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Stonehenge - What To Expect On A Visit

Includes video clip and logistics enabling an informed visit to Stonehenge


Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Stonehenge Visitor Centre - Gateway To Stonehenge
Opened in 2014

Temperature + What To Wear At Stonehenge

Stonehenge is on the top of Salisbury Plain, a flat barren place. Be warned, especially if you're coming from London it will be noticeably colder at Stonehenge.

Because Stonehenge is totally exposed to the winds sweeping across Salisbury Plain the wind chill factor can make Stonehenge bitterly cold. There is very little shelter from the elements.


In 2014 a new visitor centre opened around 1 mile from Stonehenge itself and is where you start your visit to Stonehenge. A visit to Stonehenge is in two parts. The visitor centre hosts the exhibition, cafe, gift shop, toilets etc all in one modern building.

The actual visit to the Stonehenge monument is by a small Stonehenge shuttle, (or you can walk). The Stonehenge monument area is very exposed, there is no shelter, (even at the shuttle terminus), no toilets and no refreshments. The site is very exposed, its better to bring that extra layer and unless there is no cloud in the sky think of what you will need if an unexpected shower of rain comes along, with no shelter from the elements.

Arriving At Stonehenge

In 2014 a new purpose built visitor centre (pictured) located well away from Stonehenge itself was opened. This is where you come to gain access to Stonehenge.

If you come by car you will park in the car park outside the visitor centre. It is free for people purchasing tickets to enter Stonehenge, there is a charge if you are not.

If you come by tour bus, your coach will go to the coach park about 200 yards from the visitor centre. Groups on tour buses are treated separately to independent visitors arriving by car. Those on tour buses will be transferred to a large bus and taken immediately to the Stonehenge monument, returning to the visitor centre. Those arriving independently go through the main entrance of the visitor centre where the ticket kiosk is located, visit the exhibition and then go to Stonehenge on small Stonehenge shuttle vehicles.

You Must Book Tickets In Advance, Paying On The Day Is Not An Option !

Visiting Stonehenge - What To Expect

To be assured of entering Stonehenge you must reserve tickets in advance on the Stonehenge web site (see banner link below). If you have a heritage pass or are a National Trust or English Heritage member and are entitled to free entry you still need to obtain (free) tickets in advance.


Note: you cannot reserve tickets on-line on the day of your visit, you must reserve before midnight latest on the day before. Only a very small number of tickets are held back each day for walk-up visitors.


Note: the last bookable 30 minute time slot is 2.5 hours before closing time of Stonehenge. Closing times are variable according to month of the year.

Facilities At Stonehenge Visitor Centre

The new visitor centre contains nearly 300 archaeological treasures, which were used or buried at Stonehenge, and are now displayed on site for the first time in an exhibition centre, within the visitor centre. The visitor centre gives a good grounding into understanding how it was though Stonehenge was built and why, along with insights into the people who used Stonehenge. There are also outdoor exhibits like typical Neolithic houses and demonstrations of how the stones were transported

The gift shop offers an extensive range of books, gifts and souvenirs, many made in the UK exclusively for Stonehenge.

A 110-seater counter service café serves hot and cold drinks, soup, sandwiches, cakes, salads and other sweet and savoury delicacies. Note, it doesn't serve meals.

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Outdoor Exhibit At Stonehenge Exhibition At Visitor Centre

Stonehenge Shuttle Vehicle At Stonehenge Terminus

Stonehenge Shuttle Vehicle At Stonehenge Terminus

Of course there are toilets and baby changing facilities. The only other facility is an education centre for groups.

To enter the Stonehenge exhibition you need a full ticket to Stonehenge, anyone can access the cafe, gift shop and toilets.

Shuttle Visitor Centre To Stonehenge Itself

When you book a ticket for Stonehenge you select a 30 minute slot time slot, this is the time you report to the ticket desk at the entrance to Stonehenge.

At anytime you can board the Land Rover shuttle trains from a boarding point outside the exhibition. A kiosk dispenses audio guides in a number of languages prior to boarding. You can choose whether you want to visit the exhibition centre first (recommended) or board the shuttle straight to Stonehenge itself.


If you arrive by tour bus you will collect your audio guide device as soon as you get off the coach at the coach park and another bus will take you straight to Stonehenge. You then return to the visitor centre which you visit after viewing Stonehenge.

Is There A Best Time To Visit Stonehenge?

Stonehenge is busy throughout the year. If you can, avoid visiting between about 10:15 and 11:45 when many of the tour coaches from London arrive. There is another spike of coaches early/mid afternoon. For independent visitors, best time is first thing after opening and late afternoon in the summer months when the coach parties are gone.


Stonehenge is very exposed, its not a fun place to go in inclement weather. Outside the summer months a stiff northerly wind will deter even the hardiest and enthusiastic.

How Long Will I Be At Stonehenge

Stonehenge Audio Guide

Stonehenge Audio Guide

Expect a typical visit to last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours. You could stay much longer, there are many neolithic monuments of genuine interest with walking trails between them all over the Stonehenge landscape and if you have a special interest could spend all day here.

The road that the shuttles take to Stonehenge you can if you wish walk along, only the shuttles use it. If you want to walk around the monuments on the Stonehenge landscape best point to start is actually Stonehenge itself.

Audio Guide

Audio guides are complementary (see picture right) and available in ten languages, (English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Dutch and Swedish).

If you are visiting independently collect your audio guides before boarding the shuttle. If you arrive on a tour coach you will collect them on disembarking the coach at the coach park.

How Close To The Stones Will I Get?

During normal opening hours you cannot walk up to the stones themselves.

The nearest you will get to the stones is about 10 yards, the monument being roped off by a low barrier, (see picture below).

However it is possible to walk up to and among the stones at Stonehenge outside public opening hours. These are called Special Access visits. During these sessions of one hour duration, only 26 people are allowed onto Stonehenge going beyond the barriers and walking amongst the stones.


The fact that these Stonehenge Special Access visits are outside public opening hours mean that they are at dawn or evening. Given that London is 2 hours drive from London this obviously provides logistical issues in getting there.


The Special Access Visits are also immensely popular, demand far outstrips supply and they are often sold out months in advance.

We have dedicated pages for people independently wanting to partake in a Stonehenge Special Access Visit and also a page on scheduled Stonehenge Special Access Tours From London.

Image Depicting How Close You Can Get To Stones At Stonehenge During Public Opening Hours

How Close You Can Get To Stones At Stonehenge During Public Opening Hours
Stonehenge Admission & Opening From January 2014

Admission

Opening Times

Adult

£14.90

1 Jan - 15 Mar

09.30 - 17:00

Child (5-15)

£8.90

16 Mar - 31 May

09.30 - 19:00

Students/Seniors *

£13.40

1 Jun - 31 Aug

09.00 - 20:00

Family Ticket †

£38.70

1 Sep - 31 Dect

09.30 - 17:00

Note from Feb 1st you must pre-book tickets on-line
Last entry 2 hours before closing
Members of the National Trust & English Heritage enter free

* Students with official student card and seniors over 60

† 2 Adults and 3 Children

~ Closed 24th to 26th December

Stonehenge Tickets
Most Popular Tours From London 2014

With Adult Fares Stated & Links To Tour Detail Pages

Visiting Stonehenge and/or Bath and/or Windsor

Stonehenge Morning or Afternoon Half Day - £45

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - £45

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Roman Baths admission) - £55

Stonehenge & Avebury - £65

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (With Lunch at Lacock) - £76

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (No Lunch Extended Time Bath) - £77

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £84

Windsor, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £65

Salisbury, Stonehenge & Bath - £84

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £88

Portsmouth, Winchester & Stonehenge - £89

Alternative less frequent and seasonal tours

Visiting Cotswolds and/or Oxford and/or Stratford and/or Warwick

Oxford, Stratford & Warwick Castle - £76

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch - £79

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £88

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £79

Downton Abbey Filming Locations Tours - £83 or £119

Alternative less frequent and seasonal tours

Visiting Canterbury, Leeds Castle & Dover

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury with river cruise - £76

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury (Small Group) - £119

Special Theme Tours

Stonehenge Special Access (Walk Among Stones) Tours

Downton Abbey + Highclere Castle Tours

Harry Potter Tours

Small Group Tours (Maximum 16 people)

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath - £119

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury - £119

Salisbury, Stonehenge & Avebury - £119

Lacock, Bath & Stonehenge - £119

Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford - £119

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury - £119

2 Day - Oxford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £219

2 Day Downton, Windsor, Oxford, Stonehenge, Bath Tour - £239

1,2 & 3 Day Breaks To Paris, Scotland & Amsterdam

Day Trip To Paris - from £149

3 Day Paris - from £239

3 Day Edinburgh & Scotland - from £229

3 Day Amsterdam - from £239