Touch the Stones at Stonehenge

Have you ever wanted to touch the stones at Stonehenge? Now, you can! Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to feel the history of this ancient site on one of what are called “special access tours“. Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, and now thanks to a new initiative from English Heritage, it’s easy for visitors to Stonehenge to get up close and personal with the famous rocks. So what are you waiting for? Let us help you start planning your inner circle visit to Stonehenge and the stunning surrounding landscape today!

It is only possible to touch the stones at Stonehenge if you are on one of the early morning or late evening “special access” or private access Stonehenge tours. These tours are before Stonehenge public opening hours or after it has closed and are more expensive than standard tours, but you will get a guide to escort you around the Stones and give you a concise history of Stonehenge as well as answer any questions you may have.

To take one of these inner circle tours, you must have pre-booked the tour as these dates are less than usual and are also often booked up early. You can find a selection of the best inner circle tours available below.

How close can I get to the Stones on a regular tour to Stonehenge?

For all regular historic site tours, or people visiting Stonehenge on their own you can get up to 10 meters from Stonehenge. There is a low rope that acts as a guard around the Stones – this is un-obtrusive and serves as a great deterrent to people getting closer while not ruining your pictures or experience while visiting this ancient delight. Therefore, if you want to touch the Stones you really need to be on one of the special access tours.

Why can’t all people touch the Stones?

Visitors were able to touch the Stones, however, unfortunately, some people were carving names into the Stones or taking small parts of the Stones away as a keepsake or memory. Stonehenge was also laser scanned to understand the extent of the damage taken place to the Stones over time and it was significant, and people caused the vast majority of the damage.

There were once carvings on the stones, from axe work – but over time, these have faded due to the constant touching of hands. Also, with people constantly touching the stones, the lichen that surrounds the stones (which is also protecting them) will be less able to grow and will mean that the stones are less protected by pollution from the environment. So, a combination of factors leads to a decision being made by English Heritage to stop inner circle visits to all – and given over 1 million people every year visit Stonehenge, you can see the scale of the potential problem.

Therefore, to preserve the history of the Stones for many more generations, the decision was taken in 1977 to give special access to a few and for the general visitors you don’t need to touch the stones to take in the magnificent feat and wonder of these great stones and how they came to this resting place.

When was the last time the public could touch the Stones?

The last time you could touch the Stones as a normal visitor to Stonehenge was back in 1977. So almost 50 years ago! Many people remember being able to just pull up on the side of the road and walk and touch the Stones without charge. This has changed now due to the popularity of the Stones and to help preserve the Stones. If you want to touch the Stones there are special access tours that enable that to happen, but they are far more expensive.

Solstice at Stonehenge
Get up close to Stonehenge and touch the stones at Summer Solstice

How Can I Touch The Stones At Stonehenge?

There are two ways that visitors can touch the Stones at Stonehenge. One way is to take one of the premium access inner circle tours; these tours are limited to one in the morning and one in the evening and are also limited in terms of numbers. English Heritage runs them, and some of the more premium and popular sightseeing tour companies also have tickets available. The other way is to visit during Summer Solstice or Winter Solstice. Stonehenge opens to the public during these events, and it is the only time that people can get up close to the Stones for this ancient event. Another positive to visiting for Solstice is that its free, but with this being a one-off and free, it gets hectic, so be warned.

Check out these Special Access Tours, where you can touch the Stones…

Private Access Morning Stonehenge Tour

Adults: £135 Child: £119

Our most popular private access morning tour…

Private Access Morning Tour to Stonehenge

This special access morning tour will pick you up from central London in the early morning and get you into the inner circle before the rest of the general public.

Private Access Evening Tour of Stonehenge

Adults: £135 Child: £119

Our most popular private access evening tour…

Private Access Evening Tour to Stonehenge

This private access evening tour will see you visit Stonehenge after its closure to the general public. You will get a chance to walk amongst the Stones with a professional guide to assist you.

Windsor Castle and Private Stonehenge Tour

Adults: £132 Child: £105

See Windsor Castle as well as touching the Stones…

Inner Circle Stonehenge and Windsor Castle Tour

Visit Windsor Castle and get up close with the ancient Stones at Stonehenge with this private access tour. Start the day early with a visit to Stonehenge before the general public and then head off to Windsor after!

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