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The history of Stonehenge is shrouded in mystery and the theories to the site's origins and purpose are as numerous as they are fanciful. Many are convinced it was built by aliens! Here are 5 hard facts about the world's most famous prehistoric monument.
Stonehenge was built in several stages. Radiocarbon dating estimates that the first constructions occurred over 5000 years ago, several centuries before the Pyramids.
Many functions have been attributed to Stonehenge. One that's been confirmed is its use as a prehistoric burial ground – discovered cremated remains date back as far as 3000 B.C.
Despite its age, the fact that Stonehenge is aligned with the trajectory of the setting and rising sun gives evidence to a very advanced understanding of mathematics and geometry.
The larger stones are up to 9 meters tall and weigh around 20 tons. These were transported over 20 miles. The smaller stones, weighing 3 to 4 tons, were transported over 150 miles!
After researching the site in the late 19th century, Charles Darwin concluded that earthworms were the main reason why the Stonehenge stones have sunk into the ground.
To make the most of your time at Stonehenge and learn all about the history and the many theories surrounding the site, make sure to grab one of the audio guides, which are available for free on site. Or even better, to avoid queuing for the audio guide, you can download it for free online and listen to it on your own portable music device.
About 13 kilometers from Stonehenge is Salisbury, a picturesque medieval city with a gorgeous cathedral. Once you've come all this way, it's worth adding a couple of hours to your trip and explore this lovely historic gem.
Stonehenge is a magnificent sight at any time of day, but at sunset it's quite simply magical. If you can time your visit accordingly, you won't regret it. Note that you won't be alone – Stonehenge is very popular at sunset. If a leisurly visit is more important to you, then your best bet is arriving early. The site opens to visitors at 9:30am all year except from June through August, when it opens at 9:00am.
- When should I visit?9:30am-19:00. June - August opens at 9:00am.
- Is it expensive?Standard adult; £14.50
- Will I need a guide?Free audio guides are avaliable on site, or to download in advance.
- How to get thereBy Car: Off the A360 at Airman's Corner. By Bus: The Stonehenge Tour Bus is the public bus departing from Salisbury rail and bus stations.
- Additional information
- Last admission is two hours before advertised closing time.
- Advance booking is now required as entrance to Stonehenge is managed through timed tickets.
What people are saying about Stonehenge
I was hesitant to book a tour because I was worried there would be too many people and too little time at each place. I specifically wanted to see Stonehenge and Lacock so this tour group came up in Google and the reviews were good. My guide was Paul and it was just me and another lady in their 16-seater bus. I like that it is a small group tour and Paul was really wonderful, nice and friendly. He explained everything well including the history of what we saw. And attentive. He frequently checked if we needed to make use restrooms or get food. I didn’t feel rushed anywhere. This is also low-season so overall not too many people each place. I prefer that they don’t include lunch because I was just snacking throughout the day trying food wherever we went. I would definitely use England Experience Tours for another tour. It saves money getting individual train tickets to each place amd is comfortable. Plus the van had wifi. Thank you Paul!
1. Our tour guide Steve is very knowledgeable and humorous. He balanced with the right amount of time for guiding and time for guiding. He is very thoughtful for guests' need. 2. Stonehenge is amazing. Bath is stunning. Avebury and Lacock offer nice British small-town ambiance 3.Good pacing. We have enough time for every stop. Visiting Avebury and Lacock on the way to Bath made the drive to Bath so easy. We got to rest all the way from Bath to London. 4. A very nice, clean and comfortable minivan with wifi. With a minivan tour, we didn't have to spend lots of time waiting for other less punctual people. 5 Highly recommended!
I joined the Stonehenge/Bath tour from London in January 2019. It was off season and instead of a 54-passenger normal bus, there were only 11 of us passengers, which made for a pleasant and comfortable ride and personalized tour. Kelly, our team manager, gave a detailed commentary not only on the history of the major sites but also minor sights that are often missed by tour leaders when in a large group. She was friendly and approachable. Her diction was clear, well-modulated and unhurried and I could hear every word she said. It wasn't the usual rat-tat-tat delivery out of a written or memorized script. I was the only passenger to be picked up at King's Cross/St. Pancras Station at 7:55 a.m. and she was at the designated bus stop on time to fetch me. I highly recommend Anderson Tours. They answered my email inquiries promptly within 24 hours. Kelly promised to correct the location instructions of the bus stop where I was picked up (the landmark was the wrong description).
I looked into many tours. So glad we took this tour. My 7 year old son and I had a grand time. The tour was small compared to the others. We had lots of freedom and our guide was lovely. We got to go to places the big tours can’t go and it was worth it. Others on the big tours in Bath asked us what tour we were on and how we found it. They wanted to know if they had other tours.
Great trip. Just enought free time to explore on our own. Awesome guide - Rosie, girl is hilarious. Recomend 100%