Can I see Stonehenge for free?
This is one of the most popular questions we get from visitors to London who are on a budget but who want to get out of London and see Stonehenge without spending too much money. Unfortunately, seeing it for free is hard as you need to get to Stonehenge, which is not a simple task. So below, we outline the different ways you can visit Stonehenge from London and, ultimately, the best way to see Stonehenge with children. Our prices below are based on a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) – all prices are correct as of 30th March 2020.
Become an English Heritage or National Trust Member
If you are a member of the English Heritage or National Trust, then you do not have to pay to purchase a ticket to visit Stonehenge. Instead, all you need to do is go online at the English Heritage website and book under the membership section – so please do ensure you have pre-booked a ticket to ensure you can visit on the day. English Heritage membership starts at £53 a year, so all you need is two tickets to Stonehenge, and you have made your money back. There are lots of other excellent attractions to also visit across the UK, so it’s worth the money if you like to visit attractions across the UK.
Cheapest Way To Visit Stonehenge By Car from London – Total £148.33
The first option is to hire a car from London, typical rates for a car for a day that can carry four people are approx. £65, which doesn’t include additional insurance or petrol/diesel. The journey from London to Stonehenge is approximately 88 miles one way, so the return journey is 176 miles. This roughly equates to (given a car that does 35MPG and the cost of diesel/petrol being £1.20 per litre) coming to £27.43. So that’s travel there and back (total £92.43), but what about tickets to Stonehenge?
Current prices for tickets for Stonehenge entrance fees are £55.90 (2 adults and 2 children including small donation). So that takes the total £148.33 – and you have flexibility in terms of timings etc. But you do have the challenge of navigating your way out of London and back in from Stonehenge.
Cheapest Way To Visit Stonehenge By Train from London – Total £224.30
The nearest train station to Stonehenge is Salisbury, approximately 8.9miles or a 15-minute drive. Although you can get a direct train from London Waterloo to Salisbury, roughly a 1-hour 32-minute journey, the cheapest cost for a return ticket for a family of 4 is approximately £128.40. From there you would still need to get a taxi from Salisbury Station to Stonehenge and back. The taxi fares are about £20 one way – so it would be £40 on top, plus entrance fees as described would take it to £224.30 and you are heavily dependent upon the rail system as well as taxis.
Cheapest Way To Visit Stonehenge By Coach from London – Total £196.00
One of the most popular ways to see Stonehenge while staying in London is an organised Stonehenge Express tour. Most Stonehenge tours from London pick you up from Victoria Coach Station and drive you directly to Stonehenge in the morning. Give you a couple of hours to spend at Stonehenge, and then drive you back to central London for the afternoon. The tours are a one-off cost, including travel on a luxury coach with Wi-Fi and USB plug points, entrance fees, and a map and audio guide. The price for this on a per-adult basis is £54 or for children £49, but there are also family discounts which mean the total cost for a family would be £196.
Can you see Stonehenge for free from the car park?
Unfortunately, you cannot see Stonehenge from the car park for free. All visitors must pay to park their cars at the designated car park. The fee for entry and parking helps maintain the site and preserve the monument for future generations. However, it is much cheaper to pay to see it from the car park, but obviously, you don’t get the full effect of being up close to the stones. You also won’t get to experience the fabulous Stonehenge visitor centre that offers a wealth of information to all interested visitors.
Is there a day I can visit Stonehenge for free?
There is one single day that Stonehenge opens itself up to visitors for free! On the 20th June (Stonehenge Summer Solstice) it opens itself up for free – but be warned that many people do this, and numbers will be limited on the day. Many people come to visit for a sunrise solstice or sunset solstice also! It is a great time to visit, with lots of dancing, fun and activities taking place.