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The Magic of Visiting Stonehenge During Spring and Winter

Mystery Surrounds It!

An Unforgettable Experience: Visiting Stonehenge in Two Different Seasons

Stonehenge is one of the world’s most recognizable and mysterious ancient sites. Located in Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury, this prehistoric monument has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for thousands of years.

The real fascination of Stonehenge is not the stones but the mystery behind them.

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Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination, so you’ll want to plan your visit carefully if you want to avoid crowds and heat. Here are a couple of quick tips for visiting Stonehenge in spring or winter:

The Neolithic monument is located on a large esplanade, with no areas for shelter other than inside the Visitor Center, a couple of kilometers from the remains.   The weather can be unpredictable, so bring appropriate clothes!

Book your ticket online beforehand.  To help preserve the historic area, only 7,650 visitors are allowed to enter Stonehenge each day. With that said, booking a ticket online beforehand is your best bet.

You’ll need to time your visit right.

For those who may be wondering, the drive from London to Stonehenge is approximately 88 miles, with the road taking you through the countryside. The road is quite clearly marked and easy to find. The route is not too busy either—a good thing if you are traveling by car the day after Christmas, and/or you are an American that isn’t comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road!

Map London to Stonehedge

You should allow plenty of time to get there on the day you want to visit, so arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Stonehenge is one of those places that many people want to go, but don’t have the chance to visit.

When you first get there, the first thing to do is walk around and take some photos.

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Then, head up to the visitor center and take a picture of the ticket booth there—this way if someone asks you how much it costs (which they will), you’ll know what they’re talking about.

Stonehenge is open to visitors year-round, but the winter hours at the monument are much shorter than the summer. During December, Stonehenge is open from 9:00am to 4:00 pm.

Visitor Center


When visiting Stonehenge, it’s important to remember that during normal opening hours, visitors are no longer allowed to walk amongst the stones.  Visitors are restricted to an outer path.  There are special tours outside of normal hours that allow visitors to walk among the inner circle stones.

On both visits we arrived mid-morning, so we were restricted to the path.  You can easily see the stones, so the path worked for us.

Tips For Visiting Stonehenge in Spring or Winter


May vs Dec

Our Springtime Visit in May

Our first visit to Stonehenge was in May.  The month of May is a great choice for visiting Stonehenge, the weather is not as cold and rainy as it is during the winter. The day we visited in May, it was 68 degrees and sunny, a perfect day in late May.  May Crowd Stonehenge

The crowds are not as large, which means that you are not elbow-to-elbow with other tourists, taking photos and blocking each other’s shots with selfie sticks.

The nice part at that time was the visitor’s center was not as crowded so you could easily get a snack at the café.  The gift shop was only moderately crowded, so you could easily shop for souvenirs, and some of the best souvenirs were in stock.

We visited in the third week of May so the spring flowers were starting to bloom and add color to your photos of Stonehenge.

Avoid the Summer Heat

The summer heat makes Stonehenge an uncomfortable place to be. It’s common for temperatures to reach 30 degrees Celsius, and this is a lot less pleasant when you’re waiting in line with thousands of other people. The stones will be hotter than ever, so even if you do get inside the circle there’s not much reason to linger around them (unless your idea of fun is being more sweaty than any other visitor).

Even if it were possible to keep cool while visiting Stonehenge in the summer months, it would still be crowded. There are no less than 10 buses per day that run back and forth from Salisbury Cathedral through Stonehenge itself, so even if every single person on each bus decided against visiting the site at once, there would still be quite a crowd trying to squeeze their way through those gates! In addition, many tourists who come by car often head straight for the car park instead of exploring nearby towns before heading off towards Amesbury or Salisbury and missing out on what these areas have to offer.


A Winter Visit in December

As a rule, winter is the quietest time of year: no crowds and no traffic, so you can walk around the stones in peace and marvel at the way they seem to glow against the winter skies.  But that is not the case around the winter solstice, especially when it is 40 degrees and sunny.

Stone Henge Dec Crowd

Just be aware of the period around Christmas, as the crowds can sometimes pick up if the weather is nice. Our second visit was December 26th, just a few days after the winter solstice, another time when Stonehenge becomes the focal point for many people. In particular, many come to watch the sunrise to see how the sun is affecting the stone structures of the monument.  Because of this, sunlight or shadows can make images unrepeatable.

There are many reasons why visiting Stonehenge during winter is better than visiting it during summer—it’s quieter, less crowded, and easier to take pictures without people getting in the way—but perhaps the easiest yet may be that you don’t have to fight off sunburn or dehydration just by being outside for a few hours!

You should allow plenty of time to get there on the day you want to visit, so arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

We arrived in the morning shortly after the ticket office opened, to avoid crowds.  The parking lot was beginning to fill in.  To get to Stonehenge, you can either walk the 1.5 miles or take a shuttle and by arriving early, we didn’t have to wait in a line of hundreds of people to snag a seat on the shuttle. By getting to Stonehenge early, you’ll also have the opportunity to take better pictures without too many people in the background.

We found that there were fewer people at the site in May than there were in December.

While we like to get there early, I have read to arrive late in the afternoon for a different experience. If you arrive at sunset you are treated to another perspective on Stonehenge and its surroundings, including an amazing view of Salisbury Plain from the road leading up from Amesbury.

In May the road was uncongested, but in December the road was very congested causing a significant traffic backup.

Heel StoneThere are many different types of stones at Stonehenge and many are not obvious unless you know what you’re looking for. Most visitors will see the large sarsens and be too busy looking up at them to notice the smaller bluestones. The small, black dolerite stone may seem like a bit of an oddity but it is a very popular tourist attraction as it is one of only three stones in sight that has not been moved from its original location (the others being the Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone).

The best thing about visiting these smaller monoliths is that they can be seen close up from the road – so if you’re traveling with children or want to get some good photos without leaving your car then this is an option!

Stonehenge is a special place to visit at almost any time of year. It’s an ancient site dating back thousands of years, with some evidence suggesting that it was first built around 3000 BC.

Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, containing more than 350 burial mounds and major prehistoric monuments such as the Stonehenge Avenue, the Cursus, Woodhenge, and Durrington Walls, the landscape is a vast source of information about the ceremonial and funerary practices of Neolithic and Bronze Age people.

The site had special spiritual significance – perhaps because the site was used for burial rituals before Stonehenge was built.  I was quite moved during my visit in May.  It was warmer and few people, so it was a different vibe.  It is safe to say that in December I did not have the same emotional experience that I had in May.

It’s worth exploring all around Stonehenge and making use of the free audio guide that is available at all times.

You should take photos of the stones, but don’t forget your coat.

Stonehenge Receives Over One Million Visitors a Year

During peak periods, there are over 9,000 visitors a day with queues stretching from the ticket office to the parking lot 100 yards away.

When visiting Stonehenge, it’s best to be respectful of others. Some people come here to pray or meditate. Others may be enjoying the solitude and quietude of this site without any desire to interact with others at all.Stonehenge Map

I was quite moved during my visit in May.  It was warmer and few people, so it was a different vibe.  It is safe to say that in December I did not have the same emotional experience that I had in May.

A visit to Stonehenge can be rewarding for all ages.  The best part is that you can visit Stonehenge in spring or winter and it will feel special!  In the winter, it can look so different from what you see in summer!

It’s important that everyone in your family gets their own photos at every angle possible, but don’t forget about selfies either! That way everyone gets their own moment with this ancient wonder.

If you haven’t been before, consider planning a trip there soon! And if you have been before but are looking for new ways to enjoy your next visit…here are some tips:

Plan ahead! Read up on what time of year works best for what kind of experience you’re looking for. There are several different types of events held each year at Stonehenge (including solstice celebrations), so knowing what dates work best will help ensure that you don’t miss out on anything special.

The nearby city of Salisbury is a great place to visit when in the area. The town is home to a beautiful 13th-century Cathedral, as well as a number of interesting shops, pubs, and cafes.


As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to visit Stonehenge in spring or winter. You can avoid the crowds that come for summer solstice, get away from the heat during the summer months, and enjoy a quieter experience at this iconic site.

Visiting Stonehenge at either time of year is something that everyone should do at least once in their lives. it’s worth going just because it will change how you think about traveling when visiting sites like this one!

When you visit Stonehenge, you are a part of this rich history. You’ll see an ancient monument constructed by people who lived thousands of years before us, and it will be hard not to feel connected to the past on some level.

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