Member Rating 4 out of 5 by climbergirl on February 27, 2007

Everybody knows of Stonehenge and everybody likes to call it just a pile of rocks. Well, it is a pile of rocks, but the great thing about visiting Stonehenge is to give yourself a chance to think of how this awesome pile of rocks got here. As my hosts kept on saying, the only reason to visit Stonehenge is "it's for the atmosphere."

Usually visiting Stonehenge requires the visitor to stand behind a rope about 30 feet away from the actual pile of rocks. However, we obtained a pass for the "Inner Circle Tour." By paying about double the entrance fee you get to step over the rope and walk amongst the rock. To obtain the pass you need to contact the Stonehenge visitor office by phone or email to set up an appointment for the date of your visit. However, the inner circle tours are only allowed before and after normal visiting hours.

The only available time for our visit was before regular visitor hours, which means we had to be there by 8am. We started our day off at 6am to make it to the site for our time slot. Talk about getting up early for a vacation! However, it was well worth it. We were the only visitors at the site that morning. It was spectacular to get a chance to walk through these amazing slabs of rock.

To get out to Stonehenge at this time of day we decided to hire a tour guide. Since we had a party of 6 to hire a personal tour guide with a mini van wasn't much more than if we each paid the price for one of the huge 50 person coach tours. Furthermore, the coach tours didn't have the inner circle access for our dates. Our guide was from and he was great! Not only was he easy to work with and very accommodating, we didn't have to work with a strict time table. To top it off we found out that he even took Orlando Bloom on a tour before.

Back to Stonehenge, one thing to take notice is that there are 2 different colors of stone, the regular "gray" stone, and some "blue" stones. My eye couldn't tell the difference, then again I was not fortunate enough to know about this tidbit of information until I was back in the car, so I really wasn't paying attention.

Surrounding Stonehenge you will also see sporadic mounds or little hills. These are actually burial mounds. Apparently the more important you are the closer you get to be buried to the stones.

Some may say that Stonehenge is not worth seeing on your first trip to the UK, however, for me, it was one of the highlights of the trip.
2 miles west of Amesbury
Salisbury, England
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