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South West - Salisbury and Wiltshire

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in south west england

1. Stonehenge

Top 10 ten places to visit in South West England - Salisbury and Wiltshire

Stonehenge


There is still debate about why the prehistoric Brits took the immense trouble they did over moving and lifting these enormous stones into place, and what symbolism and function should be interpreted from their site and positioning.

Different theories include a place of sun worship and ritual sacrifice, a type of royal palace, or astronomical calculator.

The scale, age and sense of mystery continues to fascinate, and is a potent mixture which continues to attract many thousands of visitors each year.

The A303 runs close by, which spoils the prehistoric ambience somewhat. Wind and rain can really whip across Salisbury Plain in the colder months, so come prepared with warm clothes and waterproofs if visiting from October to April.
 
Stonehenge was built between 3,000 and 1,500 BC by three different prehistoric cultures, Windmill, First Wessex and the Beakers - so named because when they buried their dead they had their pots interred with them.

We know for sure that it was used as a cremation cemetery in its first phase, and that it is aligned on the solstice axis. It could have been used as a temple to the sun, or as an astronomical observatory for ceremonies for the ancestors or harvests.

You could to walk amongst the stones until 1978, but as a result of the pressure of visitor numbers and the need to conserve the site, you can now only walk round the edge of the circle and look in at them, equipped with a visitor handset. However by contacting English Heritage in advance, you can arrange for a Stone Circle Access visit, which will be outside of normal opening times.

Stone Circle Access

There is no access to the centre circle during normal opening hours, however, Stone Circle Access visits, can be arranged outside of normal visitor opening times. Phone +44 (0)1722 343830, (open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, except weekends and bank holidays).

Stonehenge Address:
Stonehenge
Amesbury
Wiltshire, SP4 7DE 
England, UK

Stonehenge Opening Times:
1st April to 31st May, 1st September to 15th October, and 16th to 31st March, Daily, 9.30 am to 6.00 pm
1st June to 31st August, Daily, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm
16th October to 23rd December, 27th to 31st December, and 2nd January to 15th March, Daily, 9.30 am to 4.00 pm
26th December and 1st January, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm

Open on Bank Holidays. Closed 24th & 25th December.

Details:
Recommended last admission time no later than 30 minutes before the advertised closing time. Stonehenge will close promptly 20 minutes after the advertised closing time. Opening times from 20th to 22nd June may be subject to change due to Summer Solstice - please check with Customer Services on +44 (0)870 333 1181 before your visit. When weather conditions are bad, access may be restricted and visitors may not be able to use the walkway around the stone circle.

Stonehenge Admission:
Adult £6.90
Children £3.50
Concession £5.90 
Family Ticket £17.30
English Heritage Members Free
National Trust Members Free

T  +44 (0)870 333 1181 (Customer Services)

   Local Tourist Information
   Amesbury +44 (0)1980 622833
   Salisbury +44 (0)1722 334956
   Stone Circle Access Line +44 (0)1722 343834

W  Stonehenge 
Accommodation and eating out near Stonehenge

Best Western Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury, www.bestwestern.co.uk

Macdonald White Hart Hotel, Salisbury, www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/whitehart

Milford Hall Hotel, Salisbury, www.milfordhallhotel.com

Anokaa, Indian Restaurant, Salisbury, SP2 7RB

Langley Wood Restaurant, Salisbury, SP5 2PB

The Haunch of Venison, Pub, Salisbury, SP1 1TB
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