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Stonehenge???

We will be making an overnight stop in London on our way back to the US from Italy and are wanting to go to Stonehenge... What is the best most affordable way to go for a family of 4? We thought about renting a car but then again a tour maybe more logical. Has anyone done this? What do you recommend?

Posted by
2764 posts

Are you sure you have time, with just an overnight stop in London? What time do you get in and whe. Do you depart the next day?

Tours are expensive and many take extra time, to make it seem worth the money. Myou could just take the train to Salisbury and a taxi from there. Make sure you make reservations; they have a new visitor center and timed entry to the stones. You cannot just show up and expect to get in.

Posted by
9 posts

You need at least half a day to travel there, experience Stonehenge, and then travelling back. If you don't have a whole day in London, you will be in a bit of a rush.

Posted by
9110 posts

A car for a day will cost you fifty bucks. Gas out and back less than fifty. Adult entry is about twenty dollars, kids a bit more than half of that.

It's a bit less than an hour and a half each way from the airport - - who knows how long from central London. An hour there isn't enough, two is plenty.

Woodhenge is ten minutes away, West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill fifteen more, then Avebury is just around the corner. The first is a quick stop, the second a five-minute walk from the road, and the third a drive-by. The stone circle can take a half hour or a day.

Posted by
1540 posts

I rode the train from London to Salisbury and then hopped on a small bus tour to Stonehenge - I don't remember the exact costs - but I know it was reasonable.
I had plenty of time to walk around Salisbury and visit the cathedral and have lunch.
Taking the bus tour (which I found in the Salisbury TI office) was perfect. We had a very knowledgeable guide and she made the trip to Stonehenge and surrounding areas very interesting.

Posted by
35 posts

We arrive a little past midnight and depart at around 6pm the next day, not sure if that's enough time... We also thought if we could not do Stonehenge maybe a tour of Universal Studios...

Posted by
9110 posts

Assuming you get a hotel at the airport, you won't get to bed until two. Absent a miracle, you'd probably not be in gear until ten. You have to be at the airport by three. Fill in the gaps.

Posted by
1010 posts

My husband and I did a Gray Line Day Tour to Stonehenge, about five years ago. We booked it on-line, before we arrived in London. Gray Line works with Evans-Evans Tours, in London. Stonehenge isn't the end all of all places in London, in our opinion. There are much better things to do and see, in London, than going over to Stonehenge. In the five trips we have been there, for up to two weeks each, Stonehenge was the least favorite thing we did. Put it this way, EVERYTHING, but Stonehenge was fantastic, in our opinions. We took a couple of Thames River cruises, that were really fun also. A year ago we went on a tour of Parliament. We were with one other couple. We got to visit both Houses of Parliament and see the people in action.

Posted by
57 posts

Just a heads up—with the opening of the new visitor center they are now requiring you to pre-book your tickets. I think they may have a few walk-up tickets available each day but you don't want to be disappointed!

Posted by
32 posts

Am I to understand to Stonehenge is all fenced around and you pay admission? I guess you can't walk up to the stones touch them or have pictures taken in front of them?? When did this happen?

Posted by
9110 posts

Thirty-five years ago or so?

However, between the UK, RoI, and northern France, thirteen hundred additional stone circles exist - - none of which are fenced (a few have passage gates or stiles).

Posted by
32 posts

look, I seeing pictures of people walking up to the stones...touching them, having there pictures in front of them as of 2009 & 2010, so, today its fenced off, and you just look at them?

Posted by
4514 posts

Circle Access is available outside of the normal visiting time. It needs to be pre-booked and only 26 people are allowed in for each session which last 1 hour. Touching the stones however is not permitted.

In the summer the sessions are typically at 05:00, 06:15, 07:30, 19:30, 20:45.

Application form: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/imported-docs/p-t/stone-circle-access-application-jan-sept14.pdf

The last time I went to Stonehenge admission was 7/6 (37.5p) ....

Posted by
2764 posts

They are not exactly "fenced" off. At least last time I was there, in 1997, there was a perimeter fence that you had to payton pass, but this was a long way out. Then there was a low rope barrier encircling the stones, between the flow of people and the stones themselves. It was quite possible with the right camera lens to take photos that made one appear to be quite close to the stones, although not touching them. For that, you need the "special,access" that Marco mentioned. I believe you have to apply months in advance during high season, to be sure of getting the dates you want.

Posted by
4 posts

I was just there weekend before last. The train from Bath to London took about 45 min (but better allow one hour & I assume the same is true in reverse. The bus from Heathrow to Bath took about 3+ hours). Maybe an early morning tour bus from London would be best for you? If you have the time, I'd recommend an overnight in Bath, and take the Mad Max day tour of Stonehenge-Avebury-Lacock-Castle Coombe tours (as recommended in Rick's guide). The tour buses from Bath get to Stonehenge before the crowds (an employee told me they average 1,000 per day in the winter, 4,000 per day in the summer). It was really incredible, I enjoyed seeing Avebury as much as Stonehenge! It's a full-day tour but well worth the investment! At Castle Combe, you can even visit the chapel where Prince Charles & Camilla had a wedding celebration. The only better alternative would be to rent a car?