Rising out of a misty open plain, Stonehenge is one of the very best, most mystical and most haunting historical monument in the UK (and I would argue in the world). 500 years old, these four metre high, moss covered stones made an exhaustively long trip from 240 kilometres away, in Wales.
There is evidence that communities lived in and around the area of the stone circle for thousands of years, making it likely that this was one of the central areas in this part of the world at the time. No other monument in the UK shows such a long and well-used past, which only adds to my love of these stones.
The very best time to visit Stonehenge is early in the morning or late in the evening. The arrangement is very closely aligned with the position of the sun, and in the middle of the day the effects are less pronounced. Rising or setting, the lower sun positions reveal shifting and moving shadow and light play, that truly enhances the atmosphere of this monument. I was lucky enough to visit on a morning when there was a light mist just burning off under a rising sun, and I can honestly say that I've never seen a historical monument to compete with that moment.
Visitors can take in a sunset or sunrise tour with an expert guide, or they can use audio guides which will explain point by point the positioning, theories about the construction and use and much more. There is a lot still to be decided about Stonehenge, and unlike other famous historical monuments, we are not particularly sure about what happened here and why!
The fairly nearby city of Salisbury could be the best place to stay if you are keen for a sunrise visit, and the cathedral in this medium sized medieval city is also well worth a visit. The royal castle of Windsor is also close by, and this region of the UK is in general, packed with history and prestigious buildings.
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