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For such a small place, the UK is certainly brimming with history. Having said this, it can be difficult to know where to go to experience this for yourself. Of course you can always while away an afternoon in one of our fantastic museums, but if you want to get a true taste of history, then you can’t beat a visit to one of the country’s historic sites! So that’s why, we’ve put together a checklist of some of the best spots that you can visit in order to get a sense of the history behind these islands.
OK, this one might be quite obvious, however it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth its spot on this list. Stonehenge was built at least 4,000 years ago and still stands proudly amid the Wiltshire countryside to this day. Although no one is quite sure why or how the structure was built, we do know it would have involved the transportation of stones that weigh up to 50 tons each! With its brand new £27 million visitor centre featuring over 250 objects, it’s little wonder Stonehenge attracts over 800,000 visitors a year!
If you want to go back even further than Stonehenge, Skara Brae is the place for you. Older than both the famous stone circle and the great pyramids of Egypt, the site was found by chance back in 1850 when a powerful storm stripped away the turf that had almost perfectly preserved the buildings for thousands of years. The level of preservation is so complete that you can still see, not only the original belongings of the site, but also much of the furniture that was used by the inhabitants over four and a half thousand years ago!
Then there’s also the massive site of Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland. Again over 5,000 years old, the mound covers an area over an acre in size and appears to have been built in order to capture a beam of light at sunrise on the winter solstice every year. With over 200,00 visitors every year, Newgrange is the most popular of Ireland’s prehistoric attractions and is complemented by it’s very own visitor centre which contains a full scale replica of the mysterious central chamber of the site.
So there you have it, the Sykes checklist of the best ancient sites to visit on the British Isles. Hopefully all you history buffs out there will enjoy having little look around, and if you manage to take any photos of the places, then we’d love to see them! Just send them over, either via Facebook or Twitter.