The beginning of astronomical spring, the 20th of March, is marked by an equinox. This is when the plane of Earth's equator passes the centre of the Sun. The equinox, from Latin, means 'equal night'; around the equinox, day and night are almost of an equal length. As far as we have written history, people have been celebrating equinox in spring and autumn, as well as solstice in June and December. Prehistoric standing stones circles, found across the United Kingdom, are believed to have been places of these kinds of rituals. Nowadays, numerous cultural events are taking place in March to welcome the coming of spring. Perhaps this is the time, when we can look back and learn about the history of Britain and how the prehistoric people were celebrating the arrival of spring. Get off the beaten track and visit the historical sites in the United Kingdom that still, even in spite of numerous archaeological studies, remain a mystery and raise questions.
Stonehenge, Amesbury, Wiltshire, England
Built in the Neolithic Era approximately 2500 BC, Stonehenge is believed to have witnessed many pagan celebrations. Experience the moment, when night and day are almost equal, in the prehistoric standing stones circle. You can be a part of an equinox ceremony conducted by Neo-Druids and Pagans and welcome the new season. Spring equinox is one of the four days in the year, when you are allowed to access Stonehenge circle. Other days are the summer and winter solstices as well as the autumn equinox. On other days, Stonehenge can be seen from a path surrounding it. Therefore, the 20th of March is a perfect opportunity to actually be able to find yourself within the circle of Neolithic monoliths.How to get there: by car or public bus from Salisbury. There's parking available on site.
Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Isle of Lewis standing stones, called Callanish Stones (located close to the village of Callanish) were probably erected between 2900 and 2600 BC. Similarly to Stonehenge, it was also used as a burial place. Some scientists also claim that the place might have served as a prehistoric lunar observatory. The Hebrides, in general, are a perfect spot for stargazing. Not only the mysterious purpose of the prehistoric monoliths, but also the picturesque island is very enticing. This is also where you can still hear Gaelic, a Celtic language of native Scottish people, being spoken on a daily basis.How to get there: by ferry from Ullapool in the north of Scotland to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.
Explore and learn about the rich history of our country. Across the United Kingdom
, you can hire a car from Auto Europe to make the most of your travels. Get off the beaten track and discover the prehistoric sites of Britain!