stonehenge special access


The experience of visiting Stonehenge has been transformed and greatly improved.  The time it takes to visit Stonehenge and the new visitor centre is also much longer, at around 2 hours which is at least twice as long as previous years.

The reason for this radical change is the building of a brand new visitor centre where you start your visit just over 1 mile from the Stonehenge monument. Before you parked adjacent to Stonehenge and walked directly into the monument using the old tunnel.new-stonehenge-visitor-centre

For such a visited monument, facilities before 2014 were an embarrassment. Just a small gift shop far too small for the numbers visiting, turnstiles and toilets in portable buildings and no exhibition or educational facilities. An audio guide provided was your only way of making sense of what you saw before you.
It is now possible to download the Stonehenge Audio Guide in advance: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stonehenge-audio-tour/id771690237?mt=8

The old facilities and car parks have been demolished and grassed over. The new English Heritage visitor centre is a purpose built structure with topical exhibits and facilities so you can be orientated on what Stonehenge is all about and information about the Neolithic people that built Stonehenge and discoveries in the Wiltshire area

To get to Stonehenge itself you now take a small shuttle Land Rover ‘train’  for the 10 minute journey to the Stones themselves

Stonehenge Entrance Prices & Opening Times

From February 1st 2014 you  have to pre-purchase tickets in advance from Stonehenge.

Advance booking is the only way to guarantee entry on the day and at the time of your choice.
Please visit the English Heritage website to book advance tickets: Stonehenge Official Ticketing Facility
English Heritage Members MUST also book in advance using the same link.

The reason for this is that you need to book your timed slot on the shuttle between the visitor centre and Stonehenge.
(Last admission time is 2 hours before the advertised closing time)

Please visit the new English Heritage Stonehenge website for 2014 prices and opening times: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/prices-and-opening-times

Stonehenge Special Access Visits

During normal opening hours you cannot walk up to the stones.  The nearest you will get to the stones is about 15 yards, the monument is roped off by a low barrier.

However it is possible to walk up to and among the stones at Stonehenge outside public opening hours. These are called Special Access visits. During these sessions of one hour duration, only a handful of people are allowed into Stonehenge going beyond the barriers and walking amongst the stones.

The Special Access Visits are also immensely popular, demand far outstrips supply and they are often sold out many months in advance.
Please visit our Stonehenge Private Access Tour page or the English Heritage Special Access page

Private guided Stonehenge access tours from London, Bath or Salisbury can sometimes be arranged for families and small groups.

Scheduled Stonehenge coach tours from London have pre-booked  tickets and enjoy priority ‘fast track’ entrance

Stonehenge Tour Guide

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

Enjoy the opportunity of seeing the amazing structure of Stonehenge and its intriguing formation from a unique perspective. This incredible monument is a popular visitor attraction from the ground, but is even more special to see from the air with no tourists obscuring your views of this special site. One of the most historic and interesting sites in the world, is best viewed from the air so that it can be fully appreciated.
Fly over StonehengeYou’ll be treated to unbelievable views down onto the mighty Neolithic Stonehenge and the numerous burial mounds dotted around the ancient Salisbury Plain. Who knows, from this unique vantage point you might even shed light on why Stonehenge was built. Why not fly over Stonehenge and then be taken into the inner circle for an exclusive private guided special access tour, beyond the fences after the crowds have gone

There’s no shortage of other interesting sites nearby. Select to fly over stunning sights such as the stones at Avebury, the Cerne Abbas Giant and the Uffington White Horse, Salisbury Cathedral’s mighty spire or the mysterious Wiltshire crop circles, but if you’d prefer, you can simply fly over the familiar streets of your hometown and even your own house.

London, Southampton and Wiltshire departure points. Door to door transport by car, MPV or mini coach available with expert local guides . See private guided tours.

Bespoke Helicopter Tour Service

Our bespoke tours provide great photo opportunities and give you the chance to make some unique and lasting memories, which you can share with family and friends when you are back on the ground.

What could be better than treating someone special to a unique day out, tailor made for their enjoyment?  We can even supply a special hamper for them to enjoy as you fly together over the countryside and famous landmarks.

If you’re stuck for ideas the friendly team at Stonehenge Helicopters will help you with suggestions. We will recommend tours based on your particular interests, availability and budget using our extensive knowledge of the UK. .

Contact us for a quote – it may be cheaper than you think: flights@stonehengetours.com

“Combining an aerial view of Stonehenge with a ride in a helicopter is an experience not to be missed”

Link: http://stonehengetours.com/helicopter-stonehenge-flight-tours-charter.htm

Stonehenge Guided Tours – www.StonehengeTours.com

Stonehenge is perhaps the most iconic and mysterious of Britain’s many wonders. A large earthen levee surrounding two rings of massive stones located on a vast plain in Wiltshire County, Stonehenge is generally considered a sacred site, but experts differ in their opinions of the site’s original purpose. Although commonly linked to the Druids, Stonehenge was completed long before the first known Druid population arrived in the area. Perhaps it was a burial site for ancient kings or a centre of prehistoric astronomy. Whatever its origin, the mystical Stonehenge draws visitors of all ages and backgrounds

History of Stonehenge

Modern methods date Stonehenge’s earthen levee to approximately 3000 BC, although there is evidence that clearing and preparation of the site might have begun earlier. The inner circle was completed around 2200 BC and the outer circle finished sometime between 1500 and 1200 BC. The stones are arranged on mystical lines known as ley lines, which are said to harness magical energy and are aligned toward the summer solstice. UFO sightings and paranormal activity have been reported around Stonehenge throughout modern history. Until 1978, visitors were permitted to freely wander through the stone circles, leading to vandalism and theft. The popularity of Stonehenge led to a proliferation of highways, parking lots and street vendors. Today, the British government is committed to preserving the site and has undertaken extensive projects to protect the monument and limit the carnival atmosphere.

Daytime Tours

Numerous tour companies offer day trips to Stonehenge from London. These tours generally combine a visit to Stonehenge with a tour of nearby Bath and other local attractions. Daytime tours are an excellent choice for those with limited time. Private, customized tours are available at a higher rate. Ask for tour recommendations at your hotel or at any visitor center in London.

Inside the Circle Tours

Some tour companies, including The Stonehenge Tour Company and Salisbury Guided Tours, have negotiated access to Stonehenge’s inner circle. These tours are pricier than traditional tours and availability is quite limited. Contact the company of your choice as soon as possible to book your tour. Some Inside the Circle tours take place at sunset or sunrise, offering a different view of the monument than that available during the day.

Solstice Tours

If you will be in the area during June, plan to take a solstice tour of Stonehenge. Most Stonehenge tour companies offer a special overnight solstice tour. Visiting on the solstice allows you to view the monument as the ancients intended, with the sun positioned directly over the Heel stone, Slaughter stone and Altar stone. Not all solstice tours provide access inside the circles, so make sure you understand exactly what you are getting.

Touring on Your Own

If you prefer to travel independently, you may visit Stonehenge on your own. English Heritage manages the site and admission is free to members of the National Trust. All others pay a nominal charge. Note that you will not be allowed to enter the circles, but a visitors’ walkway around the site allows you to view it from all angles. Audio guides in 10 languages are included in your admission fee. The walkway is wheelchair accessible.

Nice to see our tours recommended on USA Today:  http://traveltips.usatoday.com/stonehenge-tours-11402.html

The Stonehenge Tour Company
The Original and still the bet Stonehenge Tours – http://www.StonehengeTours.com

Single and Multi-day Trips Exploring London’s Neighboring Cities and Nearby Countries Expand the Olympic Experience Beyond the Games.

As the week started off with record numbers of travelers arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport, the spotlight began to shine even more brightly on the host city of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and, the crowds that would follow through the beginning of September. Viator.com – the leading resource for researching and booking more than 10,000 tours and activities in 800-plus destinations in more than 150 countries – offers a selection of the best things to do in London, but is also highlighting some ways to take a break from the games and the crowds for both Brits and visitors alike.

Trade Water Polo for Windsor and Hogwarts   Known as the city of spires, Oxford is a delightful day trip from London for exploring historic colleges and relaxing along the riverbank while rowers glide by. Viator’s Best of England Small Group Tour: Stonehenge, Windsor, Bath and Oxford gets travelers out of London for four days with stops at the most famous English landmarks and sights in each city including Christ Church College, or Hogwarts Dining Room to Harry Potter fans. Another famous college town – Cambridge – is only an hour north of London by train and well-explored during Viator’s Cambridge and Oxford Historic Colleges of Britain Day Trip.

On a Private Viewing of Stonehenge including Bath and Lacock, an expert tour guide will help unlock the secrets of the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Listed monument. For a little history and a little pop culture, the Private Tour: ‘Downton Abbey’ Film Locations Tour led by a private chauffeur and guide visits Highclere Castle (the real-life Downtown Abbey) and the village of Bampton (the real-life Downton village).   Leave Phelps in the Pool for Shakespeare in Stratford-Upon-Avon   History buffs will enjoy the three-day Heart of England Tour: North Wales, Stratford-upon-Avon and Buxton, where they can trace Shakespeare’s footsteps, explore beautiful castles and enjoy the great outdoors.

A three-day tour to Devon and Cornwall gives travelers a glimpse of King Arthur’s reign with stops at historic ruins such as King Arthur’s Round Table. The small-group Day Trip to Bath, Lacock and Stonehenge highlights some of the most beautiful and historic sites in England, including the history of the Roman Baths. For a glimpse of royalty, the Hampton Court Palace Bike Tour along the River Thames is a great way to experience the home of Henry VIII, now a historic palace museum with wonderful gardens and a famous maze.   Forgo the Fencing for Family Fun

Beatles fans young and old will enjoy hopping onboard the Independent Three-Day Trip to Liverpool, which includes round-trip train travel from London, two-night accommodations in the Beatles-themed Hard Days Night Hotel and admission to the award-winning Beatles Story Experience.

Kids with a passion for trains will enjoy riding the rails on the London to Dublin Rail Trip, the Edinburgh Rail Day Trip or the Paris Rail Day Trip – and mom and dad will enjoy ample time exploring the capital cities of nearby Ireland, Scotland and France. And the entire family will enjoy a traditional English lunch in the Cotswolds, an area seemingly unchanged by the modern world and famous for beautiful villages and rolling hills.

For more things to see and do in London and the surrounding area during the Olympics – or any time of the year – as well as the latest deals, promotions, contests and Viator news, visit the Viator Travel Blog as well as Viator’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/7/prweb9711326.htm

The Stonehenge Tour Companywww.StonehengeTours.com

The mysterious structure of Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of peace and unity, according to a new theory by British researchers.
During the monument’s construction around 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., Britain’s Neolithic people were becoming increasingly unified, said study leader Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield.Stonehenge
“There was a growing islandwide culture — the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast,” Parker Pearson said in a statement, referring to the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland. “This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries.”
By definition, Stonehenge would have required cooperation, Parker Pearson added.
“Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them. Just the work itself, requiring everything literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification,” he said. [ Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge ]
The new theory, detailed in a new book by Parker Pearson, “Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery” (Simon & Schuster, 2012), is one of many hypotheses about the mysterious monument. Theories range from completely far-fetched ( space aliens or the wizard Merlin built it!) to far more evidence-based (the monument may have been an astronomical calendar, a burial site or both).

 

The culture of Stonehenge
Along with fellow researchers on the Stonehenge Riverside Project, Parker Pearson worked to put Stonehenge in context, studying not just the monument but also the culture that created it.

What they found was evidence of a civilization transitioning from regionalism to a more integrated culture. Nevertheless, Britain’s Stone Age people were isolated from the rest of Europe and didn’t interact with anyone across the English Channel, Parker Pearson said.
“Stonehenge appears to have been the last gasp of this Stone Age culture, which was isolated from Europe and from the new technologies of metal tools and the wheel,” Parker Pearson said.
Stonehenge’s site may have been chosen because it was already significant to Stone-Age Britons, the researchers suggest. The natural land undulations at the site seem to form a line between the place where the sun rises on the summer solstice and where it sets in midwinter, they found. Neolithic people may have seen this as more than a coincidence, Parker Pearson said.
“This might explain why there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area with solstitial alignments, a number unmatched anywhere else,” he said. “Perhaps they saw this place as the center of the world.”

Theories and mystery
These days, Stonehenge is nothing if not the center of speculation and mystery. The monument has inspired its fair share of myths, including that the wizard Merlin transported the stones from Ireland and that UFOs use the circle as a landing site.
Archaeologists have built some theories on firmer ground. Stonehenge’s astronomical alignments suggest that it may have been a place for sun worship, or an ancient calendar. A nearby ancient settlement, Durrington Walls, shows evidence of more pork consumption during the midwinter, suggesting that perhaps ancient people made pilgrimages to Stonehenge for the winter solstice, Parker Pearson and his colleagues have found.
Stonehenge may have also been a burial ground, or a place of healing. Tombs and burials surround the site, and some skeletons found nearby hail from distant lands. For example, archaeologists reported in 2010 that they’d found the skeleton of a teenage boy wearing an amber necklace near Stonehenge. The boy died around 1550 B.C. An analysis of his teeth suggested he came from the Mediterranean. It’s possible that ill or wounded people traveled to Stonehenge in search of healing, some archaeologists believe.
Other researchers have focused on the sounds of Stonehenge. The place seems to have “lecture-hall” acoustics, according to research released in May. One archaeologist even suggests that the setup of the stones was inspired by an acoustical effect in which two sounds from different sources seem to cancel each other out.

By Stephanie Pappas. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47923931/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.T-Vv7Ree5gM

The Stonehenge Tour company – www.StonehengeTours.com 

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