Please sign in to post.

Stonehenge - Inner Circle- Special Access

I am arriving in london - Gatwick on Wed. May 23rd 2018. (9am)-- I leave again on Monday June 4th
I want to see Stonehenge Inner Circle but not sure if it's easier to see this area on either Wed 23rd when I arrive (staying in Salisbury overnight or Bath)- or possibly the weekend of June 2nd until June 4th -
I am going to Knaresborough either from Bath on ( Thurs 24th) or right away on 23rd from London
(until May 29th or 30th with friends up there).

On either date, I want to stay overnight in Salisbury and see Bath also - maybe Glastonbury. I will not be renting a car and I'm on a budget

what is easiest way to see this --- I've researched a bunch and know that only a few inner circle tours from London and seems to take hours on a coach-- or should I just try from Salisbury for tour (limited dates ) ?
* I am also waiting for English heritage site to release inner circle dates for May )

any advice is welcome ..

Posted by
1672 posts

A special tour is not necessary to visit Stonehenge outside the regular hours. However, spaces are very limited and you probably need to reserve now. Use the website below to find the "how to." It is definitely worthwhile to visit the site when it isn't crowded with many other visitors. There is no access in late June because the site needs to be prepared for the Solstice crowd and then the grass needs time to recover afterward.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/plan-your-visit/stone-circle-access-visits/#section4

Posted by
1353 posts

I've signed my husband and I up on a special access tour from bath with MadMax. They only offer it on limited dates, but it does look like they will have a tour on May 29th which might work, but it is definitely not the cheapest way to do it.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you so much for the website Link for Stone circle- inner access !! I've been searching for weeks and it's only now I found that option to apply to book it -- ( could be they only recently posted the dates )-- anyway -- fingers crossed I get one of my choices.

Now-- does anyone know how to get to stonehenge from salisbury at 6am and how long does it take ? I know the bus doesn't start running until 10am? thanks !

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks Jill -- you are right - Mad max tours was the easiest and most affordable actually (they leave from Bath). They were even willing to help me get back to Bath on my own if I stayed there overnight. We will see how my booking request works out - then I will go from there

Posted by
2940 posts

Glad to see someone provided you with the English Heritage information on how to book stone circle access. Now, getting yourself to Stonehenge at the early hour of the morning is another challenge. If you are staying overnight in Salisbury, you are fairly close by, but the HoHo shuttle bus that runs to Old Sarum and Stonehenge doesn't start until 10 AM. http://www.thestonehengetour.info/timetable

I don't have personal experience with this, but since you won't have a rental car I expect you'll need a taxi from Salisbury and back. Your hotel or B&B may be able to give further advice.

You may want to be aware that the Stonehenge visitor centre is closed during the hours of stone circle access and the audio guide is not available. If you are weighing the pros & cons of stone circle access vs. booking a regular Stonehenge visit during the regular opening hours, know that the latter will enable you to enjoy the visitor centre and audio guide, as well as the pretty good gift shop and cafeteria. And you'd be able to take the HoHo bus, which costs much less than a taxi.

Posted by
17 posts

thanks epid -
I also got in touch with Vic's taxi - who said I could do a full day tour with him but that would not be special access. I'm debating now doing special access whenever I can get it -- but possibly still booking a tour of both stonehenge and surrounding areas maybe the day before or after (depending what I can get).

But, I can buy the guidebook and I think that will be enough history for me- I did watch the documentary - so that was cool - or I guess I can wait around until it opens (if it's the morning date that they give me )-

Thanks

Posted by
2940 posts

If you are keen on neolithic monuments and want to do a day tour of the area, in addition to Stonehenge you should get to see Old Sarum, Woodhenge/Durrington Walls, and Avebury (about an hour's drive north). My hubby and I did this on our own in a rental car and greatly enjoyed it, but if I were to go again I'd probably book a tour with Pat Shelley http://stonehenge-tours.com/ I believe Pat Shelley offers a range of tours that can include either stone circle access or just the regular outside-the-ropes access.

Be aware, some day tours try to cram too many destinations into a day so you hardly get to stretch your legs before it's time to board the bus again. For example, if a day tour includes Stonehenge, Avebury, and Glastonbury then you will only get a small taste of each.

Posted by
1672 posts

When we did our special access tour (which we arranged on our own), the tickets also allowed us to have unlimited access to the circle during regular hours. If you don't have your own transport, you need to take a taxi - at least that was the info when we went. Just an idea, but if you are staying at a smaller inn or B and B, perhaps someone there would be willing to drive you in exchange for compensation. Are you also asking this question on the Trip Advisor forum? Lots of local people on those forums.

Posted by
2940 posts

Cynthia's experience agrees with ours -- sorry if I wasn't clear -- the stone circle access ticket also allows you to visit Stonehenge during the regular opening hours. It's just that if you don't have a car and you take a taxi there for an early morning time slot, you'll have to hang around until the regular opening time or else go have breakfast and return later in the morning when they open. In the latter case, if you've had your breakfast in Salisbury, you could take the HoHo bus back to Stonehenge. So many options!

Posted by
17 posts

Hi Again
does anyone know anything about a tour company called stonehenge tours (.com) - but not the same as the Pat Shelley tours in stonehenge? The first one has a tour from london to stonehenge and the other leaves from salisbury -- but the one from london seems to be a better deal? (both advertise inner circle)- does anyone know much about it?

Posted by
2940 posts

See my answer on the new thread you started about the two tour companies. If you don't really want to be in Salisbury, then the London-based tour may be a better fit with your interests and time allocation. But, here in your original post you say you do want to spend a night in Salisbury, so...

Posted by
409 posts

When I went to Stonehenge I took the train from London (was visiting a friend) and when I got to Salisbury it was too early for the bus, and it was FREEZING! So I went to the taxi stand, negotiated with a guy standing there, and he drove me. It was not outrageously expensive ( i was on a budget, sort of ) and the ability to get in a warm car after climbing down the hill was worth anything! I was there before the fence around the stones (boy do I wish I had a good camera back then!) but I'm sure an entrepreneurial taxi driver would still be around.

You can also check into blablacar.com

Susan
expat living in waterville, ireland