Stonehenge & Avebury | World Heritage Sites

Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Stonehenge - © Peter Trimming

The sites at Stonehenge and Avebury form part of the World Heritage Site (WHS) in recognition of the prehistoric monuments that are located there. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated sites offer visitors the chance to see outstanding prehistoric monuments within the UK. The iconic sites are located in Wiltshire and are famous around the world including the most famous site at Stonehenge, the inclusion on the WHS list has further increased the profile of the sites, the areas and highlighted the need for preservation and conservation to play a leading role in the future.

Overview


The World Heritage Site at Stonehenge is one of the most famous sites in the UK, each year many tourists from both the UK and abroad flock to visit the prehistoric monuments here. The site here was one of the first sites to be added to the WHS List back in 1986 in recognition of the outstanding prehistoric monuments on show here. At the site there is the unparalleled stone circle dating from approx 3000 BC-1600 BC, this is surrounded by a ceremonial landscape that includes over 300 burial mounds. Other major prehistoric monuments are also in evidence here, these include the Cursus, Durrington Walls, Stonehenge Avenue and Woodhenge. There are a total of no less than 400 monuments on the site.

The site covers 6,500 acres and is owned by a combination of English Heritage, the National Trust, and Ministry of Defence along with those with property on the site such as farmers and property owners. The WHS aims to carry out its long term aims that include preservation and conservation of the site to ensure it is still here for future generations to appreciate. The Stonehenge site offers not only great prehistoric monuments but a complex and fascinating insight to prehistoric times thus is of universal value.

The site at Avebury was also inscribed in to the World Heritage Site list in 1986 and some have argued that despite the higher profile and awareness of the site at Stonehenge, the site at Avebury is a more impressive and complex site. For visitors both sites have plenty to offer and are well worth a visit.

The Avebury site is thought to have been built around 2850 BC to 2200 BC, the site has been altered several times over the centuries. The site consists of a large circular bank and ditch which encloses an area of approx 281⁄2 acres, which includes near by Avebury village. Located within the ditch are an inner circle of great standing stones, which in turn enclosed two more stone circles. The modern day appearance of the site is in part due to Alexander Keiller, who excavated and replaced a number of stones in the 1930s. There is a museum located close by that displays the archaeological collections connected to him. A number of the stones here have been broken over time or buried.

The site at Avebury is part of the Neolithic landscape that can be found here. The Avebury WHS covers an area of 22.5 square kilometres based around six key prehistoric monuments, the key monuments are, Avebury Henge and Stone Circles, Silbury Hill, Windmill Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, West Kennet Avenue and the Sanctuary. The true meaning of these large prehistoric sites covering a large area in what may have been considered a sacred landscape has fascinated and baffled many experts and visitors over the years and as yet there is no definitive answer.

Visitors to the sites at Stonehenge (the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world) and Avebury (the largest in the world) and the associated sites located close by will get a chance to see a fascinating place full of history and a reminder of a bygone period in human history.


How To Get There


For Stonehenge:

By Car:

The World Heritage Site at Stonehenge is located approx 2 miles west of Amesbury close to the junction of the A303 and the A344.

Parking is available at the site with free parking for English Heritage members and there is free disabled parking in the village car park.

By Train:

The Closest train station to Stonehenge is Salisbury approx 9 miles away. From London Waterloo station there are trains to Salisbury, the approx journey time is 90 minutes. From Salisbury Station visitors can take local buses or a cab to the site.


By Bus/Coach:

There are National Express coaches departing from Heathrow Airport and from Victoria Coach Station in central London. Visitors need to get off the bus at Amesbury, the journey time is approx 2 hours. From Amesbury station there is a 2 mile walk to the site offering visitors the choice to walk the 2 miles, get a local bus or get a taxi.

The Stonehenge Tour is a hop on hop off bus tour that takes visitors from a number of stops including one at Salisbury rail station on a tour of Stonehenge. The tour takes you to Amesbury, Stonehenge, Old Sarum and Salisbury, tickets can include entry to the Stonehenge site or without.

Prices are:

Tour:

Adult: £11 approx
Children: £5 approx

Tour and Admission to Stonehenge Site:

Adult: £18 approx
Children: £8 approx


Avebury:

By Car:

The site is 6 miles to the west of Marlborough and 1 mile north of the A4 (Bath Road) on the B4003 and A4361.

Car parking is available at the main National Trust Car Park located on the A4361.

By Train: The closest train stations are at Swindon and Pewsey approx 10-11 miles away. From Swindon Station visitors can get bus services No.49 and No. 96 to take them to the site.

By Bus:

Stagecoach operates the service No. 49 taking passengers from Swindon to Trowbridge and the No.96 operated by Wiltshire & Dorset Buses from Swindon to Pewsey.


Contact Details


Address:

English Heritage
Wyndham House
65 The Close
Salisbury
SP1 2EN


Telephone: +44 (0)870 333 1181

Fax: +44 (0)1793 414 926

Website: Stonehenge World Heritage Site


Facilities and Information


Facilities:

There are light refreshments available at the Stonehenge Kitchen.

Braille and large print guides are available on request for visually impaired visitors.

An Audio tour with hearing loop is available for hearing impaired Visitors in a number of languages.

Stonehenge is surrounded by 1,500 acres of land, the area provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy some scenic walks in the famous English countryside.

Opening Times:

Stonehenge:

Winter Opening Time: 09.30/10.00 until 16.00/18.00 (Oct to Mar)

Summer Opening Time: 09.00/09.30 until 18.00/19.00 (Apr to Oct)

Open 7 days a week, except on December 24 and 25.

There are variations in opening times during the year and it is recommended visitors check first for exact opening times when they wish to visit.

Ticket Prices:

For Adults: £6.40 approx

For Children: £3.20 approx

Concession Tickets: £5.10 approx

For English Heritage Members: Free Entry

Family Ticket: £16.00 approx


Avebury:

There is currently no charge to visit the WHS at Avebury, the site is open 7 days a week.


Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Stonehenge Map; Avebury World Heritage Site Map


Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and other factors. Visitors are advised to double check before going to ensure any attractions and places of interest is open and avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment. Ensure your belongings especially your wallet/purse and valuables are hidden away from public view (particularly at tourist attractions & places with crowds). If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to the Stonehenge & Avebury sites ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the route & journey planner for door to door directions for public transport and car journeys.

If you are looking for local car parking, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The parking rules can be complex if you are not sure it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, it is useful to check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.


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