Your guide to visiting Stonehenge!
A trip to Stonehenge can be a once in a lifetime (more if you're lucky!), best to make the most of your time there and discover everything there is to enjoy about this incredible historical monument.
BOOK IN ADVANCE
Book your tickets in advance to save paying more at the gate. Stonehenge can get super busy, so best to book in advance and reserve your preferred time slot. Admissions are very accomodating when they can be and will allow some flexibility for your entry time if it’s not as busy. If you’re big into history and the outdoors, best to check out purchasing an Overseas Visitors Pass, allowing you access to hundreds of English Heritage sites throughout the region.
BRING YOUR WALKING SHOES
The stones are about 3 miles away from where you arrive, meaning you need to walk or utilise the free shuttle. When you arrive, you’ll need to first pass through admissions and the visitor centre before choosing how you’ll head out to the stones. You can walk, about a 40 minute walk out to the stones, or you can catch a free shuttle which departs every couple of minutes. Remember, once you get to the stones, there is a walking track the entire way around so you may wish to save your legs for that journey and take the shuttle!
STONEHENGE SPECIAL ACCESS
During opening hours, you can only get as close as about 9m to stone henge, however you can book a Special Access Tour or Stone Circle Experience which allows you to walk amongst stonehenge. This tour books out months in advance and is strictly limited to 30 people. They usually occur at dawn or dusk too, keep this in mind if you’re staying in London some 2 hours away. Note, this experience does not operate between mid September and early December, or the last 2 weeks of june. Expect to pay about 4 times the mount of a standard ticket. Stonehenge Special Access is an incredible way to get up close with the stones as well as experience them at the best time of day - sunrise or sunset. A truly remarkable experience.
DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO GUIDE
You can download an audio guide in English on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. There are 12 languages available to listen to. Listening to the guides helps to give context to what you are seeing, beyond some stones stood up in the ground. The guide will teach you more about the stones from a historical and archeological point of view. Make sure to bring headphone, otherwise you can buy a pair at the gift shop and admissions desk.
VISIT THE OTHER HISTORICAL SITES
Stonehenge is just one of many historical sites dotted along the countryside. If you’re travelling to Stonehenge independently, and not with a tour, you’ll be able to stop along the way at places like Woodhenge & Durrington Walls, which are just some of the sights on the drive from London to Stonehenge. Other sites of significance include Avebury Henge, Silbury Hill, Old Sarum and more.
VISIT EARLY OR LATE
To see the stones are their least busiest, book for right on opening or right before the stones close. Remember the last admission is 2 hours before closing. There’s lots more to see apart from just Stonehenge. There’s a great exhibition centre with real-sized neolithic buildings, tools and artefacts on display as well. Make sure you leave enough time to see everything, about 2.5 hours is recommended to properly enjoy Stonehenge.
PACK FOR THE WEATHER
The actual stones are about 4kms from the visitor centre, with no shelter or covers from the elements. Stonehenge is in a wide open field, making it rather cold and windy. The stones are also susceptible to infrequent downpours, best to pack a brolley! Good walking shoes, a weather resistant jacket and warm clothes, even in the peak of summer, are highly recommended for your visit out to Stonehenge, all to help make your outdoor adventure a little more comfortable. Consider too the amount of people who are also visiting Stonehenge and will also want to seek shelter from such weather events. Carefully planning the season of your visit is vital for a great day at the stones.
Follow these 7 steps and you'll be sure to enjoy the best of what Stonehenge has to offer. Have you visited Stonehenge before? Share with us something you wish you knew before you went in the comments below!