Classic Stonehenge Photos: Europe’s Most Famous Megalithic Circle

A wonder of the world, the classic Stonehenge image is one I needed to see for myself. Archaeologists believe it was constructed around 3100 BC. It’s an impressive inspiration, an icon of Britain, and is probably Europe’s most famous prehistoric site, although not its oldest (we visited an older megalithic complex in Portugal, an older tomb in Ireland, and older caves in Spain).

What is it doing here? There are many theories attempting to explain it, but no one knows for sure. Today it is protected and crowds of people visit everyday viewing from behind guide ropes, unable to get close to the rocks. Small group, Inside the Circle tours are available, but typically book up well in advance. In days past visitors could hire a hammer and chip off a souvenir.

I hadn’t shared many photos before because, let’s be honest, everyone has seen classic Stonehenge images. We experienced typical England weather on the day we visited. It was cloudy, intermixed with rain. I strategically took photos without too many people, but they were there.

Classic Stonehenge Image

One of my classic Stonehenge images.

Classic Stonehenge Image in England

As we walked around the megalithic circle, the small number signs told us when to listen to our audio tour.

Classical Stonehenge Image

If you look closely, you can see a face carved into this rock.

Me at Stonehenge in England

You can see the distance that they keep the crowd from the stones. (I am not sure why I have my hiking stick. It is not needed here.)

Closer look at Stonehenge

A lone monolith along the fence near Stonehenge in England

A lone monolith along the fence. You can see the road right behind it.

Classic Stonehenge in England

I am pretty sure that with my current camera, I could have taken similar photos through the fence for free, but it wouldn’t have been the same. For me, it was the audio tour that brought the site to life. Through it, we learned a bit of history and conjecture ranging from human sacrifice to astronomy as the initial reasons for building Stonehenge.

Practical Information: 

  • Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire in the southern portion of England. It is 2 miles west of Amesbury, 8 miles north of Salisbury, and nearly 90 miles south-west of London (a two-hour drive).
  • It is open daily from 9:30 am to 7pm.
  • Our best tip for visitors who also like castles is to purchase an English Heritage Overseas Visitors pass. We purchased ours at the York Castle (Clifford’s Tower) and entry to Stonehenge was included.
  • Tickets have a timed entry and can be reserved in advance (and this is recommended for both paid tickets and those using the Overseas Visitors Pass). Inside the Circle Tours book well in advance, allowing only a few guests special access usually early in the morning or near sunset. (Thank to Michele from Malaysian Meanders for this tip).
  • Audio guides can be downloaded for free and played on your own listening device. Or, they  available for are an extra fee, an additional queue, and subject to availability. However, they are worth it, as they really add a lot to the visit.
  • If you are a fan of National Geographic, check out their video: Stonehenge Decoded.

Do you prefer classic Stonehenge in England or the older, less famous megalithic sites in Evora, Portugal?

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Classic Stonehenge Images, England, UK

This post also linked at Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.30.17 pm The Weekly Postcard, Wanderlust Wednesday, Weekend Wanderlust, Travel Photo Thursday, Fly Away FridayPhoto Friday, BeThere2DayLife Thru the Lens, Monday Escapes, Travel Tuesday, Ruby Tuesday Too, and Outdoor Wednesday.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great shots. It’s someplace I would love to visit. I would love to know the reason though they are there. It’s not a coincidence that they are where they are.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. says

    My friend just attended a conference in Scotland and obliged himself to see Stonehenge. I have a book about those stone structures scattered around UK, people sometimes think Stonehenge is the lone rock formations there. I guess it is just the well preserved and most famous. I wish i still can see it too in this lifetime. Your photos are surely always great.

  3. says

    It’s too bad that you are not allowed to get close to the stones. This is such an impressive place, I hate it when the put fences on these sites. They did the same at Chichén Itzá, in the Yucatán Peninsula, and you can’t really see any of these great monuments up close.

  4. says

    Great pics and thanks for the extra links to the other articles. I especially loved the carvings on the rock in Newgrange. I had no idea that place was older than both Stonehenge and the pyramids. Very cool! 🙂

  5. says

    Hi Rhonda – wonderful photos … but so many people – glad I went in the old days … not quite ancient era – but getting that way! It’s a much bigger site than first appeared, or appears now … it seems to stretch across the fields. Sadly I don’t think we will ever uncover – the whys and wherefores … wish we could sometimes … but all the archaeology they find is fascinating …

    Thanks for sharing these with us … cheers Hilary

  6. says

    Thank you for sharing your photos. Since I’ve never seen them in person, I do like it when others share their shots. I can understand why tourists are not allowed closer to the stones. We used to be able to climb to the top of the main, Myan pyramid of Chitzen Iza in Mexico, but now the steps are blocked off because officials found graffiti inside the top of the pyramid. So sad. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to physically connect with something of such historical significance.

    • says

      I have climbed that pyramid in Chitzen Iza, and agree it is pretty sad to read that it is closed off now – but much more sad to read why. What is the matter with people that they would do graffiti something so special.

  7. says

    Wow; it is an amazing and impressive place, for sure! I’ve seen only pictures and documentaries about it! So glad to see all these aspects captured through your camera lens. Many thanks!

  8. says

    I have read so much about the Stonehenge and yet more I read more the curiosity about it. These pictures have aroused my curiosity once again to visit and see it for myself

  9. says

    I was there back in 2008 just to see it. It’s still impressive to wonder how and why there are there but so sad you can’t get close to them anymore because too many stupid people try to graffiti it. #WeekendWanderlust #Wkendtravelinspiration

  10. says

    I’d like to see this for myself some day. It is impressive, though I have always wondered how a bunch of large stones stacked on top of each other became such a popular tourist site. I wish we knew the true history behind it being there. But I guess that would eliminate the fun all the theories. #weekendwanderlust

  11. says

    Nice pictures!! You can hardly see people and that’s the way I like it. This remind me to my visit of the Taj Mahal, we were the first in the morning there (we arrived 1 hour too early) and I was able to take pictures without anyone. At the end of our visit it was really crowded.

    • says

      For us it was related to the distance we were kept from the stones. They are so big, and people were kept at a far enough distance it appears that there are few visitors, but it was quite crowded.

  12. says

    My husband has been to Stonehenge back in the seventies but I haven’t been here yet. There is something very mystical about this place I feel. Strangely there is a replica Stonehenge near Esperance in West Australia.

  13. says

    It is sort of irritating to me that you can’t get near the stones. It is rock for heavens sake! I like the idea of wandering in among them–aren’t there other henges nearby? Perhaps if those were equally publicized the crowds at Stone Henge would abate. Lovely photos and good job at keeping other tourists out of the images.

  14. says

    In response to your question, though we liked Stonehenge, and who doesn’t, we actually prefer Avebury. Much less well known, a more personal experience. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  15. says

    We just did a quick 4 day trip to London, and I could kick myself for not spending a good two weeks in England. We thought we would go back before we left Europe. So that means a trip in the future, awww shucks ;-D. But that does make me a bit sad because my kids probably won’t be with us, bummer.

    Lisa @ LTTL

    PS What inspires me to travel, gosh what doesn’t 😀

    • says

      We have travelled around the world with our kids, and while it was amazing to share so many wonders of the world with them, this was the first year we travelled on our own – and it has it’s advantages too.

  16. says

    Beautiful and timeless!! You are so fortunate to have visited. So many beautiful and mysterious in this great big (yet small) world. Great captures! ~Lisa

  17. says

    There’s a very small number of Inside the Circle tickets available that permit you to step over the ropes and go right up to the stones. I desperately tried to get some for our visit a few months ago, but unsurprisingly, they were already sold out on the days when we were there. The audiotour is also available for free as a smartphone app. I do agree that it is all the commentary that really made my visit interesting. Great photos!

  18. says

    Super photos Rhonda! this is a place that I know I will visit as it is in my country of residence but I have not been yet. We should come weekend 🙂
    The first thing I noticed is the typical English weather hahaha it couldn’t be other way hahaha
    Have a lovely day!
    xxx
    http://www.travelera.es

  19. says

    Stonehenge has long been on our bucket list, particularly with an Inside the Circle ticket. As to why it’s there… You know there is “Carhenge” in Nebraska, where old automobiles are arranged to resemble Stonehenge. That made me wonder…what if Stonehenge was just an ancient (or alien?) artist copying an idea they saw somewhere? Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

    • says

      That Inside the Circle ticket is pretty cool but really expensive. I would rather go to the Portugal and see the site there for free. I do love your theory. If it is correct, they are probably looking down and giggling at us right now.

  20. says

    i always forget how close Stonehenge is to London, i always imagine it up more toward northern Engand or toward Scotland. We really need to plan a side trip the next time we are in London. Great tips!

  21. says

    I cannot believe I have seen world heritage sites around the world and yet have not visited Stonehenge which is down the road from me! I like you, would want to enter to listen to the audio tour to learn more about Stonehenge (although I think I need to visit without my boys who are too young to appreciate this attraction). Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

  22. kim Marie Ostrowski says

    It looks like there should be 12 sets of 3 so I bet its something to do with time…(months/ giant clock) and maybe astronomy…and yeah I did see the faces in the slabs.

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