Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 6 ~ Stonehenge!




Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the south of England, last week I gave you all of our tips to help make your visit to Chessington as enjoyable as ours. So far we’ve brought you from Pembroke down through Devon & Somerset as far across as Hastings and this week we’ll bring you from Chessington to (our ancestral home) Stonehenge in Salisbury, just outside London.


Stonehenge:


The journey from Epsom to Stonehenge was only supposed to take us 1 ½ hours but it took us about 30 minutes longer due to traffic as we approached Stonehenge. As we were coming via the A303 we got to see the prehistoric monument from the road as we drove by. According to their website parking is charged at £5/€5.67 per car which you receive back once you buy your ticket this is true during peak season as there are stewards at the entrance however on our last visit in December we didn’t have to pay as the car park was unmanned.


The Stones en route to the stone
Things to do at Stonehenge:

Your admission ticket includes entrance to the state of the art exhibition & visitor centre which are fantastic. We particularly enjoyed the 360° audio visual display depicting the stones throughout the year including the sunrise during winter & summer solstice. Outside the visitor centre there are replica Neolithic dwellings that you’re free to explore and a massive stone (not me!) with a rope attached so you can visualise the mammoth task of moving one of those boulders all those years ago. There’s also a shop with reasonable prices and cafe onsite.




The baby giving his best thumbs up

To the Stones:

The stones are about a mile from the visitor centre which you can either walk to or hop on one of the shuttle buses that leave every few minutes; you’ll have to produce your ticket to ride the bus. Once at the stones there’s lots of information on the short walk up with plenty of guides around that are only too happy to help, you can also rent an audio guide as you purchase your ticket for an extra £2/€2.27 per adult or £6/€6.81 for a family. We really enjoyed our visit, the children were in awe of the scale of the stones and they loved learning about their history. My son Seamus was chuffed with himself when he told us his ‘fun fact’ that Newgrange in County Meath was built before Stonehenge as we only visited there a couple of months ago.




Ticket Prices:

Our visit was complimentary. Tickets are priced at £16.50/€18.72 for adults, children aged 5-15 are £9.90/€11.23 each, family tickets are also available priced at £42.90/€48.67 for 2 adults & up to 3 children.



Much like the effort needed to get Daddy Stone from the leaba


Stone Travel Tip 1:

Four times a year you get to cross the ropes to wander amongst the stones, during both equinoxes & both solstices the ropes are removed for spiritual rituals to take place at sunrise on the 21st of March, June, September & December. Visits to the UNESCO world heritage site are free on these mornings contact English Heritage for further information HERE.

It's clear many aren't too enamoured with the Visitor Centre Queue - This is Design v UX at its best!


Stone Travel Tip 2:

Much like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, Stonehenge can be visited free of charge if you don’t want experience the visitor centre. You can use the car park & pay a £5 parking fee and walk out to the stones or there’s access to a dirt road off the A303 nearer the stones (sometimes closed off) where you can park your car free of charge and walk a few hundred meters to see the stones.

*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received complimentary admission to Stonehenge. As usual all thoughts are my own, I was not asked to write this review. As ever neither free services nor payment would ever sway my opinion. ***



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