When tourists think of traveling to England, there’s bound to be a few popular places that immediately find their way onto the itinerary. London is no doubt going to be one of them, but another of the best places to visit in England that people always make time for is Stonehenge. This mystifying ancient monument has intrigued visitors for centuries and manages to do so still.
Because visiting Stonehenge remains so popular with tourists, it’s extremely important you plan your visit to avoid being disappointed. Organizing your Stonehenge tickets in advance is one of the key steps to help you make the most of the experience, which is why we’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets to Stonehenge with all the information you could possibly need.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to Stonehenge: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you book your Stonehenge tickets online here. However, if you don’t want to rent a car or deal with public transportation, we recommend you book a guided tour from London instead.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to Stonehenge
Since Stonehenge is such an iconic English attraction that draws in countless visitors, there are many different options for tickets. To help you make sense of it all, we’ll show you below what those options are, where to buy tickets for Stonehenge, and why you really have no reason not to get skip-the-line Stonehenge tickets.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
Although it is possible to buy tickets to Stonehenge when you arrive on the day, there are plenty of reasons why this is a bad idea. Not only will you have to spend time lining up to purchase your tickets, you also run the risk of finding that tickets are booked out for your desired time or day. It’s also more expensive to purchase tickets at the visitor center than it is to get them online. This means that lining up for tickets costs you more, takes longer, and could even mean that you don’t get to visit at all.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
The far more sensible approach to visit this classic tourist attraction is to book tickets to Stonehenge online. Tickets can be purchased any time from months in advance right up until 9:00 of the day you plan to visit. By booking this way, you’ll get skip-the-line tickets for Stonehenge and be able to decide exactly when to start your visit, both of which help you make the most of your time there.
You can purchase tickets to Stonehenge through its official website, but it’s important to understand that these tickets are nonrefundable and cannot be changed after booking. This can be a problem if your plans change, which is why we recommend booking general admission tickets through this link. Using this option, you get exactly the same kind of ticket at the same price but also enjoy the added benefit of being able to cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund.
3. Book a Guided Tour
Tourists hoping to get as much as possible out of this experience may want to consider going on a guided tour of Stonehenge as part of their visit. Most people just use the freely available audio guide, but an audio guide is not quite the same as a knowledgeable, trained guide who can answer all of your burning questions.
You have two main options for touring Stonehenge, either booking the after-hours Stone Circle Experience through the official website or seeking out one of the dedicated local Stonehenge tour companies and booking through them.
4. Book a Day Trip
Are you looking to experience as much as possible while visiting England? Then booking a day trip may well be the best choice you end up making. The standard approach is to book a day trip from London and combine several great attractions, including Stonehenge, to create a fun-filled day of sightseeing. Most visitors choose to book either an itinerary that includes Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Oxford or one that includes Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath. And don’t worry, unlike some tours, this one actually does come with your Stonehenge ticket included.
Useful Information for Visiting Stonehenge
What’s the Best Time to Visit Stonehenge?
As one of the most popular tourist attractions in England but also as one that’s exposed to the elements, some times are better than others to plan your Stonehenge trip. Factoring both the crowds and the weather into the timing of your visit can be a bit tricky, so here are our recommendations on when to visit.
Like many other English attractions, the busiest time of year at Stonehenge is during the summer months of July to September. After all, that’s when England enjoys its best weather and when people head over for their summer vacations. Because of this, we recommend coming in spring and autumn instead since it’s likely to be quieter and you’ll still have reasonable weather to be out and about in.
More specifically, Stonehenge is its busiest on weekends and especially public holidays, so aim for a midweek visit if you can. As for when during the day to come, it’s generally best to come first thing in the morning or wait until the midafternoon. That’s because most visitors come to Stonehenge on a tour or day trip and will usually arrive in the late morning.
Stonehenge Hours of Operation
Stonehenge is open to the public every day of the year except for Christmas Day. For most of the year, the opening hours for Stonehenge are from 9:30 to 17:00. However, hours are extended during summer, with the site open from 9:30 to 19:00 between May 28 and September 4. Last admission is generally two hours before closing time.
Visits that are part of the Stone Circle Experience take place exclusively outside of the usual opening hours, either in the morning before the site opens up or in the evening as it closes.
How to Get to Stonehenge
Travelers actually don’t have that many options for getting to Stonehenge because of its location in the English countryside. The easiest way to reach the tourist attraction is by car; it’s possible to drive to Stonehenge from London in under two hours. Cheap rental cars can be booked on Rentalcars.com.
However, if you don’t have access to your own wheels, then you’ll have to rely on public transport, first getting the train from Waterloo station to Salisbury and then taking the special Stonehenge Tour bus from the station to the visitors center. End to end, the trip should take roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes.
If you don’t want to deal with figuring out public transportation for yourself, you can also book a basic tour to Stonehenge that includes transport from London.
How Do Stonehenge Tickets Work?
Tickets to Stonehenge are designed to be as uncomplicated as possible, meaning there should be next to no confusion when it comes to understanding how they work.
There are basically only two types of ticket, one for general admission and one for the Stone Circle Experience, with the difference being that the Stone Circle Experience allows you to actually walk around inside the monument out of hours.
When booking a ticket, you will need to select a scheduled time for your visit, which will allow you to enter the site within a 30-minute window of the selected time. There is no limit to how far in advance you can book tickets.
On the day, you’ll need to bring and scan the barcode in your confirmation email, either with your smartphone or a printout.
How Much Do Tickets for Stonehenge Cost?
The cost of Stonehenge tickets for general admission through the official website depends on which day you choose to visit.
Days on the site’s calendar are marked as being either standard, peak, or off-peak. Peak days are ones that are the most popular for visiting during high season, while off-peak days are for the least popular times of the year. Standard days typically cover all other days during high season, as well as weekends and public holidays throughout the rest of the year.
Tickets for adults cost £23.60 for peak tickets, £21.10 for standard tickets, and £19.50 for off-peak tickets. The costs for children aged 5 to 17 are £14.10 for peak tickets, £12.70 for standard tickets, and £11.70 for off-peak tickets. Concession tickets for students and seniors aged 65 and over cost £19.00 for standard tickets and £17.60 for off-peak tickets, with the price for peak tickets currently unavailable.
It is also possible to purchase family tickets, with options that include one adult with three children or two adults with three children. Children under the age of 5 and companions or helpers for visitors with a disability enter for free.
Due to the more exclusive nature of the Stone Circle Experience, its tickets are understandably more expensive. Before April 1, 2022, tickets for adults are £47.00, while tickets for children are £28.20. From April 1, 2022, tickets for adults are £48.00 and tickets for children are £29.00. Concession tickets are not offered for this type of visit.
Best Hotels for Stonehenge
Travelers will normally visit Stonehenge while staying in one of the cities in the south of England, like London, Oxford, or Bath. But maybe you’re wondering what the options are like a little closer to the landmark, especially if you plan on visiting the attraction first thing in the morning or in the evening. The good news is that you’ll find a selection of accommodation in the surrounding cities and towns that will make getting to Stonehenge a breeze.
Of the few upscale accommodation options in the area, we think The Merchant’s House is a real winner. Located in Salisbury, this four-star hotel boasts rooms with plenty of character but also the modern amenities you’d expect.
For the perfect balance of value, location, and amenities, it’s hard to pass up the charm of Cricket Field House. This four-star guesthouse roughly 15 minutes by car from Stonehenge looks perfectly quaint on the outside and offers contemporary comfort on the inside with its elegant rooms and apartments.
Budget accommodation is hard to find in the countryside, so those looking to save money will want to go with The Penruddocke Arms. Staying at this family-run inn, you’ll find that its simple rooms are enhanced by friendly owners and the restaurant and bar, which are perfect for an easy evening. As for Stonehenge, it’s 20 minutes away by car.
Otherwise, we recommend checking out our guide to the best hostels in London and taking public transport from there.
Rules at Stonehenge
Even though it’s an immensely important cultural and historical site, there aren’t too many special rules for Stonehenge. Use common sense and stick to the paths when at the stones, and you should be fine.
One explicitly stated rule is that while general photography is allowed, commercial photography and filming needs to be given formal permission by the site’s management. Use of drones over the heritage site also requires authorization.
With the exception of assistance dogs, dogs are only allowed around the visitor center and designated fields. They are not allowed at the Stone Circle or Monument Field nor on the visitor buses.
Visiting Stonehenge With a Disability
A range of measures have been implemented around the grounds and at the visitor center at Stonehenge to make it more accessible for all visitors. Paths at the monument, the visitor center, and the carpark are all generally flat and suitable for wheelchair use. Visitors are also able to borrow a wheelchair from the visitor center should they need it.
Tourists with visual impairments will find tactile models in the exhibition as well as two touching stones near the Neolithic Houses. Guests with hearing impairments are able to collect transcripts of tours and audio installations from the visitor center, and induction loops are present at all audio exhibits.
FAQ – Facts About Stonehenge
What Is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is an arrangement of two rings of standing stones and lintel stones in England.
When Was Stonehenge Built?
According to archaeologists, Stonehenge is estimated to have been built between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.
How Old Is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is believed to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old.
Who Built Stonehenge?
It is unknown who specifically or which culture built Stonehenge since there are no written accounts from the period in which it was built.
Why Was Stonehenge Built?
The purpose for Stonehenge has long been debated, and there are many myths surrounding it; the most popular modern theory is that it was an ancient calendar.
Where Is Stonehenge Located?
Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain, an open plateau in Wiltshire county, southwest England.
With all this information at your disposal, you should be comfortably prepared to book your tickets to Stonehenge and organize an upcoming visit. Hopefully you now see why carefully planning your visit to this iconic English landmark will help you get the most from the experience.