Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Stonehenge - Save Money on Your Visit

I visited the historic monument of Stonehenge in Wiltshire sometime last year. We drove from Salisbury, where we had gone to see the Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta. After parking, we walked to the Visitor Centre and realized the ticket prices were too high for just a view of a heap of stones - historical though they might be. For 5 people, it would have been around 100 pounds, and we could think of a lot of other things to buy with the money. The ticket price also included a visit to a small museum and bus rides to- and from- Stonehenge.

However, there is a way to get quite near Stonehenge for free, only about 5 metres away from where the actual ticket holders are allowed. Behind the Visitor Centre is a path and a little gate that opens on to the road taken by the official buses to Stonehenge.It is a lovely, quiet road with beautiful countryside on both sides and fluffy sheep grazing in the fields. At some places, there are scenic trails that go into the woods and take you down charming country paths towards Stonehenge. It is about a 4 kilometre walk both ways.

And yes, the view of Stonehenge is good enough on the free path. After reaching the end of the road where the buses from the Visitor Centre are parked, we took the free path to the Stonehenge monuments. Ticket holders are not allowed to go near the monument, or touch it - they can only walk on a circular path around it. We were happy with the free view, just a few metres away from the ticketed view - and got good photos of the Stonehenge blocks. As the monument is pretty huge, you need to either have a wide-angle lens or be a distance away from it to get the whole thing in the frame.

Paying for a ticket and reaching the monument only to see people viewing Stonehenge for free would have been disappointing.The scenery and countryside walk both to and from Stonehenge was exhilarating and really rewarding - it would have been a pity to miss all this sitting inside a bus!

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