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Stonehenge

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Stonehenge is probably the best-known monument from the Neolithic period, but even though we’ve been studying the stone circle for centuries, nobody has conclusively solved the mystery of why it was built. The site lies two hours away from London, in beautiful Wiltshire, and is the ideal location for a day trip from the bustling capital city. A large range of providers offer tickets and tours including transportation, but you should book in advance to secure your place.
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Tickets

Book your tickets for Stonehenge in advance to avoid waiting in line on the day.
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Stonehenge Admission Ticket

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Stonehenge Family Ticket

 
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Day Trips from London

Book a tour from London that includes transportation to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site in style.
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London: Stonehenge, Bath & West Country Day Trip

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London: Stonehenge Half-Day Morning or Afternoon Tour

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London: Stonehenge Half-Day Tour

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Stonehenge Express Half-Day Tour from London

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More Tickets & Tours

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Stonehenge and Bath Day Trip from London with Stonehenge Entrance

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Stonehenge & Roman Baths: Full-Day Tour from London

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Stonehenge, Windsor Castle & Bath Day Trip

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Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford Custom Day Trip

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5 Tips for Visiting the Stonehenge

Stonehenge Formation
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Tickets online are cheaper than tickets bought at the site on the day, so book ahead to save money.
Stonehenge during sunset.
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The path from the Visitor Center to the stone circle (around 1.5 miles or 2.5 km) can be walked, but there is also a free shuttle bus that drives the stretch every few minutes. If you’re walking all the available paths to explore the site then you should expect to walk almost 4 miles (6 km) in total. You can pick up a map that shows all of the archaeologically significant sights that you can see on the walk at the Visitor Center.
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Day trips to Stonehenge from London also often include visits to nearby Salisbury or the Roman baths in Bath. Sometimes you can even find tours that combine the visit with a trip to Windsor Castle or the university town of Oxford. These tours are led by guides and allow you to see a bit more of England outside the capital city, so are worthwhile trips if you won’t get the chance to explore the rest of the UK.
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Bathrooms can only be found in the Visitor Center, to avoid building too close to the stones and disturbing the landscape near the site. Make sure to plan accordingly!
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Stonehenge is outside! Wear clothes and shoes that are suitable for the weather, and make sure to bring an umbrella. On cold or wet days, you can always warm up at the café in the visitor center after your visit to the stones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stonehenge?

Most people recognize pictures of Stonehenge, a prehistoric stone circle in the English countryside. Experts believe it was built between 3000 and 2000 BCE by Neolithic people, though the exact purpose of the monument is still a mystery. Each stone that forms the monument was brought from a quarry about 25 miles (40 km) away and when you consider that each stone weighed several tonnes (with the standing stones weighing 25 tonnes each), it was a huge achievement for a society that didn’t have modern construction techniques. In addition to the prehistoric activity at the site, archaeologists have also found evidence of Roman, Saxon, and medieval activity at the stone circle, which has been intriguing visitors for millennia.

What’s a henge?

The word henge actually comes from the name Stonehenge, which was recorded as early as the 10th Century. The fame of Stonehenge led to archaeologists and others terming all circular banked enclosures with a ditch inside as henges - and by this definition, Stonehenge isn’t even an official henge! There are other formations near Stonehenge which you can visit, including Woodhenge, two miles northeast of Stonehenge, near Amesbury.

Why was Stonehenge built?

The purpose of the stones is one of the biggest mysteries of the site, with theories ranging from the sensible to the outlandish. Part of the speculation comes from the alignment of the stones, which is aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the sunrise of the summer solstice. This has led people to assume that the site had either astronomical, astrological, or religious importance to those who built it. Excavations have shown a large number of burials at the site, a higher-than-expected proportion of which reveal illness or deformity, which has led some academics to see the site as a place of healing, similar to later pilgrimage sites around Europe. The burials also reveal that people traveled extremely long distances, from the Mediterranean, France, and Germany, to Stonehenge. The stones are also at the center of several myths, from the folk belief that the devil brought the heel stone to Stonehenge from Ireland to the Arthurian legend that Merlin the magician erected the stones. In the 20th Century, the stones became increasingly significant to the growing followers of Neopaganism and New Age spiritualism, although it’s not clear what kind of religious practices were originally followed at Stonehenge. English Heritage offers visitors the chance to enter the stone circle at the Summer and Winter Solstices and at the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, partly to facilitate religious practices.

Can we go inside the stone circle?

When Stonehenge first opened to the public, visitors were allowed to walk through the stone circle and even touch the stones. However, this led to the stones being damaged and eroded - there’s even graffiti etched into the stones, dating back to various different eras. Today, you can only enter the stone circle at one of the special events for the seasonal solstices or equinoxes, or on a special guided tour that needs to be booked directly with English Heritage.

What’s inside the Visitor Center?

The Visitor Center opened to the public in December 2013 and is home to several interesting exhibitions about Stonehenge and the people who built it. The Stonehenge Exhibition showcases objects which were discovered at the site and helps visitors to understand the lives of the people who used the stone circle. The Visitor Center also contains the ‘Standing in the Stones’ audiovisual experience, which allows you to stand in the center of the stone circle and watch the seasons go by. Outside the Visitor Center, there’s a group of reconstructed Neolithic houses, furnished as they might have been in prehistoric times. Inside you’ll also find volunteers who can demonstrate how the Neolithic inhabitants lived and how they used their tools in their domestic chores. Take the time to ask them any questions you might have about Stonehenge and what we know about the people who built and used it!

How long does it take to visit?

English Heritage recommends that visitors take two hours to explore both the visitor center and the stone circle, but you can easily spend half a day exploring the site. English Heritage provides suggested itineraries for 2-hour, half-day, and full-day visits, although the full-day itinerary suggest visiting some related archaeological sites in the surrounding area rather than spending the entire time at Stonehenge.

Is Stonehenge accessible to disabled visitors?

The Visitor Center, surrounding area, and the path around the stone circle are accessible to wheelchair users via tarmac and grass paths. In very bad weather, the grass paths may be difficult to navigate without a companion to assist you, so bear that in mind when planning your day. There are 22 reserved parking spaces for disabled visitors, and there are both an accessible toilet and adult changing facilities at the Visitor Center. There are two wheelchairs available to be borrowed on-site, please ask staff for assistance if you need one. An accessible shuttle bus is available to take visitors from the Visitor Center to the stones. Assistance dogs are welcome on the site. Audio tours, large print versions of materials, and tour transcripts are available on request. All audio exhibits in the visitor center have subtitles and British Sign Language. If you have any specific requirements, please contact English Heritage before your visit.

General Information

Opening Hours:

Stonehenge is open to visitors from 9.30 am daily, except on public holidays when it opens at 10 am. Closing times vary according to the season but in general, the site closes at 5 pm from mid-October until the end of March, at 7 pm from the end of March until the end of May and from September until mid-October, and at 8 pm in June, July, and August. Stonehenge is closed to visitors on December 25. Last admission to Stonehenge is two hours before closing time on that day.

Address:

Stonehenge
Near Amesbury
Wiltshire
SP4 7DE

Tickets:

Tickets cost £19 for adults, £11.40 for children aged between 5 and 17, and £17.10 for those who qualify for the concession price. Concession prices apply to visitors aged 65 and over and full-time students. Disabled visitors can bring a companion free of charge. Children aged four and under can also enter free of charge.

How to get there:

It is possible to travel to Stonehenge via public transport. From London, you can take a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury station, where you can change to either bus number 2, the X5, Activ8, or the Stonehenge Tour Bus. The train takes about an hour and a half, the bus journey time depends on which service you use. There is also parking at the Visitor Center, which is free for holders of a Stonehenge ticket and English Heritage or National Trust members. Parking without a ticket to Stonehenge costs £5. It takes about two and a half hours to drive from London to Stonehenge.
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