Stonehenge is 88 miles southwest of London, near Salisbury in the county of Wiltshire. The prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage Site is accessible as a day trip from London by car, train or bus, with the further option of either independent or escorted travel. Since the 2013 completion of a new visitor center 1.5 miles from the stones, adjustments have been made to highway access routes, parking and ticketing arrangements in the interest of preservation. Visitors are now strongly advised to book timed admission to Stonehenge in advance to gain entry on the day desired. Therefore, the journey should be planned in accordance with your timed tickets, leaving ample time to reach the site. Admission to the interpretive visitor center is optional and can be purchased at the door.
Driving to Stonehenge
Driving is the fastest way to reach Stonehenge from London. Follow the M4 west out of London to the junction of the M3. After 50 miles, connect to the A303 at exit 8 in Hampshire. Continue 31 miles to the A344 in Wiltshire, following brown historic markers for Stonehenge. Upon reaching the site's designated parking area, purchase a cash-only parking ticket available from kiosks accepting British sterling coins. Frequent free shuttle buses operate from the parking area to the site, a 10-minute journey for which no reservation is necessary.
Stonehenge by Train
South West Trains operate from London Waterloo Station (WAT) to Salisbury (SAL) in a journey of approximately 90 minutes. The first departure is at 6:30 a.m., with trains scheduled twice an hour throughout the day until the last return train departs Salisbury at about 10:30 p.m. As Salisbury Station is 10 miles from Stonehenge, a taxi or a Stonehenge Tour Bus will take you to the shuttle that operates from the visitor parking area. The Stonehenge Tour Bus transfer is 30 minutes and operates hourly from 10 a.m., more frequently in summer, with a hop-on, hop-off option that can include Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum. There is no public bus service from Salisbury Station.
Buses to Stonehenge
Britain's largest coach operator, National Express, operates comfortable buses from London's Victoria Coach Station to Salisbury Bus Station, offering discounts for youth under 27, adults aged 60-plus and groups of four or more. Victoria Coach Station is across Buckingham Palace Road from the rear of Victoria Station, a 10-minute walk from the Victoria London Underground Station at the front of the building. Use the online journey planner and click on "return" to see round-trip times and fares. The fastest journey is scheduled as 2 hours and 45 minutes. A connection to the Stonehenge Tour Bus or a taxi would complete the trip to get to Stonehenge's shuttle.
Sightseeing Bus Tours
Among those operating sightseeing trips between London and Stonehenge are three reputable tour companies: Evan Evans Sightseeing Tours, Golden Tours and Premium Tours. A private driver and guide can be booked to pick you up from a Central London hotel or private address in a town car, minivan or a limousine. Alternatively, join a scheduled coach tour without commentary; audio headsets are provided free on arrival at Stonehenge. Some trips include admission to the interpretive visitor center and some include admission to Stonehenge itself, according to details on the websites. Pick-up and drop-off points in Central London for these tours vary among the sightseeing companies.
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How to Visit Stonehenge
If you are visiting London and can make the time, you should schedule a day to visit Stonehenge. It is an unbelievable...