All world heritage sites have had their story. It is our task to unfold the impact they have had over decades.
One such world heritage site is Stonehenge, which holds a number of untold stories in its heart. We decided to go for a day tour to explore this untouched beauty.
We commenced our journey at around 9 in the morning. Having pre-booked our seats with London Day Tours, we reached Gloucester Road station to start an exciting day tour of the city.
Check: Day Tours London
Around two hours later, we reached Stonehenge from London. The ring of standing stones was visible from a sight.
The history of Stonehenge:
Situated north of the city of Salisbury, Stonehenge was founded back in the Bronze age. Its construction has witnessed a span of 1500 years. These stones have resisted changes and weather and erosion, and thus UNESCO has declared it to be a world heritage site. The site of Salisbury is a sacred site. Thus Stonehenge has been a site for ceremony as well as burial.
There are various theories around the legend of these stones. The bigger stones of Stonehenge, known as sarsens were brought from a place called Marlborough Downs. Whereas the smaller stones called bluestones came from Wales. Scientists are still working to get evidence as to how these stones were transported and what was the exact reason for building this structure.
However, a lot of burial mounds around indicate that it was used as a burial site. Hundreds of remains dating back to 3500 B.C were discovered. Besides, a number of shrines in the shape of a circle have also been discovered in this area.
What to do at Stonehenge:
Visit and click pictures of these ancient stones, listen to the history of this pre-historic monument using the audio guides provided to you. You can take a shuttle to the Stone Circle.
You can get some great views going around the circle. The main landmarks of construction of Stonehenge are as follows:
8000 B.C – Mesolithic Postholes
3700-3000 BC- Stonehenge Cursus, Long Barrow
3000-2200 BC – Stonehenge Avenue, Cuckoo Stone, Woodhenge, Durrington Walls
2200-1600 BC – Winterbourne Stoke crossroads barrows, Stonehenge Down barrows, Normanton Down barrows, Cursus Barrows, King Barrow Ridge
Only a few kilometres away from the stones, you would find a visitor centre where enticing gifts and souvenirs are available for purchase. The small cottages built beside it are reminiscent of the people who built this structure and stayed here.
While the museum is a display of the entire saga of Stonehenge, with visuals and artifacts brilliantly showcased. These give an entirely new perspective of Stonehenge.
There’s also a Cafe to enjoy tasty ice creams and hot chocolate!
What to do in Bath?
Around 1 hr away from Stonehenge, we reached the enchanting city of Bath. Our travel guide gave us an option of exploring the small city on foot. As you cross the Pulteney Bridge over River Avon in the city, you would understand that the stretch of this beautiful city has begun! There are a number of shops spanning from one end to the other, around this area.
A walk around the city
A little further, we stopped and began our walk. The first stop of this historical walk was the Bath Abbey. The city, which has experienced an abundance of religious reforms and transformations is famous for this Christian place of worship. With its cathedral and monasteries, you would discover the tales of ordinary and royal people.
The first thing we noticed about Bath Abbey was the flight of angels carved on this building. The reason lies in the theory that the Bishop of Bath dreamt of angels ascending and descending around him. Our guide, a graduate in History, explained how this place lay in ruins several years back and was later repaired to maintain its sanctity.
As the name of the city suggests, there are a number of Roman baths you would like to visit. Romans, who invaded the city, loved to construct different baths. It is said that water that comes from the ground, gets heated and rises to the surface under pressure, in the form of hot springs. Thus the city is famous for these historical sources of water. Visit the Pump Room, one of the oldest baths in the city.
As we walked on, we noticed a string of restaurants and local market. Bath is also famous for its buns, popularly called the ‘Bath Buns’. Get a bite at the Bath Bun Tea Shoppe and its oldest competitor Sally Lunn’s. If you are looking out to grab some vegetarian food, ‘a corn’ would be a good choice.
On our way, we came across the Jane Austen Centre, the Royal Mineral Water Hospital which is one of the oldest in the city, the Royal Theatre of Bath and views of the splendid fronts and backs of local houses. Our guide topped up our knowledge some delighting as well as shocking facts about the city. (Read here)
The walk ended at the Royal Crescent, a fancy restaurant, with around 30 houses sprawling the region in a crescent fashion.
The Royal Crescent
And when you come to adore the culmination of history and luxury embellishing the city, we realized that the city had conquered our hearts. Yet it was time to leave back for London, with beautiful memories of Bath and Stonehenge.