By Jeremy Patton
Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, England, about 85 miles southwest of London and 10 miles north of Salisbury.
I visited in 1998 during a three-month study abroad program. I was 20 years old and very green.
I traveled alone through Spain, France and England, which was both exhilarating and intimidating for a young man. I have always been a loner, but I also traveled solo to get away from students of my group (hailing from colleges throughout Kentucky), who were more interested in partying than exploring.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument consisting of a ring of upright stones, each standing 6 feet, 11 inches and weighing approximately 25 tons. It was constructed between 4000 and 5000 years ago.
In 1998, very little was known about Stonehenge, but scientists have recently discovered that it was part of a larger complex of ancient settlements, processional routes and burial mounds. Although I did not understand its purpose then, I felt drawn to it, as if the stones were a landmark of my ancestors.
One of the first things that struck me was that it stood like a beacon in a sea of lush fields dotted with white, grazing sheep. It had a remote, country feel that I adored.
The ring was roped off, so I could not walk among the stones, which was very disappointing. Perhaps I would have been granted access if I had taken a tour. I will keep that in mind for a return trip.
I travelled to Stonehenge by bus, but I cannot remember if I left from London or Salisbury. If you stay in a reputable hotel in either city, the staff can help you make efficient and safe arrangements. A lot has changed since the late 90s, so scheduling your visit on the internet would probably be easy.
Added 7/19/17 – Updated 7/20/17