Visiting Stonehenge: Getting There By Train

speeding train

Written by our web team

5 min read | 27 May 2024

At over 5,000 years old, Stonehenge is one of the most intriguing structures ever built. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, and even experts can’t agree on what it was constructed for.

Many believe it was a religious temple. Some believe it was a burial ground. Other theories suggest it was an astronomical clock or calendar. Research into this enigmatic landmark has been going on for centuries, yet it still yields many unanswered questions.

Whatever its original purpose, Stonehenge is now an iconic part of British culture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It attracts over a million visitors each year, all keen to witness this mysterious sight for themselves. 

If you plan to do the same, planning your journey is important. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get there is by rail. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting the train to Stonehenge and how to make the most of your trip.

Why visit Stonehenge? 

As one of the world's oldest prehistoric monuments, it’s no surprise that Stonehenge attracts visitors from far and wide. 

As well as its purpose, a key source of intrigue is the monument's construction. The stones were brought from far away and erected with sophisticated techniques. This gives an interesting insight into ancient civilisations.

One of the most popular times to visit Stonehenge is during the summer solstice. This is when the sunrise aligns with the Heel Stone, casting rays into the centre of the stone circle. 

Spending the winter solstice at Stonehenge is equally as fascinating. The sun sets similarly, and you can witness a ceremony led by pagan druids. 

Please note that entry to these seasonal events must be bought in addition to a regular entry ticket. 

If you're not around for the solstices, sunrise and sunset still offer a great view of the sun shining through the stones. But in reality, it’s impressive at any time of day.

Planning your Stonehenge itinerary

While there is plenty to marvel at at Stonehenge, it isn't the only ancient site in the area. Woodhenge and Superhenge are other neolithic monuments that you can visit, and they’re just a few miles away.

Another spot worth exploring is Old Sarum. This Iron Age fort is the earliest settlement in Salisbury. The bus from Salisbury to Stonehenge stops there, so you can easily incorporate it into your day out.

If you’ve got a little more time to spare, why not build Stonehenge into a longer itinerary? You can easily enjoy several days in the southwest of England, getting around by rail.

You can get from Salisbury to Bath Spa, Bradford-on-Avon, Bristol, and Southampton by train in less than an hour. Don’t forget to build in time to visit Salisbury and its famous cathedral, too. 

Where is Stonehenge? 

Stonehenge is in the county of Wiltshire in South West England. The monument itself is in the parish of Amesbury. 

If you’re planning to visit from further afield, these are the approximate distances of the monument from major UK hubs: 

  • London: 88 miles

  • Birmingham: 116 miles

  • Manchester: 195 miles

  • Liverpool: 208 miles

Avanti West Coast offers convenient train services from all of these popular locations. 

A panoramic view of Salisbury city and its historic cathedral.

Directions to Stonehenge by train

The nearest train station to Stonehenge is Salisbury Railway Station. The station boasts regular connections to key towns and cities across the UK.

Once you arrive at the station, there are plenty of local transport options to get you to the site. The Stonehenge Tour bus service is a popular choice. You can choose between a Bus Only or Tour-Included fare. The journey time is approximately 35 minutes each way. 

It’s also possible to book a taxi, which takes around 15 minutes. If you like cycling, you can take your bike on the train and take the trail through Woodford Valley. Just remember to reserve a spot for your bike in advance.

Stonehenge welcomes visitors every day except Christmas Day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm or 7:00 pm, depending on the time of year. The last admission 2 hours before closing time. Ensure you arrive before the cut off time to make the most of your visit.  

Getting to Stonehenge from London

If you’re visiting Stonehenge from London, you have several options. 

Many companies offer coach tours from London. These usually depart from London Victoria.

If you’re driving, use postcode SP4 7DE. Once you get close, you can follow the signs to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre. The drive from Central London takes about two hours. 

The cost of parking is included in an entry ticket. However, do note that parking on-site is limited and that car parks can get packed, especially in the summer. 

If you’re looking to reduce time in queues, it’s a good idea to travel from London to Stonehenge by train. 

A view from inside London Waterloo Train Station during the day.

How far is it from London to Stonehenge by train?

Getting the train to Stonehenge from London is simple. 

There’s a direct train from London Waterloo to Salisbury, which takes around an hour and a half. If it’s more convenient, you can board the train further along the line at Clapham Junction.

Once you’ve arrived, you can take a bus, hail a taxi, or cycle from Salisbury to Stonehenge. 

Getting the train to Stonehenge with Avanti

Stonehenge is one of the world’s most fascinating sites and a must-see for anyone exploring South West England. Not only is it an iconic piece of prehistoric culture, but a wealth of other stunning towns and sites also surrounds it.

The bonus is that Salisbury, the nearest train station to Stonehenge, is very accessible by train. Here are the approximate journey times from some of the UK’s main stations: 

Some of these routes pass through London Euston station, allowing you to combine your Stonehenge trip with a short stay in London.

Whatever itinerary you decide on when travelling to Stonehenge, it’s worth booking Advance Tickets. The further ahead you book, the cheaper your ticket will be. You’ll also have more options for travel times and be guaranteed a seat. 

It’s also worth considering a Railcard, as these get significant discounts on standard fares. You’ll also be able to use it on all your future journeys for an entire year. Book your train to Stonehenge with Avanti West Coast today.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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