Friday, 15 September 2017

The grave of the Amesbury Archer found near Stonehenge is one of the most important discoveries in Europe.

The Amesbury Archer. Late Neolithic, 2400–2200BC

Found near Stonehenge, the burial is over 4000 years old. It is one of the earliest bell beaker graves in Britain. The archer was 35–45 years old when he died and placed in a wooden chamber beneath a low mound. His left kneecap was missing which would have caused him to have a bad limp. Isotope analyses of his teeth show that he grew up outside Britain, probably near the Alps

His grave contained an unusually large number and variety of objects. They include five beaker pots, 18 arrowheads, two bracers (archer’s wristguards), four boars’ tusks, 122 flint tools, three copper knives, a pair of gold hair ornaments, and a cushion stone. The gold and copper metal objects are currently the oldest found in Britain. 

Many of the other finds have strong continental links. Although he was buried with archery equipment the presence of the cushion stone suggests he was a metalworker.
Metalworking was a new skill and he may have brought this technique with him to Britain. This knowledge could have made him a powerful man explaining his wealthy burial. In continental Europe metalworkers’ burials were often very elaborate.

If you are visting Stonehenge make sure you take time to visit nearby Salisbury Museum



The Stonehenge Tourist Guide

Friday, 4 August 2017

Boost in Stonehenge visitor numbers

More people than ever before are visiting Stonehenge it seems - making it one of the country's biggest tourist attractions.

1,381,855 people visited our stone circle during 2016, which is up 1.1% on the previous year.
That makes it the 7th most visited paid for attraction in the UK, with more tourists than places like London Zoo, the Eden Project and the Houses of Parliament.

The rundown's been released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Visit Britain.
When taking all the free of charge places into account as well, Stonehenge is ranked 22nd on the list.

Read the full story at Spire FM

Visit Stonehenge this summer for a great day out!

The Stonehenge Tourist Guide

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The more archaeologists study Stonehenge, the more mysteries unfold

Stonehenge is one the UK’s most visited tourist attractions – and one of the world’s most enigmatic ancient monuments. People come from all over the world to stare at the iconic stone pillars and wonder how, and why, they were put in place.
Stonehenge wasn't the only significant monument in the region

The site may be instantly recognisable, but there is far more to it than first meets the eye. As archaeologists study this area, mystery after mystery unfolds. But a coherent story may be beginning to emerge.

That has been particularly true over the last decade. Researchers have been studying not just the monument itself, but the area around it, hoping to find clues in this intriguing landscape of prehistoric monuments.
Underground imaging and excavation have revealed that Stonehenge was once part of a complicated network of structures: ancient burial mounds, unknown settlements, processional routes and even gold-adorned burials. The finds paint a picture of a far more mysterious and elaborate Neolithic and Bronze Age world than previously thought.
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One such project that looked at Stonehenge in this holistic way was the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, which ran from 2010 to 2014. Underground radar and magnetic imaging techniques revealed that Stonehenge lies at the centre of a complex web of structures covering an estimated 4.5 square miles (12 sq km). The project caused a media frenzy in 2015, when scientists announced the finding of a potential ‘Superhenge’ at nearby Durrington Walls – a huge 500m (1,640ft) diameter stone circle.

However, this frenzy was short-lived. When excavating the site, the archaeologists didn’t find any stones. Instead, they found that timber posts once stood here. After they were removed, the holes were filled with chalk and then covered in earth to form a henge bank. On radar scans, the gaps in the loose chalk had looked like stones.

This story is a part of BBC Britain – a series focused on exploring this extraordinary island, one story at a time. See every BBC Britain story by heading to the Britain hompage

Read the full story (source) on the BBC website

The Stonehenge Tourist Guide
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Monday, 5 June 2017

STONEHENGE SUMMER SOLSTICE 2017

Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site which may have been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Summer Solstice for thousands of years and is seen by many as a sacred site. 

Please note that the site will close at 15:00 on Tuesday 20 June with last normal day admissions at 13:00, so that we can prepare for Summer Solstice Managed Open Access. Stonehenge is closed on Wednesday 21 June and will re-open at 09:00 on Thursday 22 June. Visit the English Heritage Website for full details

English Heritage is pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Summer solstice 2017 and ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read the Conditions of Entry and the information provided on the following pages before deciding whether to come. These are written to ensure enjoyment and safety for everyone attending summer solstice at Stonehenge.  

Please note to reduce risk to those attending and to the monument itself, alcohol is not allowed in the monument field during summer solstice.

Following recent terrorist related incidents across the UK, additional security measures will be in place at Summer Solstice this year. We are working closely with Wiltshire Police to ensure the safety of all visitors and, as a result, only small bags (approx 30cm x 25cm x 15cm) will be allowed into the Monument Field and searches will be conducted. We strongly advise you to only bring essential items and thank you in advance for your patience.

DATES AND TIMES

TUESDAY 20 JUNE 2017 

SOLSTICE CAR PARK OPENS 19:00

ACCESS TO MONUMENT FIELD   19:00

SUNSET 21:26

WEDNESDAY 21 JUNE 2017 

SUNRISE   04.52

LAST ADMISSION TO SOLSTICE CAR PARK 06:00 (or when full)

STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD CLOSES 08:00

SOLSTICE CAR PARK TO BE VACATED 12:00 (Noon)

Admission to the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge is free of charge.

Parking is limited and charges apply (see Travelling to Solstice for details). We strongly recommend travelling by public transport or arranging to car share with friends or through Liftshare .  

For further details and information to help you plan your journey, including details of local accommodation and other helpful advice for Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, follow links below.

Follow @eh_stonehenge on Twitter for live information during the summer solstice.

The Stonehenge Tourist Guide

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Major improvements for group visitors at Stonehenge

English Heritage has opened a newly-designed permanent coach park at Stonehenge.

It marks the completion of the first phase of a major improvement project aimed at giving tour groups arriving by coach a better and more streamlined welcome to the World Heritage Site and at easing pressure points for all visitors at the popular site at peak times.

The re-designed coach park provides spaces for 52 60-seater coaches in an upgraded layout which makes coach arrivals and departures more efficient and enhances pedestrian safety.

A new Visitor Transit Shuttle pick up point now allows groups to go directly from the coach park to the Stone Circle, where an enlarged drop off/pick up layout has also been created.

The new system makes the shuttle service more fluid and flexible so that it can provide more visitor journeys at times of peak pressure if required.

Phase two of the improvement project is scheduled for completion by late summer.

It will see the opening of a new group reception building, complete with extensive WC facilities, located conveniently close to the coach parking bays and next to the shuttle pick up point.

The improvements are already making arrivals, parking and departures easier and the movement of pedestrians safer within the coach park.

The addition of the Group Reception Building in the summer will simplify and speed up ticketing and audio guide collection and provide double the number of WCs currently on site.

Jennifer Davies, Stonehenge general manager said: “We are delighted to have opened the first phase with minimal impact to group arrivals while the work was underway.

“The improvement project was implemented following an extensive review of our operation at Stonehenge and feedback from tourism professionals to find the best way to meet demand and ease congestion at this significant and busy attraction.

“Once complete, the improvements will help us deliver a world class experience for the 1.3 million visitors we welcome each year from across the globe, so that they can more fully appreciate this ancient wonder of human endeavour.”    
Article source: Travel News

The Stonehenge Tourist Blog

Friday, 10 March 2017

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire is the most popular place for Pagans and Druids to celebrate the longest day because it famously aligns to the solstices. The rising sun only reaches the middle of the stones one day of the year when it shines on the central altar. Journeying to Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice is a pilgrimage spiritual significance as a tourist or reveler.


It's an ad hoc celebration that brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travelers and party people - 1000's of them!
For many the impulse to arrive at Stonehenge in time for the Solstice is a little like all those people drawn to the strange rock in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's akin to a spiritual experience.

Cross it off your bucket list this year.  Join an organised Solstice tour and take the hassle out of trying doing it yourself

The Stonehenge Tourist Blog

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Visit Stonehenge and step back to the prehistoric era

While London is one of the top tourism destinations in the world, there are some excellent day trips available close to the capital that should not be missed. 

One of the best options is the historic Stonehenge, which is around two hours away and stands as a truly unforgettable monument.

Originally built around 5,000 years ago, the area has been wonderfully well preserved and is now a World Heritage Site alongside a selection of other historic landmarks. The complex features an enclosure at Robin Hood’s Ball, two cursus movements and rectangular earthworks.

The stone settings at Stonehenge were built at a time of significant change when the new styles of Beaker pottery and the knowledge of metalworking were becoming more popular on the continent.

From the middle Bronze Age, less effort went into the construction of ceremonial monuments and more time was spent on agricultural activities.

Thankfully, the area has been well preserved by the National Trust since 1927 when it acquired the land around the structure to restore it to grassland. Now, large areas of the local landscape are now owned by them and improvements have been made to modernise the facilities for visitors.

Work on the area is continuing, too, with the government announcing plans for a 1.8-mile tunnel past the World Heritage Site. Officials believe this move would transform the A303 by reducing congestion and improving journey times.

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) has supported the idea, though it believes extending it would help to stop damage to popular views of the area.

Thanks to excellent work from conservationists, Stonehenge continues to be one of the most popular landmarks in the world, giving visitors a great insight into the UK’s history.

How can I get to Stonehenge?

Stonehenge is around 88 miles away from London, with the nearest train station to the landmark being Salisbury. While public buses do run from the station to the site, visitors will be tied to the travel schedule and, in the event of a train delay or cancellation, may not be able to spend as long at the site as they wanted.

While driving down is another option, there is often a lot of traffic in the area due to the large volumes of tourists. Plus, if you’re travelling from London, you may have to handle heavy congestion as you leave the city centre.

A better alternative could be to use a coach tour service. You can choose a time that suits you and benefit from reserved seating, ample luggage space and Wi-Fi, taking away all the stress of driving.

The Stonehenge News Blog


Friday, 20 January 2017

Stonehenge Opening Times and Entrance Prices 2017

2017 Stonehenge Opening Hours, Entry Prices and Tickets.
English Heritage advise to expect a visit to last around two hours. Please see the table below for opening times for 2017/18, with some seasonal variability, and entrance prices for adults, children, families, seniors and groups.
The 360 surround cinema inside the Stonehenge visitor centre
There is 10% discount for groups of 11 or more visitors paying together plus a free place for every additional 20 paying passengers. Free entry for coach driver and tour leader.
If you come by car you will park in the car park outside the visitor centre. It is free for people purchasing tickets to enter Stonehenge, there is a charge if you are not. Tour buses have their own separate coach park.
All Members of English Heritage or National Trust must show a valid membership card on arrival to be granted free parking and site access.
To enter the Stonehenge Exhibition at the Visitor Centre you need a full ticket to Stonehenge, anyone can access the café, gift shop and toilets though, for free.
Very Important!  Book Your Stonehenge Tickets in Advance 
To be assured of entering Stonehenge the best way is to reserve timed tickets in advance on the English Heritage web site or if you want more flexibility then you can book discount tickets here
Tickets to Stonehenge are booked by half hour time slot, the website showing you how many tickets are still available for your chosen date and time.
Note: you cannot reserve tickets on-line on the day of your visit, you must reserve before midnight latest on the day before. Only a very small number of tickets are held back each day for walk-up visitors.
Note: the last admission time is two hours before closing time of Stonehenge. Closing times are variable according to month of the year (see below)
Stonehenge Admission & Opening From 1st January 2017 – October 2017
Admission
Opening Times
Adult
£15.50
16 Mar – 31 May
09.30 – 19:00
Child (5-15)
£9.30
1 Jun – 31 Aug
09.00 – 20:00
Students/Seniors *
£13.90
1 Sep – 15 Oct
09.30 – 19:00
Family Ticket †
£40.30
16 Oct – 15 Mar
09.30 – 17:00
Last entry 2 hours before closing
Members of the National Trust & English Heritage enter free
Prices are valid until 31st March 2017* 16-18 yr olds + seniors 60+
† 2 Adults and 3 Children
~ Closed 24th to 26th December
2017 STONEHENGE OPENING TIMES
1st JANUARY 2017– 31st MARCH 2017
Monday9:30 – 17:00
Tuesday9:30 – 17:00
Wednesday9:30 – 17:00
Thursday9:30 – 17:00
Friday9:30 – 17:00
Saturday9:30 – 17:00
Sunday9:30 – 17:00
1st APRIL 2017 – 31st MAY 2017
Monday9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday9:30 – 19:00
Thursday9:30 – 19:00
Friday9:30 – 19:00
Saturday9:30 – 19:00
Sunday9:30 – 19:00
1st JUNE 2017 – 31st AUGUST 2017
Monday9:00 – 20:00
Tuesday9:00 – 20:00
Wednesday9:00 – 20:00
Thursday9:00 – 20:00
Friday9:00 – 20:00
Saturday9:00 – 20:00
Sunday9:00 – 20:00
1st OCTOBER 2017 – 15th OCTOBER 2017
Monday9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday9:30 – 19:00
Thursday9:30 – 19:00
Friday9:30 – 19:00
Saturday9:30 – 19:00
Sunday9:30 – 19:00
16th OCTOBER 2017 ONWARDSOpening times will be available nearer the time
For more information please visit the official English Heritage website
The Stonehenge Tourist Guide