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Salisbury, GBR

As one of the world’s most enigmatic tourist attractions, Stonehenge draws up to 1.3 million visitors annually. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of an inner and an outer circle of gigantic stones standing in the heart of the English countryside——is made even more impressive by its mysterious history. Although Stonehenge’s original purpose remains unknown, onlookers gather to admire the sarsen stone circles and ponder its astronomical, spiritual, or even supernatural meaning.

Stonehenge was built on the Salisbury Plain over many years, from the Neolithic era until the Bronze Age. The earliest part of the structure was just the outer bank and ditch, while the stones came later.

Entrance to the National Trust-managed site is via timed tickets granting 30 minutes of access. Visitors can view the stones up close and shuttle between observation areas. Travelers must book special Stonehenge tours outside regular opening hours to visit the Inner Circle and walk among the stones. Day tours from London often also stop at nearby attractions such as Oxford, Windsor Castle, Bath, Stratford-Upon-Avon, or the Cotswolds.

  • Book in advance as lines can be long, and tours and tickets can sell out quickly, especially in summer.

  • Audio guides are available in 10 languages.

  • Free Wi-Fi is available at the visitor center.

  • Be prepared for unpredictable weather, wind, and rain.

  • The shuttle buses, visitor center, car park, and stone-viewing areas are wheelchair-accessible.

Stonehenge is located in southern England, about 88 miles (142 kilometers) southwest of London, which is about two hours away by car. Most tours include round-trip transportation from London and offer pick-up from hotels or a central location. It’s also possible to take a paid shuttle bus from Salisbury’s train station.

Stonehenge is open year-round, but the most atmospheric time to visit is during the massive summer or winter solstice celebrations when entrance is free. Although visits are timed, the attraction can get crowded in summer. Arive early or opt for a sunrise or sunset tour to experience the landmark when it's least crowded—and most photogenic. Note that the last admission is 2 hours before closing.

To learn more about the site, head to the visitor center. Here you can see archaeological treasures unearthed at the site, gain unique perspectives through a 360-degree audio-visual display, and step inside a series of recreated Neolithic dwellings.

Stonehenge ticket costs vary depending on the season and when you purchase them. If buying advance tickets online, expect to spend at least £22 per person (£20 without the optional donation). Children and families have discounted rates. Tickets sold at the landmark are typically more expensive.

While you can see Stonehenge from afar, you need tickets to visit up close. To take advantage of lower prices and guarantee your admission, purchase advance tickets online. You can also buy last-minute, day-of tickets, though you may need to wait in long lines to enter with them.

English Heritage recommends at least 2.5 hours to visit Stonehenge. Keep in mind that in addition to the famous monument, there is a visitor center with museum exhibitions and multimedia displays and a recreated Neolithic village located right outside.

Yes, you can turn up at Stonehenge without buying a ticket in advance. However, you may need to navigate long lines upon arrival, depending on the time of year or the crowds. Booking in advance online is usually less expensive.

There are many convenient ways to see Stonehenge, including organized tours from nearby hubs like London and Southampton. If traveling independently, book tickets in advance to guarantee entry. The nearest train station is Salisbury Station, located 9 miles (15 kilometers) away. From there, it’s just a quick taxi trip.

To make the most of your visit to Stonehenge, set aside at least 2.5 hours—enough time to see the best of the pre-historic marvel. You’ll want time to explore the immersive visitor center, check out the on-site living history village, and soak up the ambiance at your own pace.


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