The short answer: No, it’s not…personally.
As one of the greatest wonders of the world and an iconic symbol of Britain, Stonehenge has puzzled historians, geographers and archaeologists for centuries with its mysterious layout and unassured significance. It’s no surprise that the intriguing pre-historic monument has become such a compelling tourist attraction, welcoming more than 800,000 tourists a year to view its unique layout. Yet, with all its mystery and wonderment in mind, is it truly worth it to visit Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, England and consists of several large, upright stones placed in a circular layout. Although most scholars now agree that Stonehenge was used as an ancient burial ground, its full purpose is yet to be discovered. For many scholars and observers, the construction of Stonehenge is most astonishing. Built approximately 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, the largest stones at the monument, known as sarsens, are about 30 feet tall and weigh about 25 tons. The sarsen’s are believed to have been moved from Marlborough Downs, located 20 miles from Stonehenge.
While visiting London, I was intrigued to visit Stonehenge as I knew it was a popular tourist destination, and I found its story to be very interesting, but when I arrived at the monument after a long, two hour bus ride, all I felt was disappointment.
Although I still found the story and conception of Stonehenge to be interesting, the experience of viewing the monument was not what I had expected. As un-cultured as this may sound, I truly felt like I had travelled all this way to stare at some old rocks.
With that being said, the location of Stonehenge is absolutely beautiful and I respect why the monument is regarded by some as art. It is truly fascinating that these stones were moved and placed in the position they (mostly) remain in today; however, for having travelled two hours outside of London to spend 40 minutes viewing these stones and walking in a circle, I did not feel as though it was worth it. In this case, pictures truly do Stonehenge justice.
If you are planning to visit Stonehenge on your trip to England, here are some suggestions for your travel:
Choose a tour that takes you to Stonehenge and other locations
I went on a bus tour that took us to Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge. Although it was a long day and a lot of travel, I was happy that I was able to see other locations for the amount of time it takes to arrive at Stonehenge. Furthermore, Bath and Windsor Castle are beautiful locations that I highly recommend visiting.
Rent a car
If you aren’t interested in bus tours and are comfortable with driving in England, I suggest renting a car for the day. This allows you to customize your own trip and the amount of time you spend at each destination. This option is great for adventurous tourists!
Decide whether seeing the monument is worth it to you
Tickets to Stonehenge is more expensive compared to other English heritage sites and you are not permitted to get too close to the stones due to conservation efforts. While most sites are free of charge or a minimal admission of about £5.00, the admission to Stonehenge can cost up to £19.50, not including a bus tour and its associated prices. Therefore, it is important to be sure that Stonehenge is a monument you truly desire to visit.
With that being said, travel preferences vary from person to person. Stonehenge is truly a fascinating heritage site and if you are intrigued by its history you should consider whether or not a visit is worth it for you!