Is Stonehenge a burial ground, ceremonial site, or religious pilgrimage destination? I don’t know. But what I DO know is in this blog, I’ll share practical tips to help prepare you for your first visit to the stones based on my experience visiting Stonehenge on a day trip from our vacation to London, England. If you’re going on a Stonehenge day trip from London, here are my practical tips to help prepare for your first visit to the stones!
What is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge was erected in Neolithic times and scholars believe it could be an ancient burial ground. Other believe it was a ceremonial site, and still, other groups say i t was a religious pilgrimage destination. So is Stonehenge all the above or none of the above? Furthermore, how did the neolithic inhabitants construct these massive pillars of stone without modern technology? Seriously, how did they build this? The Largest stone weighs 40 tons and stands 24 feet tall. I hate to break it to you, but nobody really knows for sure…and that’s part of the intrigue of Stonehenge.
All that we know is that most scholars agree it is a ceremonial site and today it is a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s currently operated by English Heritage, a charity that cares for over 400 historic sites in England ranging from prehistoric sites, medieval castles, abbeys, Roman forts, in England.
Stonehenge is generally open between 9:30am – 7pm everyday, but the hours vary based on time of year with the last entry two hours before closing.
Where is Stonehenge? How far is Stonehenge from London?
Stonehenge is located in the Wiltshire, England countryside. And when I say “countryside”, I really do mean it! For those looking to go on a Stonehenge day trip from London, the site is about 88 miles, or 2.5 hrs from the city center of London.
How do you get to Stonehenge from London?
There are a few ways to get to Stonehenge from London:
Drive. Parking free with paid admission or £5 without.
Take the train. From central London, take the South Western Railway from Waterloo Station to the Salisbury Train stop. This trip should cost between £9 – £40, with the average trip priced around £24 one way for the 1.5hr trip. From the Salisbury train stop, take the special Stonehenge Bus (£16) for about 30 minutes. Expect to budget between £34 – £90 for transportation. After everything is totaled up, might be worth the time and energy to book a tour.
Group tour coach from London. I didn’t want the hassle of renting a car and paying for gas, or “petrol” as they call it in London, so I booked a small-group combo tour to Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle from London. There are multiple tours ranging from small to large to private transportation available, below are a few examples.
- Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath Day Trip from London
- Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath Day Trip with Pub Lunch in Lacock
- Inner Circle Access of Stonehenge including Bath and Lacock Day Tour from London
- Private Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath from London
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Stonehenge?
Pricing is for timed-entry tickets and is relatively straight-forward when purchased online in advance:
- Adults = £19
- Kids 5-17 years old = £11.40
- Free for children under 5 years old
- There are family (2 adults and 2-3 kids) discounts available online.
Group or private tours will cost the most, but you will also receive more in return, like a private guide, admission to the site, transportation, and possibly more stops along the way.
English Heritage offers an Overseas Visitors Pass valid for 9-or 16-days. This pass allows for unlimited access to 100 sites and a discount to special events. Prices start at £35 Adults, £65 family
Just want to drive by? You can drive by and see it from a distance, but it may not be the most satisfying.
How can I Prepare for my Stonehenge Day Trip From London?
There are a number of things you can do to prepare for your first visit to Stonehenge, here are a few tips.
- Best time to take a Stonehenge day trip from London is the morning during the non-summer months. The visit should take about 1- to 2-hours.
- Visitor center sells souvenirs, drinks, and small bites at café.
- Use the bathrooms at the visitors center BEFORE you see the site. You’ll thank me later :o)
- The actual site is almost 2 miles from visitor center. You can choose to walk (up and down hills) or take a 10 min free bus ride all the way or half-way there. Note this is the on-site bus, not the bus from the train station.
- Come dressed appropriately. Hun and I visited in the fall when it was cold, wet, and rainy. I imagine in the summer you could be in direct sun. Why is this important? Because there is no cover or shaded areas on site.
- Wear closed toe shoes because there is grass, mud, and sheep.
- Bring a Camera. Visitors are able to walk around and view the site in 360.
- Interesting facts to read on site + museums exhibits.
- Special events are available, such as night tours, astrophotography sessions, historical talks, ancient astronomy lessons, and more. These events are either free or come at a special event cost.
Those are all my tips based on my Stonehenge day trip from London, feel free to ask anything, watch the video recap of these tips, or drop a comment below!
Antoinette | Frolic & Courage