This 5,000-year-old circle of standing stones is one of the world's ancient wonders, a monument to the mysteries of antiquity and among the most famous sights in Europe
Stonehenge can be, in some ways, a bit of a letdown.
Don’t get me wrong, Stonehenge is still a must-see.
But keep in mind that—unless you pay extra for a special before- or after-hours visit—a rope barrier keeps you 50 feet away from the concentric circles of enormous standing stones (unfortunately, past visitors were fond of scratching their names into the venerable rocks).
A walkway mars the beauty of the site, but does allows you to circle the massive sarsen monoliths (sarsen is a local type of sandstone)—each weighing an average of 25 tons, and brought here from 20 miles away—and smaller bluestones—weighing two to five tones and somehow dragged here from a site in Wales, some 150 miles distant.
Who built Stonehenge?
Although Stonehenge is associated in many people’s minds with Druids, that Celtic religious sect was merely using an existing site.
Stonehenge was an ancient mystery even to the first century B.C. Druids. Stonehenge was begun by an unknown Neolithic peoples before 3,000 B.C. and added to up until 1,500 B.C.
(More fanciful explanations across the ages for Stonehenge were that it was the work of the Devil, or of the magician Merlin, or everybody's favorite 20C explanation for all weird and mysterious ancient things: aliens did it.)
All we really know about Stonehenge is that it represents a remarkable feat of engineering—some of the stones came from dozens of miles away.
Also, the stones act like a huge astronomical calendar, aligned with the summer equinox while still keeping track of the seasons after more than 5,000 years.
Why was Stonehenge built in the first place? No one really knows. The cremated remains of some 64 people have been found in 56 Neolithic “Aubrey holes” pits, so it was some kind of cemetery early on. (More gruesomely, the beheaded skeleton of an AD 7C Anglo-Saxon man was also found here.)
A good video explaining Stonehenge
South West England is rich in history and natural beauty. From the mysterious stones of Avebury and Stonehenge, to the Uffington White Horse, Bath, and the Salisbury Cathedral, there is a wealth of astonishing sites to take in. Our full-day Stonehenge Tour including Bath and Salisbury, led by a local historian and designed as a day trip from London, offers a glimpse of a deeply distinct part of England. Together, we'll explore the history, mystery, and profound beauty of this region.
- Visit Stonehenge, Bath, and Salisbury
- Small groups—max 6 people
- Stonehenge Tour customizable to suit your interests
Arriving by train from London, our exploration of the South West will begin from Salisbury station. Here we will meet our docent and driver and proceed to Stonehenge, just in time for its opening to the public, in order to beat the crowds and enjoy the view of the stones in tranquility. In the company of our expert, we will engage in the ongoing discussion regarding the origin and significance of the stones, while learning to distinguish historical facts from well established traditions. We will also have time to walk in the archaeological park and take in the ethereal magic of the site.
In the English Countryside
From here, we'll depart for our next stop, which depending on the day and the clients preference may be Bath (where we also have a standalone Bath Tour) or Salisbury Cathedral, but not before stopping in a local country pub for lunch. We may taste some of the local ales and indulge in traditional dishes such as game pies or a simple ploughman's lunch. After lunch, we'll proceed to the second part of our exploration.
Looking for another day trip from London? Try our Cambridge Tour.
Bath and Salisbury
If heading to Bath, we'll stroll through the Georgian streets while learning about the city's Roman origins and its later connections to the dandies and fashionables of London. Our docent will explain the role of the Roman Baths and how they are still today a fundamental fixture of the town. If we feel inclined, we may proceed inside and visit the Baths before taking the train back to London at the end of the day.
In Salisbury, our visit will focus on the Cathedral, home of the Magna Carta and exquisite example of Early English architecture. We will talk about the Cathedral's musical history and tradition dating back to the foundation of the church in 1258, as well as its role in innovation (the Salisbury Cathedral was the first English cathedral to recruit girl choristers in 1991). Our discussion will cover the once thriving town of Old Sarum and Salisbury's original cathedral, now only visible in its outline. We'll learn how many of its stones were re-used in the construction of the new building and why both city and cathedral moved from their original location to today's one.
As our day together comes to a close, we will have uncovered what makes South West England such a rich destination to visit: lesser-known charms, incredible landscapes, beautiful architecture, and the memorable UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stonehenge and Avebury. At the end of the day, we'll return to London on one of the many direct trains that run between the two locations.
Please note: You will meet your docent and driver in Salisbury (we will provide detailed instructions). In general, the full-day excursion has you back in London by 8:00 pm. If you are staying in Bath, Salisbury or anywhere outside of London, please let us know and we can assist you with transport information. Note that we can also conduct a two-day extended excursion (private).
You will be responsible for purchasing train tickets at the station. Included in your confirmation will be details regarding which trains to take and how to book. If you prefer to travel by car from London, we can arrange for a full day car service. Please leave a note to this effect in your booking.
Can I see the inside of Stonehenge?
Although not possible during normal opening hours, you may visit the inside of Stonehenge by pre-booking with Stonehenge Circle Access. Visits take place in the early morning or late evening only and last for one hour, with a maximum of 26 participants on each visit. Stonehenge Circle Access should be booked well in advance of when you plan to visit. Those interested in booking must complete an Application Form. The cost of the ticket for accessing the stones is about 38GBP per person. Depending on the time of the year, early morning visits take place at 6:30-7:30 or 8 AM. Please include a note in your booking if you are interested in this option.
Where do we meet? Where do we end?
You will meet the docent and driver at the Salisbury train station. Trains are very easy to use and navigate in the UK. We suggest the 8:20am train from London Waterloo, to get you to Salisbury by 9:45am. From there you will proceed by private car that we've arranged for you. The day will end in Bath or Salisbury, depending on your preference, where the driver will drop you off at the Station. From there, you will catch the train back to London. Your confirmation email will have more information, the exact meeting point, along with a map and emergency phone number.
Can I arrange for private car service beginning and ending in London?
Yes! If you prefer to travel by car from London, we can arrange for a full day car service. Please leave a note to this effect in your booking. We'll be in touch with further information
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your docent will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.
Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We some excellent family friendly docents who can appeal to the learning styles of kids and teens. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible docent.
Begin your tour from either Salisbury Train Station or Central Car Park Coach Park in Salisbury.
Explore the medieval city with all of its history and mystique, spending an hour at the Cathedral to take in the tallest spire and the Magna Carta (subject to opening times).
Then make a brief stop at Old Sarum, the original city of Salisbury. This Iron Age settlement became Salisbury after visits from Saxons, Danes, Vikings, and Normans. Old Sarum offers wonderful views over the city and the surrounding landscape. This is where King John had his garrisons in the early 1200s before the barons rose up against the King which resulted in the Magna Carta being sealed in 1215.
Depart from Old Sarum and follow a narrow riverside road through a picturesque valley. Here you can take in the many thatched cottages and begin to learn the history that surrounds Stonehenge.
Arriving at Stonehenge, spend two hours experiencing the new visitor center and the ancient stones before heading to a local, family-friendly pub for your pre-booked lunch. You will have an hour at the pub before heading to The Ancestor in Amesbury and the 10th-century Church of St Mary and St. Melor. Here you will discover a fascinating account of the place and uncover the reason why Stonehenge is where it is.
The journey through time to one of Britain's best kept secrets, exploring the oldest continuous settlement in England (as recognized by Guinness World Records). Enjoy exclusive access to a site of recent archaeological discoveries.
Upon leaving Amesbury, return to Salisbury Train Station, Central Coach Park, or a local hotel (if you are staying overnight), where your tour concludes.
The full-day tour starts at 9am from Salisbury train station or Central Car Park Coach Park in Salisbury.
It begins in the Medieval Cathedral City with all of its history and mystique where you enjoy a tour of the City before spending an hour at the Cathedral taking in the tallest spire and the Magna Carta (subject to opening times) before departing at 10.15am for a brief stop at Old Sarum, the original City of Salisbury. This Iron Age settlement became Salisbury after visits from Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans. Old Sarum offers wonderful views over the City and the surrounding landscape. This is where King John had his garrisons in the early 1200s before the barons rose up against the King which resulted in the Magna Carta being sealed in 1215.
You will depart Old Sarum at approx. 10.40am and follow a narrow riverside road through a picturesque valley with its own history to tell. Here you can take in the many thatched cottages and begin to learn the history that surrounds Stonehenge.
Arriving at Stonehenge at 11.10am you will spend two hours experiencing the new visitor centre and the Ancient Stones before heading to Avebury.
En route to Avebury you will see the Alton Barnes White Horse (a large chalk carving in the hillside) before passing through Lockeridge (where the Sarcen stones originate that form part of Stonehenge & Avebury). You will also see Silbury hill, the largest manmade mound in Europe and the West Kennet longbarrow (an ancient Neolithic burial mound). If time & weather permit you will walk to the site and actually enter the burial mound.
At 2.15pm you arrive at Avebury where your guide will walk you over the site. Here you will try your hand at divining for spiritual leylines.
Leaving Avebury at 4.30pm you begin your return journey to Salisbury train station, Central Coach Park or a local hotel (if you are staying overnight). The tour will be completed at 5.30pm.
Your day trip starts with a morning pickup from Salisbury Train Station or your accommodation in Salisbury. En route to Stonehenge, learn the wonders of the medieval city of Salisbury before travelling a scenic route to Stonehenge. You will see thatched cottages and learn about the surrounding area.
Once you reach the world famous UNESCO Heritage Site of Stonehenge, marvel at human endeavour which is testament to the sophisticated engineering skills of prehistoric people. Follow in their footsteps as you approach the monument of Stonehenge and explore the many other prehistoric remains across the landscape.
Just after noon, depart Stonehenge and begin your journey across the Wiltshire countryside. You will cross the Kennet and Avon Canal and learn of the transition between the Canals and the first trains before seeing a magnificent chalk carving in the hillside, Alton Barnes White Horse. You then travel through Lockeridge, the home of the Sarcen Stones (the largest of the stones at Stonehenge), and you soon arrive in Avebury where you have free time for lunch (own expense).
In Avebury, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will learn of the true definition of a henge and as your guide takes you around this Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles you will be able to touch and feel the stones themselves. You will try your hand at Divining for the spiritual leylines before leaving Avebury.
Departing Avebury you will travel to West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill, where you can take a short walk to one of the largest, most accessible Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain. Built in and around 3650BC, it was used for a short time as a burial chamber, nearly 50 people being buried here before the chambers were blocked. You will have a great view from here of Silbury Hill, the largest man-made mound in Europe. Mysterious Silbury Hill compares in height and volume to the roughly contemporary Egyptian pyramids. Probably completed around 2400BC, it apparently contains no burial.
At around 5pm you will depart Silbury Hill and begin your journey back towards your desired drop off location in Salisbury, where you will return at 6-6.30pm.
Your day begins once you have arrived, with an introduction and what to expect from your tandem skydive. Next you will be given specialist training in a simulated training environment. Once fitted in your jumpsuit and harness you will then be suspended so that you can effectively practice the necessary freefall and landing positions under the watchful eye of an instructor.
Once your training is complete you will go through to the departure area where you will meet your personal tandem skydive instructor.
Your instructor will escort you to the plane and once inside he will secure your harness to his and the flight will depart. The pilot will fly you up to altitude in a Cessna Super Cargomaster. This aircraft has been refitted to the specific requirements for tandem skydiving.
On the scenic flight up you’ll take in views of the historical Wiltshire countryside, the South Coast and the Isle of Wight. Marvel at the sights of major prehistoric significance, including the Iron Age hill fort of Old Sarum, once the home of William the Conqueror and depending on wind direction, Stonehenge the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Once the flight has reached altitude you and your instructor will move towards the door for the next part of your experience which is the skydive itself. The high adrenaline freefall starts as you and your instructor jump from your chosen altitude of either 10,000 or 15,000 ft. This is amazing – you will literally fall through the air and rush towards the earth at about 125 mph – if you’ve chosen to jump from 10,000 ft this will last approximately 30 seconds or 60 seconds if you’re jumping from 15,000 ft.The rush is spectacular – and is often described as being transported to another world.
At 5000 ft your tandem instructor will deploy the parachute, this will slow your rate of descent to about 30mph. The canopy produces the wind resistance needed to slow you down for landing. This journey down to the landing area is pretty magical, you’ll now be able to speak to and hear your instructor as you enjoy the quiet of the parachute ride compared to the rush of freefall.
Under canopy there is usually the opportunity to add some high speed turns and maybe even take control of the chute yourself for a short time. You can have a chat with your instructor on the flight up and let him know what sort of parachute ride you would like.
As you come into land you’ll bring your legs up into the landing position that you will have practised in your pre-jump training. You can now congratulate yourself and your instructor!
Check off two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in just one day on this 11.5-hour coach trip from Bournemouth. Explore the mystic stone circle at Stonehenge, then take in the sights of Bath on a guided walking tour with plenty of free time. Tour includes admission to Stonehenge.
Board your comfortable, climate-controled coach at Bournemouth Interchange Coach Station at 8:30am for the hour-long journey to Stonehenge, where the Neolithic stone circle unfurls before your eyes.
Equipped with an audioguide, you'll have 90 minutes to see this ancient monument up close and marvel at the astronomical wisdom behind its construction. Explore the exhibition at the Visitor's Centre and see how our ancestors lived 4,500 years ago in the Neolithic stone houses.
Then, hop back on the bus for the hour-or-so journey to the UNESCO-listed City of Bath, with its glorious Georgian architecture and heritage dating back to Roman times.
Join your guide for a walking tour of the highlights of the city: you'll see the glorious Gothic spires of Bath Abbey, the exterior of the impressive Roman Baths, 18th-century Bath Circus, the Royal Crescent, designed by John Wood, and the Jane Austen Centre, devoted to the 18th-century novelist who wrote so much about Bath.
After this, you'll have plenty of free time, equipped with a complimentary map. Perhaps you'll choose to return to some of the attractions you've seen and explore them in more depth? (Admission at own expense.) Or perhaps you'd like to enjoy a cream tea, lunch, or a historic English pub?
You'll be back at the bus around 6pm, ready for the journey back to Bournemouth, returning to the coach station around 8pm.
Discover some of England’s oldest secrets and prettiest hidden treasures. This tour offers you more than just sightseeing: the stunning locations, amazing food, history, stories and conversations make each tour unique. Travelling in a small group of eight guests or fewer, , get beneath the surface and discover real, authentic, quintessential England. This full-day Stonehenge and Secret Somerset tour combines a visit to one of the most iconic ancient structures in the world with a journey into 'secret Somerset', where you'll discover fascinating places and hear amazing stories that you simply will not see on the usual tourist trail or with any other tour.
Your tour starts in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle departing Bath at around 9am. Next you can enjoy coffee at a unique and stunning location on the way to Stonehenge.
Once you arrive at Stonehenge, you get to skip the ticket queues and the audio-guides that most visitors to Stonehenge encounter, and enjoy a personal, interactive tour of the stones.
Departing Stonegenge, you escape the crowds and delve deep into 'Secret Somerset', a land of stunning countryside, hidden villages and quaint cottages. You enjoy lunch at a carefully selected award-winning traditional English Inn that oozes character and serves superb locally-sourced fare. You can also sample local beverages such as locally made and world renowned Somerset cider.
After lunch you will explore some stunning villages - places few other tourists will ever see or even hear about. You will admire archetypal English cottages and hear some of the unique stories that make these places special, enjoying countryside that has inspired writers such as Hardy and Austen and artists such as Turner and Constable.
You will finish the afternoon (if there's time) with the opportunity to enjoy a hidden walled garden and the chance to enjoy (optional) tea and cake in very special location before returning to Bath.
In the morning you will be picked up to be taken to the world famous Stonehenge to learn everything you ever wanted to know about this unique and stunning structure. Afterwards, as this is a private and bespoke tour, what happens next is up to you.
You can visit medieval Salisbury and its breathtaking Cathedral; continue the prehistoric theme by exploring nearby Avesbury, another prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage site; explore a grand Elizabethan House; or see a little bit of real England by visiting some stunning hidden villages and a ruined castle.
Whilst you will follow a carefully planned route that will give you the chance to see the best of the Cotswolds, every private tour is different. Whatever your interests are, this tour can be planned to suit your preferences.
Your guide is unique. He is a local who was formerly a History and Politics graduate/teacher and has been described in one publication as a 'tour guide extraordinaire' who is both entertaining and informative.
Enjoy your full-day tour to Stonehenge & Bath. On this tour you will visit 2 amazing places: the Stonehenge World Heritage site and the World Heritage city of Bath.
Depart in the morning and travel via coach to Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Arrival at Stonehenge will be at 11:30am and you will have 90 minutes to see this ancient monument up close and listen to the audio guides provided.
Departure from Stonehenge will be at approx. 1pm and travel to Bath in Somerset to visit this charming Georgian city. Free guided walking tour of the city taking in the sights of Bath such as Bath Abbey, Roman Baths Complex, Jane Austen Centre, Bath Circus, Royal Crescent and much more.
Departure from Bath will be at 4:30pm and travel back to Brighton with arrival back at about 8pm.
The Stonehenge site has the entrance included in your ticket price. You will also get an audio guide given for free as you enter. Toilets, souvenirs plus food and drink is available. Stonehenge is one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Europe and is also a UN World Heritage Site. The site was first started in 3100BC and was in use until 300AD, almost 3500 years.
You can walk around the stones and use an audio guide that tells you more about the history of the stones. There is also a new visitor centre exhibition to learn more about this incredible landmark. Please make sure you are back on board the coach at the correct time.
Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK to see and you can learn about its Roman history and the founding of its Roman Bath complex (extra charge), and the citys rebirth in Georgian times and its triumph of architecture in the beautiful Royal Crescent. Also see the only bridge in the UK and one of three in the world that has buildings on both sides.
Many religious buildings such as Bath Abbey are available to visit and free or just ask for donations for entry. There are many street entertainers in the city centre and many shops of all types and of course many restaurants or cafes.
Take in two of England’s famous UNESCO World Heritage–listed sites in one day on this adventurous day trip from Oxford. Travel by coach to the prehistoric site of Stonehenge and learn of the area’s significance via your audio guide. Explore the visitor center, where objects unearthed from the site are on display. Then, follow a guide though the ancient streets of Bath and discover top attractions including Bath Abbey, the Jane Austen Centre, and the Royal Crescent. This tour includes guide, entrance fees, and round-trip travel from Oxford.
Hop aboard your coach in central Oxford in the morning, then travel in comfort to the UNESCO–listed site of Stonehenge. Nestled in the beautiful county of Wiltshire, Stonehenge is widely considered among the world’s most mysterious prehistoric sites.
On arrival, explore Stonehenge at your own pace and admire the unique rock monuments up-close. With your audio-guide to hand, gain insight into the site’s fascinating history. Then, head to the visitor centre — home to a world-class exhibition featuring 250 ancient objects from around the area.
Continue onward to Bath, a Georgian spa town hidden in the Somerset hills. During your guided walking tour, take in top attractions including Bath Abbey, Bath Circus, the Jane Austen Centre, and the beautiful Royal Crescent, and learn of Bath’s interesting heritage.
When your time in Bath comes to an end, return to central Oxford to conclude your tour.
These might include StonehengeMore tours
Entries are limtied and timed in half-hour blocks.
By booking ahead you will note only guarantee a slot, but also save a few pounds per person.
Note that even if you have a pass that covers Stonehenge—English Heritage or National Trust—you must still book an entry time in advance to use it.
At dawn and dusk, before the site opens to the public and again after it closes, you can pay for special access to the stone circle itself. It is pretty amazing—pricey, but worth it.
How to get to Stonehenge from London or Salisbury
More on Stonehenge
You can actually enter the stone circle before and after hours—if you book ahead
Take a half-hour helicopter ride over the ancient site of Stonehenge
Take a tandem skydive over the Salisbury Plain—Salisbury, Old Sarum, Stonehenge, and more
How to get to Stonehenge from London or Salisbury