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stonehenge tour company

I am planning to do inner circle - special access tour in June -- I have narrowed it two choices that work on my dates.

But- still wondering about these two tour companies that have same name--

does anyone know anything about a tour company called stonehenge tours (.com) - but not the same as the Pat Shelley tours in stonehenge (stonehenge-tours) ? 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?

trip advisor has some good recent reviews of the first one but I can't reach them directly -- - of course, all the reviews for Pat shelleys are great -- I'm just trying to save money and hopefully go straight there from London cheaper than getting the train to salisbury

any ideas or feedback appreciated

Posted by
2939 posts

I have not done either of the tours, but if you can't reach the tour company directly then that would be a caution flag for me. It would tend to indicate they are sort of cranking out their tours without really caring that much about ensuring a good experience for their customers.

For me, inner circle access was part of an itinerary of neolithic & historic Wiltshire sites, so taking a bus straight from London and back would have meant missing out on Old Sarum, Woodhenge & Durrington Walls, Avebury, and the Savernake Forest. In your case, if you have other priorities for spending your time and don't really want to be in Salisbury, then by all means stick with a London-based tour.

Posted by
9682 posts

I've not done either but have done the local bus out to Stonehenge from Salisbury. However, I HAVE done a walking tour of Salisbury with Pat Shelley and he is excellent. Really, really good. Since you are going to the trouble of doing an Inner Access tour, I would opt for spending the time and money to go with Pat Shelley. That would probably include spending at least one night in Salisbury - either the night before if you are doing the AM tour or the night of if you are doing the evening tour. Not knowing your schedule, I'd really suggest you spend 2 nights in Salisbury for this venture.

In just a quick look at Pat Shelley's website it looks like for the evening tour you start at Durrington Walls (which is right across the lane from Woodhenge) and is the location for new digs in the area. Very interesting to see and hear about. To me, seeing the physical locations of other sites in the area helped me put things somewhat in to perspective. I am guessing from looking at the website that you walk from Durrington Walls to Stonehenge which is pretty close. You do wind up walking thru fields of sheep (and assorted poo, lol!!) and if it is wet trust me when I tell you you will want to have some water resistance or water proofing on your shoes. (I was just in plain athletic shoes and wished I had at least thought to bring a spare pair of socks!) You'll also walk past some burial tumuli which are interesting and he also mentions walking past the cursus which is older than Stonehenge.

To me trying to do this as a day trip from Salisbury is spending too much time on the road in one day and not enough at the sights in the area.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks!
I did just end up booking with Pat Shelley after all -- going from salisbury for evening inner circle ! Cant' wait
I didn't get a good sense from the other site -- but he also did recommend International Friends and Andersons-- for anyone's future reference.

I think I will be happy with my choice -- I can leave London early , spend the day in Salisbury and then also try to see Bath the next day as I will stay on for 2 nights in that area -- will be a great way to finish my time in the UK I think

Posted by
9682 posts

Excellent! I think you'll be pleased with the added value you'll get from Pat Shelley.

If you decide to stay overnight in Salisbury I've enjoyed a couple of stays at the Cathedral View B&B. It's very small, only 4 rooms, but they are comfortable and quiet (even though on a main road) and the breakfast is quite good.

Posted by
34 posts

it wasn't inner circle, but I did the Andersons Windsor, Salisbury & Stonehenge tour last june. good guide and driver. Salisbury felt a little rushed for me, but a good amount of time at Windsor and plenty of time at Stonehenge. for me, it could have been 30 minutes more at Windsor and 30 minutes less at Stonehenge and I would have been perfect.

the next day I did their Dover & Canterbury tour. again, guide and driver were great. plenty of time at both stops.

check them out if you think of doing any other tours while you're there.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks Dave
I did book the Pat Shelley tour out of Salisbury after. I needed to also bring my luggage from London to Salisbury to stay on there for the weekend, and some of the tour companies could not accomodate luggage, or were leaving at odd times or wrong days for me.

All sorted now-- at least that is one part of this trip sorted !

Looking forward to it

Posted by
592 posts

Why is there this obsession with inner circle tours? Personally, I think the best view of Stonehenge is from a distance, seeing the stones within the landscape. Viewing them close-to is unlikely to enhance your appreciation, unless you are a specialist and want to see how they were cut.

Is this all part of wanting to be special, rather than one of the crowd?

Disclosure - I live about 40 miles from Stonehenge, but have not been there for over 30 years. We want to see the new visitors' centre, and will go one day soon when the weather is good. At this time of year, you can book on the day, and we get free entry as English Heritage members.

Posted by
31467 posts

tracy,

I took a Mad Max Tour of Stonehenge and was very pleased with that. They offer other tours in that area also.