Wiltshire

Barack Obama in Stonehenge visit on return from Nato summit

  • 6 September 2014
  • From the section Wiltshire
Media captionUS President Obama spent 20 minutes inside the monoliths at Stonehenge

US President Barack Obama paid a visit to Stonehenge on his return home from the Nato summit in Newport.

The White House said the presidential helicopter Marine One stopped at Boscombe Down Airbase, Wiltshire, before his motorcade drove to the ancient monument.

The president was then given a guided tour by curator Heather Sebire.

English Heritage, which manages the site, said it was "an honour" to host the president.

General manager of Stonehenge, Kate Davies, said: "His office told us the president was very interested to see the iconic monument for himself.

"Every day people from all over the world make the trip to the ancient stones but this visit was a particularly special one."

Ms Sebire said Mr Obama "was fascinated by the story of the stones, what we know about them and the mysteries that have yet to be solved".

Image caption The president reportedly commented that he had "knocked this off my bucket list"
Image caption He was given a personal tour of the site by Heather Sebire from English Heritage
Image caption Mr Obama stopped to chat with a local family during his visit

She went on: "He described the atmosphere around the stones as 'really special' and his visit to Stonehenge as 'a highlight of my tour'.

"It was a beautiful still evening and it was a privilege to show the US president around this unique monument which continues to inspire and intrigue people."

Mr Obama described seeing the monument as "cool" and said it was something he could tick off his "bucket list".

He also chatted briefly to a local family and posed for photos.

Janice Raffle, who lives near Stonehenge, had come down to the monument with her husband and three sons after hearing Mr Obama was there.

She said: "We had a brief tete a tete across the barbed wire.

"He was really a sweetie. He asked all our names and he was commenting on the fresh air and the beautiful countryside.

"He also said that I was quite outnumbered because I have three little boys as well as my husband and there was a bit of banter between the boys saying boys are best and he said well I don't know if I agree with that."

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