There are plenty of historic sites to visit in the UK. However, not one of them can claim to be as old and mysterious as Southwest England’s Stonehenge. This enigmatic and ancient circle of stones (aka a henge) is certainly among the most famous places to visit in Britain.
Archaeologists estimate Stonehenge was built by Stone Age peoples some 4000 to 5000 years ago, on Salisbury Plain in the county of Wiltshire. And that’s where it’s still standing today!
If you’ve been wondering how to get to Stonehenge, you are the latest in a long line. This unique historic site has been attracting visitors for thousands of years.
Luckily, getting to Stonehenge from London is fairly easy these days. It’s just a scenic two-and-a-half hours’ drive from the centre of the capital. Or, an hour train journey and a short bus ride passing through the lovely nearby city of Salisbury.
Getting There and Access:
There are three main ways to get to Stonehenge, and with all visits, you must remember that the Stonehenge closing time for new admissions is at 5 PM every day. Therefore, please factor this into your transport.
Driving is the easiest method for most, either with your own car or a rental car. You’ll only be relying on yourself, and you can drive straight to and from the site. The M3 is the nearest motorway, and it will take you most of the way if coming from London. From there, the main road, the A303, goes within a few miles of the Henge itself. You can check out the driving route here.
Alternatively, you could go Stonehenge by train, via Salisbury. For example from London Waterloo, where trains are frequent (every hour or so) and the journey takes an hour and a half. Train tickets normally cost anywhere between £28 and £36 return, per person. In addition, you can travel from most other UK cities and towns by train, and you can plan your journey using the National Rail website.
Remember to factor in another half an hour to get to the Stonehenge site by bus or taxi.
Taxis take on average 15 minutes and cost anywhere from £15-25 each way.
The bus costs £17 per adult, and £11.50 per child return and can be booked here.
You may also travel via coach from London Victoria station to Salisbury. The ride takes about 3 hours each way. Plus, the bus journey from the city to the Henge site. Coaches from other UK cities are available but will take longer.
Stonehenge Ticket Costs:
You don’t need to book your visit to Stonehenge in advance, but you can book online for guaranteed entry and of course the best prices! There are three pricing categories, depending on whether you are visiting during peak times (weekends and holidays) or off-peak (during the weekdays).
Off-peak pricing: £20 per adult, £12 per child.
Standard pricing: £21.80 per adult, £13 per child.
Peak pricing: £23.60 per adult, £14.10 per child.
You may also buy family tickets which offer a discount and if you’re a member of The English Heritage you can visit for free. For up-to-date pricing, and to check whether you will be traveling during peak, off-peak or standard times, you can visit: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/prices-and-opening-times/
Why Visit? What Makes Stonehenge Special
Aside from its phenomenal age and imposing looks, Stonehenge has always held a magical reputation. Something about its unknown builders and mysterious purpose has given it spiritual significance to many people.
Today, visitors aren’t allowed to walk directly between the stones for most of the year. However, you can get very close!
There’s also a visitors’ centre just a mile away. This exhibits the hard work of local archaeologists, showing you how the people who made Stonehenge may have lived and worked.
For example, you’ll find replica Stone Age huts with real ancient tools displayed inside. Or, discover recreations of the huge sleds that the Henge’s builders may have used to pull the giant stones into place.
Events and Other Things to Do
If all that historic touring sounds a bit too relaxed for you, you could always try visiting Stonehenge on the Summer or Winter Solstice.
On these special dates twice a year, where night and day are equal lengths, the whole site opens up for a wild party among the stones. Trust us, we mean wild! Revelers stay up all night, specifically to watch the sunrise between Stonehenge’s pillars, in a tradition going back millennia.
On the other hand, maybe a big old shindig doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. In that case, you’ll be glad to know it’s a much more calm and respectful experience here throughout the rest of the year.
After exploring the Henge, you have a couple of options to wind down in the nearby area.
The picture-perfect rural village of Amesbury, one of the oldest settlements in the UK, is not far away. Alternatively, the busier Cathedral city of Salisbury is also within half an hour’s reach. Each has its own unique attractions as well as plenty of pubs, restaurants, and cafes for a relaxing stop