Taj Mahal – Tick
Chicken Itza – Tick
Colosseum – Tick
Machu Picchu – Tick
Christ Redeemer – Tick
Tick, tick, tick! Now it is time to check out one of the worlds’ most iconic landmarks and although it may not be as extravagant and intricate as the grandiose wonders mentioned above, it is ever so deserving of a visit when in the UK.
I was ever so excited about checking it out and being the ultimate tourist for the day and having a bit of a history lesson 101 on Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is the UK’s most famous prehistoric monument dating back to 3000 – 2000BC. Located just over two hours west of London in the evergreen Wilshire district, it is arguably the biggest ring of standing stones in the world. But why is it there? Well that is the big question, no one knows but it interesting to hear the theories about what it could have been. And maybe come up with a theory myself!
Truth be told, I didn’t come up with a crazy theory but I would love to be there at sunrise because I would imagine it to be quite magical but as even being there with the typical English weather of grey skies casting over, it was still an impressive site. It was great also that there was enough distance between the stones and where you could stand as you could really appreciate it and not get distracted by the hounds of tourists visiting the scared site. And there are a few. Also, you do not need longer than an hour unless you really are a stone enthusiast or stone nut and want to really soak up all angles of this impressive structure.
To this day, they are still uncovering secrets about stone henge including the recent announcement a few weeks ago that a huge ritual area has been discovered within close range of Stone Henge itself! That blows my mind as the site is 5000 years old and they are still unearthing discoveries!
Before checking out Stone Henge (I wanted to share my excitement with you about it first of all), I had a whirlwind visit to Windsor Castle. You know that place the Queen resides on weekends? I would allocate at least have a day to visit the castle as if you are a lover of fine arts and the English royal history, then this is the place for you. Also it is a nice little venture outside of London. It is one of the things I can’t get of – castles and seeing their opulence in full swing, I really am a fan of that type of thing. Before I ventured into the castle, I saw the Changing of the Guard and I have to say that I was more impressed with this one than at Buckingham Palace as it felt more intimate as there wasn’t a barrier in between and there wasn’t as many tourists.
Off to the castle we go! Despite its size, only a small portion of the castle is made accessible to the public however there are enough rooms to occupy your time. My favourite rooms are always the ballrooms, the rooms filled with portraits and the showcases of armour. I just wished I had a bit more time to really soak it in!
Capping off the day, it was time to check out an other draw card in the region, the Salisbury Cathedral. If you are into visiting churches (yes you would probably see one to many in Europe), I highly recommend visiting this one. I can’t say in every new place I go to one however this one was different because it had a theme to it – human rights. It is home to the prestigious 1215 document giving birth to what we call today ‘Human Rights’, the Magna Carta.
The Magna what now?
Not just the name of a Jay-Z album (yes I mixed it up with a pop reference), I didn’t know anything about it until I entered the impressive medieval walls of Salisbury Cathedral. The Magna Carta is the one of the most important and celebrated documents of history as it is where the first outline of human rights for individuals was outlined. Otherwise known as ‘The Great Charter of Liberties’ the original script is housed within Salisbury Cathedral. It is crazy to see the 800 year old document in person with it having so much influence over how today we are a society and our democratic freedoms.
Now in between visiting these spots, I have to say something else I am in love with is English countryside road tripping. I have travelled a lot through countries and I have to say just seeing the English scenery is one of my favourites – farm lands, old timely houses, the odd castle or ruin every now and then and just whizzing by villages – it really is the stuff of fairytales.
This was a full on day but well worth it if you need to blitz through the sites and just to escape the rat race of London and explore the history on the outskirts of the city. I always like to think after a big day of sightseeing if I have achieved a lot and did I? Tick!
Disclaimer: I was traveling as a guest of Anderson Tours.
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For more time at Windsor Castle, check out Half Day Windsor Castle Tours