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How to Take a Day Trip from London to Stonehenge

How to Take a Day Trip from London to Stonehenge

The United Kingdom is an incredible country loaded with beautiful sites. While visiting London, you might think about taking a detour and exploring surrounding cities and landmarks, such as the fascinating, world-famous Stonehenge, located in the English countryside in the southeast county of Wiltshire.

If you’re a travel or history enthusiast or are considering traveling to Great Britain, Stonehenge is a well-known destination because it is one of the most significant ancient historical landmarks in the world.

It’s no surprise that the iconic Stonehenge is among the most visited, and fascinating tourist destinations in the United Kingdom.

One of the most amazing stone age sites on the face of the planet, it is a significant landmark that is still standing in mystery as to why and how it was built and who went about building it.

Stonehenge is located about 90 miles southwest of London. The best way for tourists staying in the British capital city to get there is by taking a day trip from London to Stonehenge. Several tour companies offer trips to Stonehenge, and most of them include transportation and admission to the site.

But for this article, we simply rented a car so we could tour Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Windsor Castle on our own.

If London has given you a tantalizing taste of history, and you’re curious about more, you simply must not overlook checking out this unique historical landmark on Salisbury Plain in southern England.

If you’re into the idea of ancient adventure, checking out the extraordinary and love scenic travel, a Stonehenge tour from London is the best for you.

Here’s everything you need to know for a day trip to Stonehenge from London. 

Stonehenge Day Trip from London: Touring the Landmark 4K HD
Watch this video on YouTube.

Getting to Stonehenge from London

In order to start a journey to reach Stonehenge, there are several options available depending on your preferences.

It is easy to get to Stonehenge from London, and there are several modes of public transport, or you can rent a car and drive yourself, or even book certain guided tours that include transportation to and from Stonehenge.

If you want to travel at your own pace, driving is best, but the use of public transportation is preferable to driving or participating in guided tours if you’re looking for ease and extra spending money.

When it comes to public transportation, British trains are generally pretty good, and taking the train from London to Salisbury is one of the cheaper and more convenient options. Trains run about every hour, and the journey will only take an hour and a half.

If you’re traveling by rail from central London to Stonehenge, the best stop is Amesbury Train Station, which is located about 5 miles from Stonehenge. Alternatively, take the direct train from London Waterloo to Salisbury Train Station, where regular bus shuttle services run from the station to the henge.

You may visit the mysterious site without hiring a car by taking a bus tour. Stonehenge bus tours depart from several locations throughout London and will transport you to the henge in two to three hours, depending on traffic and stops along the way.

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Driving to Stonehenge

Driving

The advantages of planning to drive instead of taking guided excursions and using public transportation are numerous. But you might be curious as to how long the journey from London to Stonehenge takes.

Stonehenge is roughly 90 miles from London and, when driving, can be reached faster than buses or tour groups and around the same time on trains.

To drive to the Stonehenge site, you’ll likely need to rent a car in London and navigate to the historic landmark. 

The main advantage of hiring a vehicle is that it allows for a lot of flexibility. If driving, you will have fewer problems keeping track of your group, won’t have individual train tickets to fret over, and have a level of privacy you just don’t get with public transport.

Note that it is better to book a car and ticket to Stonehenge in advance to avoid travel inconveniences caused by traffic and ensure that you have an easy entrance to the site.

The easiest route to Stonehenge is via artery highways, known as motorways or M roads and smaller trunk roads, typically in the form of A roads. The easiest route from London to Stonehenge is taking the M25, exiting at junction 23, then following the A4. Then drive west on the A4 until you reach Salisbury. Take the A36 to Amesbury and follow the brown signs to Stonehenge.

Expect to spend just over two hours on the road if you are driving. Traffic can have a significant impact on your travel time.

Also, make sure that you are comfortable driving in the UK! As well as driving on the other side of the road on the other side of the car, some road laws are a little different and most cars are going to be a manual transmission too.

Admission Tickets at Stonehenge

In order to access the site, you must first reserve a ticket for your visit to Stonehenge in order to be able to admire it. 

Although you do not need to reserve your visit in advance, doing so will always result in the best pricing, guaranteed access, and fewer hassles on your travels if you do.

If you prefer to pay for your entrance fees on the day of your visit, the fee will be higher.

If you’ve booked ahead, you must also arrive inside the 30-minute time period that you have reserved, after which you are free to stay as long as you want.

So, how much does a ticket to Stonehenge cost? 

Adults, small children, and teens pay various ticket rates, as do families that buy a package at the same time. The prices range from £11.70 to £60, depending on the package.

However, if you decide to join a day trip excursion from London to Stonehenge, the cost may increase up to £180. This price jump could depend on additional destinations that are included in the tour.

The day trip also depends on the number of hours or days of the tour you like to join.

While participating in guided tours, you can learn about Stonehenge and other places visited throughout the day trip from the stories and information shared by your tour guide.

It’s worth noting that there are Stonehenge tours from London that you can take that will include Stonehenge and the stunning historic city of Bath, which allows you to see the remains of ancient Roman baths via guided tour bus. Many tours also include the historic town of Windsor, home to Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II’s real home.

Ultimately, guided tours from London are more expensive and will last longer, but it is the best way to learn about the henge and removes some of the headaches regarding getting to and from Stonehenge.

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Best time to visit Stonehenge

Stonehenge View During the Sunset

When contemplating a visit to these magnificent megaliths on Salisbury Plain, it is important to be aware of the best time to visit to avoid the crowds so you can take in their breathtaking beauty in a more peaceful atmosphere, as well as take the temperamental British weather into account.

The number of people who come to Stonehenge varies greatly depending on the day of the week and time of year they visit.

If you’re visiting Stonehenge on your own and driving, arriving early in the morning is recommended, or as late in the afternoon as possible before closing time.

This allows you to tour around Stonehenge with fewer crowds and take advantage of more parking space.

Some visitors choose to arrive at Stonehenge at sunset to take in the breathtaking view of the sun setting in the southwest.  

For most of the year, the ideal time of day to visit and take in the wonder of Stonehenge is around 9:00 to 9:30 am. You’ll have enough sunlight to appreciate the henge and fewer visitors to contend with. In the summer, it’s worth trying a visit after 4 pm, and in the winter, visiting the monument in the early afternoon is preferable, with 2 pm being the sweet spot.

The summer months, from July to mid-September, are the busiest for visitors to the monument.  Consequently, if you want to avoid the long lines and crowds, or excessive sweating in the blazing sun, the ideal time to visit and marvel at the ancient stones is usually during the spring or autumn months.

There’s a good(-ish) chance the weather will still be sunny and warm, and not as bone-chillingly damp and cold as it is in the winter months.

Facilities near Stonehenge 

Before visiting Stonehenge, it is a good idea to research what else you might find in the area and whether or not there are any facilities at the monument. 

In addition to the henge itself, there is also a Stonehenge Visitor Centre only a short distance away from Stonehenge.  It’s easily accessible by road and exhibitions, music events, and other activities are held here regularly. 

The Stonehenge Visitor Centre provides restrooms, baby changing rooms, free internet access, and a gallery containing around 300 ancient artifacts for you to examine and learn more about ancient life in the British Isles.

If you want to stay in the area while visiting Stonehenge, there are lots of options available. Whether you’re searching for townhouses, cottages, BnBs, or hotels in Wiltshire, you’ll be able to discover something that fits your preferences and budget.

It’s also possible to camp near Stonehenge as there are several camping and caravan sites nearby.

Try to solve the mysteries of Stonehenge

Stonehenge Stones

Located on the Salisbury Plain in the county of Wiltshire in the southwest English countryside, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous ancient archaeological sites, originally comprised of a group of approximately 80 megaliths.

Like the Statue of Liberty, Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, and the Great Pyramid, Stonehenge is an iconic tourist monument instantly recognizable upon arrival. Unlike them, however, no one quite knows what it was built for.

Although there are many theories, the real purpose of the site is a mystery and likely will be forever— the fact is no one truly knows why or how the circle was constructed in the first place, or even how the stones even got there.

Take a guided walking tour or the complimentary walking tour one of the day tours offers while you are there to hear about many of the stories about this worldwide phenomenon.

The stones were most likely taken from Wales, about 140 miles away, according to archeologists. That may not seem like much now, but keep in mind that each of these big rocks weighs 40 tons and was dragged on sleds without wheels over 5000 years ago. Oof.

Taking a guided Stonehenge tour from London will not only take you to the stones, but it will also allow you to hear theories and discuss ideas about the many mysteries surrounding the henge.

The history and function of mystical Stonehenge

Researchers believe that England’s most renowned prehistoric ruin was created in various stages, with the earliest being built more than 5,000 years ago.

Stonehenge was constructed in an area that Mesolithic and Neolithic peoples had already inhabited prior to its construction.

Common theories conclude that there were six steps to the construction process.

The first stage was constructed between 3000 and 2935 BC, the second tier between 2640 and 2480 BC, the third stage took place between 2470 and 2280 BC, and the fourth to the final stages took place between 2280 and 1520 BC.

Stonehenge has the same sort of religious significance as Mecca does for the Druid or “Wicca” community in Britain.

The most popular accepted theory is that Stonehenge may have been used as a site for astronomical observations, such as monitoring the movements of the Sun, Moon, stars, and other solar neighbors, and utilized on calculating the farming calendar.

Alternatively, it is believed to be a possible location dedicated to the realm of Druid ancestors and was either a sacred area isolated from the living world or a healing sanctuary.

It is also believed to have been utilized as a ceremonial site to commemorate and possibly spiritually communicate with dead ancestors or engage in animal sacrifice. Significant archaeological findings have shown that Stonehenge was used as a burial ground for a portion of its existence.

Check out the historic city of Salisbury

A Day trip to Stonehenge is not complete without checking Salisbury. Only a stone’s throw away from Stonehenge, Salisbury is your best stop to get yourself acquainted with the region’s glorious past and engaging culture. 

On the journey to visit Stonehenge, it is worth stopping by Salisbury. It is a cathedral city of timeless beauty and compelling history, welcoming guests and travelers since 1227 AD.

Salisbury Cathedral, located in the heart of the city, is a must-see attraction whilst in town. It is the most prominent landmark in town, attracting visitors for centuries.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the original copies of the Magna Carta, arguably the most significant political document in history.

Aside from taking in the splendor of the cathedral, there are plenty of other activities to do in the town of Salisbury.

You will have the opportunity to learn about the town’s intriguing history, participate in entertaining activities, sample the amazing food, and enjoy the creative, and surprising traditions of this charming medieval city. 

Visit the Salisbury Museum and Arundells, the former residence of Prime Minister Ted Heath, to learn more about the region.

Other sights in Salisbury include Mompesson House, a lovely home built in 1565 that is now used as a museum, and the Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum, dedicated to the historic infantry regiments from Berkshire and Wiltshire counties, as well as being one of several museums dedicated to their descendant light infantry regiment, The Rifles.

Final Thoughts

Stonehenge at Salisbury Plain

What do you think?

Sounds like a pretty incredible journey, right? A Stonehenge Day Trip from London or joining one of the many London Stonehenge tours is unquestionably one of the most memorable experiences you can have while visiting the United Kingdom.

A day trip to Stonehenge is a worthwhile experience, and the ride there through England’s gorgeous countryside is particularly remarkable. It is a beautiful escapade from the hustle and bustle of London, and your journey could include super stops at scenic locations, historic sites, and museums.

If you are planning a visit to the United Kingdom, consider taking a day trip to the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge from London in your schedule for your next itinerary. 

If you’d like to learn more, be sure to follow us on Instagram via our handle @viatravelers or check out the ViaTravelers YouTube channel for more guides like these.

FAQ

Is Stonehenge worth the trip from London?

Stonehenge is worth the trip from London, as there are trains and buses which you can take to it. It’s around 90 miles away, so allow about 3 hours for the journey by bus or train.

Stonehenge is a stone ring of standing stones that was built in what we now know as England over 5,000 years ago and was then rediscovered in 1620 by archaeologists looking for stone blocks with inscriptions on them.

Stonehenge day trips from London involve either taking trains or buses to get there because it’s around 80 miles away and will take up to 3 hours because of the travel time.

Can you see Bath and Stonehenge in one day?

Yes, you may see them both in one day. For a Stonehenge and Bath tour, this will take around 2 hours and £197 ($262) to get to your first stop. Continue on the coach bus from Stonehenge for another 2 hours to reach London, costing about £240 ($317). Some all-inclusive packages cost around £437 (or $581) for the whole day. You should return to London at 9 pm.

How do I get from London to Stonehenge and Bath?

You can easily take a day trip from London to Stonehenge and the Roman city of Bath.

Take the train/bus/coach: Trains run from London Waterloo direct to Salisbury Train Station, every thirty minutes from 6:30 am and the fastest train takes 1 hour 22 minutes.
It takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes by National Express coach service to get from London Victoria coach station in Central London to Bath town center.

Drive: If you want to go by car, a round trip will take approximately 5 hours 45 minutes drive time with light traffic.

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