How can I visit Stonehenge?
WHERE IS STONEHENGE?
The distance from central London is about 87 miles or 136 kilometres and takes around 2 hours by car. The distance from Salisbury, the nearest city with a railway station, to Stonehenge is about 9 miles or 15 kilometres. The distance to the sea is around 30 miles. The postcode for your sat nav or GPS is SP3 4DX.
Jan 2nd - March 15th 9.30am - 4pm
March 16th - May 31st 9.30am - 6pm
June 1st - August 31st 9am - 7pm
September 1st - October 15th 9.30 - 6pm
December 18th - March 15th (2014) 9.30 - 5pm. Last admission 3pm.
NB. 26th Dec, 1st Jan opening times 10 - 4 pm. Last admission 2pm.
Closed 24th and 25th December.
Stonehenge Winter solstice 2013 - FREE access from 7.15 to 9 am!
Allow an hour to walk around Stonehenge itself.
IS THERE A DIRECT COACH TO STONEHENGE FROM LONDON?
There is a direct coach most afternoons in winter and every afternoon in summer. It runs from central London and gives you about 2 hours at Stonehenge. Prices are currently £31 per adult including entrance to Stonehenge. Details and online booking at Stonehenge Direct. This is cheaper than the train and bus alternative.
Either first thing in the morning as it opens or as late in the day as possible before it closes. Anytime from 4pm in summer or 2pm in winter. The first coach tours arrive quite early, but most are gone back to London/Bath (after having missed seeing the other monuments in the landscape!) by 4 pm and it starts to get more peaceful. Be careful of the last bus times if you have used public transport.
The best time of year for tours is more difficult to answer. It gets very busy in late July through to mid September which are certainly the warmest months. In winter it gets very cold, but you can get some good pictures like the one above. On balance the best time to tour is April to early July or October, but anytime is good! There is usually a wind up on the Plain and it is better to go with more clothes than you think you need.
CAN I BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE?
Buying tickets in advance is essential to guarantee entrance. You can buy them at the 365 tickets link below left where you will get a discount on the price payable on site. You can book in the Heritage Best Sellers box.
You can also buy tickets to many top London & UK attractions often at reduced rates.
IS STONEHENGE FENCED OFF?
There is an outer perimeter fence, but once you are through the turnstiles there is a piece of thin rope about 60cm/2feet high which keeps you back from the stones. The nearest you get is around 15m/yds away, but the view is still good. You won't be looking through a fence at Stonehenge. The advantage is that you will still be able to get a good photo of Stonehenge without anybody else in the shot making it look like you are there on your own. The photos taken by people showing a chain link fence are because they took their tour when it was closed or they didn't buy a ticket to get in! If you want to see a photo of the stones from behind the 2 foot high rope with no magnification just send us an e-mail and we'll send it to you. If you want to go inside Stonehenge see our Special Access tours page
IS THERE A CAFE OR RESTAURANT AT STONEHENGE?
No. The catering facilities are inadequate, though the quality of food is OK. There is a coffee stall selling drinks, sandwiches, and baguettes. In the summer months there is an ice cream stall as well. Seating is outside so if it is raining, snowing, cold and windy there is no cover except in your car! The facilities were designed for 300,000 visitors each year and not the over 1 million that actually visit. Until the new visitor centre for Stonehenge opens English Heritage will struggle to provide facilities appropriate for a World Heritage site. If you want a recommendation on a good pub near Stonehenge for lunch please contact us.
If you're arriving by train and you just want to tour Stonehenge, there is a (very expensive!) bus service from Salisbury railway station. The buses run every hour in winter and half-hourly in summer. The journey to Stonehenge takes 33 minutes and following a huge price hike now costs £12.00 return. Return journeys from Stonehenge leave at 40 minutes past the hour starting at 10.40 am. Make sure you know the time of the last bus as it's a long walk! If 4 of you are on a tour a taxi will certainly be cheaper for you - as well as more flexible, quicker, and you can store your luggage in the taxi. Agree the price with the driver before you leave the station.
If you want to tour in more style then we can recommend luxury transport for you. This will take you from the railway station to Stonehenge, give you an hour to tour and return you to the station or Salisbury. For further details and to make a booking before you arrive contact us.
No left luggage service is available at Salisbury Railway Station. You can leave luggage at the Cat Tavern for £2 per item per day. Turn left out of the station and the Cat Tavern is about 100 metres down on the right hand side. If you use a taxi you can leave your luggage in it when you tour Stonehenge. On the bus you will have to take it with you around Stonehenge when you get there. A Stonehenge day tour may be easier and cheaper if you are travelling from London.
If you want to extend your tour in the area we can arrange discounted stays at one of the best hotels in Salisbury. For further information please go to our accommodation page.
Much has been written about Stonehenge and its relationship to the sun, moon and the planets. Some of it very fanciful, but interesting. The more serious writings by noted astronomers are usually very long and complex for the lay person. In our view the best starting points are the following external pages;
BOOKS ON STONEHENGE.
Lots of them to choose from and a selection of the best can be found on our Books page.