A day at Salisbury and Stonehenge, England





Stonehenge dates back in the Neolithic era about 5000 years ago. It draws tourists due to its mystical prehistoric existence. Located in southern England, it is comprised of roughly 100 massive upright stones placed in a circular form. Many modern scholars believe that Stonehenge was once a burial ground. However, there are numerous other theories about the place. Its construction is all the more intriguing because while the sandstone slabs of its outer ring hail from local quarries, the blue stones that make up its inner ring are all the way from Preseli Hills in Wales (some 200 miles away from Stonehenge). It is difficult to imagine how this structure was made into existence even before the invention of ''wheel''. Stonehenge has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.


              Salisbury Railway Station

I was staying in a small town called Newbury, located in Berkshire. Any historical monument amazes me so I quickly made up my mind to visit this man-made beauty. The nearest train station was Salisbury from where Stonehenge was easily accessible by bus. I reached Salisbury station by 9:00 am. Its a small railway station so there are no confusions to take the exit route. The Bus-stand is at a stone throw distance from the railway station. I quickly booked the tickets for the Stonehenge tour and boarded the bus. It took me 30 bucks for an all inclusive bus tour of Salisbury, Old Sarum and Stonehenge. For more information on the bus tour, please call: 01202 338420 or send Email at: enquiries@thestonehengetour.info

It was a bright sunny day and I started munching some weight watcher’s potato chips while waiting for the tour to start. The bus started only after there were enough passengers. The bus moved around the town and showed the important places. The town was calm and beautiful. Every building had an ancient touch. There were some Gothic styled buildings one of which had been converted into a mall.


View of the Salisbury Town


View of the Salisbury Town


Old George Mall
 Across the route, I had a feeling that I had been time travelling into the 18th century!
As we further travelled, we left the town and proceeded towards the countryside. Views on both sides were magnificent with vast clean farmlands somewhat hilly and cattle grazing.


View of the Wiltshire Countryside


View of the Wiltshire Countryside

Within an hour we were near the Stonehenge premises. Suddenly I felt that the temperature was falling and I was slightly shivering. The bus parked on the other side of the entrance. We were given earphones which served as audio guide.
The Audio guide told us about the various theories formulated by scientists and historians about Stonehenge. There was a guided path to move and see the Stonehenge from a distance. I was literally awestruck seeing the structure from such proximity! Tourists are however not allowed to go near the structures. I started taking pictures from all angles. All the time in my mind I was trying to figure out how the pre-historic people could transport such massive stones from Wales to here when there were no machinery or vehicles for transportation.



Stonehenge from a distance



Stonehenge from a stone throw distance


Guided path to Stonehenge


How Stonehenge actually used to look like


Stonehenge Information
The place was extremely chilly so I planned to make a move as soon as I completed full circle. There was a different bus that was available to go back to town. The tour takes you by Old Sarum where you can get off on the return trip and explore. It is a huge earthwork raised in 500BC by Iron Age settlers and later occupied by Romans, Saxons and Normans. They built a castle and a royal palace. I stopped at Old Sarum to explore the place.



The Stonehenge Bus


Information on Old Sarum



Indide Old Sarum


Indide Old Sarum




The wooden Bridge at the entrance of the castle to Old Sarum
The sun shone high now and we walked half a mile from the bus stop to reach the destination. The place is very nicely maintained. It took me around 30 minutes to have a tour of the castle. There is also a small souvenir shop here as well, just like Stonehenge. I purchased a couple of fridge magnets as memory.
I had to wait for quite some time to get the bus back to Salisbury. As I reached Salisbury, it was around 2:00 pm. I had enough time in hand so walked to the Salisbury cathedral. Set against a backdrop of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, surrounded by historic buildings and museums, it's easy to guess why many visitors find Salisbury Cathedral a place of inspiration and tranquility. Stonehenge Tour ticket holders receive 20% discount in the Cathedral Refreshment restaurant where I had a quick lunch with tea and cakes.





The Salisbury Cathedral

After lazing around the cathedral premises and clicking a few pictures, I left for Salisbury Railway station. My solo day trip to this ancient land had come to the end. There was a mixture of ''wow'', sadness, excitement and a sense of purity in everything my eyes captured in the entire day. Memories are the only take-aways from the good times we spend in our lives. Stonehenge and Salisbury will always stay as one such precious corner in my memory rendezvous!



Good Bye Salisbury!




TIPS:


  • Its good to carry some food along for this trip as there are very less options available.
  • There are several tours available for Stonehenge from London by bus/trains.  You can refer to the below URLs for more information: https://www.secrets-of-stonehenge-tours.co.uk/
  • However, its always value for money if you can come down to Salisbury by Train and take the trip.
  • People at Salisbury are extremely nice and helpful. In case you need some help, do not hesitate to ask.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Whitefield Arms

Helicopter Tour of Mt. Kilauea- Big Island, Hawaii

Mauritius in a week