The Extended Stonehenge Sunset Tour: With Special Inner Circle Access

Join us for a cross country adventure; exploring the finest landscapes the south-west of England has to offer. From the beauty of the Cotswolds’ rolling hills, to the mystery of Wessex’s Neolithic sites, the quaintness of Lacock village to the mesmeric antiquity of Stonehenge – for an unforgettable sunset amidst the sacred stones.

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Stonehenge Special Access Tour Highlights

  1. • Sunset VIP Access viewing of Stonehenge
    • Private viewing of Stonehenge – enter the inner stone circle (1 Hour)
    Luxury + Midi Coach Travel
    • Personalised small groups – maximum 26
    • Expert Local Stonehenge Guide
    • Walking Tour of Avebury Stone Circle
    • See Ancient Chalk Hill Figures
    • See Prehistoric Silbury Hill
    • Lacock Village in the Scenic Cotswolds

Our special arrangement with English Heritage allows us to invite you within the inner ring of Stonehenge as part of a unique tour experience. For 99% of people visiting the sight the stones are roped off and observed from a distance. But not you…
As the sun goes down and the tourists clear the area, you will stay. You will then be permitted beyond the fences, within the inner circle and tread the sacred ground which so few have before you. Our special access tours will allow you to contemplate the mystery of the ancient monoliths as you walk amongst them, whilst an expert tour guide brings to life their many myths, legends and fascinating history.

5000 Years of History in just one Day

The Tour
After your mini coach pick-up direct from or near to your central London we leave London behind and take the old coach road through Hungerford, Marlborough, along the Kennet valley and through the Savernake Forest to Avebury Stone Circle.
Visit two awe-inspiring prehistoric monuments of pagan Britain.

Avebury Prehistoric Stone Circle
As we meander through the countryside to Avebury, we pass famous white horses carved into the chalk hillsides and picturesque, tucked away villages. We explore the mysterious phenomena of crop circles and take a closer look at any which may be in the area.
Feel the magic when walking amongst this the largest ritual stone circle in the World.

Avebury may be less famous then its Neolithic cousin Stonehenge, but it exudes the same occult energy and the same historic significance. It is the largest prehistoric stone circle in Europe, the product of over 500 years of effort by Neolithic man. You will be able to appreciate this enigmatic space on foot, appreciating the ancient and spiritually intuitive earthworks of our Neolithic ancestors. Your appreciation of Neolithic customs will continue to grow as you try your hand at the ancient art of drowsing – prepare to be wholly amazed!

The charming village will add a dimension of variety to the Avebury experience, it’s picturesque thatched cottages, antiques and village churches contrasting with the ancient mysteries of the circle- showing the full range of British history – and of course you can appreciate a cream tea or a pint of beer in the Red Lion!
Before making our way to Lacock Village, we will also see seemingly eternal mystery of Silbury Hill, Europe’s largest prehistoric man-made monument.
Voted one of the most spiritual places in the country

Lacock Village in the scenic Cotswolds

Steep yourself in the transcendental history of Lacock. A national trust village whose quintessential English charm has been so unaffected by modern development, so untouched by recent history, that it has become the setting for many movies and television dramas: Including…

Despite its unadulterated charm, Lacock remains little known and so its beauty remains. Many of the villages wonderful buildings originally formed part of an extensive monastic complex and Lacock Abbey is truly the jewel if Lacock is the crown. We will take a walk through the village and through British history, from the towns Saxons origins to its newfound televisual glamour. There will also be the chance for food and drink at one of the towns splendid pubs.

If you are looking for drama, history and scenery then this is the tour for you!

Stonehenge Sunset Access
Finally, we reach the pinnacle of the tour, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument: Stonehenge and the opportunity to walk amongst these hallowed monoliths

Private Viewing of Stonehenge
Our tour separates you from the crowd. Whilst the average Stonehenge visitor views from a distance, amidst the crowd- our visitors enter the stone circle itself when everyone else had left. Our visitors can stand next to the stones, appreciating their true magnitude as they render you minisule in comparison- some of the stones standing at 9m. The peace of the evening, when all have left adds to the arcane mystery of the Stones- the isolation only increasing the mythic awe of the site. Your intrigue will crescendo as one of our expert guides regails you with the depth of their knowledge.
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.

April – September 2020
Availability is strictly limited so book early, as private viewings regularly sell out and operate on selected days only.

This exclusive tour departs central London at 12 noon and return to London approx 11pm mission all rush hour traffic therfore maximising your sightseeing time,
We can often arrange extra inner circle dates for private groups, ideal for couples, families and small groups with specific dates and wanting to save money. – click here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Access Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

 

Thousands descend on the Wiltshire monument to mark the longest day of the year,

THOUSANDS of revellers travel to Stonehenge every year to mark summer solstice.

But do you know why the Wiltshire monument attracts so many people on the longest day of the year? Here’s the lowdown…

When is the summer solstice?

The midsummer date is set based on the planet’s rotational axis.

It’s decided based on the sun’s tilt towards the sun, which hits its maximum at 23° 26′ and falls between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere.

This year, the summer solstice will take place on June 21.

What is the summer solstice?

The ‘longest’ day of the year marks the middle of summer.

This is because the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most aligned with the sun, providing us with the most daylight of the year.

When it ends, the nights will began to close in as our planet rotates away from the sun.

The date where Earth is the furthest from the star is marked by the winter solstice.

What has the summer solstice got to do with Stonehenge?

The day is celebrated by pagans and druids, with rituals of rebirth performed throughout history on the day.

One of the biggest celebrations in the UK occurs at Stonehenge with crowds gathering to watch the sunrise.

The tradition sees revellers waiting by the Wiltshire monument on midsummer, facing towards the north-easterly direction.

Crowds of devotees, often dressed for the occasion, regularly gather to watch the moment the sun rises above the Heel Stone.

It’s just one of the many pagan festivals, which include midwinter and inbolc – the day that traditionally marks the start of spring.

How else is the summer solstice celebrated?

Midsummer festivities are held across the world in many different cultures.

In many cases, the rituals are linked with themes of religion or fertility.

Article Source: By Sophie Roberts The Sun Newspaper

Join the Summer Solstice celebrations on our exclusive Summer Solstice Tour and Winter Solstice Tour from London or Bath.  

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Solstice Experts
www.StonehengeTours.com

This full day tour from London starts when you’re picked up at your hotel by a London black taxi driver – the world’s finest!  Acclaimed the world over for having to complete the fiendishly difficult ‘Knowledge of London’ series of tests before they are awarded their coveted green badge, your London black taxi driver is required to know literally thousands of streets, landmarks and places of interest. Every single London black taxi driver has been rigorously vetted, so you know you’re in safe hands too.

Climb Glastonbury Tor

Your cabbie will drop you off at your starting point where your tour bus awaits you, offering you the kind of comfort you deserve: all coaches feature reclining leather seats, air conditioning, and panoramic windows so you can sit back and enjoy the stunning views of the English countryside.

The first stop of the day is the magnificent, enthralling Stonehenge. This iconic structureexcalibur has puzzled archaeologists and historians for centuries, and its true purpose remains a mystery to this day. How did the stones get transported thousands of years ago from so far away? What is the secret of its remarkable layout? We’ll be exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site with your qualified tour guide, who will escort you into the cinema for a 360- degree experience of what it would be like to be in the centre of Stonehenge from its beginnings 5,000 years ago.

You’ll also be able to view the many artefacts recovered from the tombs dotted around the surrounding landscape of lush, rolling green hills, as well as a nearly complete skeleton of someone who lived in the area before Stonehenge was even begun.

Outside the monument there will be a chance to explore some of the huts recreated from findings at the nearby “Durrington Walls” 2 miles away. You’ll get the chance to step into the huts and see how the people who built Stonehenge lived. From here we hop on to the courtesy bus that takes us up to the site of Stonehenge itself.

day-tour-image-24The remarkable thing about Stonehenge is its unique design and the craftsmanship involved in building this extraordinary site, and your guide is on hand to talk about some of the theories, and point out the site’s distinctive features.

From here we push deeper into what is often referred to as Arthur’s Britain. The countryside gradually becomes hillier and more remote as modern civilisation melts away behind us. We pass iron age fortresses, doll-like thatched cottages, ancient landmarks, villages with old gaols and a pub that was run by a notorious highwayman.

From here we approach Glastonbury and the much-photographed Tor (hill) that silently Glastonbury Abbeydominates the landscape for miles around. We’ll pull into the small nearby town for our fish and chip lunch at an award-winning restaurant that has been a family business for over a century. From here we’ll cross the road into Glastonbury Abbey to search for the final resting place of King Arthur himself. According to contemporary reports, the monks who lived at the Abbey discovered the tomb of Arthur following a fire. But to many people, Arthur is not dead at all – he sleeps nearby ready to awake when England is in peril. Stories of Arthur abound here in Glastonbury – the Isle of Apples – as do legends of fairy folk, saints and magic, all weaving through the landscape and remembering the deeds of long ago.

Our tour continues with a visit to the revered Chalice Well, where you can take for free the healing waters from the Lion’s head spring. Here too is an example of the Glastonbury thorn brought from the Holy Land by Joseph of Arimathea. The Chalice well itself has never been known to dry out – not even in the most severe droughts – and it was here that Joseph hid the Holy Grail. Since that time, people have travelled from far and wide to benefit from its healing properties.

Now for some serious hiking – but only if you want to! This is your chance to walk to the top of the town of Glastonbury and marvel at the magnificent views across to the city of Wells, Porlock, Dunster and even across the Bristol Channel to the principality of Wales – the land of the dragon. The tower of St. Michael stands as testimony to the medieval monks’ determination and engineering skills. But the tower holds a gruesome secret, and there’s an intriguing story of an encounter with the fairy kingdom too!

Avebury Stone CircleTime to leave now for our final stop of the day and the village of Avebury. On our way there we’ll see a striking white horse carved into the hillside to commemorate the triumph of an English King over the Vikings back in the 800s. We’ll also be driving past an old country mansion which became the subject of a notorious (and true!) murder mystery, a place that is in fact at the origin of the enthusiasm for detective novels going back to the 1800s that kick-started the popularity of the detective novel, captivating the imagination of readers and amateur sleuths on both sides of the Atlantic.

Then onto Avebury.

Measuring 400 metres across its diameter, the stone circle of Avebury is the largest in the world and – like Stonehenge – is a world heritage site. We’ll have time to explore the site together with your guide who tell you about the barber stone and the haunted pub, and will show you some great photo spots. We’ll also be doing some dowsing at the site to discover the power of the stones.  There’ll be time to pop in to the famous ‘henge’ shop and find out about crystals and crop circles, and you might even want to take home some dowsing rods of your own… From here we’ll get back on our coach that will take us past the mysterious pre-historic mound of Silbury Hill – the largest in Europe.

We drive back via the lovely market towns of Marlborough and Hungerford. We’ll see Marlborough College, the school attended by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie amongst others. Here, too, is another prehistoric mound which, according to legend, conceals the Round Table along with Merlin the Magician.

We’ll be joining the freeway back to London and drive past Windsor Castle, the venue for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018, and you’ll be dropped off at Gloucester Road. Should any passengers require onward transfers then please speak to the guide beforehand.

Whats Included

Fully Guided Lecture Standard Tour

Admission to Stonehenge

Admission to Glastonbury Abbey

Climb Glastonbury Tor

All Travel in Luxury Mini-Bus from Central London

View and book this magical day tour here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Experts!
www.StonehengeTours.com

 

The striking British landmark was built in three stages – and some parts of it are 5,000 years old.

winter-sols

Stonehenge is one of the most recognisable and Instagrammed landmarks spots in Britain, but do you know its history?

But where are the famous standing stones and more importantly who put them there? Here’s what we know…

What is Stonehenge?

Instantly recognisable from the surrounding roads, Stonehenge is made up of a ring of standing stones – each of which are around 13ft (4.1 metres) high, 6ft 11in (2.1m) wide and weigh 25 tons.

The stones are set within a group of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, as well as several hundred burial mounds.

Stonehenge was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986, and is one of the most Instagrammed tourist attractions in Britain.

In 1915, wealthy Shrewton resident Sir Cecil Chubb became Stonehenge’s last private owner when he bought the site for £6,600. It is now estimated to be worth a huge £51 million.

He formally handed it over to the state three years later, with a number of conditions.

The site is managed by English Heritage – and is the third best view in Britain, according to a recent poll.

 

What is the history of Stonehenge?

Stonehenge was built in three stages, with some parts being a huge 5,000 years old.

The outer bank of Stonehenge was made in around 3000 BC, while the stone settings were built in 2500 BC.

Hundreds of people helped to construct the landmark – transporting the stones from the nearby Marlborough Downs and Preseli Hills, in south-west Wales.

The stones were then worked into shape using sarsen and flint hammerstones.

Today, Stonehenge is linked to the druids – and many people wrongly think they built the structure.

However, archaeologists believe it was constructed by three groups – the Neolithics, the Beaker people and the Wessex Peoples – who are said to have finalised the site into what we see today.

What happens during the Winter Solstice Festival?

Every year, hundreds of people gather at Stonehenge for The Winter Solstice, which falls around December 21.

It is the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.

Every year people gather at Stonehenge in the early morning to mark the Winter solstice and see the sun rise over the stones.

People also gather at Stonehenge on the eve of Midsumer’s Day, to celebrate the Summer Solstice.

At dawn on the longest day of the summer – which normally falls between June 20 and 22 – pagans, druids and other spectators gather to celebrate and watch the sunrise.

Spring Equinox, which falls around March 20, is also marked at the historic site.

What’s going on with the plans for a tunnel near Stonehenge?

The plans for a 1.8-mile dual carriageway tunnel near Stonehenge, have got the go-ahead from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Some experts warned it would compromise the “precious” archaeology of the World Heritage Site.

But government agency Historic England, and the National Trust and English Heritage who manage the stone circle, welcomed the ruling. The A303 is often gridlocked there.

Time Team presenter Tony Robinson has previously described the scheme as “old-fashioned” because it “assumes what needs to be protected is that little clump of stones”.

He said the stone circle was invaluable, but over the past 20 to 30 years, experts had begun to appreciate that the area around it was a complex network of henges, pathways, barrows and track-ways.

Article Source: By Josie Griffiths: The Sun Online

Join us on a Stonehenge guided tour from London or Bath and join the Pagan celebrations at sunrise on the Winter Solstice. This is a popular tour and should be booked in advance: Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour

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

SUN-seekers will be alarmed to know that the summer solstice is just around the corner. The pagan celebration falls in June every year. 

Even though the midsummer date is when we get the most daylight of the year, it also marks the time where the days start shortening ahead of winter.

summer-solstice-getty-sun

The summer solstice is considered to be the longest day of the year because it’s when we get the most daylight. Getty Images

Here’s everything you need to know about summer solstice 2017…

When is the summer solstice?

The midsummer date is set based on the planet’s rotational axis.

It’s decided based on the sun’s tilt towards the sun, which hits its maximum at 23° 26′ and falls between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere.

This year, the summer solstice will take place on Wednesday, June 21st
solstice-moon

The date is decided based on the angle of the Earth’s tilt. Getty Images

What is the summer solstice?

The ‘longest’ day of the year marks the middle of summer.

This is because the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most aligned with the sun, providing us with the most daylight of the year.

After June 21, the nights will began to close in as our planet rotates away from the sun.

The date where Earth is the furthest from the star is marked by the winter solstice.

What’s the summer solstice got to do with Stonehenge?

The day is celebrated by pagans and druids, with rituals of rebirth performed throughout history on the day.

One of the biggest celebrations in the UK occurs at Stonehenge with crowds gathering to watch the sunrise.

The tradition sees revellers waiting by the Wiltshire monument on midsummer, facing towards the north-easterly direction.

Crowds of devotees, often dressed for the occasion, regularly gather to watch the moment the sun rises above the Heel Stone.

It’s just one of the many pagan festivals, which include midwinter and imbolc – the day that traditionally marks the start of spring.

solstice-party

Revellers face the sun as they watch it rise up around the Wiltshire monument

How else is the summer solstice celebrated?Midsummer festivities are held across the world in many different cultures.

In many cases, the rituals are linked with themes of religion or fertility.

Wianki celebrations in Poland are similar to those held in Britain, as the day is largely considered a pagan religious event.

There are different traditions across Europe, with Estonia using the day to mark a shift in agricultural patterns.

In Russia and Ukraine, it’s tradition for revellers to jump over bonfires to test their courage and religious faith.

Article source: By Sophie Roberts The Sun News

Cross it off your bucket list this year and join our Stonehenge Summer Solstice Tour. Guided tours with luxury transport depart from Bath and London on 20th and 21st for sunset and sunrise.

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Experts
Established 1995

Why does Stonehenge exist? We explore the pick of the theories, which are all totally sane and reasonable.

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From archaeologists to modern-day pagans to Spinal Tap fans, Stonehenge is truly a place of wonder where the demons dwell, where the banshees live and they do live well. The prehistoric monument has been the source of a great deal of speculation over its meaning, purpose and construction. Here are some of the theories surrounding those ancient stones.

Merlin did it

Not as popular a theory among historians as it once was, the Merlin Hypothesis suggests that King Arthur’s pet wizard had Stonehenge constucted with the help of a local giant, the Devil or his own mysterious magic. Notable fabulist Geoffrey of Monmouth was a big supporter of this theory, which was pretty popular into the 14th century.

From archaeologists to modern-day pagans to Spinal Tap fans, Stonehenge is truly a place of wonder where the demons dwell, where the banshees live and they do live well. The prehistoric monument has been the source of a great deal of speculation over its meaning, purpose and construction. Here are some of the theories surrounding those ancient stones.

Merlin did it

Not as popular a theory among historians as it once was, the Merlin Hypothesis suggests that King Arthur’s pet wizard had Stonehenge constucted with the help of a local giant, the Devil or his own mysterious magic. Notable fabulist Geoffrey of Monmouth was a big supporter of this theory, which was pretty popular into the 14th century.

It was a very fancy cemetery

Over the years, the remains of 63 different people have been exhumed from the site – in the form of more than 50,000 cremated bone fragments. Apparently the burials occured way back around 3000BC, roughly 100 years after the first stones were placed on the site. Given those rubbery figures, its possible the initial structure was designed as an over-the-top headstone arrangement.

It was designed for healing and pilgrimage

There’s another theory about why those remains were found there, and it’s based on the fact that a lot of them appear to have suffered from illness or injury. This suggests that people saw Stonehenge as a place to travel when you weren’t well, in the hope of getting magical first aid. Further investigation revealed fragments of the first stones had been chipped away, which could have been so people could craft them into healing talismans. (Or they were just touristy vandals.)

Aliens did it

There was once a strong school of thought that held that ancient people were idiots who couldn’t build anything as amazing as the wonders still standing among us today, so they must have had help. Obviously Merlin and his fairy minions are ridiculous, but aliens – well, it makes sense that they would pop down and help our forebears construct monolithic calculators. All you have to do is squint, fudge a few measurements, take liberties in the interpretation of ancient artworks and/or Bible passages, and it makes perfect sense.

Druids used it as a measuring instrument

If you want to know exactly when the Winter Solstice is coming, Stonehenge can help you calculate that. The avenue connecting Stonehenge to the River Avon aligns with the sun that day. Apparently there are key points around the complex that could have been used to predict eclipses, too, which is pretty cool if true. By the way, the “Druids did it” theory began in 1640 but has been pretty well debunked. Sorry.

It was a feel-good collaboration to celebrate unity

And by “unity”, we mean “you’ve all been conquered, now help us build a stone circle so you’ll never forget it”. Everyone except the alien and fairy enthusiasts agree the work of bringing these stones to the site and erecting them in a circle would have required the efforts of many people working together. Under this theory, the Neolithic locals spontaneously banded together to create the ancient equivalent of the Statue of Liberty.

It’s monolithic porn

Look, it seems unlikely, but in 2003 one researcher claimed Stonehenge looked like female genitalia and was meant to celebrate the Earth Mother. This theory requires even more squinting than the alien one.
By Shane Cubis SBS

Join the Stonehenge experts and a guided tour and hear all the latest theories

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Tours since 1995
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Wiltshire’s world-famous stones have been attracting sightseers for thousands of years. Here, Mike Pitts tells the tourists’ story.

A group of Victorian tourists pose in front of Stonehenge, c1900. © Corbis

A group of Victorian tourists pose in front of Stonehenge, c1900. © Corbis

2500 BC: Stonehenge is the talk of prehistoric Europe

Visitors have always been part of Stonehenge, even the stones are foreigners: the small ones from Wales, the large ones probably from the Marlborough Downs, 20 miles to the north.

Stonehenge was truly unique in Europe and so, at its height around 2500 BC, it must have been talked about across the continent.

Evidence of houses in the area suggests that far more people lived near to the stones than we would normally expect. Drawing labour and representatives from different tribes or groups, Stonehenge must have played a part in alliances that reached across Britain, and perhaps even beyond.

Tests on a man buried nearby around 2300 BC have revealed that he grew up in central Europe, was rich, but had a bad knee and a limp. Other men buried in the area originated at least as far away as Wales. Could these have been among Stonehenge’s first tourists?

Read the full story at History Extra

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