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Trips to Stonehenge from London
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Travel / Tours / England / Stonehenge
Visit Stonehenge, Avebury or Salisbury
  Silbury Hill
  Cherhill White Horse
  Salisbury Cathedral
  Further information


This page will be of interest to anyone who wants to visit Stonehenge and attractions in the surrounding area: Avebury, the Cherhill White Horse and Salisbury.

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Stonehenge is located on the southern part of Salisbury Plain (about 8 miles - 13 kilometres - north of Salisbury). The site was used as a temple from about 2800 BC until about 1100 BC (during the Neolithic Age and the Bronze Age). The famous stone circle we can see today was built using sarsen stones from the Marlborough Downs (about 20 miles - 32 kilometres - to the north), and was built in about 2000 BC. It would have needed more than 1,000 men to transport the stones. Many of the stones from the original temple are no longer there: they may have been broken up in the time of the Romans or in the Middle Ages. Stonehenge is now surrounded by a fence to protect it.

Commentary is provided through a handset

A model of how Stonehenge would have looked

Stonehenge and Avebury
Publisher: Pitkin Guides
Date: January 2002

Author: Robin Heath
Publisher: Wooden Books
Date: May, 2002
Stonehenge - A Journey Back In Time (DVD)
Studio: Cromwell Productions
Date: January, 2001
Historical Map & Guide: Ancient Britain
Publisher: Ordnance Survey
Date: March 1997

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Avebury was the location of the second-largest open-air temple in prehistoric Britain, and was probably built some time between 2500 BC and 2000 BC. A ditch was built around the temple: about 100 standing stones were placed just inside this, enclosing an area of about 10 hectares. Two smaller circles of stones were built inside - parts of these can still be seen today. There would have been several hundred stones in total in the original structure, but most of these were broken up in the Middle Ages or later: the stones which can be seen today were discovered and re-erected in the 1930s.

At Avebury you can touch the stones

Sheep sometimes graze in the fields

Sunset adds to the atmosphere

Once you have finished it is time to head off ...

... for some refreshments in the nearby pub

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Just outside Avebury is Silbury Hill. This was created about 4,600 years ago. It is 40 metres high: the largest man-made mound in prehistoric Europe. Chalk is the main construction material. The reason why it was built it is still unknown. Although it looks like an ancient burial mound, no evidence of bodies has been found. Note that you are not allowed to walk on the hill.

Silbury Hill: why was it made?

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The Cherhill white horse was created in 1780, by cutting away the grass on the hill and using chalk to create the shape of a horse. It is located on the edge of Cherhill Down, off the A4 road from Calne to Marlborough (east of the village called Cherhill).

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The main town nearest to Stonehenge and Avebury is Salisbury. This is particularly famous for its cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral

West Front

Author: Jenni Davis
Publisher: Pitkin Guides
Date: October 1999

The Magna Carta in Salisbury
Author: John McIlwain
Publisher: Pitkin Guides
Date: December 1999

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* Booking a tour
Below are some of the tours which you can join if you want to visit Stonehenge:

Anderson Tours:
- daytrip to Stonehenge and Bath (from London): click here
(includes a visit to Bath: this is a good value tour from London, with departures on most days)
- daytrip from London to Stonehenge Private Viewing Evening: click here or Stonehenge Private Viewing Late Evening: click here
(includes a visit to Avebury and the chance to walk among the stones at Stonehenge after the site is closed to the public)
- daytrip to Stonehenge Private Viewing Morning (from London): click here
(includes a visit to Salisbury and the chance to walk among the stones at Stonehenge before the site is opened to the public)

International Friends:
- 2-day weekend trip to Oxford, Cotswolds, Bath, Lacock & Stonehenge (from London/Cambridge) in spring/summer/autumn: click here
or 2-day weekend trip to the Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge (from London/Cambridge) in winter: click here
(trips run most weekends with a maximum of 16 passengers, these have more time for sightseeing and for socialising during the two days)
- daytrips from London:
Stonehenge, Salisbury & Avebury - The Mysteries of Ancient Britain (Mondays or Wednesdays): click here
Bath, Stonehenge and The Cotswolds (Tuesdays): click here
King Arthur's Realm - Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury (Fridays): click here
(weekday trips with a maximum of 16 passengers, with an expert guide)

Scarper Tours:
- 3-hour trips to Stonehenge (from Bath): click here
(a convenient way to see Stonehenge if you are staying in Bath)

Scarper Tours bus from Bath

Stonehenge: special access tours to the inner circle
During normal opening hours visitors must stay behind a rope fence around the outside of the stone circle. However, private groups can apply to English Heritage for special access to the inner circle for an hour, either before normal opening time or after normal closing time (note that these visitors can walk among the stones but are not allowed to touch them). Several companies include special early or late access to Stonehenge as part of a tour, mainly between April and September (if you are interested in one of these it is wise to book early because numbers are limited). Check these links: Anderson Tours ; Evan Evans ; Premium Tours ; Golden Tours ; Salisbury Tours
Note that there are normally no special access tours on Tuesday/Wednesday mornings, in October/November, on New Year's Day, or around the dates of the summer/winter soltice or the spring/autumn equinox.

* Visitor information
Stonehenge (managed by English Heritage):
Salisbury tourist information:
Salisbury Cathedral:
Salisbury city guide:
Avebury (managed by the National Trust):
Wiltshire's white horses:

* Transportation
- Stonehenge is not easily accessible by public transport, so if you don't have your own transport taking an organised tour is usually the best option, especially if you are wanting to make a day-trip from London (or Bath).
- The nearest train station is Salisbury. The journey from London lasts about 1 hour 20 minutes and leaves from Waterloo station. For train timetables and to buy a ticket online, see: Shop/Company/TheTrainline. The Stonehenge Tour takes you to Stonehenge (a 30-minute journey) either from Salisbury bus station (in the town centre) or from Salisbury train station; for details, see: You can easily walk from the train or bus station in Salisbury to the cathedral (it will take about 10 minutes from each).
- Coach services from London to Salisbury or Amesbury are not very convenient. For timetables and to buy a ticket online, see: Shop/Company/NationalExpress.

* Weather forecast for Salisbury/Stonehenge

* More photos
360 degree panoramic pictures:

Lonely Planet verdict: Stonehenge
"Gargantuan temple or monolithic astronomical clock? Stonehenge is Europe's most famous (and mysterious) prehistoric site ... Despite its World Heritage Site status, the 20th century wasn't kind to Stonehenge ... visitors have to put up with being funnelled through a tunnel under the A344 and then staring at the stones from behind barricades with a constant backdrop of roaring traffic ... The intention is that the A344 will be closed ... Hopefully this plan, due for completion by 2006, will restore the portentous ambience of the site"

Lonely Planet verdict: Salisbury
"Salisbury boasts a stunning cathedral, many fine museums and numerous medieval and Tudor buildings, and there's no doubting its gracious charms. Equally, it's still very much a busy, lively town; markets have been held in the centre twice weekly for over 600 years ... Salisbury makes a good base for visiting attractions throughout Wiltshire and northern Dorset"

(extracts from "Lonely Planet Great Britain - 2003 edition", used with permission)
Lonely Planet Great Britain
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: May 2009
Lonely Planet England
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: March 2009
Other Lonely Planet publications

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British ancient history: Britain/History/Early
Anderson Tours: Travel/Tours/Company/AndersonTours
International Friends tours: Travel/Tours/Company/InternationalFriends

Home page: Home

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