Stonehenge guided tours form London.


Ancient ceremonial landscape of great archaeological and wildlife interest

Within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the National Trust manages 827 hectares (2,100 acres) of downland surrounding the famous stone circle.

burial-mounds

Walking across the grassland, visitors can discover other prehistoric monuments, including the Avenue and King Barrow Ridge with its Bronze Age burial mounds.

Nearby, Winterbourne Stoke Barrows is another fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. While Durrington Walls hides the remains of a Neolithic village.

The best approach to the famous stone circle is across Normanton Down, a round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC.

 

National Trust Link: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehengelandscape/
More Stonehenge Landscape Tours: http://stonehengetours.com/stonehenge-prehistoric-wessex-walking-tour.htm

Stonehenge Guided Tours – http://www.StonehengeTours.com

 

 

Visit the most popular prehistoric monument in the world for just £35. Enjoy an extended visit to Stonehenge with plenty of time to enjoy the audio tour, take photos and buy souvenirs.

Highlights:

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

Tour Highlights:

Stonehenge ToursStonehenge
The most famous prehistoric monument in the world, and now a world heritage site, Stonehenge 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.

Departs from:

  • Afternoon Stonehenge Direct departs from Grosvenor Victoria at 12.15pm & Victoria Coach Station at 12.30pm.

This and other quality Stonehenge trips can be booked here: http://www.stonehengetours.com/day-tours.html

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Experts

 

Today (September 30th) is the last day of the season for Stonehenge inner circle tours (see below)

Due to conservation reason English Heritage, quite rightly, do not allow people to enter the Stones before or after the monument is closed  to the public.  Private access resumes in December and throughout 2013.  These are very popular tours and demand far exceeds availability. They must be booked well in advance!Stonehenge private viewing

Stonehenge is open as usual during normal opening hours:

1 September – 15 October 2012 Daily 9.30 – 18.00 

16 October 2012 – 15 March 2013 Daily 9.30 – 16.00 

We continue operate daily tours of Stonehenge from London that include a regular visit to Stonehenge.  A regular visit allows you to get within 30 feet of the stones.

(Stone Circle Access visits take place outside the normal opening times at Stonehenge, and are very early in the morning or late in the evening, and are not offered during the normal opening times.)

What is meant by conservation?
Is it protecting the site, maintaining the site, enhancing the site or keeping it exactly as it is?
Conservation is the process of managing change to a significant place in its setting in ways that will best sustain its heritage values, while recognising opportunities to reveal or reinforce those values for present and future generations (Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance for the sustainable management of the Historic Environment. English Heritage 2008). The Stonehenge World Heritage Site Management Plan 2009 is the main document which sets out the overarching strategy for protecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. Other agencies such as the National Trust and the RSPB also have similar plans

Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/education/resources/stonehenge/conservation-research/interview/
Link: http://www.pitchcare.com/magazine/managing-the-grass-areas-at-stonehenge.html
L
ink: http://www.stonehengetours.com

Stonehenge Guided Tours

It remains one of the mysteries of history, and there are dozens of passionately held theories of what it is. But in my history of England class, Stonehenge remains one of the most popular topics, along with the intimate life of King Henry VIII and the dubious theory that J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” is a secret allegory of World War II and the ring of power is the bomb.

Stonehenge Sunset Tours

Photo taken recently by one of our Tour Guides on a Stonehenge Sunset Tour

Setting those other two colorful topics on one side permanently, it’s worth recalling what this large stone critter is.

Stonehenge is an ancient collection of huge stones in a circle, located on a plain in Wilshire about eight miles from modern Salisbury in England. It consists of a circular ditch and bank of earth, with a series of stones placed in rings. The site was built, revised, abandoned, reoccupied and modified over a period of more than 15 centuries, probably by several different prehistoric cultures. The name Stonehenge means “hanging stones” in Anglo-Saxon English. The ancient name of the site is lost.

Earliest construction may have occurred around 3100 B.C., but evidence suggests that the site was used by primitive peoples even before that, possibly as early as 8000 B.C. The earliest construction at Stonehenge was probably wooden posts placed in a circle, with an entry gate that points in the direction of the summer solstice. The posts were placed in holes, which can still be identified.

The wooden posts were then replaced by stone columns, called the “blue stones,” around 2600 B.C. after the beginnings of the Bronze Age. These stones were placed in a large circle, and possibly were moved later, but their original positions also pointed in the direction of the solstice.

The stone itself seems to be drawn from mountains at least 150 miles away, but some scholars have suggested that it may be quarried from rocks left much closer and deposited by glaciers. Legend has it that Merlin the magician moved the stones, a theory that this author much prefers. These early rings of stones weigh about four tons each and stand about seven feet high.

Some time after 2400 B.C., another ring of stones, called the “sarcen stones,” of even larger height was placed in a circle. These weigh at least 25 tons each and are about 13 feet high. Some of these larger stones are the ones placed flat on top of the standing stones, giving the appearance of gates, although over the ages some of these have fallen.

Within the inner circle several similar stones, of even great weight – up to 50 tons – were added at this period in a large U shape. They are about 3 1/2 feet thick, and 45 feet across the shape of the U. In the centuries that followed these stones seem to have been moved slightly, and other stones placed nearby. A solitary distant stone, called the “head stone” was placed some distance away about the same time as the U was established at the center.

Medieval legend says that the devil arranged the stones, and then threw the headstone at a monk to shut him up about the identity of the builder. It hit him on the heel and so the stone is called “friar’s heel” to this day. Construction seems to have ceased around 1600 B.C. On several of the stones images of ax heads are carved, which seem consistent with Bronze Age technology, but when these were added cannot be determined.

But what is Stonehenge? One theory says that it was some kind of burial site, and several graves have been found in the area. Several other deposits of cremated human remains have been discovered in the Stonehenge complex, and while these seem to have been deposited over a 500-year period, they may well have been added after the site was built, after it was known to be a sacral place, but it does not follow that it was designed to be a burial place.

Another theory was that it was a place of healing, like Lourdes is for modern believers. Yet another theory is that it had a political goal, and that ancient kings used it as a kind of national project to unify their people in one massive work project, which would have certainly required thousands of laborers.

It seems that the pyramids of Egypt served that purpose as well as being burial chambers, and so it is not impossible. But since modern historians cannot accurately say exactly how the thing was built, this theory is at best incomplete.

Yet another theory is that it was some kind of ancient astronomical site, from which people could track the movement of the sun and stars between solstices in the changing seasons of the year. The would make it one very large calendar.

British neo-pagans hold that Stonehenge was a site associated with the ancient Druids, and modern Druid believers are allowed to perform religious rituals on the site. But the age of the ancient Druids is believed by secular historians to have been much later than the known period of the actual constructions.

The original Druids were Celtic priests who lived much closer to Roman times. The earliest known reference to the actual Druids is found in Greek writers, and the earliest detailed description of them is found in Caesar’s Gaulic War, which dates at around 50 B.C. Modern Druid movements date to the Romantic period in modern literature, in the later 17th century A.D.

The medieval historian Geoffrey of Monmouth has a wonderful story that in the fifth century A.D., the last of the Romans, Aurelius Ambrosias, had hoped to raise a memorial to the thousands of British and Roman nobles who had fought to keep the Saxons out of post-Roman Britain. So he sent his son, Uther Pendragon, to go fetch the stones from Ireland, but after killing a bunch of Irish warriors, the knights required Merlin to use magic to transport and then raised the stones in what they called the “Giant’s Dance.” There Aurelius was buried, and Uther Pendragon went on to become the father of King Arthur. This story was known to many as the background for the romantic novel “The Crystal Cave” by Mary Stewart published in 1970.

Today Stonehenge continues to attract visitors, who are normally not allowed direct access to the stones but may walk around it. Closer visits are also permitted, but one is not allowed to touch the stones at all. These restrictions did not apply when I visited the site in 1972, and one could wander all over it. It does have a very strange quality to it, which is hard to put into words.

But it remains a mystery as to exactly what it is. Still, what would people in the distant future think, were they to uncover the ruins of one of our medieval cathedrals, and wonder what all the gargoyles and altar tables meant? There are Sundays when I hardly know what is going in my own church, much less what happened centuries ago.
Gregory Elder, Correspondent – http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com

Stonehenge and Salisbury 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

Stonehenge has confounded archaeologists and academics alike since its early beginnings

Einstein once declared that ‘the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious’, and this statement is particularly fitting as regards Stonehenge. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986 and retains its intensely spiritual and otherworldly ambience, despite the number of tourists it attracts. If you choose to visit this extraordinary site, ensure you also spend some time delving into the captivating areas that surround Stonehenge. Explore picturesque Windsor and beguiling Bath.

Modern archaeological techniques and a number of recent digs have helped to form new theories about the stones that constitute Stonehenge. However, their definitive use stays as enigmatic as ever; it is suffused with a continuing sense of mystery. Stonehenge stands as an authoritative witness to the once extraordinary civilisations of the Stone and Bronze Ages of around 3,700 BC to 1,600 BC. Similarly, its surrounding areas stand as testament to these mighty cultures.

There is no place on earth quite like Stonehenge. Its brooding, pervasive mysticism, its intense spirituality and its endless aura of mystery all combine to make it an inimitable, idiosyncratic landmark. Take a Stonehenge tour and discover just why it continues to fascinate and perplex people from all over the world.

You may not know that Stonehenge is not the only ancient site in this region. Yet, in fact, a mere 25 miles north of Stonehenge is the impressive Avebury complex, which is a robust contender to be the most grandiose of all the residual prehistoric earthworks in Europe. The Avebury stone circle is actually much greater than that of Stonehenge – but the stones are smaller. A strong benefit that comes of visiting Avebury is that you can in fact touch its stones. Woodhenge, which consists of a circle of wooden posts, is an even more obscure and oft overlooked landmark.

Theories as to the use of Stonehenge range from the eminently believable to the absurd. In the twentieth century, both Fred Hoyle and Gerald Hawkins fascinatingly argued that not only was Stonehenge used as an observatory, but also to calculate future astronomical events such as eclipses. Yet it is probably von Däniken’s theory about Stonehenge that has led to the most furore, conflict and general disputation. Däniken claims that either extraterrestrials, or humans who were aided by extraterrestrials, built Stonehenge. He then goes on to argue that Stonehenge is an exact replica of our solar system, including the asteroid belt.

Why not merge a visit to Stonehenge with visits to its nearby districts, which hold their own captivating and idiosyncratic attractions? A combination Bath and Stonehenge tour from London is one of the most extraordinary tours you can do. Bath is, without a doubt, one of the most absorbing destinations to explore in the UK. An especially great number of visitors assemble to view the extraordinary sunrise at the summer solstice.

Link: http://pressitt.com/smnr/Stonehenge-A-Sacred-Burial-Site/10709/

The Stonehenge Tour Company
http://www.StonehengeTours.com

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