Friday, 10 January 2014

Stonehenge - Step Inside The Circle

Stonehenge - the prehistoric wonder of the world. Surrounded by speculation, Stonehenge's mystery intrigues the world daily as thousands of tourists flock to get a glimpse and the chance to feel its magic. 

The other day I was chatting to a friend of mine who is about to venture off to the UK for a month of exploring. As we were sharing travel tips and tricks the topic of Stonehenge came up so I thought it would be the perfect time for me to give you all a tip of my experience with this extraordinary sight. 

What most people don't know is that there is an affordable way to get up-close and personal with this iconic sight. Given you are traveling all that way, don't you want to be able to get inside the circle and really get a sense of the power of these massive stones? 

For most of the year the English Heritage offer Sunrise and Sunset Stone Circle Access. Allowing you the possibility of access the inner circle. In 2011 I was fortunate enough to do just this. My travel partner and myself left our hotel and drove through the rolling Salisbury Plain through the beautiful morning mist towards this magnificent sight.

As the golden sun woke the countryside, we joined 20 other eager tourists for our chance to step inside the circle, and get a sense of just how incredible these stones really are. 

For most people, their experience of Stonehenge is joining thousands of tourists on the surrounding path, only to view the circle from a safe distance. Not terribly personal in my opinion. This however, is the opportunity for you to stand right up next to each stone, dancing through their shadows and allowing their sheer size to swamp you. 

You can view the textures of these majestic bluestones that were transported hundreds of kilometres and specifically placed thousands and thousands of years ago. 

All you need to do is visit the English Heritage site and find the link to the Stone Circle Access booking form (found under "Prices and Booking Times"). Any out of hour visits must be pre-booked as availability is very limited. Be sure also to go through the form carefully to check when access is available as the days and times changes throughout the year depending on the season. 

Fun fact! Did you know that Stonehenge isn't actually a henge? (Thanks QI!)  Even though the word "henge" is named after Stonehenge, archaeologists define a henge as having an embankment area outside the circle and a ditch inside, where as Stonehenge is the other way around. 

Regardless of all the speculation surrounding Stonehenge, the suggestions to how and why the stones were put into place, its magic and mystery has intrigued visitors for centuries and no matter how you experience it, it is one that will stick with you forever. 

"Whoever was the person behind Stonehenge was one dickens of a motivator, I'll tell you that!" 
- Bill Bryson 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Sun Sets On Another Year

As the sun sets on another fabulous year, I sit and reminisce on what the year has been and think about what excitement 2014 may bring. 

Every year for as long as I can remember my family has bid the year goodbye by watching the sunset over the ocean with fish and chips in hand. 

This year was no exception - It was simply exquisite. 

Close family and friends rugged up and gathered on the coast busily reminiscing and discussing plans of the year ahead over a glass of bubbles. 

It is always the perfect way to end the year! 

For me, this year was really wonderful. A year of many amazing new adventures, projects, stories and laughs, all with incredible friends new and old. 

If 2013 is anything to go by I am so excited to see what 2014 may bring! 

And with that, I wish you all a very Happy New Year! 

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe festive season, and that the new year brings you lots of joy with many exciting new adventures. 

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. 

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, your Doing Something. 

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family life. 

Whatever it is you're scare of doing, Do it! 

Make your mistakes, next year and forever."
 - Neil Gaiman

What does 2014 hold? 

A massive shout out to my very talented mother, Robyn, who took many of the photos above! I forgot my camera on new years eve so left the night to her and her photography. She, like me, has such a passion for photography, food and travel and has exciting plans for 2014, all of which you will be able to catch on her blog So Much World, Not Enough Time.