Travel: Seeing Stonehenge

Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2004

A little more than an hour's drive out of London, Stonehenge is at the junction of the A303 and A344, which cuts surprisingly close to the monument.

It opens for regular business at 9:30 a.m. It closes at 6 p.m. in the summer and 4 p.m. in the winter. Independent travelers who want to avoid the hassle of driving can take the train to Salisbury and take advantage of regular bus service to the monument.

Admission to the footpath around the site costs about $8. English Heritage (www.english-heritage.org.uk) accepts applications - well in advance - for special access inside the circle for up to 24 people at a time for up to an hour on many days before or after closing. English Heritage assign dates. Cost is about $18.

London's Astral Travels (astraltravels.co.uk) is the only company with arrangements to take tours inside the circle, co-owner Nick Kendrick said. It has been running its small special access tours for eight years.

The company can book tours online. "The special access tours always sell out weeks, if not months, in advance," Kendrick said. "It tends to appeal to clients with a desire do to something a little different, rather than just crossing off the usual tourist attractions."

Costs currently run about $145 for sunrise at the monument and $119 for sunset. Pickup in London and a second attraction are included.

Astral Travels also is among companies in London and Salisbury that take groups to Stonehenge for regular access. Some tours include Avebury.



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