Stonehenge Half Day Tour with Entry and Extra Time
£59 | Rating 4.05 / 5 [124 ratings]
Tour supplied by:
Bucket list experience:
Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (UK)|www.english-heritage.org.uk
There’s nowhere else in the UK that quite matches Stonehenge for history, atmosphere and mysticism.
An ancient burial site dating back to at least 2,500 BC, the iconic stone circle is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. Surrounded by burial mounds, and Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments, Stonehenge offers a unique glimpse of England’s pre-history.
The state-of-the-art visitor centre has over 250 archaeological exhibits discovered around the site, alongside a 360-degree virtual experience of standing among the stones. Next to the centre, a clutch of re-created Neolithic houses gives an insight into how people lived 4,500 years ago.
While much has been discovered about the site, Stonehenge remains shrouded in mystery to this day. No one is sure for certain what purpose the structure once served. Was it a temple for sun worship, a healing centre, or simply an elaborate burial site?
Most mysterious of all is how our Neolithic ancestors – more than four millennia ago and using only primitive tools – managed to manoeuvre the huge stones, the heaviest of which weighs around 50 tons. It was once thought the stones had been transported from the Preseli Hills in Wales (more than 150 miles away), but a recent theory suggests the stones may have come from much closer, deposited near the site by the Irish Sea Glacier during the last Ice Age.
Salisbury’s medieval cathedral, a short drive from Stonehenge, is another must-visit, home to the best-preserved of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, a highly significant historical document from 1215. The Magna Carta Libertatum was an English legal charter that required King John of England to proclaim certain rights, respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law, thus limiting his powers.
Want more recommendations in this destination?Destination Guide >
Trains from London Waterloo take just over an hour to reach Salisbury. Driving to Stonehenge from London takes about two hours. The site lies off the A344, and there’s ample parking. Taxis and local bus services are available from the station to the visitor centre, and shuttles run from the centre to Stonehenge itself (included in entry price).
Check the website to see if tickets must be booked online ahead of time – but it’s always recommended as capacity can be limited. Audio guides are available to rent at the visitor centre.
The Stonehenge Tour is a hop-on, hop-off bus service that picks you up in Salisbury town centre and runs to Stonehenge from Salisbury cathedral, via Old Sarum and Amesbury. On the way you get commentary about Stonehenge and other local history and legends.
The site and visitor centre are open all year round, seven days a week. Last entry is two hours before closing time.
Stonehenge is at its most atmospheric as dusk creeps in, so stay on until closing time and try to visit outside high summer, when it remains light until late into the evening.
Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity
£59 | Rating 4.05 / 5 [124 ratings]
£62 | Rating 4.05 / 5 [711 ratings]
£69 | Rating 4.61 / 5 [1790 ratings]
£69 | Rating 4.55 / 5 [688 ratings]
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)
A lovely west country city of world-class Georgian architecture, ancient and modern spas, and an atmosphere of romance and refinement.
United Kingdom (UK)
Bristol is the beating heart of the UK’s South West, with an offbeat focus on culture and the arts plus interactive history, a cutting-edge independent food scene and street eats all on offer.
Hampshire, United Kingdom (UK)
A magical, highly accessible region of ancient woodland, open heathland and postcard-perfect traditional English villages.
The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)
One of England’s most beautiful regions – a patchwork landscape of idyllic countryside, postcard-perfect villages and cosy historic boutique hotels.
Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first
Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (UK)[12.8 miles]
One of the UK’s most beautiful cathedrals – an outstanding example of Gothic architecture with the UK’s highest spire – and famously home to one of the four Magna Cartas.
Best for ages: 8+ | £9
Round-ups that include this experience
Throughout human history vast empires have risen and fallen into ruin, their culture and customs lost to the sands of time. Thankfully, some outstanding examples remain. Here’s our round-up of the best.