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If you had to choose just one monument to symbolize England, it would probably be Stonehenge. The world’s most famous stone circle has been standing on Salisbury Plain since at least 2500 BC, and the standing stones still conjure up images of pagan rituals and chanting druids — indeed, thousands of modern-day pagans gather here every year to celebrate the summer solstice. Dozens more prehistoric monuments are dotted across the Wiltshire landscape, and the country town of Salisbury sits at the heart of this treasure trove of history, beneath the soaring medieval spires of Salisbury Cathedral. With its Tudor and Georgian townhouses and terrace ...

If you had to choose just one monument to symbolize England, it would probably be Stonehenge. The world’s most famous stone circle has been standing on Salisbury Plain since at least 2500 BC, and the standing stones still conjure up images of pagan rituals and chanting druids — indeed, thousands of modern-day pagans gather here every year to celebrate the summer solstice. Dozens more prehistoric monuments are dotted across the Wiltshire landscape, and the country town of Salisbury sits at the heart of this treasure trove of history, beneath the soaring medieval spires of Salisbury Cathedral. With its Tudor and Georgian townhouses and terrace cafes, Salisbury is outrageously picturesque and accordingly, it is crammed with visitors every summer (come out of season to see the history without the crowds). The focal point of the city is Cathedral Close, flanked by the Cathedral and a string of historic mansions and palaces that could have been plucked straight from a period drama.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October, but things get very busy from June to August.