Most visitors to the site are not allowed direct access to the stones.
On this tour you get that access, with a private viewing of the mysterious monoliths. We will enter the stone circle itself and stand beside the mighty Sarsen rocks towering above us. Our guide will explain the history of this ancient site, pointing out the altar, slaughter and heel stones, above which the sun rises dramatically on the summer solstice. There will be time to enjoy the peace, away from the crowds, as we experience Stonehenge at its most mystical and atmospheric best. Not to be missed!

 

 

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Stonehenge – Private Viewing at Sunset and Sunrise 2013
This is a very popular tour and must be booked well in advance!

We can also arrange extra dates for private groups, throughout 2013 – ideal for couples, families and small groups – click here

Click here for Christmas and New Year 2012 tours – http://www.stonehengetours.com/extended-tours.html

2013 Access Dates – http://www.stonehengetours.com/stonehenge-private-viewing-tours-2013.htm

Stonehenge Guided Tours – www.StonehengeTours.com

We are delighted to offer a new small group guided tour including Stonehenge, Burford, Oxford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter, Bibury – the most beautiful village in England.  Guided tour of Bath, visit to beautiful villages of Lacock Village and Castle Combe.

Small Group Tours

Small Group Tours

This is without question the best value tour available to this region, combining the Cotswolds, Bath and Stonehenge over a leisurely 2 days. This tour is driven and guided by a friendly driver who is very familar with the area its many back-roads. This means that you will venture off the beaten track to see and enjoy some of the area’s most beautiful places. Your transport for this tour is in a spacious luxury 16 seat minibus with large windows and the ability to travel down some the narrow lanes which are not normally used by large coaches. We promise you a first-class experience and memories that you will treasure for many years!

Small Group Promise – No more than 16 customers per driver/guide

DAY 1 – After an early start we drive in a westerly direction, calling in at Oxford for a guided tour of the city. Next we travel a short distance to discover one of England’s most beautiful regions – the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds are full of colour all year round! Here you will find rolling hills and pretty villages and market towns full of character. Our journey this morning takes us to the historic market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. In the early afternoon, we drive along one of the most charming narrow back-road routes in the Cotswolds, where large coaches are not allowed to visit in what has been described as England’s most beautiful village – Bibury. This is in the heart of the Cotswolds and what we might consider to be the real England with its old country pubs, traditional village stores and well kept gardens.

DAY 2 – Today we visit Bath where we take a guided tour of the city centre. At the end of the walking tour of the city, we include your entrance into the Roman Baths. Bath, which is one of England’s most popular tourist attractions. Bath is the most complete and best preserved Georgian city in Britain. The spa was used by the Romans, and the remains of the Roman baths are still there to be seen today, beside the 18th century Pump Room.

After Bath, we travel to Lacock, a small 13th century village which remains mostly untouched by modern development.

Then next we go to see another world famous site – Stonehenge. The construction of Stonehenge started around 3,000BC and the site was built over a 1500 year period. Your entrance fee to Stonehenge is included in the price. We return to London by mid evening.

This tour can be booked here: http://www.stonehengetours.com/cotswolds-bath-oxford-stonehenge-overnight-tours.htm

The Stonehenge Tour Company

We are delighted to just add this new combination tour including a ‘London highlights’ tour in a red double decker open top big bus and then in the afternoon we switch to a luxury air conditioned coach and we whisk you off to Stonehenge in the beautiful Wilsthire countryside.  This is designed for those with less time and perfect for a short break in London.  Just over £50 gives great value and would be impossivle to do cheaper independantly.  It gets better –  we have also thrown in a free River Thames cruise

Stonehenge tripItinerary
What better way to see the highlights of London than from onboard a vintage open top double Decker bus? Your tour includes a live guide to bring the history of London to life, escort you on your scenic cruise on the River Thames and take you to the perfect spot to watch the Changing of the Guard. Then, in the afternoon, we join an independent coach tour to Stonehenge that includes a fast track ticket – beat the queues.

Highlights:
Open top bus tour of London with Thames cruise See the Changing of the Guard

Entrance to Stonehenge included Audio guide tour at the site
Professional driver and luxury air-conditioned coach Scenic drive through the Salisbury plains

The Tour: What better way to see the highlights of London than from onboard a vintage Red double Decker bus? Enjoy great views of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye as we meander through the streets and history of our great city, all brought to life by our professional guide.

Have your cameras at the ready as we stop for photos at Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral where Admirals Nelson and Wellington lie buried and where Princess Diana was married. Then join us at the Tower of London that was built nearly a thousand years ago, during the reign of William the Conqueror, and is now home to the Crown Jewels protected by the famous Beefeaters. The imposing former palace was once used as a fortress and a prison and your guide will take you to see Traitors Gate where prisoners entered the Tower for the last time!

Next we take a leisurely cruise on the River Thames that passes Shakespeare’s Globe, Cleopatra’s Needle and London Bridge before we arrive at Westminster pier, rejoin the bus and head for Buckingham Palace. Here we make our way to the perfect spot to watch the world famous Changing of the Guard ceremony as the soldiers, dressed in their fabulous tunics and busbies march to military music. Following an hours free time for lunch in Victoria, we board our luxury air-conditioned coach and head for the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. Stonehenge, a world heritage site, stands alone in the vast empty tract of Salisbury plain. Its origins date back nearly 5,000 years and it has been home to pagan religion and spiritual worship, not to be mention public debate ever since. What was this vast collection of stones intended for? Was it observatory of the moon, a temple to the sun, or an elaborate cemetery? Who were the people who carried and carved these 40 ton rocks? Come and unlock the secrets for yourself and marvel at this remarkable and mysterious feat of ancient engineering and design. Entrance to the site with audio guide is included.

This trip can be viewed here: http://www.stonehengetours.com/stonehenge-open-top-bus-tour.htm
Other Stonehenge trips can be viewed here: http://www.stonehengetours.com/

The Stonehenge Tour Company