An archaeological marvel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the world’s most enigmatic tourist attractions, Stonehenge draws up to 1.3 million visitors annually. The site itself—a 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 3,500-year-old structure and ponder its astronomical, spiritual, or even supernatural meaning.
Entrance to Stonehenge is via timed ticket. You’ll be able to view the stones from a few meters away, and shuttle transportation between the observation areas is included with entry. Access to the stones is limited to 30 minutes, but you can spend as long as you like exploring the site’s visitor center. If you want to visit the Inner Circle and walk among the stones, you’ll need to book a special tour outside of public opening hours. Day tours from London are often combined with nearby attractions such as Oxford, Windsor Castle, Bath, Stratford-Upon-Avon, or the Cotswolds.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Admission lines can be long and tour times may sell out quickly, especially in summer, so it’s best to book in advance.
- Audio guides are available in 10 different languages.
- Free Wi-Fi is available at the visitor center.
- Stonehenge is located on an open plain, so be prepared for changeable weather—wind and rain are common.
- The shuttle buses, visitor center, and stone-viewing areas are fully wheelchair accessible.
- Last admission is two hours before the daily closing time.
How to Get There
Stonehenge is located about 88 miles (142 kilometers) southwest of London, which is about two hours by road. Most tours include round-trip transportation from London and offer pick-up from your hotel or a central location. It’s also possible to take a paid shuttle bus from Salisbury rail station.
When to Get There
Stonehenge is open all year round, but the most atmospheric time to visit is during the summer or winter solstice, when a huge party celebrates the longest and shortest days of the year, and entrance is free. Although visits are timed, it can get crowded in summer, so arrive early or opt for a sunrise or sunset tour to experience the landmark at its most photogenic.
Unraveling the Mysteries of Stonehenge
The visitor center offers a fascinating accompaniment to a tour of Stonehenge. Inside, visitors can admire archaeological treasures unearthed at the site, gain a unique perspective through a 360-degree audio-visual display, and step inside a series of recreated Neolithic houses.