The 15 Best Stonehenge Tours

Visit one of the world's most mysterious UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the help of a guide.

U.S. News & World Report

The 15 Best Stonehenge Tours

Best Stonehenge Tours

The world-famous Stonehenge is a must-visit site for people who love both mystery and history.(Getty Images)

Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric monument in the world, poses more questions than answers. The approximately 5,000-year-old standing stones have been wondered, worshipped and puzzled at for ages. Regardless, the stones are a powerful draw and a must-visit site, especially if you're basing yourself in London or Bath, England. To help you make the most of your time at the World Heritage Site, consider these key questions:

Where is Stonehenge? Stonehenge is located in Salisbury, England, about a two-hour drive west of London.

When was Stonehenge built? Historians believe Stonehenge was built between 3700 B.C. and 1600 B.C.

Who built Stonehenge? Researchers posit that Neolithic migrant farmers built Stonehenge.

Why is Stonehenge important? Stonehenge is culturally significant not only for its prehistoric architecture, but also for its demonstration of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and mortuary rituals.

Stonehenge is accessible to visitors year-round. Whether you visit on your own or with an organized tour group, you'll be given an audio guide for touring the site. To combine a visit to Stonehenge with other nearby landmarks, such as the Avebury stone circles, consider signing up for an organized tour, many of which offer convenient round-trip transportation from London. These tours, evaluated by U.S. News using both expert opinion and traveler sentiment, offer some of the best ways to experience Stonehenge.

The English Bus – Stonehenge, Bath & A Secret Place

For adventurous travelers who want to see Stonehenge and Bath, and don't mind a little mystery, The English Bus's full-day tour offers both. Limited to 16 people, the tour departs from London in a Mercedes minibus, complete with panoramic windows and a glass roof. As you drive through the countryside, you'll enjoy live commentary from your expert guide before arriving in Stonehenge. After exploring Stonehenge, you'll head to Bath to enjoy lunch and time to roam on your own or join an optional guided tour. Your final stop is a "secret" destination selected by your tour guide. Reviewers praise the knowledgeable, humorous guides and particularly recommend this tour for its small size and luxurious transportation. Tours depart from central London daily. Prices start at 94 pounds (about $116) and do not include food or admission to Stonehenge. Other tours offered visit the Cotswolds, Canterbury and more.

England Experience Tours – Stonehenge, Lacock, Avebury and Bath

On this packed daylong tour, tickets to Stonehenge are included in the price, so there's no delay when you arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site – your first stop. Then it's on to Bath, where you'll have free time to marvel at the city's Georgian architecture or visit the Roman-built baths. Travelers greatly enjoy the first part of the tour, but wish they had more time at both locations. The second part of the tour begins with Avebury's impressive Neolithic stone circle and then proceeds to the rural medieval village of Lacock, which has been featured in "Downtown Abbey" and several "Harry Potter" films. Tours run daily, leaving London at 8:15 a.m., returning around 8 p.m. Tickets start at 87 pounds (about $107). England Experience Tours also visits Wales, Windsor Castle and other locales in the U.K.

Evan Evans Tours – Stonehenge Inner Circle Access, Oxford & Windsor (Early)

There are a few key benefits to this 11-hour tour, namely the opportunity to view Stonehenge outside of normal operating hours and access to the Stone Circle – an area most visitors only view behind a rope barrier. Reviewers say this special access is a major reason for booking with Evan Evans Tours. After your Stonehenge visit, guided walks, along with free time, are offered in Oxford and Windsor, where you have the choice to tour Windsor Castle. Tours, which depart from London at 5:30 a.m., run on Saturdays in the summer and on Mondays and Saturdays in the winter. Tickets start at about $160 for adults and $150 for children ages 3 to 16, and include entrance fees to Stonehenge but not Windsor Castle. Evan Evans also offers tours to Bath, Leeds, Salisbury and more.

Golden Tours – Stonehenge and Bath Tour with Free Lunch Pack

Ideal for tourists with a dual interest in the city of Bath and Stonehenge, this approximately 12-hour tour offers access and expert insight to both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While in Bath, you'll take a guided walking tour of the city and enjoy access to its ancient Roman Baths and Pump Room. Your tour also includes a provided packed lunch, allowing more time for sightseeing. The second stop is Stonehenge, where you'll have time to explore the mysteries of this ancient Neolithic structure. Travelers rave about the excellent and informative guides. Tickets start at 83 pounds (about $102) for adults and include entry to Stonehenge. Tours depart from London daily at 8:30 a.m. The company offers a variety of tours to destinations in and around London.

Archaeologist Guided Tours – Stonehenge, Bath and Avebury Archaeologist Guided Tour

Qualified archaeologists lead participants on this 12-hour trip to Stonehenge, Avebury and Bath. The trained guides can offer an in-depth look at the stone circles and the Roman Baths through a unique lens, a highlight for many tourgoers. Though you'll be chauffeured to the destinations in a luxury bus, you will be walking around the sites, so be sure to wear sturdy footwear for walking on uneven terrain – a tip shared by reviewers. Tours cost about 119 pounds (about $147) for adults and 99 pounds (around $122) for children and include admission to Stonehenge. Tours, which are offered on Tuesdays and some Sundays from March through October, depart from London around 7:30 a.m. The company also offers a tour that includes a stop at the Salisbury Cathedral.

Avebury is another ancient site in England, though many visitors do not know about it.(Getty Images)

Anderson Tours – Avebury & Stonehenge

The Avebury and Stonehenge excursion with Anderson Tours heads first to the medieval village of Avebury, home to the largest stone circle in the world. After a guided walking tour of Avebury and free time for lunch and exploration, guides lead the way to West Kennet Long Barrow – one of the largest Neolithic burial tombs in Britain – where participants have the chance to visit the burial chambers. The next stop is Stonehenge, where tourgoers can explore the site at their leisure with the aid of audio guides. Visitors say the guides are excellent and they learned a lot. Tours cost about 74 pounds (around $91) and run Monday, Wednesday and Friday with pickups around London beginning at 7:30 a.m. Anderson Tours also offers excursions to Oxford, Windsor and Canterbury, among other daytrips.

City Wonders – Guided Day Trip: Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath from London

Knock three of England's most famous landmarks off your bucket list in one day with this 12-hour tour from City Wonders. The day starts with a stop in Windsor, where you'll have the option to take a guided walking tour of the town or purchase tickets to visit Windsor Castle. Then it's off to visit Stonehenge and the city of Bath for fully-guided tours of each site, with time to eat and explore further. Most visitors say the day is amazing, thanks to the company's great guides. Tours, which depart from London, cost approximately $95 per adult and run Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. City Wonders offers a variety of other daytrips and tours around London, including tours that visit Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

Mad Max Tours – Stonehenge, Cotswold Villages and Avebury Stone Circles

On this eight- to nine-hour tour, you'll board a bus from Bath to visit historic sites and towns around the English countryside. You'll stop at Stonehenge first ahead of the crowds for a two-hour visit. From there, the next destination is the Avebury stone circles, then it's off to the Cotswolds to explore a handful of small, charming towns. Patrons give the tour high marks and especially praise the visit to the Cotswolds villages. Others say the tour is well-paced. Tours depart daily from Bath beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tickets start at 42 pounds (about $52) for adults and 21 pounds (around $26) for children ages 5 to 15. Tickets to Stonehenge are not included in the tour price. Mad Max offers several other outings, including a special evening tour to Stonehenge.

The Stonehenge Bus Tour

Ideal for tourists looking for a no-frills way to visit Stonehenge, this hop-on, hop-off bus tour departs from Salisbury, which is about 90-minute train ride from London. The bus picks up travelers from two different locations in Salisbury before making its way to Stonehenge, where travelers can tour the site at their leisure. On the way back, travelers have the option to explore Old Sarum, an Iron Age fort that was the home of Salisbury Cathedral before it was relocated to the city. During the trip, visitors can listen to an audio commentary. Travelers generally appreciate the convenience of the tour, while others complain about the company's poor customer service. The tour runs year-round, but at different times depending on the season; you can expect buses to frequent stops at least once per hour. Bus tickets start at 16 pounds for adults (around $20) and 10 pounds (about $12) for children ages 5 to 15. Upgraded tickets include admission to Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral, among other options.

International Friends – Bath, Stonehenge and The Cotswolds

International Friends, which specializes in small group tours around Britain, offers on an all-day journey to Bath, Stonehenge and the Cotswolds. Limited to 16 people, the tour transports travelers in a luxury Mercedes minibus to the day's destinations, starting with Stonehenge. The tour then heads to Bath to explore its Roman ruins and hot springs, then journeys to the Cotswolds and the village of Lacock for a guided walk. You'll also receive a guided tour of Avebury, a village set inside an ancient stone circle. Travelers say they love the guides' expertise and stories. Tours cost about 145 pounds ($179) for adults and 125 pounds ($154) for children ages 3 to 15 and include to admission to Stonehenge and the Roman baths. Tours are offered on Wednesdays and leave London at 8 a.m., but pickup times begin earlier. Other tours include trips to Windsor, Oxford and Cambridge and "Downton Abbey"-themed excursions, among others.

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Many Stonehenge tours include a trip to Bath, which is famous for both its Roman baths and its association with author Jane Austen.(Getty Images)

Bath Insider Tours – Ancient Britain Tour

On this daylong excursion, you'll join a local expert for an exclusive private tour (for up to six people in your party) that departs from Bath. Your guide – a lifelong Bath resident – takes you on a full-day journey to explore sites near Bath, including Avebury, the West Kennet Long Barrow burial site and Stonehenge. The tour includes a stop at a traditional English pub for lunch. Patrons heap praise on the guide for his knowledge and good nature. Tours, available daily at 9 a.m., start at 380 pounds for the first person (around $469), with an extra 20 pounds (about $25) per person after that. Pickup from central Bath, its hotels and its train station is included, as are admission tickets to sites. Lunch and drinks are not included in the cost. Bath Insider Tours also offers private tours of Bath and other custom tours.

Premium Tours – Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Lacock and Bath

You'll be among the first visitors of the day to step inside Windsor Castle – the largest continuously occupied castle in the world – on this daylong tour. Other highlights include lunch in a 14th-century pub in the charming town of Lacock, a walking tour of Bath, and finally, the day is capped with a visit to Stonehenge. Though most tourgoers were happy with the trip, they do warn it makes for a long day and wish they had extra time at certain attractions. The tour leaves London at 7:45 a.m. and returns around 9 p.m. It costs about 112 pounds (around $138) for adults and 102 pounds (approximately $126) for children ages 3 to 16. Lunch and admission tickets to attractions are included. Premium Tours also offers excursions to Leeds, Canterbury and Greenwich, among other locations.

Day Tours London – Stonehenge Morning Half-Day Shuttle From London

If you only have about half a day to devote to Stonehenge, consider this quick, six-hour tour. You'll depart from central London at 7:30 a.m. for the World Heritage Site where you'll receive an audio guide upon arrival and two hours to explore. You'll arrive back in London around 1:30 p.m., so you'll have plenty of time for more sightseeing. Tourgoers applaud the drivers and say the trip is efficiently run. Tickets cost about 52 pounds (around $64) for adults and 44 pounds (about $54) for children ages 4 to 15. Your ticket cost includes admission to Stonehenge. Day Tours London also offers full-day tours to Stonehenge, among other destinations.

British Tours – Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford

Visit some of England's most famous landmarks with this private daytrip. Among the sites you'll visit with your personal tour guide are Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and the University of Oxford. Travelers enjoy the tour and appreciate the guides' sense of humor and wealth of information. Guides pick up patrons from central London hotels. Prices vary depending on how many people are in your party, as you pay per vehicle, not per person; a couple can expect to pay around 1,050 pounds (about $1,294). Prices do not include entrance fees or meals. British Tours offers a variety of other excursions from London, including daytrips to Paris.

Southampton Stonehenge Tours – Stonehenge Trail

This custom tour run by Salisbury local Chris Litherland is perfect for travelers on the hunt for a personalized Stonehenge excursion. You'll travel to Stonehenge via Litherland's SUV, which allows you to traverse narrow lanes in the English countryside unreachable by standard tour buses. In addition to Stonehenge, you'll see West Amesbury, Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral. Reviewers say Litherland is incredibly well-informed and offers an excellent tour. They also appreciate the personalized experience. Tours, which depart from the Southampton cruise terminal or from a prearranged location in Salisbury, start at 275 pounds (about $339) for two people. Tickets to attractions and meals are not included. Custom itineraries can be arranged in advance, as well as dates, times and pick up options.

Kim Foley MacKinnon, Contributor

Kim Foley MacKinnon, a Boston-based travel and food writer, has been a Travel contributor for ...  Read more

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