There’s lots of speculation, but no one really knows why or when the ancients constructed Stonehenge. It’s estimated that the ring of Bluestone, Sarsen and Welsh Sandstone went up about 3100 BC in what’s now Wiltshire in the United Kingdom. But we are sure about this: Each year about this time people from all over the planet visit this sacred plot of British soil to celebrate the summer solstice.
It’s best not to drive to Stonehenge if you can help it. There’s a bus from the Salisbury rail station out to the site during the solstice. It may just be the easiest way to get there.
Set your watches before you go. Sunset is June 20 at 21:26 hours, or 9:26pm and sunrise is celestially set for 04:52 hours (4:52am) on Thursday.
This year English Heritage, the agency that oversees Stonehenge, opens the grounds at 7pm on June 20, and closes it at 8am on June 21. What happens between those two times inside is really up to you.
English Heritage says, “We support all individuals and groups conducting their own forms of ceremony and celebration providing that they are mutually respectful and tolerant of one another. It is a place seen by many as a sacred site.”
There are lots of “don’ts” associated with an outing to Stonehenge, though, and one overriding “do.” Don’t plan on camping. Don’t bring along your dog. Don’t carry glass bottles and – please – don’t clamber on the stones themselves. Some folks consider this a holy site.
But here’s the one “do:” open up your mind and consider that people have worshiped in one way or another in this place for a very, very long time. We, like them, are just passing through.