Visiting Stonehenge is a bit of a mandatory step when visiting the UK for the first time. With such a mystique, intricate history, it attracts more than 800,000 visitors per year, some of which with high expectations.
Those people will definitely be disappointed.
Stonehenge itself isn’t bad – the sheer fact that these rocks were probably hauled all the way from Wales back in 2000 B.C. is actually very impressive, to say the least. To this day, specialists still don’t agree with its vocation: was Stonehenge a healing temple, a sun worshiping place, a burial site or a life-size calendar? No one knows for sure.
What’s not impressive, however, is the setting of the monument.
The nearby motorway definitely ruins the atmosphere of the visit – how can you concentrate on Neolithic rocks when all you hear is the buzzing of speeding cars? I don’t know who had the bright idea to trace not one, but two motorways there, but it definitely wasn’t is shining moment.
Another contributing factor of disappointment when visiting Stonehenge is the distance from the rocks. I do understand the need to preserve the rocks, but is placing the rope 20 feet away really the best solution? I don’t know anyone who has an arm’s reach of 20 feet, or even 10 feet. I agree that a restriction is necessary, but really, 20+ feet? The only way to get up close and personal with the rocks is to convert to druidism and celebrate the solstice and equinox.
I was really sad when I left the site. Maybe because I was expecting too much, and hoped to feel the magic and mystique of its history. But it was very far from that. Maybe I should have visited the other henge…
Have you ever considered visiting Stonehenge? What did you think of it? Have you faced similar disappointments in your travels?