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day trip London to Stonehenge

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10 posts
1 review
day trip London to Stonehenge

We want to visit Stonehenge just for a few hours from London and not wanting to spend over $100. each for a bus tour (as well as being trapped into going other places we don't want to go to) am wondering if anyone has a suggestion for getting there and back for a reasonable amount of money. The bus is inexpensive but it appears that you can't do it in a day without spending the night near Stonehenge. Any suggestions?

Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
5,437 posts
38 reviews
1. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

Sounds like you've about covered it, for what I know.

So spend a night in Salisbury and take the trip out. See if you can't time it to get either the early or late private access at Stonehenge. Salisbury is a lovely small city with a great cathedral. The Saturday market is one of the best, even more interesting than London markets IMO unless you really relish being in crushing crowds.

Another thought: private driver car hire. Or just rent a car yourself for the day. Maybe somebody else knows of a specific service. Have you searched this forum?

Harrow, United...
Level Contributor
489 posts
2. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

Here's the links for the train journey from London Waterloo to Salisbury, which runs about every half-an-hour and takes about one-and-a-half hours.

swt-downloads.co.uk/Temp2005/Temp20s05.pdf

http://www.swtrains.co.uk/

and the bus from Salisbury to Stonehenge:

www.wdbus.co.uk/htm/ttNorthern/002-3.pdf

http://www.wdbus.co.uk/

The day return train fare from London to Salisbury is 24 GBP. In this case there is no advantage to be gained from booking in advance.

http://www.thetrainline.com/

http://www.visitsalisbury.com/

Riverside...
Level Contributor
278 posts
1 review
3. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

My son and I will be in London in August and have Britrail Family Passes so were wanting to do Stonehenge by ourselves as well. Do we take the train from Waterloo to where...?

Also, I have seen comments on this site saying that you can actually touch the stones and others that say you can't. Anybody know for sure? Are there specific hours in the summer.....what else is in the area that we should see/do?

Thanks,

warrensburg,MO
Level Contributor
7,685 posts
4. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

As TravelSpy has said above, Waterloo to Salisbury. Outside the station a bus will be departing for Stonehenge.

On a regular daily basis you are not allowed to touch the stones at Stonehenge, only through special arrangements with English Heritage or by taking a private tour (eg. Astral Travels) will you be taken through the ropes and to the innermost part of the monument. Here you can touch the Trilithons, Slaughter Stone and any number of upright Sarsens and bluestones under the watchful eyes of the custodian.

As you are thinking of doing this trip by train, I suggest visiting Salisbury Cathedral. Packed with history, it contains Europe's oldest working clock, sports England's tallest spire and has possibly the best preserved copy of the 1215 Magna Carta in the country, located within the Chapter House.

Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
5,437 posts
38 reviews
5. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

Contact English Heritage (the agency that manages and cares for the monument) and inquire about "private access." Touching the stones is verboten (though there's always someone doing it), but private access allows you to wander freely among the stones. The number of people allowed in each hour is limited to 26, although each time I've done it (3) there were fewer than a dozen people. Private access is before or after public hours.

Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
5,437 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

I meant to add, you need to make reservations in advance for private access to Stonehenge. The quickest I have done it was to make my reservation on a Friday (by phone and credit card) for the following Tuesday morning, with only 6 people signed up before me, and you'da thought I was asking to see the queen.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
1,097 posts
125 reviews
7. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

I was just trying to research for a "private tour" that allows you into the inner circle. I'm arriving back in London on 6/26 and leaving 7/4 and apparently none of these inner circle tours take place during that time... well, they start back up on 7/3 but I already have plans for 7/3, plus it being my last night in London-- so I really wanna be "in London" for that. So does anyone know why the inner circle tours aren't running during this time? I guess I could always do a regular tour.

Thanks.

warrensburg,MO
Level Contributor
7,685 posts
8. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

The summer solstice is the reason for the lack of special access tours, Holly, it is closed for a religious festival. However if you join a Druidic order as quickly as possible you could probably get a lift in a 25 year old converted ambulance painted with rainbows and get your own "special access" on the longest day of the year along with a bunch of hippies calling themselves Uther Pendragon, Starchild, Warlock or something.

Alternatively Astral Travels have a special access tour on July 1st which I believe is still within your timeframe.

Canada
Level Contributor
278 posts
9. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

Don't knock the Druids, I was one in a past life.

warrensburg,MO
Level Contributor
7,685 posts
10. Re: day trip London to Stonehenge

Regression hypnosis, eh? Now there's something. I've done a bit of that I think I know you, you're the old Druid fella, looked a bit like Catweazle, I chased you all the way to Anglesey. Must have been, oooh, let's see, came over in 46 with Claudius, ah, yes, summer of 49, that was it, we slaughtered the lot of you. Don't you remember me? It's Marcus Bellius Maximus, or Fat Mark to his legion!!