Stonehenge

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5 Facts About the History of Stonehenge

The history of Stonehenge is shrouded in mystery and the theories to the site's origins and purpose are as numerous as they are fanciful. Many are convinced it was built by aliens! Here are 5 hard facts about the world's most famous prehistoric monument.

  • 5000 Years Old

    1. 5000 Years Old

    Stonehenge was built in several stages. Radiocarbon dating estimates that the first constructions occurred over 5000 years ago, several centuries before the Pyramids.

  • A Prehistoric Cemetery

    2. A Prehistoric Cemetery

    Many functions have been attributed to Stonehenge. One that's been confirmed is its use as a prehistoric burial ground – discovered cremated remains date back as far as 3000 B.C.

  • Early Scientists

    3. Early Scientists

    Despite its age, the fact that Stonehenge is aligned with the trajectory of the setting and rising sun gives evidence to a very advanced understanding of mathematics and geometry.

  • Stones From Afar

    4. Stones From Afar

    The larger stones are up to 9 meters tall and weigh around 20 tons. These were transported over 20 miles. The smaller stones, weighing 3 to 4 tons, were transported over 150 miles!

  • Pesky Earthworms

    5. Pesky Earthworms

    After researching the site in the late 19th century, Charles Darwin concluded that earthworms were the main reason why the Stonehenge stones have sunk into the ground.

Planning Your Visit

  • Take Advantage of the Audio Guide

    To make the most of your time at Stonehenge and learn all about the history and the many theories surrounding the site, make sure to grab one of the audio guides, which are available for free on site. Or even better, to avoid queuing for the audio guide, you can download it for free online and listen to it on your own portable music device.

  • Stop by Salisbury

    About 13 kilometers from Stonehenge is Salisbury, a picturesque medieval city with a gorgeous cathedral. Once you've come all this way, it's worth adding a couple of hours to your trip and explore this lovely historic gem.

  • Enjoy the Sunset

    Stonehenge is a magnificent sight at any time of day, but at sunset it's quite simply magical. If you can time your visit accordingly, you won't regret it. Note that you won't be alone – Stonehenge is very popular at sunset. If a leisurly visit is more important to you, then your best bet is arriving early. The site opens to visitors at 9:30am all year except from June through August, when it opens at 9:00am.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open daily, 9:30 AM-7:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Standard adult; £14.50
  • Will I need a guide?
    Free audio guides are avaliable on site, or to download in advance.
  • How to get there
    By Car: Off the A360 at Airman's Corner. By Bus: The Stonehenge Tour Bus is the public bus departing from Salisbury rail and bus stations.
  • Additional information

    • Last admission is two hours before advertised closing time.

    • Advance booking is now required as entrance to Stonehenge is managed through timed tickets.

Other Sightseeing Options in Stonehenge

Want to discover all there is to do in Stonehenge? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Stonehenge

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9,693 reviews

Booked via the GetYourGuide website and tour was arranged by Premium Tours. Booking was smooth and on schedule. Our driver and tour guide was very good, kept us entertained and educated throughout the trip :). The coach was spacious and comfortable. We spent ~1.5 hours on Windsor, ~1 hour on Stonehenge and ~2.5 hours on Bath. There is not enough time to look around so I suggest bring your own food and drink and plan the places you want to go. There are so many places to see in Bath, if you want to explore it some more, I suggest booking this trip separately. But if you just want to see the major attractions, this package is fine. Overall, would definitely recommend this trip to my friends :)

Carol and Carlos are excellent. It was a very interesting day. we departured at around 7:55 and arrived at around 7:30pm. A long day to visit three different places. The 12h does not give much oportunity to spend a lot of time in each place. However, to me it was a refreshing and relaxing day. It was what I really need it!

Mel was a fantastic tour guide! I was intrigued by all the facts he shared with us and felt like he set us up to see the best sites in all three locations we went to. I left feeling like I had gotten my money's worth and having really enjoyed the things i was able to see.

The live tour guide was essential to this being a great experience. Bruce was amazing! Great trip even with our 9 month old along and the extra steps we needed to take to coordinate with her.

It was absolutely worth it! Our tour guide Bruce and driver Elvio were amazing. We will definitely use the service again.