January 2013

The council in Windsor is looking at ways it can benefit from tourism.

Wondsor Castle ToursThe news comes after a tour company said last week it would no longer bring visitors to the town due to parking problems.

At a meeting last night a forum agreed to explore how they can increase the time holiday-makers spend in Windsor.

The suggestion follows changes at ancient Stonehenge. The attraction in Wiltshire is in the process of a £27m project. The changes include a 10-minute shuttle from a new visitor centre being built 2km from the stones. This means it will require a significantly extended visit time for tour operators.

At the Royal Borough’s visitor management forum, members said tour firms take visitors on whistle-stop day trips around the UK only spending a few hours in Windsor, before moving on to attractions such as Stonehenge.

Instead they want people to stay in Windsor all day, overnight or longer.

They said tourists are rushed up to Windsor Castle and back – without visiting other attractions or the town centre – and they want people to have a ‘better and more rounded experience’.

Ideas suggested include improving the route from Windsor Coach Park, in Alma Road, to Windsor Castle, giving the park a facelift and creating a ‘my favourite or perfect day’ borough itinerary.

Chairman Cllr Alan Mellins (Con, Cox Green) said changes at Stonehenge may force tour operators to adapt their itineraries and spend more time in Windsor because Stonehenge is harder to be completed quickly.

Vice-chairman Cllr Andrew Jenner (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) said it does not matter ‘how pretty’ Windsor is – it was about changing the ‘mind set’ of operators.

They suggested day trips combining Windsor with just Oxford or Hampton Court, rather than with Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge.

Tourism facts for Windsor:

– Last year between 1.2-1.5 million visitors came through Windsor Coach Park in Alma Road.

– Money made from the tourist coaches coming to Windsor was said to be worth about £22million to the borough’s economy.

– The average time spent by a visitor to Windsor is two to four and a half hours.

– Top tourist enquries to http://www.windsor.gov.uk in 2012 were Windsor Castle with 992,652 views, and Changing of the Guard with 55,030.

– The top events people searched for in 2012 were the Armed Forces Muster and Parade and Ascot Carriages – carriage rides through the Royal Landscape.

– Press coverage of the Royal Borough in 2012 reached over 145 million people and was valued at half a million pounds.

– Windsor is home to two of the UK’s Top 20 visitor attractions – Windsor Castle and Legoland.

Full article: http://www.windsorexpress.co.uk/News/Areas/Windsor/Stonehenge-revamp-could-be-opportunity-for-Windsor-17012013.htm

Stonehenge News Team

Tours from Antiquity have released a new Archaelogy Tour for 2013.

The ultimate weekend excursion from London. Offering the best of British in a relaxed and well-paced holiday.
Some of the most imposing architecture and mysterious ancient monuments in the world, certainly within the United Kingdom. These sites coupled with the beautiful Wiltshire and Oxfordshire countryside offer the participants of this holiday a special and unique experience.

Special Access to the Stonehenge Circle.

STONEHENGE, PREHISTORIC WESSEX, BATH AND THE COTWOLDSStonehenge, Prehistoric Wessex, Bath and the Cotswolds tour introduces our guests to some of the most imposing architecture and mysterious ancient monuments in the world, certainly within the United Kingdom. These sites coupled with the beautiful Wiltshire and Oxfordshire countryside offer the participants of this holiday a special and unique experience. Our holiday is original, imaginative, well-paced and carefully balanced. Knowledge of the subject matter provided by our archaeologist and the destinations combine with detailed attention to practical matters, ensure an enriching and smooth-running experience. Coupled with the archaeology, TFA holidays offer our participants immersion into the English countryside, focussing on local tradition, culture, archaeology, heritage, landscapes and food and drink.

6-8 September 2013
From London we start our tour with the ancient rolling downlands Oxfordshire and a visit to the internationally-renowned Bronze Age Uffington White Horse, situated within a unique complex of ancient monuments.

Our afternoon is spent enjoying two of Englands most picturesque villages, Lacock and Castle Combe. Lacock has been used as a background film set for films including Harry Potter and Castle Combe is regarded by many as the prettiest village in England.

We start the morning at the Avebury World Heritage Landscape. We visit Silbury Hill, the largest man-made hill in prehistoric Europe. We enter the 5500 year old burial chamber of West Kennet Long Barrow, entering a sacred space originally reserved only for ritual specialists and the dead. After which we visit the largest stone circle in Europe at Avebury, with its beautiful medieval village situated inside. As John Aubrey in the 1600’s notes [Avebury]…”does as much exceed in greatness the so renowned Stonehenge as a Cathedral doeth a parish church.”

Lunch is spent in Salisbury where we enjoy the splendour of Salisbury Cathedral.

The afternoon is spent exploring landscape directly surrounding Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. We start by visiting Durrington Walls ‘Stonehenge builder’s village’ and Woodhenge, we then walk over the ridge visiting several burial mounds, Stonehenge Cursus and finally the Stonehenge Avenue. The day is finish with a private access visit to Stonehenge, an opportunity limited to a handful of visitors, were our archaeologist will delve into understanding this enigmatic and ancient monument.

We start our visit to the centre of Bath with a walking tour of the most impressive examples of architecture Bath has to offer, visiting the Assembly Rooms, Royal Circus and Royal Crescent.

Our guest then enjoy admission to the famous Roman Baths, the site of the only thermal springs in Britian. After you enjoy the splendour of the Baths, you are given amble ‘own time’ to explore the remainder of this city at your own pace.

Finishing the day with a visit to the National Trusts, Prior Park; with its beautiful views of the city-scape of Bath. From here we head back towards London.

Visit their website: http://www.toursfromantiquity.com

Wiltshire Tour Guide


Stonehenge is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting the UK. Our Stonehenge Special Access Tour gives you privileged access to the Stone Circle

As one of the country’s most famous World Heritage sites most visitors are not allowed direct access to the stones, but we Stonehneg inner circle tour - close uphave arranged with English Heritage for privileged access before or after the site opens to the general public between April and September only.

Stonehenge Guided Tours, the operator twin the special access visit with Salisbury for morning visits and Avebury for evening tours.
The tour starts and finishes in Central London. The special access visits are either earaly in the morning or in the evening outside public opening hours.

There are different itineraries depending on the time of your visit.

Sonehenge Guided Tours, the operator twin the special access visit with Salisbury for morning visits and Avebury for evening tours.

Morning Itinerary Including Salisbury
After the special access visit a short drive is taken through the beautiful Woodford Valley. Next stop will be at Salisbury Cathedral, where you will have free time to explore this beautiful and historic medieval Cathedral.
Price includes Special Access to Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and English Breakfast plus of course the services of the guide.

Avebury Henge

Before the special access visit a visit is made to Avebury, another henge and much else Neolithic besides. A great training camp for Stonehenge itself.
You will have free time to explore this picturesque and historic village ringed by the largest stone circle in the world. Join your guide for a pint of fine English Ale at the Red Lion Pub – the only pub in the world located in the middle of a stone circle! (soft drink can be arranged as an alternative option)
Also walk up the hillside to West Kennet Long Barrow one of the largest Neolithic burial tombs in Britain and over 5000 years old.

Price includes Special Access to Stonehenge, expert guided tour of Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow and a pint at the Red Lion Pub.

As the sun begins to set, we enter the stone circle (which is normally roped off to the public) for a unique private viewing. The most dramatic and atmospheric way of visiting Stonehenge.
On selected days the tour operates in reverse, beginning with a private viewing of Stonehenge before it opens to the public in the morning, so we see the stones in the eerie morning light. This is followed by our visits to Lacock and Bath.

These tours sell out very quickly as the demand far outstrips supply of available places – be sure to reserve your place early.

For this and other Stonehenge Private Access Tours visit: www.StonehengeTours.com

Stonehenge Private Access Tours – Go beyond the fences!
In addition our regular ‘scheduled group tour’ departures we are often able to get permission from the English Heritage for additional ‘inner circle’ tours for small groups (1-16 persons). These can be sunset or sunrise times depending on availability. These bespoke tours can also include Salisbury, Avebury, Bath, or Warwick Castle etc and can depart from London, Salisbury or Bath. This can often be cheaper than joining a scheduled tour, offers more flexibility, more personal and a better alround experience. Email us your desired dates and group size for a prompt reply. Click here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Experts