I’ve never visited the famous Neolithic monument located in southern England near Wiltshire so I don’t know what it was like before. But judging by news reports I’ve read recently the touristy nature of the area detracted a fair bit from the experience of visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
All that’s about the change, though, as the British government is set to unveil a revamped Stonehenge. You can read more in this CNN report, but what they’ve apparently done is built a new $44 million visitors’ complex two kilometres from the monument. It features an interpretative centre where people can learn about life in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, along with a restaurant, gift shop and other tourist amenities.
To visit the monument, people will have the option of using a shuttle bus, or walking along one of the traditional pathways that people used millennia ago to gather at Stonehenge for winter and summer solstice celebrations. Previously, the pathways had been broken up by roads and a parking lot. Now, they can be walked in peace. As well, the landscape around the monument has been returned to grass as it would have been when the monument was first built.
Overall, it sounds like a pretty impressive effort to provide a proper sense of history and respect for such an important prehistoric monument.