Though Stonehenge is estimated to be over 4,500 years old, it’s only been 100 years since this ancient, mysterious monument in the English countryside was officially gifted to the nation.
On October 26, 1918, Cecil and Mary Chubb, the private owners of Stonehenge, donated it to the UK’s Office of Works, predecessor to the modern-day English Heritage foundation. Due to the Chubbs’ generosity, the monument was transformed from a neglected ruin into the beloved national treasure that it is today. English Heritage is celebrating this milestone with a year-long program of events, exhibits, music and art.
Evan Evans, one of the UK’s longest-established and best-reviewed sightseeing companies, offers a fantastic selection of Stonehenge tours that allow guests to admire the impressive Stone Circle, explore the Neolithic houses, discover over 250 archaeological treasures such as jewelry, pottery, and tools at the new visitor center, and come face-to-face with a 5,500-year-old man. One tour even grants visitors access to the normally restricted Inner Circle.
Those who visit Stonehenge during the year-long centenary celebration can also see Making Connections: Stonehenge in its Prehistoric World, a special exhibit that runs from October 12, 2018 through April 21, 2019. In partnership with the British Museum, this visitor center exhibit charts the changing relationship between the British Isles and Europe during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and features stunning precious artifacts made between 4000 BC and 800 BC, from a jade axe to an elaborate gold neckpiece.
Evan Evans’ half-day and full-day tours to Stonehenge depart from London, and many combine a trip to the monument with other must-see destinations including majestic Windsor Castle, beautiful Bath, and historic Oxford and Salisbury:
Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath: Discover three of England’s national treasures on this full-day tour, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Step inside Windsor Castle and see the magnificent State Apartments, furnished with some of the finest works of art from the royal Collection, and St. George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot. At Stonehenge take a peek inside the Neolithic houses, then visit the fascinating exhibition with ancient treasures dating back thousands of years before strolling around the stones themselves. Enjoy a panoramic coach drive through the beautiful Georgian town of Bath, then visit the namesake Roman baths where the naturally warm spring is still in operation after more than 2,000 years.
Stonehenge Inner Circle Access, Oxford & Windsor: On this special day trip, enter the restricted Inner Circle of Stonehenge and stand directly beside the magnificent towering stones, away from the crowds. Next is a fascinating walking tour of Oxford which includes Christ Church college, where many scenes from Harry Potter were filmed, the Bodleian Library, and the picture-perfect courtyards for which Oxford is famous. Then it’s onward to Windsor and a tour of the palace, a walk through the quaintly cobbled downtown, and a peek at Queen Charlotte Street – the shortest in Britain.
Afternoon Tea in Salisbury Cathedral with Stonehenge & Bath: Visit the medieval cathedral of Salisbury, home to one of only four surviving versions of the Magna Carta and the world’s oldest working clock, then enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea in the beautifully quaint bell tower tea rooms overlooking the north lawn. Next up on this full-day tour is a visit to Stonehenge, followed by an afternoon in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. Visit Bath Abbey, the Assembly Rooms and Pulteney Bridge, then enjoy some free time to explore the city and perhaps visit the Roman baths.
To make a reservation, travelers can visit www.evanevanstours.com or call Evan Evans at 1-800-422-9022.