One of the wonders of the world and a World Heritage Site, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England, which is two hours from London.
People might know Stonehenge as a mysterious formation of rocks, but if that’s all there is to see, is it really worth your time when you’re visiting the UK?
Millions of people visit Stonehenge, and I know some people who were disappointed when they saw the stone monument because they were just expecting something more. The monument is located in a vast area of green, and other than the audio tour and some exhibitions, there really isn’t much else to see.
Perhaps it was also the fact that visitors aren’t even allowed very close to it (unless you’re the US president) as the monument is roped off.
There’s even a trench around it.
I wanted to visit Stonehenge to see it for myself, but I had few concerns for my visit. I didn’t want to spend too much time there, I wanted to visit other UK cities on the same day, and I didn’t have a car.
My best option was to book one of the many UK tours that start from London. I won’t recommend any specific tour as they’re very similar to one another, and so far all the different tour companies I’ve used have been great.
For a day tour, the prices are usually under £100 for visits to at least three cities, and some include lunch and entrance fees to castles, museums, and historical homes.
I enjoyed the Stonehenge tour I booked and wasn’t disappointed at all. For the people that were disappointed in their visit, there could have been many factors involved. Maybe a disappointing visit is based on unmet expectations, lack of preparation, or things that are out of a visitor’s control.
If you’re unsure whether Stonehenge is worth the visit, I’ve listed some things to consider before visiting.
I was lucky that when I went in early September, the weather was perfect. I actually went to Bath beforehand, and it was raining in the morning, so I was worried that it might affect the view I had of Stonehenge.
The tour guide said that it really is best to see the site on a sunny day, but when she has to lead tours at Stonehenge on gloomy, rainy days, she just tells visitors that it adds to its mysterious ambiance! I guess due to the history of Stonehenge, any type of weather works.
Keep the weather in mind when planning your visit; if you think dark clouds and rain add to Stonehenge’s mystery, then absolutely visit during that type of weather! If you think beautiful blue skies enhance what you’ll see, then try to visit when there’s a low chance of precipitation.
Amount of Time You Have in the UK
If I was only visiting the UK for a few days, I wouldn’t recommend making the trip to Stonehenge. If you’re a repeat visitor to the UK or have at least a week in the UK, then it makes sense to schedule a trip to Stonehenge, especially since it’s accessible not only from London, but also from other major UK tourist destinations such as Bath, Oxford, Brighton, and the Cotswolds.
Many UK tours include Stonehenge on the way to several UK cities, so if you don’t mind not having hours of free time to wander around, you can even visit three or more cities in one day.
I booked a bus (or coach as they call it in the UK) tour to Stonehenge, and on the way there, I didn’t see any train stations or signs for a train station. In fact, the nearest train station is in Salisbury, which is about 9.5 miles away. I think either a car or bus are your best bets if you want to visit Stonehenge. As I mentioned previously, there’s not much else to see when you visit Stonehenge, so if you rent a car for the sole purpose of visiting Stonehenge, well, you might be disappointed for the amount you spent.
That’s why I highly recommend scheduling a Stonehenge trip along with several destinations. This can easily be done through bus tours and your own planning if you or a friend is driving.
Sure, Stonehenge is just a bunch of large rocks, but when you read about how old it is, its history, and why it’s considered one of the wonders of the world, it gives the visit tremendous meaning.
Seeing it in person made me grasp just how large the monument is and how heavy the rocks are. How did people all those years ago move the rocks without any modern equipment? How long did it take? What does it mean? Just so many unanswered questions.
I hope this helps in planning a future trip!
Have you visited Stonehenge or do you want to? Do you have any theories about Stonehenge? Thanks for reading!