While London hogs all the limelight in the Must See and Must Travel lists, there is a lot around London to explore which is the treasure cove of English Heritage. Stonehenge, the prehistoric Stone circle surrounded by an aura of mysteries, has quite an undisputed place as one of the Seven Wonders of the World with its ancient peer, the Pyramids of Egypt. Your ‘Trip to Britain’ Album would certainly be incomplete if it does not have a click of this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a visitor to Stonehenge, I was completely awed with the brilliance of its placement in the middle of a countryside. It also amazes me like many theorists as to how these gigantic stones were transported and then made into these vertical and horizontal patterns. Some theories mention these stones were transported from Wales through waterways and then rolled to its current site, while some believe that this is not possible without human intervention and a large workforce was involved to get these stones. Definitely there must be a deep study of some science involved. Maybe it was an observatory, maybe it was not. A part of me also goes with the Pagans and Druids to go by the thread of Religion that this place was of religious significance and has a supernatural dimension too.
Visiting Stonehenge would certainly require a day. If you are based at London it will take you a 2 hour travel by Train or a little over 2 hours by road depending on the traffic. My personal suggestion would be to take a Train from London to Salisbury which in itself is quite a treat of historical marvels. There are Stonehenge Bus Tours from Salisbury which will take you around Salisbury, Old Sarum and Stonehenge. So you get to explore some more pearls of British history.
Salisbury is a town in south-west England in the county of Wiltshire which basks in the glory of Salisbury Cathedral. Though a lesser known one than its peers, this Cathedral has many entries in the record books of UK.
Standing tall with its 404 feet high spire, which is the tallest in the UK, it pretty much dominates the skyline of this quaint town. Dated as old as 1220 AD, this Cathedral has the largest ‘Cloister’ and ‘Close’ in Britain and houses world’s oldest mechanical working clock
However other than its magnificent architecture, what makes this Cathedral attract visitors is that it houses the original best preserved copy of ‘Magna Carta’. A quick refresher from our textbooks, Magna Carta was the royal charter which led to the rule of the Constitutional law in England. Beautifully handwritten in Latin, The Magna Carta is on display in the Chapter House of the Cathedral. Photography is not permitted.
Built in 38 years, Salisbury Cathedral has a Gothic architecture style, quite evident from its spires. It is difficult to get enough of its detailed designs and sculptures on the façade. The saints and kings on its walls seem to be talking to you every time you look at them. The inside of the Cathedral is intimidating with its huge stained glass windows, tall pillars and high arches.
Entry to Cathedral is free. However a climb up the iconic spire through the 332 steps will cost a good 3 hours and 10 pounds to your wallet.
While the dilemma of Should I visit or Should I Not will always cloud every tourist’s mind, I would highly recommend a visit to Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge, the well preserved wonder, not only as a tick mark to your travel bucket list but to marvel at the sheer brilliance of those times and Humans who dared to make this happen sans modern technology. We are proud and gifted to exist in the age where we are a witness to the wonders of an age left far behind. The magnificent Stonehenge, enveloping all its mysteries would certainly continue to charm and intrigue generations to come.