Our guide to visiting Stonehenge

An icon of England, Stonehenge is a magnificent prehistoric site that is instantly recognized the world over but remains shrouded in mystery and whilst dating back to 3000 BC continues to baffle experts to this day.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric circle of monoliths standing on the Salisbury Plain in the picturesque Wiltshire countryside approximately 9 miles from Salisbury itself. The site was constructed in phases with an outer bank dating back to 3000 BC whilst the standing stones that we see today are thought to have been erected in 2500 BC which predates the Aztec Pyramids and the statues of Easter Island. Due to its historic significance, together with a number of surrounding prehistoric sites including Avebury Stone Cirlce, Silbury Hill and Old Sarum, Stonehenge enjoys World Heritage Status.

The era in which Stonehenge was constructed, along with where the rocks used originate, offers one of its many mysteries. The circle consists of 40 blocks of Bluestone whose source has been tracked to the Preseli Hills of South Wales which lies some 250 miles from where the rocks currently stand. Whilst some theorize that glacial movement may have transported the rocks in the previous ice-age, there is little evidence to support this and as a result it seems more likely that the rocks, weighing up to 50 tons each, were quarried and transported by man power. This would be an impressive feat with today’s technology and quite how it was achieved several thousand years ago remains a mystery.

Question marks not only surround how but also why the stone circle was created. Theories for the purpose of Stonehenge have been bounced back and forth for many years and include that it served as a temple, a place of sacrifice and burial, a place of worship to the sun or an astronomical calendar. This latter theory seems the most probable as the site seems to be aligned with sunrise and sunset on the Summer and Winter solstices but, again, no concrete conclusions have ever been drawn.

Regardless of its purpose and quite how it was constructed, today Stonehenge is one of Britain’s most popular visitor attractions. Whilst its visitor facilities do not compare to other attractions in Britain, and the nearby road can be distracting, there is an intriguing audio guide available and it is impossible not to get swept up in the unique air of mystery and myth which surrounds the site. Whether in sunshine or low hanging mists, Stonehenge provides a magnificent photo opportunity and to marvel at the stones and first-hand is a magical experience. Stonehenge is an absolute must when touring the south of England.

Related Guides

Relevant Tours

Tours of England - Liverpool

Indulge in a unique tour taking in two of Britain’s unique nations as you explore the sights and sounds of England and Scotland.  Your driving tour will take you through the rural landscapes of England and Scotland before returning your vehicle in Edinburgh and returning to London by rail. The trip will take in the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Lake District and Western Scottish Highlands not to mention a host of elegant cities including York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

Tours of England - Bath

This elegant tour of Britain evokes a bygone age, discover traditional villages, stately homes, historic castles and beautiful gardens. Featuring two-night stays throughout, in each overnight destination, journey at a leisurely pace enjoying expertly planned day excursions and city tours in each destination with fabulous local visits designed to showcase each region in depth. An truly engaging and well balanced itinerary of Britain.

Scotland Tours - Edinburgh at night

See both cityscapes and scenic landscapes on this lively tour of Britain; with departures through the Winter months you’ll experience the highlights of England Scotland and Wales at a quieter time of year and at ultimate value. Enjoy the opportunity to experience crisp British Winter mornings and frosted landscapes as you journey from London to medieval York through historic Edinburgh, vibrant Liverpool and the Welsh capital of Cardiff. Iconic sites are in abundance including Edinburgh Castles, Stonehenge and the English Lake District.

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

Enjoy an England and Wales driving tour to experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of two of Britain's intriguing nations.  Enjoy the contrasting vistas of the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, the rustic Yorkshire Dales, the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Not to mention icons of English and Welsh history at Conwy Castle, York Minster, Shakespeare’s Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.

Britain Tours - Lake District

Discover the essence of Britain through knowledgeable experts and passionate locals introducing you to stories of Britain from past to present. Visit significant destinations once frequented by British greats such as Shakespeare and renowned kings. Travel in style on this elegant tour, and spend your evenings in a hand-picked selection of exclusive hotels. Enjoy travel through England to Scotland, whilst relishing in a range of VIP experiences such as the Tower of London for a private viewing of the Ceremony of the Keys, Edinburgh castle and visits to royal gardens. On route visit the Georgian city of Bath and the mesmerising dales of the Lake District on this relaxing, well-paced tour is a trip of a lifetime.

Tours of Cornwall - St Michaels Mount

A tour to England's sunny South West and the charming regions of Devon and Cornwall. Discover historic locations such as Stonehenge, Plymouth's Mayflower Steps and Bath's Roman Baths not to mention the dramatic landscapes of the Devonshire moors and the seascapes and craggy coastlines of Cornish Peninsular. Highlights include Tintagel Castle and the historic village of Lacock.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

England Tours - Stonehenge

Discover quintessential England as you explore the patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds and some of England’s most captivating historic cities. Delight in the whimsical academia of Oxford, Shakespeare’s Stratford and the grandeur of the Georgian City of Bath not to mention a host of lesser-known gems such as the eccentrically named Cotswold villages of Castle Combe, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Broadway.

Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

Uncover the myths, legends and history of this amazing isle! On this tour you'll discover both cultural highlights and unrivalled scenery; from the towns and cities of Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, Liverpool and Bath to the majestic scenery of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District and the Wye Valley.

Tours of London - Buckingham Palace

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life...".  London is home to the richest of histories but remains at the cutting edge of British culture; take five days to explore this colossal city and all that it has to offer from iconic landmarks and the best of British shopping and culture. And if that’s not enough, enjoy a day-tour to explore the English gems of Stonehenge and Bath.

England Tours of Oxford

A Great Britain driving tour - experience all that is great about Britain on the ultimate tour of England, Scotland and Wales. See it all, from the thriving capital cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to the remote Scottish Highlands, tranquil Lake District an d spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you’ll experience diverse cultures and histories and see world-famous landmarks including Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, Cardiff Castle, the Cotswolds, Hadrian’s Wall, Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle.

England Tours - Stonehenge

Get off the beaten tourist track as you journey from Windsor to Edinburgh through the beautiful West of Britain. Explore England’s picturesque coastal counties of Devon and Cornwall, see unrivalled vistas in Wales’ Snowdonia National Park, pass through the majestic Lake District and tour two of Scotland’s most elegant cities in, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Scotland Tours - Edinburgh at night

See both cityscapes and scenic landscapes on this brief tour of Britain taking in the highlights of England Scotland and Wales. The lively pace of this 5-night tour allows you to cover a lot of Britain in a short space of time as you journey from London to the Welsh capital of Cardiff, vibrant Liverpool, historic Edinburgh and the medieval city of York before returning to London. Iconic sites are in abundance including Cardiff and Edinburgh Castles, Stonehenge, York Minster and the English Lake District.

Tours of England - Bath

Enjoy the history and grandeur of an ancient land on this castle tour of England. By day you'll explore castle ruins, historic sites, stunning landscapes and cultural jewels such as Oxford, Stratford, Chester, York and Bath whilst by night you'll live like royalty as you experience historic and characterful castle hotels and opulent country manors!

London Tours - Imperial War Museum

Enjoy a week in England staying in the thriving capital city of London, a bustling city of iconic landmarks and the undoubted heart of English history and culture. An unrivalled destination in its own right, London also offers the perfect base from which to explore South and central England; enjoy fully guided tours of London’s highlights as well as Bath City, Stonehenge, Oxford the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon. London and Beyond is an ideal mix of English city and countryside and is perfect for those looking to explore without wanting to drive overseas.

England Tours - Stonehenge

The British Journey tour is a Britain driving tour that takes you on an expedition from the capital of Scotland to the capital of England touching upon Wales and enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore Scotland’s “Highlands in miniature” and the historic city of Edinburgh before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District, Cotswolds and Wye Valley to glorious historic cities including Chester, Cardiff, Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Your trip ends in the thriving metropolis of London.

Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

Make use of Britain's extensive rail network on this comprehensive rail tour of England, Scotland and Wales.  Enjoy train rides through the glorious scenery of the Cotswolds, North Wales, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands on route to cultural and historic cities including Bath, Cardiff, Chester, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, York and London.

Contact us