I’m sad to see UK Week come to an end but I hope it was as fun for all of you as it was experiencing and writing about for me. If you missed any of the previous posts, check them out here.
I thought Church and Monument would be a nice way to end because I would be a terrible mom-esque blogger if I didn’t give you some kind of history lesson from my adventures in England. So let’s talk St. Paul’s Cathedral and Stonehenge. Unlike actual history lessons, I’ll be short and sweet as these two sites in England left a lasting impression on me for very specific reasons.
What’s a great city without a beautiful cathedral in its skyline?
Enter St. Paul’s Cathedral in London’s skyline; a little-big piece of the Church of England with a grand stature and architecture. What resonated most with me was St. Paul’s height and the fact that as a visitor you can climb that height.
As one of the tallest buildings in London, St. Paul’s stands at 365 feet, 1 foot per day of the year…isn’t the cool? For the price of admission, aside from sitting in the center and staring up at the dome inspired by St Peter’s Basilica, you can flip your vantage point and climb 300+ stairs to the top of the dome and look down to the very center of the floor of the church from where you were just looking up.
A few extra stairs and you’ve found yourself at one of the highest points in London, perhaps out-of-breath, but above all completely stunned and in awe.
Honestly something that you MUST do when you visit London.
Moreover, the mystery that is Stonehenge.
It’s a place I honestly never thought of visiting because I was never much into history, let alone pre-historic history, but with almost 2 weeks of vacation in England one can get a bit tired of London and the Thames.
So we trekked out to Stonehenge which sits in the middle of acres of plains 8 miles outside of Salisbury, Wiltshire. A 20 GBP fare on a tour bus from the main train station in Salisbury takes you through a detailed tour of the old cathedral city, the only one in England, followed by the 10 minute ride out to Stonehenge. The same tour bus picks you up and takes a different route back giving you even more history and information.
As you approach the monument from about a mile away all you can think is how out-of-place it is. I kid you not, it’s like a mirage.
The stonehenge that sits there today is the final stage that was completed about 3500 years ago, the first phase dating back to about 5000 years ago. Note: the name Stonehenge didn’t come out of no where… a henge is a monument consisting of a circle of stone or wooden uprights – therefore this monument is actually a STONEhenge.
There’s obviously lots of history and research behind it and its existence and the audio tour will take you through it as you circle the monument; all things I don’t want to bore you with now, but another trip you must take when you visit London.
After all, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World!
PS: Try to go early in the day as the last tour bus out of Salisbury leaves at 2PM.
PSS: Don’t leave Salisbury without visiting the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral which is home to one of the original Magna Carta’s. We missed out because we JUST made that last tour bus and on the return weren’t back in Salisbury until close to 5PM – closing time for the Cathedral.