Few things have mystified scientists, historians, and the general public as Stonehenge, UK. The origins and purpose of this mighty Stone Circle remain a mystery. One thing is for sure, every single visitor who stands in the shadow of these sarsen stones cannot miss the energy radiated from them!
If you are spending a couple of days at the Grand Royal London Hyde Park and would like to include a day out of London, Stonehenge is a top contender. The site is always a hit with families, couples, and solo explorers.
What is Stonehenge?
The Stonehenge monument consists of sarsen stones and bluestones arranged in a circle. Each stone is around 13 feet high and weighs close to 25 tons. Archaeologists believe the Stone Circle was erected during the Neolithic and Bronze ages, 4,500 years ago. As the stones correspond with the movements of the sun. For this reason, Stonehenge is considered to be a place of ritual and mysticism.
Before you go, spend some time reading the online literature and theories over a Hyde Park Hotel afternoon tea. It will warm you up for your day out!
Where is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain, 8 miles north of Salisbury.
How to get to Stonehenge from London
There are three main options for getting to Stonehenge from London.
- Car rental: Hire a rental car and drive 88 miles. Bear in mind that this is a 2.5-hour journey each way.
- Train: Salisbury is the closest train station to Stonehenge. Trains connect London Paddington and London Waterloo with Salisbury; consult the Trainline or National Rail for schedules and fares. From there, you can take a bus operated by Salisbury Reds. Buses depart from Stop U on New Canal Street.
- Organised tour: For a hassle-free experience, you could book a day tour from London. You can book these on such popular sites as GetYourGuide and Viator. Alternatively, ask the reception staff at Grand Royal London Hyde Park
for a trusted recommendation.
Where to stay for a day trip to Stonehenge from London
Stonehenge is located 88 miles west of London. For that reason, it is advisable to stay in a hotel in the West End, to reduce travel time across London. Hotels near Bayswater Station are convenient for accessing either train station. You can walk to Paddington or ride the District and Circle Line to Waterloo.
How much does Stonehenge cost?
Admission to Stonehenge is free for those with an English Heritage membership.
General admission is tiered as per standard, off-peak, and peak.
Standard admission is £22 (£20 minus the suggested donation). Family tickets are available for £35.20 (one adult, three children) and £57.20 (two adults, two children).
Peak pricing applies on weekends over summer and public holidays. Off-peak prices apply during the winter months on weekdays.
You can purchase a ticket online in advance from your Hyde Park accommodation to reduce time spent queuing. However, advance booking is not mandatory.
How to spend a day at Stonehenge
Once you reach Stonehenge, you can absorb the unique history of the place through the English Heritage site.
Stonehenge Stone Circle
Naturally, the star attraction is the Stone Circle itself. As you explore the base of the stones, you will wonder how they were constructed without the help of modern tools and technology. You can examine the stones from the base and we recommend stepping back for a wider perspective of how the Stone Circle sits within the landscape. Remember, it is forbidden to touch the stones.
The Stonehenge Experience is an upgrade to the regular admission package. You will join a small tour group of no more than 30 people and have the opportunity to spend a tranquil 45 minutes roaming the grounds. Feel free to ask your guide as many questions as you wish.
The Stonehenge Visitor’s Centre contains 250 archaeological treasures from the Neolithic and Bronze ages that shed light on the people who lived near Stonehenge. The centre hosts ever-changing special exhibitions that glean further insight into the history of Stonehenge and observe the impact the site has had on visitors over the centuries.
Stonehenge Neolithic Houses
Five Neolithic houses are located next to the visitor’s centre. Each of these consists of a single-room dwelling with white chalk walls and floors designed to reflect sunlight and retain the heat from the fire. They were built to give visitors a sense of the everyday life of those involved in building Stonehenge and are staffed by guides who will share insight.
English Heritage hosts a regular programme of events, performances, and kid-friendly activities at Stonehenge. These occur at the time of the summer and winter solstices, over the summer months, and during the British school holidays. Check what’s on while planning your day trip from your Hyde Park accommodation.
If time allows, you can spend some time exploring Salisbury. This historic town features a cathedral and several museums that display prehistoric, Roman, and Saxon artefacts. You can wander the bankside of the River Avon, the Queen Elizabeth Gardens, and the scenic Harnham Water Meadows.
Tips for Visiting Stonehenge
These are our tips to help you maximise the experience of seeing Stonehenge.
- Pack an umbrella: This will be useful in case of a rain shower or intense sunlight. Stonehenge is fully exposed to the elements.
- Wear sunscreen: Essential during summer but recommended during winter to avoid damage to the face.
- Wear sturdy footwear: There is no hiking per se at Stonehenge and the terrain is flat. However, you are walking on moorland and will appreciate trainers or hiking footwear.
- Picnics are welcome: There is a cafe on the premises where you can pick up light lunches, rock cakes, and hot and cold drinks. However, you can reduce costs by packing a picnic. Hotels near Bayswater Station are conveniently located for supermarkets and bakeries.
- Avoid peak hours: The busiest hours at Stonehenge are 11 am – 2 pm. You might want to align your day to avoid being at the Stone Circle within these hours.