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

New research suggests stones came from Carn Goedog in Pembrokeshire – almost a mile from site of excavations

One of the mysteries of Stonehenge is how some of its stones were brought from Pembrokeshire in Wales to Wiltshire. Photograph: I Capture Photography/Alamy

One of the mysteries of Stonehenge is how some of its stones were brought from Pembrokeshire in Wales to Wiltshire. Photograph: I Capture Photography/Alamy

For almost a century archaeologists have been braving the wind and rain on an exposed Welsh hillside in an attempt to solve one of the key mysteries of Stonehenge.

But new research about to be published suggests that over the decades they may have been chipping away at the wrong rocky outcrop on the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire.

The work in the hills is a crucial element in the understanding of Stonehenge because it is generally accepted that the bluestones that form part of the ancient Wiltshire monument came from this remote spot in south-west Wales. One of the many huge puzzles remains how the bluestone from Wales travelled 190 miles to the heart of south-west England.

Since the 1920s much of the work in Preseli has focused on a spot known as Carn Meini. Now researchers are claiming that in fact the Stonehenge bluestones actually came from Carn Goedog – almost a mile away.

Richard Bevins, keeper of geology at the National Museum of Wales and one of those involved in the study, suggested he was not going to be terribly popular with some fellow experts.

“I don’t expect to be getting Christmas cards from the archaeologists who have been excavating at the wrong place over all these years,” he said.

The celebrated geologist Herbert Henry Thomas linked the Stonehenge bluestones with Preseli in 1923 and pinpointed the tor on Carn Meini as the likely source. Over the years teams worked assiduously on the spot searching for evidence of a Stonehenge quarry.

Two years ago there was excitement when a burial chamber was found, leading to speculation that this could be the resting spot of an architect of Stonehenge.

Now, using geochemical techniques, Bevins and his colleagues have compared samples of rock and debris from Stonehenge with data from the Preseli site and concluded the bluestones in fact came from Carn Goedog.

Bevins, who has been studying the geology of Pembrokeshire for over 30 years, said: “I hope that our recent scientific findings will influence the continually debated question of how the bluestones were transported to Salisbury Plain.”

There are different theories about how the bluestone may have got to Wiltshire. Some believe it was laboriously transported by man but there is another theory that it could have been swept east by glaciers.

Rob Ixer, of University College London, who also took part in the new research, said: “Almost everything we believed 10 years ago about the bluestones has been shown to be partially or completely incorrect. We are still in the stages of redress and shall continue to research the bluestones for answers.”

Bluestones are believed to have arrived at Stonehenge about 4,500 years ago. Some experts believe the bluestones – rather than the much larger sarsen stones that give Stonehenge its familiar shape – were the real draw because they were believed to have healing powers.

The paper setting out the discovery is to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

: theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/nov/20/archaeologists-stonehenge-origins-wrong-place

Guest Blogger
Stonehenge Tour Guide

A druid who has lost his second legal bid to get human remains reburied at Stonehenge has said he will fight on.

King Arthur Pendragon lost a High Court bid to have the bones reburied in 2011

King Arthur Pendragon lost a High Court bid to have the bones reburied in 2011

King Arthur Pendragon claims the cremated bones discovered in 2008 are the remains of members of the royal line and wants them re-interred.

Having lost a High Court bid to have the bones reburied in 2011, permission to take the case to a full judicial review has also been refused.

But the druid leader said it was “by no means the end of the campaign”.

The cremated remains of more than 40 bodies, thought to be at least 5,000 years old, were removed from the burial site at the ancient stone circle in Wiltshire in 2008.

‘Broken up Weetabix’

But Mike Pitts, one of the archaeologists who found the remains, said they did not uncover “individual burials” but bone fragments that were “very small and damaged”.

“What we’re attempting to do is to isolate individual people, to recognise bits of bone that came from individuals, within this mass of bone that was just dumped in a mass like broken up Weetabix at the bottom of this pit,” he said.

“So studying these is an extremely detailed, time consuming and forensic process.”

Ministers gave permission to allow the bones to be examined at Sheffield University until 2015.

But Mr Pendragon has vowed he will continue his fight to have the remains reburied.

“The judge in refusing to let me take this particular case did say that if they [the remains] do not go back in the ground in 2015 – which the current licence says they’ve got to be – that I will take another case against them,” he said.

“And the judge has given me permission to do that.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-22558293

Stonehenge Tourist Guide, Salisbury