I don’t know if there is a more iconic site in the world than Stonehenge. (Perhaps the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China.) Stonehenge is certainly among the most recognizable locations in the world. It is also one of the least understood places in the world. This shroud of mystery is probably part of the allure of this ancient site, and one of the reasons you should go there.
How to Get to Stonehenge
Stonehenge is really out by itself in the middle of Southern England. Its isolation means that there are really only two ways to get there: drive yourself, or have someone else drive you.
We chose to have someone else drive us. We took the Golden Tours excursion to Bath and Stonehenge. Because I just sat in the back of a bus to get there I’m afraid I don’t have much I can give you in terms of directions to Stonehenge. You’ll need to use a GPS or map if you are driving yourself.
Once You Arrive at Stonehenge
Once you arrive at Stonehenge you will either park the vehicle you are driving in the large parking lot, or be dropped off by your bus near the ticket office. In theory if you are on a tour your tickets should already be ready and your guide will pick them up along with maps and give them to you. In our experience they did not have our tickets ready so we had to wait for a while and our guide sorted it out.
The great difficulty of taking excursion tours is that they don’t often have adequate amounts of time at each stop. Any delay, such as getting the tickets in this case, further reduces that time. For our trip to Stonehenge I think Meagan felt we had enough time and I would have liked to stay a while longer.
Regardless of how long you have at Stonehenge once you get your tickets you should immediately walk down from the ticket office and get in line for the shuttle trolly to the actual site. The line might be long, but they can fit a lot of people onto each trolly. The drive takes a few minutes and will drop you off at the trail to Stonehenge, which you can see from here and is just a short walk away.
What You Will See at Stonehenge
You have probably seen a lot of pictures of Stonehenge (if you hadn’t before you have now). But even though the pictures do show you what is there they cannot replace actually going there. I was amazed to be at Stonehenge. Some people had said that it wasn’t that great, but I loved it.
While much of Stonehenge’s history is a mystery, there is still an audioguide to tell you what is known or guessed at. The audioguide can be rented from the ticket office, or you can download the free app. I used the app while Meagan chose just to look.
You cannot walk inside the stone circle at Stonehenge, but the rope that marks the path around it lets you get very good views of it. This protects the stones, of course, but it also makes taking pictures of Stonehenge pretty easy because there aren’t hundreds of people getting in the way.
The points of the audioguide are marked around the circle. I did not go in order and it didn’t seem to make a difference since each piece was mostly self contained. Also take your time to just walk around and admire this monument of ancient architecture.
The Stonehenge Visitors’ Center
When you take the trolly back from the ancient site you will be let off at the visitors’ center. We didn’t have a lot of time before our bus left so we went through very quickly. The coolest part was a 360 room that showed what it would be like to look out from inside the circle of stones.
Outside the visitors’ center are replicas of some ancient homes that you can look inside.
Stonehenge is amazing. If you are visiting England you should really take the time to visit Stonehenge. There are other standing stone circles all around England, but none are as iconic as Stonehenge. It is very cool to visit a place like this and know that we have no idea what its history is. There is so much we don’t understand yet, and that is pretty cool.
Current prices for Stonehenge (if you don’t go on a tour) can be found here. There are bathrooms at the visitors center. We suggest about two hours to visit. And don’t forget to download the audioguide app before you go.