Loop in the Landscape Workshop. Stonehenge Event 13th / 20th May.

3 05 2017

Take your imagination for a walk in this outdoor writing workshop in the Stonehenge Landscape. Working with award-winning poet Holly Corfield Carr, you will explore the ancient contours and hidden corners of the World Heritage Site, learning how to use field writing techniques and observational excercises to draw inspiration from even the smallest rock. (13th and 20th May at 2pm £5)

loop2

This event is generously supported by the National Trust and English Heritage and tickets include parking, refreshments, access to Stonehenge and a return journey to the Visitor Centre on a shuttle bus.

All ages and writing experience welcome. We are keen to meet local residents from Amesbury and Salisbury and the surrounding areas, as well as National Trust and English Heritage members.

Participants will have the chance to have their writing published as part of loop, a book of poems, photographs and walking routes celebrating life in the landscape around Stonehenge and Amesbury, the UK’s longest continuously-occupied settlement. For more information, please visit loop.org.uk.

looproutemap.jpg

Please be advised that the workshop will take place on the move and we will be walking at a gentle pace across 4km of uneven ground so please wear suitable footwear, clothing and sunscreen if appropriate. There will be regular breaks for writing and sitting on chairs which will be provided and the workshop will end with refreshments in the Neolithic Huts at the Visitor Centre.

More details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/loop-in-the-landscape-tickets-33924131992

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Exploring Prehistoric Wessex

1 10 2016

Visit atmospheric and inspirational sites and museums and follow a trail from Avebury and Stonehenge to Dorchester and Maiden Castle.

1. SILBURY HILL prehwsxmap
The largest man-made mound in Europe, mysterious Silbury Hill compares in height and volume to the roughly contemporary Egyptian pyramids.
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Details on English Heritage website

2. AVEBURY
With its huge circular bank and ditch and circles of standing stones, Avebury is at the centre of a remarkable ritual landscape. Visit the Alexander Keiller Museum and Avebury Manor.
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Details on National Trust website

3. WINDMILL HILL
Causewayed camp, set on a commanding hilltop above Avebury. Used for rituals, feasting and trading.
Details on English Heritage website

4. WEST KENNET LONG BARROW
The most impressive and accessible Neolithic
chambered tomb in Britain.
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Details on English Heritage website

5. WILTSHIRE MUSEUM
See Gold from the Time of Stonehenge in our award-winning new Prehistoric Wiltshire displays. See the spectacular treasures of the people who held their ceremonies at Stonehenge.
Open 7 days a week. Satnav: SN10 1NS
www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk

6. STONEHENGE
The most sophisticated stone circle in the world, at the centre of a remarkable sacred landscape. Includes the cursus, a 3km long earthwork and the Avenue – a processional way lined with the Winter solstice.
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Details on English Heritage website

7. DURRINGTON WALLS
A massive henge, the site of the recent discovery of Neolithic houses, where the people who gathered from across Britain to build Stonehenge may have lived.
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Details on National Trust website

8. OLD SARUM
The original site of Salisbury – a Norman castle and cathedral, set within the impressive ramparts of an Iron Age hillfort.
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Details on English Heritage website

9. SALISBURY MUSEUM
Stunning new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology
featuring the famous ‘Amesbury Archer’
and unique finds from Stonehenge,
Old Sarum and Durrington Walls.
Open Mon – Sat & Sun (in summer). Satnav: SN1 2EN
www.salisburymuseum.org.uk

10. ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY CENTRE
Visit for special Open Weekends and Ancient Days. Experience the realities of daily life in the past and learn ancient skills and crafts in an authentic landscape
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Ancient Technology Centre website

11. DORSET CURSUS
The banks and ditches of a Neolithic cursus runs for six miles, surrounded by barrow cemeteries. Contact in advance to arrange a tour and to visit the private museum at Down Farm.
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Dorset Cursus

12. KNOWLTON HENGE
An impressive Neolithic henge, with a Norman church built inside the bank and ditch.
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Details on English Heritage website

13. DORSET COUNTY MUSEUM
Discover the story of Dorset’s rich landscape
unfolding in a range of fascinating displays.
Find out about Maiden Castle and the stunning
Bronze Age finds from nearby Clandon barrow.
Open Mon – Sat & Sun (in summer). Satnav: DT1 1XA
www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

14. MAIDEN CASTLE
The largest and most complex Iron Age hillfort
in Europe. Multiple ramparts once protected
an important settlement, but the site has 4,000
years of history, from a Neolithic causewayed
enclosure to a small Roman temple.
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Details on English Heritage website

HOW TO GET HERE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
You can use coaches, trains & buses to visit many of these sites & museums.
Swindon – train connections & the
No.49 bus to Avebury & Devizes
Devizes – coach from London &
the No.2 bus to Salisbury
Salisbury – train connections, the Stonehenge Tour
bus service & the No.183 to Blandford Forum
Dorchester – train connections & the
No.184 from Blandford Forum

WHERE TO STAY
Details of quality assured accommodation:
http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk
http://www.visitdorset.com

SPECIALIST TOUR OPERATORS
Stonehenge Guided Tours (London)
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours (Salisbury)
Wessex Guided Tours (Bath)

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2016 Stonehenge Summer Solstice Information

17 06 2016

Once upon a time (until 1977, actually) it was possible to turn up and wander around the world-famous prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, touching ancient stones and experiencing wonderment at being in such an atmospheric place, often alone. Not any more – all those hands were contributing to erosion and today’s multitudinous visitors may look but not touch.

druids-equinox

Stonehenge began as a circular ditch and earth bank constructed around 3100 BC, with the standing stone circle erected some nine centuries later. Research suggests that Stonehenge marked an important burial site, but this prosaic explanation is not accepted by everyone.  The purpose of Stonehenge has long been passionately debated with diverse theories mooted – these include religious ritual, astronomical observation and assorted complex and often outlandish supernatural notions. Was it really a landing site for space travellers? Probably not.

Whatever the truth, the place retains an aura of mystery. It was the site of the
Stonehenge Free Festival
1972 and 1984, when revellers gathered to celebrate alternative culture at the summer solstice. That laid-back era came to end in 1985 when the police did battle with ‘New Agers’ bent on reaching Stonehenge after the festival was banned.

Guardians English Heritage relented in 1999, and those who wish to experience the summer solstice in the company of like-minded people are now permitted to do so. Many thousands who gather to do just that invariably experience powerful emotion at the moment when the sun rises over the mystical circle on solstice morning, and find themselves amidst all sorts of alternative believers like neo-pagans and druids in fantastic garb who are conducting esoteric ceremonies. It’s a magical moment, but reality soon intrudes – the site must be cleared by 08.00 so Stonehenge can revert to lucrative ‘tourist business as usual’. (content extracted from 501 Must-be-there Events (501 Series) by David Brown and Arthur Findlay)

English Heritage are pleased to welcome people to Stonehenge to celebrate this year’s Summer Solstice. This is the 17th year that English Heritage has provided access to the stones and are looking forward to a peaceful and sober celebration.

MONDAY 20th JUNE
Access to monument field – 7pm
Sunset – 9:26pm
TUESDAY 21st JUNE
Sunrise – 4:52am
Monument field closes – 8am

 Timings for Summer Solstice at Stonehenge
    • SOLSTICE CAR PARK OPENS 19.00 hours (7pm) 20 June (see new charges)
    • ACCESS TO STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD 19.00 hours (7pm) 20 June
    • LAST ADMISSION TO SOLSTICE CAR PARK 06.00 hours (6am) 21 June – or earlier if full
    • STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD CLOSES 08.00 hours (8am) 21 June
    • SOLSTICE CAR PARK TO BE VACATED 12.00 hours (12 Noon) 21 Jun

“We strongly advise anyone planning to come to Stonehenge for solstice to leave their cars at home and travel by public transport. Salisbury is easily accessible by train and the local Salisbury Reds bus company will be running a special service from Salisbury to Stonehenge through Saturday night and into the next day. Solstice Events are offering their usual transport from Bath and Stonehenge Guided Tours are offering their popular annual tour / transfer from London.

 

Bus service information: including timetables and costs can be found on Salisbury Reds website.
Train service information: trains run regularly to Salisbury from London, Bristol, Bath and Southampton. Train times, tickets and further information for your train journey can be found at:
South West Trains
South West Trains
Tel: 0845 6000 650
Great Western Railways
Great Western
Tel: 0845 7000 125
National Rail Enquiries
National Rail Enquiries
Tel: 0845 7484 950

Follow @St0nehenge @EH_Stonehenge @HighwaysEngland @Wiltshirepolice and @VistWiltshire for #summersolstice updates on the night.

If you are unable to visit Stonehenge on the Solstice you can watch our LIVE PERISCOPE BROADCAST

The Stonehege News Blog
Respect the Stones and each other!
Follow the Solstice News on Twitter: @St0nehenge  and Facebook

 

 

 





The Stonehenge Landscape Tour, introduced by Phil Harding: CBA Members’ Event

22 02 2015

Join Time Team favourite Phil Harding and expert guide Pat Shelley for a unique exploration of the Stonehenge landscape at the exclusive Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and English Heritage (EH) members’ event on Sunday 19th April 2015.

EH-Tour

The pair will be leading a walk through some of the often-overlooked enigmatic elements of the landscape, combining rich archaeological background with personal anecdotes and replica artefacts. The walk will take around an hour and a half, and highlights will include round barrows at nearby Fargo Woods and the Cursus barrow group, before visiting the Cursus itself. The culmination of the walk will see our group descending into Stonehenge Bottom before walking up the Avenue to Stonehenge.

CBA and EH members will meet at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre where they can enjoy complimentary refreshments Phil supporting the New YAC Dolls raising money for the Young Archaeologists' Clubbefore beginning the walk at 11.30am. Participants should wear suitable clothing and footwear for the walk, and be of a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that this is a walk around the wider Stonehenge landscape putting the monument into its context, and does not include access into the stones themselves.

Tickets for this CBA and EH members’ event are just £30 per head, and can be booked now via the English Heritage events booking line on: 0370 333 1183. Proceeds from the walk will go towards supporting the work of the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC).

Phil Harding is best known and loved as the hat-wearing archaeologist from Channel 4’s Time Team. His expertise lies in© www.tripadvisor.com.au prehistory, and his personal experience and anecdotes – coupled with the opportunity to handle some of his beautiful handmade replica artefacts – will add a unique extra dimension to your walking tour.

Pat Shelley is an experienced independent guide, with years of experience of bringing Stonehenge and its landscape to life. Described on ‘TripAdvisor’ as “the ONLY way to see Stonehenge”, Pat is an engaging speaker who will be only to pleased to share his love of Stonehenge with you, and answer any questions that you might have.

Visit the Council for British Archaeology Website for full details.

Visit the English Heritage website if you are planning to visit Stonehenge

Stonehenge Guided Tours offer frequent tours and many also include ‘Stonehenge Inner Circle Access Tours

The Visit Wiltshire website lists local operators based in Salisbury offering Stonehenge tours

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Avebury to Stonehenge. Walking Through History with Tony Robinson.

17 11 2013

Tony Robinson embarks on spectacular walks through some of Britain’s most historic landscapes in search of the richest stories from our past

Tony heads off for a 45-mile walk across Wiltshire to tell the story of life and death in the last centuries of the Stone Age. His route over chalk downlands and Salisbury plain takes him through the greatest concentration of prehistoric sites in Europe.

Tony Robinson at StonehengeFrom Avebury to Stonehenge and from spirituality to engineering, this is a journey through our ancestors’ remarkable development in the latter days of the Neolithic Age.

Windmill Hill near Avebury is the start of his route; with earthworks dating to 4500BC, it’s one of the most ancient sites in Wiltshire. From here, Tony moves on through 2000 years of the ‘New Stone Age’, encountering increasingly complex burial sites and processional routes that have helped make this area both captivating and intriguing.

As he heads south Tony can’t escape the eccentric characters and weird phenomena that have accompanied Wiltshire’s ancient history. Mysterious crop circles and unexplained underground energy sources enliven his visit, but his mind is firmly fixed on the extraordinary array of monuments in his path.

That means listening to the fanciful notions of 18th-century antiquarians, which have a grain of truth at their heart, and grasping the cutting edge of scientific archaeology around Stonehenge, which is finally offering up some astounding answers.

CHANNEL 4: 8PM: Saturday 23rd November 2013

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/walking-through-history/episode-guide

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





The Best Stonehenge Tour Operators

3 11 2013

2014 will be a vintage year to visit Stonehenge and Wiltshire

The removal of a nearby road and the construction of a new, off-site, visitor center will return England’s prehistoric stone circle, Stonehenge, to a more tranquil, natural setting. Until now, facilities to welcome visitors to the World Heritage Site have been limited and outdated. But the project led by English Heritage to transform Stonehenge not only provides world-class facilities, but also returns a sense of context and dignity to this ancient marvel of human endeavour.

Before and after aerial views of Stonehenge

Before and after aerial views of Stonehenge

After removal of the road and high ugly fencing right next to the Stone Circle the old parking area and visitor buildings will be cleared and is currently being grassed. Eventually, the road, car park and visitor buildings will be gone – leaving Stonehenge surrounded by grass and reunited with its ancient approach, the Avenue. Visitors will be able to enjoy the special atmosphere of the Stone Circle with fewer distractions from modern–day sights and sounds.  English Heritage will open the new visitor centre in the winter of 2013.The past year has seen epic improvements. Over £40 million pound has been invested to offer the best experience since Neolithic times.

Stonehenge Tours

Stonehenge Tour BusBy far the easiest and most convenient way to experience Stonehenge is by joining a guided tour from London, Salisbury or Bath.

Stonehenge is in a remote area of the West Country and can be difficult and costly via public transport. There are many operators (some better than others) offering half and full day tours that include Stonehenge and other popular attractions in the West county.  Typical itineraries from London include;

  • Stonehenge, Bath, and Lacock Village in the Cotswolds
    Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Avebury Stone Circle
    Stonehenge, Oxford and Windsor Castle

 

Stonehenge Special Access Tours

Most tours enter Stonehenge during public opening hours of Stonehenge. 2014 will see the introduction of a ‘monorail’ travelling someinner-circle-tour 2km from to the monument which will be a greatly improved experience to previous years. If you are able to plan ahead we strongly recommend booking a ‘private access inner circle tour’ which offer guided trips outside of public opening hours but there are very limited sessions where you can actually walk among the stones and demand is great. These sessions are very early morning  or evening on a tour its either a very early start from London or a late return in the evening.  These viewings are called ‘special access’ or ‘inner circle’ tours.  Some operators even go to the length of gaining access during the actual sunrise or sunset and we highly recommend this if you are able to book in advance.
Stonehenge’s orientation on the rising and setting sun has always been one of its remarkable features. Whether this was simply because the builders came from a sun-worshipping culture, or because – as some scholars believe – the circle and its banks were part of a huge astronomical calendar, remains a mystery.

By far the best way to experience Stonehenge is on a sunrise / sunset guided tour.

Stonehenge Guided Tours from London

The highly recommended ‘Stonehenge Guided Tour’ Company, known as the ‘Stonehenge Experts’ have been offering daily scheduled coach tours and exclusive ‘special access’ tours since the early 1990’s and have the best reputation by far – visit their website here:  Stonehenge Guided Tours

Premium tours, Golden Tours, Welcome2Britain and Evan Evans also offer coach or mini bus tours from London on limited dates and can be booked through the established discount sightseeing tour website BestValueTours

Local Stonehenge tour Operators.

There are also local operators offering tours from Salisbury, Bath and the port of Southampton.  Staying close to Stonehenge gives the opportunity to absorb local culture and its rich history and get a taste of the real England that many tourists miss whilst staying in the tourist capital of London.

Stonehenge Guided Tours from Bath

Mad Max Tours and Lion Tours  are on hand to offer day trips from Bath to Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circle, Lacock (as seen in the Harry Potter films) and the Wiltshire Cotswolds.  Wessex Guided Tours offer private guided tours from Bath for families and small groups wishing to experience Stonehenge and explore ancient Wiltshire

Stonehenge Guided Tours from Salisbury

For expert knowledge on the history of Wiltshire, local guides can help you discover the myths, the history and the legends behind this county:

The Stonehenge Tour Bus is an ideal way to learn about the history of Stonehenge if you are travelling by public transport. The hop-on hop-off service stops at Stonehenge and Old Sarum and gives a recorded commentary on the history of Salisbury.

The Stonehenge Travel Company based in Salisbury offer scheduled small group guided tours including the popular Stonehenge sunset special access tours and can often arrange additional dates for private groups. Their exclusive tours; half and full day options are also available. There popular tours also visit the other Neolithic sites like Woodhenge, Durrington Walls, Avebury Stone Circle, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, Chalk Hill Figures and also get you off the tourist trail seeing some of the delightful English countryside in the area.

There’s also Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum tours with their minibus and tour in several languages.

Visit Wiltshire

The official ‘Visit Wiltshire’ tourism association also have a list of approved tour local operators and transport providers: Click here

Wiltshire is a perfect all-year destination for groups with plenty to see, do and experience. Extend your day visit to an overnight stay and see more of what Wiltshire has to offer. With a history spanning over 6,000 years, we have Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, Britain’s tallest Cathedral spire in Salisbury and the Magna Cartta, magnificent stately homes and gardens and some great shopping experiences. Download the Visit Wiltshire and Visit Salisbury Apps and have up to date information at your fingertips!

Whether you are travelling from overseas or live in the UK, make 2014 the year to visit Stonehenge and explore historic Wiltshire

The Stonehenge News Blog





A NEW DAWN: STONEHENGE TRANSFORMED

12 09 2013

A PRACTICAL PLANNER for Groups & Travel Trade Professionals

The new guide from English Heritage provides tour operators, group travel organisers, guides and other professionals with step-by-step information to help plan visits to Stonehenge, following its transformation when superb new facilities open from the end of 2013. Split into three easy-to-read colour coded sections, it provides practical information, tips and ideas to smooth your way through advance planning and procedures to the day of the visit and beyond.

Stonehenge-visitor-centre

PLANNING AHEAD:
Turn to the yellow section to discover other attractions to build into a Stonehenge itinerary, plus details in brief on English Heritage services and products for travel trade professionals and group travel organisers and how to obtain them.

THE NEW VISIT
With so much more to see at the transformed Stonehenge, the bronze section is a step-by-step guide on the new facilities and how to make the best of a visit, with an at a glance map, images and suggested timings for a two hour stay.

INFORMATION AND SUPPORT
Giving essential planning information, the green section explains pre-booking and ticketing procedures, contains prices and admission times and handy hints on reaching and arriving at Stonehenge.

Download the full guide here: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/4f19fb7ce76ee0800348d53d5/files/EH_Stonehenge_A6_PocketBook_LRPDF.PDF

Follow Stonehenge News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

The Stonehenge News Blog








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