• stonehenge free visit view

How to visit Stonehenge (for free)

— Post updated on July 17th 2018 —  (In short: it is still possible to visit Stonehenge for free + 100% legal)

The South of England is an amazing place for a road trip. A rough coastline, the white cliffs of Dover, impressing towns like Bath, with amazing Roman baths and a beautiful abbey. When driving through the green fields, you cannot miss the mystical place that is called Stonehenge. Huge monolithic rocks in a circular pattern, right in the middle of a green meadow. If you are in South-England, take a detour to visit this place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different ways to plan your visit (both paid and for free).

meadow around stonehenge

The surroundings of Stonehenge

What is Stonehenge?

Stonehenge is a prehistoric building situated 3 kilometers west of Amesbury. The monument dates from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. In summary, it is a ring of standing stones that are 4 meters high and weigh about 25 tons. It is a famous landmark in the United Kingdom and considered as a British cultural icon.

Because the monument is placed on a henge (flat area of earth in a circular shape that are encircled by a ditch with a bank on the outside of the ditch built with the earth from inside the ditch), this place is very photogenic. Probably one reason why this place is often visited. Another reason might be the tales that surround this monument, attracting poets, philosophers and pilgrims from around the world. The stones are subject of many theories about its origin, some being scientific, others being more paranormal. But until now, no one knows for sure the exact function of these rocks.

In the visitor center, you can find more information about the monument and its history by visiting the permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Plan your visit – paying option

Visiting Stonehenge the regular way is an expensive trip. A standard adult ticket costs approximately 20 EUR. The ticket includes the visitor center, the shuttle bus and access to the Stonehenge site. We strongly recommend you to book your tickets online and in advance, because the site still has a lot of visitors each year.

When you book a ticket, you will see that you have the choice between different time slots. They indicate the time you have to get to the ticket desk at the visitor center. We recommend you not to book between 10.30 – 12.00 am because this is the time that tour buses from London arrive. Because this place is photogenic, we would advise to plan your visit during the golden hours (one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset).

The tour starts from the visitor center, where a shuttle bus will take you to the Stonehenge site. Note that you will not be able to stand in the circle, but are only allowed to look at the stones from a certain distance. Access to get closer to the stones is during a Special Access Visit. These visits are outside the regular visit hours, far more expensive and allow only 26 people each visit.

entrance fees stonehenge

At the official entrance of Stonehenge

Plan your visit – free option

From our experience, free options to visit a place are often a bit disappointing. There is a huge fence, you are standing too far from the place to have a good view, … However, the free option to visit Stonehenge is equally as good (or even better) than the paying option. And it’s really easy!

free visit stonehenge map

Map how to visit Stonehenge for free

When driving on the A303 from Anesbury, you will spot Stonehenge on your right side. Drive past it and then take the first dirt road on the right. Next to this dirt road, you can easily park your car. Continue to walk on the dirt road until you cross an asphalt road (the official entrance to Stonehenge). Cross the road and keep walking on the dirt road for a couple of 100 meters. On the right, you will see an opening in the fence that allows you to enter the meadow. Follow the path through the meadow. Because this is a regular walking path, you are not doing anything illegal. After walking a couple of minutes, you are standing just 50 meters from Stonehenge.

UPDATE: We received different messages from readers (thanks for that!) that it is no longer permitted to drive on the dirt road (the road is blocked) and it is not permitted to stop and/or park on the main road. However the area has a lot of hiking tracks, and we would be suprised if they would close these hiking paths anytime soon. Our suggestion is to park your car near the visitor center. From the visitor center to the fence opening takes about 25 minutes.

opening fence free visit stonehenge

The opening in the fence to visit Stonehenge for free

walking path stonehenge

The walking path that leads to Stonehenge

Any questions or comment on this blog post? Feel free to write it in the comment box below.

Thanks for reading,

M&M

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41 Comments

  1. Fatima February 3, 2018 at 5:49 am - Reply

    How much is the distance from the gate of the walking path to the place from where the Stonehenge can be seen? Is the car park near to the farmer’s gate?

    • pack to life February 3, 2018 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Fatima, the gate of the walking path is just 50 meters from the gate to Stonehenge. The car park is just 300 meters walking. It’s all within walking distance.

      Thanks for your comment and have a nice trip!

  2. Mia March 20, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Hi, do you have a picture of Stonehenge from “the free point of view”? Is it really as good of a view as the payable one?
    Thank you in advance!

  3. Kayleigh March 26, 2018 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Hi, did you by any chance notice any signage regarding dogs on the walk? I have researched that NT have closed down fields around the area, due to sheep attacks, and was wondering if this walk has been affected?
    Thank you in advance!

    • pack to life March 26, 2018 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Kayleigh,

      As far as I know this walking path is still open. The path runs indeed through the fields and you walk between some sheep, but this only makes the surroundings and the experience much more enjoyable. Thanks for your comment and happy travels!

  4. Jenna March 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the info! Going to UK in May and am hoping to get to Stonehenge at Sunrise!

  5. Ajay June 13, 2018 at 4:53 am - Reply

    wonder if this is still valid.. i am to UK in Aug

    • pack to life June 13, 2018 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      As far as we know this still is valid and won’t change anytime soon. Happy travels!

  6. sergio June 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    i want to visit the site on sunrise or on sunset,
    can u tell me when it’s better to see
    the side from the free point of view?
    i mean when/if the sun is hidden by stones
    creating shadows straight to my point ov view;
    do u know if there’s a guardian at sunrise?

    thank you

    Sergio

    is better

    • pack to life June 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Sergio,
      Thanks for the appreciation.
      In my opinion sunrise would be the best option.
      You will have less visitors, so no disturbance and people on your phot. And the sun will be behind you when pointing the camera to Stonehenge, so you’ll have the best lighting conditions you can have.

      Enjoy your trip and curious to see your photograph :)!!!

      Greets,
      Matthias & Mieke

  7. Maria June 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Just tried this & the gate was closed & blocked off. It may have been due to summer solstice coming up but it was already closed a few days ahead.

    • pack to life June 21, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Owww, that’s a pitty to hear. Indeed could be different reasons, but thank you very much for letting us know! We’ll keep on updating this post. Happy travels,
      M & M

  8. Laura Reeson June 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Hi…. literally just been and it’s all blocked off now the road you turn on to by the A303… there’s plastic bollards and a metal gate… and there’s no stopping on the main road… we need to find a new route guys!! So annoying!

    • pack to life July 1, 2018 at 9:03 am - Reply

      Hi Laura, what a pity! We just updated the blog post with this information and the suggestion to park near the vsitor center and to walk from there to the metal gate next to the entrance. Hope you did have a good view on Stonehenge during your visit? Thanks for your comment! M&M

  9. Stijn June 29, 2018 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    It’s true you can’t approach it by car anymore. You can however still walk there from the visitors center and use the gate and foothpad next to the entrance. That’s a 25 minute walk but if you take the route around the forest, it adds to the experience.

    • pack to life July 1, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Hi Stijn, thanks for the info. We just updated the blog post with this information! Hope they are not closing the walking paths anytime soon… M&M

  10. Mohammad Imad July 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    How about driving from Larkhill side and parking right by the farmer’s side –
    Please advise as we will be there in a couple of weeks.

    Thank you

    • pack to life July 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Mohammad,

      I think this must be possible. We looked it up on google maps and as far as distances go, it is surely doable to park in Larkhill or maybe Fargo road and walk to the gate / fence.

      Have a nice trip!

      M&M

      • Mohammad Imad July 5, 2018 at 8:01 pm - Reply

        Thank you M&M – I found the following Youtube video (from June 2017) showing the drive from Larkhill’s side, passing farmer’s gate @ 3:58

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAo7hEFL574

        I also noticed a few cars parked right by the farmer’s gate, but that may not be permissible any more.
        Hope this helps other visitors also.

        Thank you

  11. Dhruv July 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hi.. thanks for the information. However past few comments are suggesting that this gate is closed. I am planning to visit in the last week of this July 2018. I have no car or personal vehicle. I will reach there by public transport.
    Is there any way to reach there to see it free?

  12. Dhruv July 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I want update:
    I just gone through one notice on ‘Free Stonehenge’ fb page which says that from 23rd June to 12th July, 2018 all the roads are closed due to repairing work going on for summer solstice. Hopefully they will open on 13th July.

  13. Dave July 15, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Hello,
    I went past on July 12 and all the farm road between a303 was blocked off on both ends. Anyone been by since?

    • pack to life July 16, 2018 at 6:54 am - Reply

      Hi Dave, thanks a lot for your comment and the useful info!
      I think that the best option for now is to visit via Larkhill.

      Happy travels and cheers,
      M&M

  14. Asun July 19, 2018 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Ahhrghh!! Just woke up and a bit bummed to read this as we intend to go therw today (in a couple of hoirs actually…😅) In conclusion there a no options anymore?
    (I will update with what I discover)

    • Asun July 19, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Me again!! Just came back…ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS…We parked our motorhome in the carpark (with all the other tour buses): FREE. We walked to the visitors center where you can pay or NOT PAY… (if you pay you can get the shuttle) if you dont pay you walk about 20 min (or ride your bike): everything legal I asked a staff member there so dont worry!!!! . All the walks through the fields people talk about end up leading to the same spot which is the same as if you walk through the visitors center anyway. So glad we didnt pay beacuse you are basically equally close as the people who pay. GO before everyone else arives…at 10:30 there are already long queues everywhere…ENJOYYY
      @familyvantravels

      • pack to life July 19, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

        Hi Family van travels!
        Thank you for this awesome info, hope you had a good time at Stonehenge!
        Where are you heading to next?

        Greets,
        M&M

  15. Mohammad Imad July 30, 2018 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Greetings,

    We just got back and pretty much did what Asun above did – essentially, park in the visitors parking lot for free and walk 20 mins towards the *free* farmers gate.

    Since we had a rental car, we did try going there via Larkhill, but the roads were blocked and we did not see any campers parked by the farmers gate.

    Good luck!
    Imad

    • pack to life July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing this info!

      • Mohammad Imad July 30, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

        You are most welcome .. 🙂

        Cheers,
        Imad

  16. Pete BuzzLightyear August 9, 2018 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    We visited on 3rd August and parked on Willoughby Rd at the junction with Fargo Rd. There is a wide grass verge and just one other car (room for 20). Also a nice parkland next to our car where we picnicked and flew a kite. Willoughby Rd car access ends there with a gate, but pedestrian access is available and almost exactly one mile pleasant walk to the stones.

    • pack to life August 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your comments Pete, looks like you had a wonderful time!

  17. Vittorio August 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Hi all

    I plan to go there on Sun 19th, park and go by walk at sunset (actually, a little before sunset, say, 7:00 PM). I did not find information on the website concerning the hours at which the parking is opened. Does someone of you know? I had booked a ticket (that I did not confirm nor paied) to enter at 6:15 AM and they told me that I would have been not been able to enter the parking more than 20 min before the visit, so I am a little concerned about the opening times of the parking. Otherwise, I may go there parking at Larkhill and walking, if Willoughby Rd is accessible by feet. What do you suggest?

    Cheers, Vittorio

    • pack to life August 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I understand, if you want to visit so early I indeed think that parking at Willoughby RD is your best option. There is room for about 20 cars at the junction Willoughby Rd and Fargo Rd.
      Other travellers have done it this way and it is certainly a good option.

      Cheers,
      Matthias & Mieke

  18. Monique September 16, 2018 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Sounds too complicated. We are going to pay. Going November

    • Pack to life September 16, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Hi Monique, hope you enjoy Stonehenge, it is definitely worth a visit.

  19. Nik September 17, 2018 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Hi guys, we went to Stonehenge this morning, park in the visitor car park, walk through the entrance to visitor centre, past the queue, bypass where people are waiting for the shuttle bus, you join the path on the road, you can walk that way or when you see the footpath, follow it through the field, it’s a short, easy walk. When you get to the ‘entrance’ to the stones, you will be asked if you have a ticket, if not you are directed to the footpath, to be honest, we just wanted to see the stones, which, yep you do from the public footpath. Even if you pay you cannot walk amongst the stones, you have to follow a path. For us, the free way was great, we just wanted to see the stones. It’s obviously done by lots of people, it’s not frowned upon, but if you have a desire to be really close to the stones you would be better to pay for a ticket.

    • pack to life September 18, 2018 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Hi Nik,

      Thanks a lot for your great comment!

    • Riaa September 18, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      At what time where you there?

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