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To not pay to visit Stonehenge as its almost 20

(39 Posts)
DyslexicScientist Mon 07-Dec-15 10:26:54

We will be driving past tomorrow and I fancy stopping. For an adult with gift aid and the audio guide its about 20 each, this just includes a bus journey and getting closerer to the rocks but you can walk there instead.

Aibu to park in the carpark for free, walk there and download the audio guide? I want to support English monuments but it does seem quite pricey for a hours stop off.

IndridCold Mon 07-Dec-15 10:31:20

Are you a member of the National Trust? You can get in free if so.

You certainly don't need to take the bus, but I'm pretty sure you can't get any decent view of the stones without paying.

I have never bothered with the audio guide, there is plenty of info around for free.

MuttonWasAGoose Mon 07-Dec-15 10:37:38

I may be crazy, but I didn't think the stones improved as I got closer. They were really exciting to see as we drove past. Not so much after parking, paying, and walking up to them.

howtorebuild Mon 07-Dec-15 10:40:17

A drive past was enough for me too. I guess though if you are into woo, you may want to stand in the circle and touch the rock and the cost is justified.

Boomingmarvellous Mon 07-Dec-15 10:42:49

I don't think you are allowed to touch them any more. Last time I visited at least. My parents said they used to wander up there, walk all around the stones, look at the graffiti resisted the urge to add to it and it was free!

Muskey Mon 07-Dec-15 10:44:30

We used to leave near amesbury about 30 years ago which is just a couple of miles away from Stonehenge. It used to cost us 20 pence each. We went back a few summers ago and as you say nearly it's nearly 20 pound each! It really isn't worth the money also the day we went was mobbed as president Obama visited it the day before I think people thought he was going to turn up again. There is a lovely walk to the stones so I would do that

SaucyJack Mon 07-Dec-15 10:45:20

I'm pretty sure you can't walk there from the car park without having to go through a ticket office. Been a long time since I've visited though, so this may well not be correct information.

I also went for the Millenium Solstice when the stones were completely open and we could sit on them.

It was a bit underwhelming in all honesty.

Greebosmum Mon 07-Dec-15 10:45:46

I live very close to Stonehenge.

I would say, that unless you are very very very interested in that era, don't go. It is a fabulous place but I never had much interest in it until my daughter did a degree in archaeology and we went there together and she was able to explain it all to me.

I also think that if you go to the new car park by the visitor centre, that you can't see the stones from there (clever huh?).

It is annoying for locals that the traffic on the A303 as it goes past is always very slow because people slow down to take a closer look.

FadedRed Mon 07-Dec-15 10:54:28

An annual membership with English Heritage is £50 for single (+up to 6 children) or £88 for Family (2 adults and up to 12 children), so you get almost half your annual membership 'value' from one trip to Stonehenge and then you can go to lots of other places for the rest of the year (or make repeated trips to Stonehenge if you like!). Maybe ask for it as a Christmas prezzie?

WoodleyPixie Mon 07-Dec-15 10:56:06

we went a few weekends ago and it was worth the money. The visitor centre is very good. The displays inside are quite small but interesting. The replica village is good, the dc enjoyed that. The guide inside one of the huts was brilliant, really patient with the dc and explaining everything and had an answer for all of the questions asked.
There is a huge stone to pull, that's supposed to demonstrate how hard it would have been to get the stones there.
You can walk to woodhenge from there.
it wasn't very busy at all, o we didn't have any time restrictions and could wander around at our own pace. It was bitterly cold though, so lots of layers and a hat or earmuffs as my ears got so cold.
The gift shop was good as was the coffee shop.

We visited friends at the same time who live just outside, they told us the locals way to avoid driving past stone henge on the way home and that cut a lot of time off of our journey.

if you want to spend the whole day, I think you can buy a combined ticket for old salem as well, which is not far away or English heritage memebership. I don't think national trust members can get in free as its run by English heritage.

FadedRed Mon 07-Dec-15 10:58:28

Since searching for EH, a 20% discount code has just appeared on my MN page! Big brother is watching this morning! [grin

Whatevva Mon 07-Dec-15 11:04:59

There is a lot to learn about if you are interested in the era. They have found so much more out since I last went. It is not just looking at stones, but learning about their setting and the archaeology.

I used to think stone age people lived in caves, with skins on, but they were just the same as us - they just didn't have metal things.

Avebury is interesting too (and bigger grin ) and it was mainly destroyed by superstitious 17th century people who broke the stones up to make aggregate for roads, after being there thousands of years.

I would go back again if I was passing.

BeyondThirty Mon 07-Dec-15 11:14:57

There was a thread a while back where people who lived nearby recommended 'better' stone circles (that were free to access and not rammed with tourists). Was in chat though, so long gone.

TrashPanda Mon 07-Dec-15 11:19:28

National Trust members are free but you have to have your membership card with you. Think CADW, Historic Scotland, Manx National Heritage and a few others are free too.

80sWaistcoat Mon 07-Dec-15 11:21:29

I'd go to Avebury instead. Stonehenge looks better from the road. Avebury was weird and interesting. Admittedly it's years since I've been, used to drive past Stonehenge most days.

MothershipG Mon 07-Dec-15 11:33:15

I grew up a couple of miles from Stonhenge and my parents still live there.

As a PP said I'm pretty sure that you can't just park and walk to avoid paying, we went last year to look at the new visitor centre, a vast improvement on the old one.

You can't get right up to them any more, we used to be able to climb on them when I was a kid, but I still think they look spectacular, especially when viewed in the context of when and how they were constructed!

Scholes34 Mon 07-Dec-15 11:53:14

We went a few years ago using our NT membership. The commentary you get with your entry is excellent and makes a few old stones really come to life.

Have a look at what's around you to gauge whether to go for EH or NT membership. I've found EH good for the information they provide to you as part of your entry, NT less so. I do feel with NT that my family membership simply isn't enough for them.

NT properties are a good alternative to motorway service stations if you're making a long journey, want a decent place to stop with good toilets and a picnic area and don't mind a small detour!

ArcheryAnnie Mon 07-Dec-15 12:00:05

I've road-tested quite a few memberships of things, and can confirm English Heritage membership is very useful. You can take up to six kids in with you free, which really helps when taking DS's mates somewhere! I've got a lot of value out of it.

I was really suspicious of what the new Stonhenge visitor centre was going to be like, but it's great. What they've done is put the stone circle back into the landscape - it's not just a big thing plonked just anywhere, that whole area is full of barrows, monuments, sites, etc.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 07-Dec-15 12:03:39

We used to go and picnic there quite regularly when I was young. No charge, no fences, nothing.

talkiinpeace Mon 07-Dec-15 12:27:58

On the Winter Solsice in a couple of weeks they are free and you can get into the stones between 6am and 10 am : its a laugh

Avebury is a better visitor experience (make sure you go to West Kennett too)
Danebury is better views
Badbury has a nice coffee van
Maiden is just massive

aginghippy Mon 07-Dec-15 13:55:16


My advice would be to park near Woodhenge, have a look at Woodhenge and then walk across the fields towards Stonehenge.

Or as above, just go to Avebury.

MadeMan Mon 07-Dec-15 14:12:40

"but I didn't think the stones improved as I got closer. They were really exciting to see as we drove past. "

I also think they look much better from a distance when driving past. Get up close and the stones just look like what the builders leave behind after sticking up a block of flats before the landscapers get in.

talkiinpeace Mon 07-Dec-15 14:22:14

But once you are standing inside the circle they are SERIOUSLY impressive

TeenAndTween Mon 07-Dec-15 15:12:47

Don't go accompanying year 3 in the rain. smile

But otherwise the new visitor centre is great. I especially liked the circular room with time lapsed images of the henge around the year being projected onto the walls whilst you stand in the middle.

The visitor centre really helps you understand the history and the background. The moving of the road / centre makes the henge itself much more peaceful than it used to be.

Potatoface2 Mon 07-Dec-15 15:25:15

just drive by and look at it.....overpriced and cant get up close to your pay for the car park and visitor centre ....waste of money imo

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