Monday, 31 October 2011


In November 2006, we went to a place I'd always wanted to visit - Stonehenge. When I was a little girl,  I read & re-read a book that my Mum had got for me at a jumble sale. I can't, for the life of me, remember what it's called now, but if I remember correctly, it was written or set in the 1930s. It was about a girl called Molly Kendrick who went to live with her cousins & they either lived in or visited Wiltshire & went to Stonehenge. For some strange reason, that really stuck in my head & ever since then, I wanted to go myself.

Nearly everyone who's been there mentions the feeling & the atmosphere surrounding the stones & I have to say, there really IS an amazing atmosphere. We visited on a very blustery, windy, Sunday & I can remember driving along a country road & suddenly seeing the stones in the distance. I literally squealed with delight - I don't know why I was so excited, but  I just couldn't stop smiling.

The entrance is across the road from the stones, so after parking, we had to go through a small underpass under the road & then followed the roped off walkway around Stonehenge itself. 

The first view really took my breath away.

The sky was dark & overcast, the wind was really blowing & that
all added to the atmosphere, I think.

As we walked around, we could hear the guns from the Army Range on Salisbury Plain. The muffled sound seemed to carry for miles & reminded me of *Great Expectations* when the guns were sounded to let people know that the convicts, Magwitch & Compeyson, had escaped from the prison hulks & were roaming around Romney Marshes.

This is the Heel Stone which lies just outside the main *entrance* to the stone circle.
If you stand in Stonehenge itself, facing north-east through the entrance, looking towards the heel stone, you will see the sun rise above the stone on the summer solstice. There are legend & folk stories about the Heel stone & one of them is that the devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up & took them to Salisbury Plain. One of the stones fell into the river Avon but the rest of them rest were carried on to Salisbury Plain. The devil is said to have cried out:  "No-one will ever find out how these stones came here!" A friar replied, "That’s what you think!" & the devil threw one of the stones at him which struck him on the heel. The stone then stuck in the ground and is still there to this day :o)

Finally, this is me, just to prove I really was there :o)

To me, visiting Stonehenge was a bit like going into a church or cathedral, there was a sort of awe about it, a sense of peace & tranquility, but I think a lot of that had to do with the time of year & the weather. When we went again the following July, the feeling wasn't the same, but I think that was more to do with the fact that the place was heaving with tourists & it was a hot & sunny day. It wasn't as easy to take your time & wander around, it wasn't as easy to get photos because people kept popping up all over the place & it was a lot noiser with all the chatting going on. In November, the pace was definitely slower, it was quieter & I really felt that atmosphere that the stones give off.  It  was magical & I'd love to go back one day.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! I love Stonehenge too, when I was a teenager we used to travel down to Devon for our holidays, we set off about 3am and arrived at Stonehenge about 6am, we were always the only ones there. We crossed the road (no underpass then, just a concrete parking square!!) and wandered freely around the stones, no barriers, paying to go in or security people in those days. We always had a picnic breakfast too, we did this same trip for a few years, and always had to stop at the stones. The magic of that place is just awesome. We went back in 2004, its just not the same not being able to get up close to the stones, and my daughter was very jealous when I told her about our previous visits!!xxx