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Demand for Stonehenge access tours far exceeds supply, dates are often sold out months in advance. Do not expect to get tickets without ordering well in advance. Register your interest with us now and our booking experts will send you exclusive dates sent in advance before official publication. Also includes our ‘early bird’ booking offer.
Stonehenge Special Access visits are available most, but not all months of the year, (no visits in October and November and are not available on and around the midsummer’s day). Evening Special Access is only available in the summer months.

Our customised private Stonehenge tours continue to get 5 STAR reports on Trip Advisor and other quality review sites. Please take the time to view our customer feedback throughout our 25 years of trading. Excellence as standard.

2019 Private Group Custom Tours.  Up close and personal
We specialise in arranging customised Stonehenge special access tours to suit your requirements. Our door to door friendly service will take you wherever you want to go…….at the time and pace to suit you. Our personalised service gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility without the worry of driving so you can all relax and enjoy the day. Click here for private tours

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A truly magical experience..

Our Stonehenge Special Access Tours (1-30 persons) can depart from London, Bath, Salisbury, Oxford, Southampton or any location in the South West of England.

Explore the beautiful South West of England in the luxury of your own private car, MPV or mini bus, enjoying the knowledge and expertise of our professional local Stonehenge experts.

Our Stonehenge private access tours can also include Bath, Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), Salisbury Cathedral, Castle Combe, Windsor Castle, Winchester, Avebury Stone Circle, Lacock Village, The Cotswold’s or where ever you want to visit. We will help with your tour planning

Stonehenge Spring Equinox 2019 – click here
Stonehenge Summer Solstice Tour 2019 – click here

Email us your desired dates and group size for a prompt reply.

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The Stonehege Experts
Established 1995
www.StonengeTours.com

 

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Stonehenge is one of the most recognized monuments in the world. We thought it would be fun to delve into the history of the place and focus on 10 interest facts and figures that people may not have known about Stonehenge.

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Date Built?

Much about Stonehenge remains a mystery – the biggest unanswered question is when was it built? Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating done in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC.

Big Visitor Numbers

Stonehenge has over 1,000,000 visitors from all over the world ever year – making it one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Stones Are Generally Off Limits

When Stonehenge was first opened to the public it was possible to walk among and even climb on the stones, but the stones were roped off in 1977 as a result of serious erosion. Visitors are no longer permitted to touch the stones, but are able to walk around the monument from a short distance away. English Heritage does, however, permit access during the summer and winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinox. Additionally, visitors can make special bookings to access the stones throughout the year.

Massive Weight

Some of the stones can weigh up to 60 tons. One of the biggest mysteries is how the builders managed to get them onto the site and lift them in the prehistoric era.

The Stonehenge site is more than just the iconic stones at the center – the land surrounding the henge is a massive burial ground with over 200 people buried on the site.

A Bit of Wales

Some of the stones are Welsh bluestone – which only exists in Wales. The stones have been geologically placed to have in origin in western Wales – which is very far away from Wiltshire!

Who Owns It?

Stonehenge used to be a neglected monument on some absentee landowner’s land (and much damage was done to the monument). Eventually it was decided to be too important to trust to private ownership and the British Crown now owns the site. It is managed by English Heritage and the land surrounding the site is owned by the National Trust (which has a remit to protect its properties forever).

Check Your Sums

Those who built Stonehenge had to have been extremely sophisticated in mathematics and geometry. It was aligned with the midwinter sunset and the midsummer sunset. It was also aligned with the most northerly setting and most southerly rising of the moon.

Multiple Stones

The monument is made of two major types of stone, sarsens and bluestones (mentioned above). Sarsens are the larger ones, some of them reaching 9m tall and weighing over 20 tons. They are thought to have come from the Marlborough Downs, around 20 miles from Salisbury Plain.

Building A Tunnel

You can see Stonehenge from the main road – the A303 – as you drive by. This is also a major problem for the site as it creates a lot of road noise and pollution that damage the stones. The British government has just announced that they’re going to build tunnel under Stonehenge that will make the site almost as it was when it was built – silent to the winds of the Salisbury plain

Article source:http://www.anglotopia.net/british-history/seeing-stones-10-facts-figures-stonehenge-might-now-know/
March 26, 2015 By

The Stonehenge Experts
http://www.StonehengeTours.com

Grand, centuries-old cathedrals distinguish Great Britain’s cities and towns, providing spiritual nourishment to those who visit. These places of worship seem ancient almost beyond imagination. But long before Gothic cathedrals … long before recorded history even, Britain’s stone circles were this land’s sacred spots.Stonehenge Sunrise Tour

Stonehenge is the most famous of these – and has a new visitors center to serve nearly 1 million annual sightseers. As old as the pyramids, this site amazed medieval Europeans, who figured it was built by a race of giants. Archaeologists think some of these stones came from South Wales – 150 miles away – probably rafted then rolled on logs by Bronze Age people.

Most believe stone circles functioned as celestial calendars, and even after 5,000 years Stonehenge still works as one. As the sun rises on the summer solstice (June 21), the “heel stone” – the one set apart from the rest – lines up with the sun and the altar at the circle’s center. With the summer solstice sun appearing in just the right slot, prehistoric locals could tell when to plant and when to party.

Despite the tourist hordes, Stonehenge retains an air of mystery and majesty (partly because smartly designed barriers, which keep visitors from trampling all over it, foster the illusion that it stands alone in a field).

While Stonehenge is viewable only from a distance, Britain is dotted with roughly 800 lesser-known stone circles. A favorite is Avebury. Just 19 miles north of Stonehenge, it’s 16 times as big. And Avebury is a megalithic playground, welcoming kids, sheep and anyone interested in a more hands-on experience. Visitors are free to wander among its 100 stones, ditches, mounds, and curious patterns from the past, as well as stroll in the village of Avebury, which grew up around and even within this fascinating 1,400-foot-wide Neolithic circle.

In the 14th century, in a frenzy of religious paranoia, Avebury villagers buried many of these mysterious pagan stones. Their 18th century descendants hosted social events in which they broke up the remaining stones. In modern times, the buried stones were dug up and re-erected. On a recent visit, enjoying the half-mile walk along the perimeter path, I tried to make sense of the earthen ditch and bank, grateful for the concrete markers showing where the missing broken-up stones once stood.

In the moorlands of southwest England, smaller stone circles composed of weathered craggy rocks are even more evocative. (Good local maps mark them.) Windswept and desolate, Dartmoor National Park has more of these than any other chunk in the country. On one visit, I trekked from the hamlet of Gidleigh through a foggy world of scrub brush and scraggy-haired goats on a mission to find a 4,000-year-old circle of stone. Venturing in the pristine vastness of Dartmoor, I sank into the powerful, mystical moorland – a world of greenery, eerie wind, white rocks and birds singing but unseen. Climbing over a hill, surrounded by sleeping towers of ragged, moss-fringed granite, I was swallowed up. Hills followed hills followed hills – green growing gray in the murk.

Then the stones appeared, frozen in a forever game of statue maker. For endless centuries they waited patiently, still and silent, as if for me to come. I sat on a fallen stone, observing blackbirds and wild horses. My imagination ran wild, pondering the people who roamed England so long before written history, feeling the echoes of druids worshipping and then reveling right here.

The Castlerigg Stone Circle is a highlight in England’s Cumbrian Lake District. While just off the main road near the town of Keswick, it feels a world away. With each visit I marvel at how the stones line up with the surrounding mountain peaks. Sitting alone (except for the sheep) in the middle of this circle of stones, drenched in lush and pristine Lake District beauty, I imagined dancing druids, and dancing flames, and the fear that winter would snuff out spring forever.

Scotland has its own breed of stone circles. At Clava Cairns, set in a peaceful grove of trees just a few minutes’ drive from Inverness, are the remains of three thought-provoking stone igloos, each cleverly constructed with a passageway that the sun illuminates, as if by magic, with each winter solstice.

Nobody knows for sure what these stone circles meant to the people who built them. But their misty, mossy settings provide curious travelers with an intimate and accessible glimpse of the mysterious people who lived in prehistoric Britain.

When in Britain, strive to find your own private circle – an obscure, weathered bit of 4,000-year-old mounds and ditches with a couple of surviving upright stones. Come just as darkness is chasing out the twilight, and imagine rituals from the dank and misty past. The chill and the wonder will combine to leave you with a lifelong memory.

Rick Steves (www.ricksteves.com) writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. Email him at rick@ricksteves.com and follow his blog on Facebook.  Link: http://www.buffalonews.com/columns/rick-steves/stonehenge-is-a-tourist-mecca-that-still-retains-an-air-of-mystery-20140907

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Stonehenge Guided Tours
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Modern researchers have puzzled for centuries over the striking stone construction known as Stonehenge. But now researchers have discovered new aspects of the site, including a processional road, that may eventually help unravel some of its mysteries.

Researchers believe they have found an ancient path that once connected Stonehenge with a river and possible village nearby.

Researchers believe they have found an ancient path that once connected Stonehenge with a river and possible village nearby.

There are many theories about why ancient peoples constructed the prehistoric megalithic monument, which is estimated to have been built between 3000 and 1520 B.C. Located outside Salisbury, England, Stonehenge is the focus of ongoing research projects coordinated by English Heritage, a cultural preservation agency.

One of those projects recently uncovered previously hidden sections of an ancient pathway that researchers believe led directly to the site from the Avon River in the nearby town of Amesbury.

Known as the Avenue, the pathway is believed to have been built sometime between 2600 and 2200 B.C., according to English Heritage. Over time, parts of the road were obscured, and a modern road called A344 was built across it, reports LiveScience. The new road has made it almost impossible for researchers to confirm the purpose of the Avenue, according to LiveScience.

In an effort to answer some of these questions, researchers carefully began removing the paved A344. While the banks of the original path had long since eroded away, archaeologists were excited to find traces of two parallel ditches that once ran on either side of the path. These ditches connected segments of the Avenue bisected by A344.

“And here we have it –- the missing piece in the jigsaw,” Heather Sebire, properties curator and archaeologist at English Heritage, said in an interview with BBC History Magazine. “It is very exciting to find a piece of physical evidence that officially makes the connection which we were hoping for.”

While the purpose of the Avenue is not exactly clear, Sebire told LiveScience she believes it was involved in ancient processions to and from the site.

“It was constructed in 2300 BC so is a later addition to the stone circle, but people would have processed along it to the monument,” Sebire told BBC Magazine. “It’s quite a dramatic finding.”

At least one researcher unaffiliated with English Heritage believes the excavation could help confirm a theory that the Avenue leading to Stonehenge was built along the solstice axis. As archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson told National Geographic, this means that the direction of the Avenue moving away from the monument points toward where the sun rises on the midsummer solstice, the longest day of the year. But if you turn, the path leading back toward Stonehenge points toward where the sun sets on the midwinter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Article source: The Huffington Post  By : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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