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Britain's Stonehenge gets impressive new visitor centre, new insights on ancient mysterious culture.
Located near Salisbury in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, Stonehenge has long been a highlight of any visit to England's southwest region. With the unveiling of a £27 million (US$44 million) visitor centre and museum in December 2013, just over a mile from the Neolithic site itself, visitors will have an enriching opportunity to learn about this still-mysterious heritage site. Was Stonehenge a temple for sun worship, a healing centre, a burial site or perhaps a huge calendar? How did our ancestors carry such mighty stones from so far away and then, using only the simplest of tools, build this amazing structure?
Stonehenge in winter's snow.
Stonehenge was produced by a culture that left no written records, leaving many questions about its purpose and construction unanswered.
Stonehenge new visitor centre, opened December 2013.
Stonehenge's visitor centre opened in December 2013.
Stonehenge and Avebury became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 for their outstanding prehistoric monuments which date from 3,700 to 1,600 BC. At Stonehenge, the unique lintelled stone circle is surrounded by a landscape containing more than 350 burial mounds and major prehistoric monuments such as the Stonehenge Avenue, the Cursus, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls. The Stonehenge part of the World Heritage Site covers around 2,600 hectares and is managed by several landowners including English Heritage and the National Trust.
Beyond the visitor centre and museum, visits inside the stone circle itself are restricted to provide a quality experience and to protect the site from deterioration through environmental improvements. Stone Circle Access visits only take place outside the normal opening times at Stonehenge, and are very early in the morning or late in the evening, not offered during normal opening times. Such a visit must be pre-booked and paid for in advance of arrival by completing a Stone Circle Access application on the website. Each visit lasts for one hour with a maximum of 26 people within the stone circles at one time. A stone circle access reservation also includes a visit to Stonehenge during normal opening times on the same day for no additional cost.
Stonehenge village, reproduced Neolithic huts at new visitor centre.
Stonehenge village features authentically
reproduced Neolithic huts.
Stonehenge at sunset.
Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of
standing stones set within earthworks.
Visitors may purchase in advance a 48-page color guidebook to the site, and it will be waiting there upon arrival. It is a beautifully illustrated collector's item written by leading English Heritage experts.

On the Stonehenge website, see prices and opening times during various seasons.
All photos courtesy of English Heritage.


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Stonehenge England, new Stonehenge visitor centre, Stonehenge ancient mysterious culture