Nobody knows exactly why or when Stonehenge was built, and that’s a big reason for why this UNESCO World Heritage Site is so appealing to visitor. Located less than two hours out of central London, it’s definitely worth taking the day trip out of the city if you are into thousands-of-years-old ruins with a mysterious side.
If you’re planning to visit Stonehenge, here are some helpful hints and tips to keep in mind before you go.
How to Get There:
Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious ancient wonders of the world, and it’s certainly the most memorable prehistoric monument in the UK – and the entire of Europe! But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get to. Without traffic, it takes around two hours to drive to Stonehenge from central London. Or you can take a train from London to Salisbury, and then get a bus, which can be a bit of a journey. The best way to get there is to book a Stonehenge tour with transport included; everything will be taken care of for you.
Make Time to Explore the Visitor Centre:
The Visitor Centre opened at Stonehenge just a few years ago, and it’s there to make your visit as easy and seamless as possible. Most tours will drop you at the visitor centre, which is located around 2km from the monument itself. You can get a shuttle bus from the centre to the monument, you can walk if you’d like to take in the scenery.
At the visitor centre, you can buy tickets, audio guides and souvenirs, plus there’s a cafe for grabbing a bit to eat. The highlight is the hundreds of prehistoric objects to explore, and a Neolithic home that really transports you back to what life was like for the people who built Stonehenge.
Book Your Tickets In Advance:
Stonehenge is an extremely popular attraction, and there are only so many tickets available to see it each day. There’s a timed entry system in place to make sure that it doesn’t get over-crowded. If you’ve not got tickets pre-booked before you arrive you will probably have to wait to see the monument. It’s definitely worth buying your tickets in advance to avoid the potentially long queues and ensure that you get in.
Get an Audio Guide:
The audio guides are definitely worth getting; you can grab one in the visitor centre and they are included in the price of admission to the monument. Listening to the audio guide will provide you with a huge amount of information on Stonehenge and what it’s all about. But bear in mind that much of what’s known about the monument is hypothetical, so expect to come out with more questions than answers. Nobody really knows who built the stone circle, or why – but there are plenty of theories to explore.
Visit During a Solstice:
If you can, visit Stonehenge on the shortest day of the year and the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere, known as the Winter Solstice. It’s a special time to visit Stonehenge; if historians are right and it is an ancient timepiece, then it’s been checking the changing seasons for the past five thousand years.
Spend the Day:
Most people who visit Stonehenge only spend a short amount of there, but you should try to set aside at least half a day or more to really explore the monument and the 6.500-acre site. Be sure to try:
Stonehenge virtual stones experience
The Neolithic Houses – speak to the volunteers at the centre who’ll be happy to share more information on how the Neolithic people lived
Stonehenge is a fascinating site; keep these tips in mind and make the most of your visit.