Stonehenge
August 10, 2011
Mikey's Moments > Stonehenge
As previously mentioned, the top two places to visit on this trip were the Dr Who Experience and Stonehenge. Today we finally got to see Stonehenge! Even more exciting was that Rhiannon was able to take the day off and spend the day with us! :)

Paul had advised us to see Avebury, Stonehenge was already on the list plus we wanted to see Salisbury where Rhiannon lives, so all in all we had quite a busy day ahead of us!
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The drive turned out to be quite nice and we got to Avebury early, parked the car and waited for Rhiannon. Here she is with the kids by one of the huge standing stones which Avebury is famous for.


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Checking out the stones...


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It is funny, here we were at a prehistoric site and the most fascinating thing was the sheep! In all fairness they have not seen too many! Being Welsh I have seen a lot! :)


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The town of Avebury is set within the largest stone circle in Europe. It has one large outer circle and two smaller ones inside. It was the setting for a spooky childrens series in 1977 called "Children of the Stones".


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It is very interesting to have this lovely quaint village set within stones which were put in place about 4,600 years ago! The Red Lion pub looks very inviting and is relatively young for this village, having been first licensed in 1802!


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We arrived and parked at Stonehenge which was very busy and full of tourists of every nationality - quite a contrast to sleepy Avebury! Here is the first view you get of Stonehenge after you cross the road from the car park.


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James, Carina and Anthony in front of Stonehenge. Carina is happily wearing the shirt that she bought at David and Goliath in Cardiff. It says "Come to the dark side - we have cookies". :)


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Stonehenge dates back roughly 4,500 years and many of the huge stones it is made from were somehow brought from the Preseli mountains in south west Wales - 140 miles away!


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This 16 feet high rock is called the Heel Stone and if you stand within Stonehenge, facing north-east through the entrance towards the heel stone, you see the sun rise above the stone at the summer solstice.


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Here is a photo that really gives you an idea of the feel of Stonehenge. You can easily imagine Celtic tribesmen and the Druid priests dancing around the stones on the solstices. Druids still hold ceremonies here at these, and other mystical times of the year...


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After walking around the stones the next thing on the agenda, of course, was a visit to the gift shop! Then we had a short 11 mile drive to Salisbury - which is where Rhiannon lives. The current city was founded in 1220 and is a wonderful place to visit. Here is a view of the river with the cathedral spire in the background.


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Rhiannon, James, Carina and Anthony...


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Salisbury High Street. The magnificent buildings tell you that this is a city with a long and glorious history.


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The building of Salisbury Cathedral was started in the same year that the city was founded - in 1220 - and the main body was completed in 38 years. The spire is the tallest in the United Kingdom, is 404 feet tall and was built 100 years later.


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Here is a view down the nave at the awesome interior of the cathedral. It contains the best preserved copy of the Magna Carta which was written in 1215.


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This lonely fellow in the cloisters was actually a part of an art exhibition at the cathedral. He is very realistic and certainly caught me out for a moment!
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