How can I visit Stonehenge?
WHERE IS STONEHENGE?
To see where Stonehenge is, click here to open a Google Map in a new window. There is also an aerial view here using the satellite feature.
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.
STONEHENGE OPENING TIMES 2014
1st April - 31st May 9am - 7pm. Last admission 5pm.
1st June - 31st August. 9am - 8pm. Last entry 6pm.
1st Sept - 15th Oct 9.30am - 7pm. Last admission 5pm.
16th Oct - 15th March 2015 9.30am - 5pm. Last admission 3pm.
NB. 26th Dec, 1st Jan opening times 10 - 4 pm. Last admission 2pm.
Closed 24th and 25th December.
Between 20th and 22nd June access arrangements vary for midsummer celebrations.
Allow an hour to walk around Stonehenge itself plus time for the exhibition, shop etc.
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 £44 per adult including entrance to Stonehenge. Details and online booking at Stonehenge Direct. This is cheaper than the train and bus alternative.
WHAT'S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT STONEHENGE?
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 from Salisbury.
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 DISCOUNTED TICKETS TO STONEHENGE IN ADVANCE?
Buying tickets in advance is essential to guarantee entrance. There is a timed ticket system in operation from Feb 2014. The entrance or admission fee for Stonehenge is £14.50 for adults (advance purchase) or £15.50 if purchased on the day. Buy tickets now.
IS THERE CAR PARKING AT STONEHENGE?
Car parking at Stonehenge is free except during the school holidays. The car park charge is rebated against your entrance fee. If you already have a ticket purchased above there is no charge.
IS THERE A GUIDED TOUR OF STONEHENGE?
There is an audio tour available at Stonehenge, but if you are not travelling with a tour group there is a charge of £2 to hire the handheld audio. To avoid this charge you can download the tour from free while on site or at this link Android Stonehenge tour or here for Apple. You can listen to the tour in advance. There is a description of the landscape as well if you decide to walk over to Stonehenge from the Visitors Centre.
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. 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?
Yes there is a nice light and airey cafe selling a range of hot and cold food. 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 £14.00 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 may 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.
LEFT LUGGAGE AT STONEHENGE
No left luggage service is available at Stonehenge or Salisbury Railway Station. You can leave luggage at the Cat Tavern for £3 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.
THE SUN, MOON, PLANETS AND STONEHENGE.
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;
Royal Astronomical Society - Stonehenge and Ancient Astronomy. Published as part of the International Year of Astronomy this downloadable leaflet contains great diagrams and explanations of Stonehenge and the Sun;Stonehenge and the Moon; and other famous sites. Alternatively try:
Tiverton Astronomy Society with its excellent summary. It gives a good explanation of the history of astronomical research on Stonehenge complete with clear diagrams. The references to the authors of the research may tempt you to undertake further research. Good luck!
BOOKS ON STONEHENGE.
Lots of them to choose from and a selection of the best can be found on our Books page.