Stonehenge Visitors Centre
After decades of debate and wrangling Stonehenge finally has a smart new Visitor Centre. Situated about 1.25 miles away from the stones it was opened on the 18th December 2013. So for those of you who came on one of our tours prior to then, it’s a very different experience now. Transport over to Stonehenge itself is on a quaint little land train pictured here, with faster liveried buses to supplement them.
The much larger shop has a wider range of books than before and gifts to suit all sorts from the Stonehenge snow globe through to expensive ‘bluestone’ jewellery!
There is a much improved café– remember the old coffee shack? – serving a much wider range of food and drink. The indoor seating area is very welcome though the bench seats seem designed to limit how long you’d want to stay. It is, however, a vast improvement on the old outside seating area.
Most importantly there is a new Exhibition area showing some of the archaeological finds from the area. As well as the permanent display there thematic temporary exhibits changing every year or so which helps to keep the centre fresh.
On each of our tours we talk about the houses found over at Durrington Walls and now you can visit a reconstruction of them at the new centre. Constructed by the Ancient Technology Centre they are based on the results of the Stonehenge Riverside Project digs from 2005-7.
The building has its fans and detractors (I’m a fan) due to its very modern look compared to the antiquity of Stonehenge. It has an air of ephemerality about it and at some future date when it’s removed the scarring and damage to the underlying landscape should be minimal. Thankfully.
Inevitably such a major change was always going to have some teething issues which, sadly, the press latched on to because of some delays in the transportation. English Heritage acted on it quickly and improved the flow for visitors meaning minimal delays except at peak times of the year. Overall the Centre is much welcomed and a vast improvement to the previous facilities. Certainly worth another visit!
Tickets are £14.90 (adults) with concessions and must be booked in advance. A discount is available through 365 Tickets. For a very special inner circle access tour go to our Special Access page.
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