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Introducing Stonehenge

Arguably one of the world’s most important prehistoric sites, and certainly one of Britain’s biggest tourist attractions, the ancient ring of monolithic stones at Stonehenge (EH/NT; 01980-624715; admission £5.90; 9am-7pm Jul-Aug, 9.30am-6pm mid-Mar–May & Sep–mid-Oct, 9.30am-4pm Oct-Mar) has been attracting a steady stream of pilgrims, poets and philosophers for the last 5000 years. Despite the constant flow of traffic from the main road beside the monument, and the huge numbers of visitors who traipse around the stones on a daily basis, Stonehenge still manages to be a mystical, ethereal place – a haunting echo from Britain’s forgotten past, and a reminder of a lost civilisation who once walked the many ceremonial avenues across Salisbury Plain. Even more intriguingly, it’s still one of Britain’s great archaeological mysteries: although there are countless theories about what the site was used for, ranging from a sacrificial centre to a celestial timepiece, in truth no-one really knows what drove prehistoric Britons to expend so much time and effort on its construction.