Stonehenge

Old Jul 19th, 2012, 05:56 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stonehenge

I'll be in London in October and I'd like to take a day trip to check out Stonehenge. I know it's a bit of a trek to see it using public transportation and a tour might be the best option. Is there anything else worth checking out around Stonehenge that might tempt us to do an over night stay there?
ParisNiceLondon is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 06:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,949
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, there is the larger (and much more interesting, IMO) stone circle at Avebury.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 06:38 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,563
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you take public transportation you would be going to Salisbury where you would catch a bus to Stonehenge - it is not difficult at all. Salisbury itself is a great place to spend the night and has a magnificent Cathedral well worth your time. The train out to Salisbury is quick and easy and if you can get a Megatrain ticket, cheap as well.

Many bus tours also include Bath. One problem with the bus tours though is that they do not give you enough time in either place.

You will get a number of replies saying that Stonehenge is a bore or similar, so I will be pro-active and say I think it is a wonderful visit - have been there 3 times and look forward to additional visits.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 07:13 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,270
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
There are a great many neolithic sites in the area, in addition to the above mentioned Avebury. I was about to say you needed to rent a car to see them though, when a quick search came up with this outfit: http://www.stonehengetours.com/html/...scape_tour.htm

Having just discovered them I can't vouch for their quality, obviously, but it might be worth investigating.

Agree with basingstoke that Stonehenge is a wonderful and evocative site.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 07:39 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's not that much of a trek to get there on the bus from Salisbury, and if you go under your own steam, you can make your own timetable for leaving. One thing I would suggest, particularly since the approach to the stones is a bit underwhelming, and when surrounded by people they don't always look that spectacular, is to take the time to move away from them a bit, and to look at them in the context of the surrounding landscape, much of which is also owned by the National Trust and open to you to walk in.

Go down the slope a distance towards the bottom of the field, and then turn back and walk up: the stones suddenly emerge on the skyline - and you are walking up what they think might have been the ceremonial approach route all those thousands of years ago. Or go up the slope across the road behind the stones (you need to be very careful about the traffic, though) and notice how, again they seem to disappear into the landscape. Or go over to some of the surrounding barrows and see how many others you can see in a sort of ring about a mile away from the stones. Then you can begin to grasp the monumentality of it all and some of the sense of magic around it.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 07:49 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,726
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
"I know it's a bit of a trek to see it using public transportation and a tour might be the best option."

You 'know' wrong

As Patrick explains - getting to Stonehenge on your own is easy peasy. Take the train to Salisbury and then the local Stonehenge bus to the Stones. (And while I agree w/ Heimdall that Avebury is very worthwhile -- it is not easy to visit via public transport.)

I personally would not take a tour from London to Stonehenge - they are very expensive.

I'd either rent a car for the day and visit Salisbury, Stonehenge, Old Sarum, Avebury and other sites - or - I'd take the train to Salisbury and a bus or taxi to the stones.
janisj is online now  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 08:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,563
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fra_Diavolo..."evocative" Thank you- that is the perfect word to describe the Stonehenge experience. My last time there it was the first for DW and we spent hours doing much of what Patrick London suggested - he is spot on.

My first trip was with my then teenaged son and we did the Stonehenge-Bath bus tour. The main thing I got from that tour was a determination to return in order to experience both place in more depth.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 08:32 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And while we're on the subject, I second the idea of having a look around Salisbury as well. The Cathedral has a copy of Magna Carta (and yes, when I saw it, an American couple standing next to me asked where it had the bit about the right to bear arms......), and is well worth visiting in its own right. I believe there are some other things to see there that I haven't visited, but in any case it's a quite attractive town to wander around in.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 09:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,020
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
People RAVE about Mad Max mini van tours out of Bath. You could spend a couple nights in Bath (if you have the time) and enjoy one of these day tours which also include Avebury and Lacock -- preserved village in Wiltshire.
susan001 is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 11:11 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,321
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have Los done the walk from London to Salisbury and Stonehenge and it's really good...you use public transit and get to see both places with the guide www.walks.com
jamikins is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 11:18 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Salisbury itself is one of Englan's loveliest towns - well worth a night there - Salisbury Cathedral is world famous - there are some sweet walks along a canal into the countryside - you can see the cow meadows in front of the town and cathedral in background that Constable (I think could be someone else) made famous in his paintings - Salisbury itself is a gem and Stonehenge being on its doorstep a plus.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 11:36 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My kids and I did the London Walks tour to Salisbury and Stonehenge and liked it. Having the guide handle the logistics (even if they aren't exactly daunting) and also the tour meant I didn't have to think about it while also dealing with the kids. They actually still remember the lunch we had while in Salisbury, one of those odd details that children will remember.
Therese is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 11:48 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,563
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The London Walks idea is an excellent compromise if you do not want to spend the night. They are a reputable company and in my experience the guides have been knowledgeable.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 01:14 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 16
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You do not need an official tour -- public transportation is fine.

That said, Stonehenge was the biggest disappointment of my two years in London.

Maybe I built it up too much, but it was a whole lot of travel for one giant, crowded "so what?"

Salisbury is cute, but if I'm picking a quaint town outside of London I'd go for Cambridge, St. Albans or Windsor Castle. (Or Bath, if you're up for a drive.)
WordCouture1 is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 02:02 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While I wouldn't describe Salisbury as one of England's " loveliest " towns, it is pleasant enough, and the cathedral worth visiting. Its spire is England's tallest and tours are available. Breath-taking views at the top. The medieval close surrounding the cathedral has some beautiful houses and a few interesting museums. There is plenty to see/do in Salisbury. If you do decide to visit Salsibury, I'd be glad to elaborate on its attractions.

It was Turner who painted the cathedral from the water meadows. There is a pleasant walk though the meadows to the Old Mill. It's been a long time since I've seen cattle in the meadows; more recently, it's been sheep and even llamas, but, perhaps, that has changed since my last visit.

Whether to visit Stonehenge or not has to be your decision. If you go, get an audio guide. Viewing the henge without any knowldege of its history and the effort involved in its construction will likely leave one disappointed.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 02:12 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yikes, I said Turner painted the scene of Salisbury Cathedral; it was Constable as Pal stated. Turner did paint an interior scene of the strainer arches ( in the central crossing and southwest choir aisle) .
historytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 05:01 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 893
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Salisbury and Old Sarum- read "Sarum" and you will appreciate the Chapter House, the rivers, the steeple, etc. Avebury- wonderful! Stonehenge- maybe it was touring several other stone circles and ending up seeing the saracens, maybe it was spending a half hour talking with one of the interpreters, maybe it was our last day, but it was a priceless stop.
eastenderusvi is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2012, 07:27 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,726
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
I would be a bit suspicious of someone who describes Salisbury as 'cute' (and uses "cute" and the "q" word in the same sentence )
janisj is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
walkonthebeach
Europe
13
Feb 14th, 2017 12:33 AM
mdieri
Europe
20
Jan 29th, 2012 07:21 PM
LuvtheGators
Europe
21
May 16th, 2008 07:17 AM
Meagan
Europe
5
Mar 21st, 2007 12:15 PM
anna
Europe
5
Jun 28th, 2002 07:58 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -