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Travel to Stonehenge and See the Rocks

My first introduction to Stonehenge was in history books and television. Then came National Lampoon’s European Vacation. I had hopes and dreams of my dad driving my brother and I right up to monument, but not knocking it over like Clark Griswold. Alas, I had to wait until I was in my 30s to see this massive pile of rocks.

My freelance writing took me to London, on assignment, but I chose to hang around the UK a few days longer and take one of those soul-oh trips. I boarded a train to Salisbury (pronounced Sals-bury) to meet my friend and personal tour guide, Keith Kellett, a local travel writer. Keith resides in Amesbury, which is the nearest town to Stonehenge.

Our first stop was Old Sarum, the original settlement of the area. It was a perfect introduction to the history of town. The next stop was Woodhenge, which is believed to be the model for the actual layout of Stonehenge.

I spent time before leaving the US to research lodging choices in the area. Since the exchange rate from dollar to pound is HORRENDOUS, I was on a very tight budget. I found a quaint place to stay called The Antrobus Arms. Keith let me know that locals call the place “Old Auntie” right before he dropped me off for the night.

The place was actually a very cool place to stay. The gardens are right out of a Miss Marple episode, for all you BBC lovers out there. I was led upstairs to Room 20, which is where The Beatles stayed while filming HELP. I was tired from the journey, so I hopped into the shower. When I stepped out, I was startled to see Paul McCartney staring at me from the wall. No, I was not on any hallucinogenic. The walls were papered with The Beatles news clippings, handwritten lyrics, and pictures. My mother used to dream of marrying Macca. Of course, I had to call her and tell her where I was staying.

The next morning was Stonehenge. If anything, I was a bit disappointed. I think I had psyched myself up for a mother ship landing or some solar phenomenon to happen while I was standing there. What I wasn’t expecting was having to park across the street with all the tour busses, walk underground to get to Stonehenge Theme Park, and then stand in line with a bunch of Japanese picture-taking tourists waiting to walk through the turn stall. WHAT? A freaking turn stall?

Keith and I were given museum-style listening devices where visitors are able to pick their language to hear all about Stonehenge, if you pressed the proper numbers at the corresponding points. So, I walked slowly around the rocks, following all the other tourists in typical cattle style.

Even though I didn’t get to drive my car up to Stonehenge and back into the monument, I’m still glad that I was able to see the place in person. Well, that’s another thing to mark off my bucket list. I’m off to my next stop in life.

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  1. Wow – I live a couple of counties along from Wiltshire and it’s refreshing to see it from another’s angle – from ‘over the pond’, very interesting post. Also liked the cruise ship kids’ behaviour one!

    Great blog!

  2. Thanks, IWR. I do want to point out that it was really awesome to see this massive icon. We even stopped off at Stonehenge Brewery and I was able to get a taste of PigSwill. What a day!

  3. Awww… I’m sorry to hear this! I too would be waiting for some glorious event to happen! 🙂 The tourist thing sure does take the romance out of things though. Shucks!

    Thanks for the warning! If I ever get there I’ll try to be realistic in my expectations. I really am saddened by that. Nat Geo makes it look so mystical and mysterious!

    Love the look of your blog!

  4. There are many circle of stone to see
    and near Stonehenge is Avebury one of
    my favourite. For now at least the
    circle is accessible without fences orturnstyles and the rest of what has hurt Stonehenge experience , truly inspiring and there is a wonderful cafe for homemade soups and such. I drank my first bottle of Elderflower Presse there and remember the entire day with such fondness.
    When i edit places for my women’s travel company Serendipity Traveler i choose lesser known places and let Serendipity lead us.
    Hope some traveling mamas will join us.

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  6. Thanks, IWR. I do want to point out that it was really awesome to see this massive icon. We even stopped off at Stonehenge Brewery and I was able to get a taste of PigSwill. What a day!

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