Of course, I sat upstairs.... you get a better view from the top, plus it brought back memories of when I rode a double decker every day to school, but that's another story.... and after travelling about 8 miles through the gently rolling fields of Salisbury Plain, I saw my first glimpse of the ancient stones.
One of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones.
The standing stones were erected around 2200 BC and the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC
The stones themselves are no longer accessible to the public, but I remember as a child being able to stop by the side of the road and walk into the site, and even climb on the stones.
In Victorian times, it was perfectly acceptable to hire a hammer from the blacksmith in the nearby town of Amesbury and come to Stonehenge to chip bits off the stones to take home as souvenirs! Needless to say, that sort of naughtiness is frowned on today.
Stonehenge was built in several stages. The design enables observation of astronomical phenomena - summer and winter solstices and eclipses. Many of the stones are missing, having been used as building materials over the centuries. Perhaps this is what Stonehenge originally looked like.
My ticket entitled me to an MP3 player that gave me an audio tour of the site, but sometimes it was hard to hear due to a busload of very noisy and enthusiastic Italian tourists who arrived at about the same time as I did.
The sarsen Heel Stone is approximately 16 feet high (4.88m) with another 4 feet (1.22m) buried below ground. It probably stood upright originally.
More pictures and an explanation of the site here. This will tell you all you ever wanted to know about Bluestones, Aubrey Holes, the Sarsen Circle and the Trilithons, the Station Stones, and the Slaughter Stone.