How To Visit Stonehenge

How To Visit Stonehenge For Free – With Maps!

Did you know you can visit Stonehenge for free? Most people assume that you must take a guided tour or buy a ticket to see Stonehenge because it’s an English Heritage site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Almost everyone has seen an image of Stonehenge and knows it’s a historical site in England. Most that visit England have this on their list of things to see.

The most common way tourists visit Stonehenge is through a tour. However, a tour is not necessary –  you can visit for free. Here I will share with you how and why you should skip to tour and visit Stonehenge for free.

How To Visit Stonehenge

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Why Should You Visit Stonehenge For Free?

Let’s start with my experience. I grew up in England, and despite having returned numerous times, I had never visited Stonehenge. As with most adults who have not seen this historical landmark, it was high on my list of things to do. It’s relatively close to London, which I used as a hub to connect to other European countries. As such, I knocked this out while jetting through on multi-city flights.

I booked a ticket twice with Get Your Guide, and both times, Stonehenge was closed to the public due to weather. If you book via a tour operator, they will direct you to contact Stonehenge. Well, guess what? If it’s closed, so is the customer care center. In short, I got shafted twice.

Related: Get Your Guide or Viator – Which One Is Best?

As a result, I decided I was not paying a third time to see Stonehenge, and I’d figure out how to see it for free.

There are several ways to visit Stonehenge for free. First and foremost, Stonehenge is located on a heritage trail, which is free and can be accessed directly from the surrounding areas. And it is entirely legal to visit Stonehenge without purchasing a ticket. A good thing because, quite frankly, it’s not worth the money. I’ll cover that later. What can’t be accessed for free is the museum. If you want to visit the museum or look closer, you must buy a ticket. 

The Routes

Vising Stonehenge for free is as simple as following the accessible trails alongside the ticketed path for Stonehenge. You will be viewing the landmark behind a short fence. However, you can walk to it and enjoy almost the same views as a paid ticket.

To visit Stonehenge for free, you must decide where to start, as there are a few routes.   You’ll be all set if you follow my advice and take the route I did. Here are all the possible ways to see Stonehenge for free, and I’ve also included the maps.

Option 1: Walk From Stonehenge’s Carpark

Approximately 1.25 miles from Stonehenge is the Visitor’s Center Carpark. During peak periods, there is a parking charge for those who have not prebooked tickets, which is fully refundable on the purchase of access to Stonehenge – it’s £5 to park, so it’s not a lot at all.

There is a shuttle bus from the visitor center to the stones, but you need a ticket for this. So, walking is how you get there for free! Walk down the road from the Visitor Center Carpark to Stonehenge.

Other Freebies

Anyone can access Stonehenge’s café, gift shop, and toilets at the visitors center for free.


Walk down the road east from the Visitor Center Carpark until you get to where the shuttle bus drops off other visitors. When you arrive at the entrance, there’s a free public gate that you can walk through:

Map To Walk From Stonehenge’s Carpark

Option 2: Walk From Woodhenge

I don’t know why this route is so popular, but it’s the one most people seem to choose when they visit Stonehenge for free. Woodhenge is a famous landmark in the area with a free parking lot – maybe this is why? The walk from Woodhenge is 2 miles each way and will take around 60-90 minutes each way. This is a lot of walking!

Add to this that this walk is less straightforward and will require GPS. People commonly get lost on this route.

There are only a couple of pros to this route. One is if you’ll get 10,000 steps in, and the other is you will also see Kings Barrow, another English Heritage.

Kings Barrow

Near Stonehenge Avenue, two Bronze Age round barrows are in a small wood. Known as the Old and New King Barrows, they date from the same period as Stonehenge’s third phase. To the north of the Avenue is the Old King Barrows, with seven bowl barrows, while to the south are five bowl barrows and two bell barrows. Honestly, while historical and a burial site, these are simply mounds.

Map Of Old and New King Barrows Stonehenge


You’ll start on Fargo Road, it is the same road as option three, but this walk is much longer. Once you pass Woodhenge, head southwest through the field. At the end of the field is a gate that leads to a path that leads west. You will reach a crossroads after following this path. At the dead-end road, keep walking west until you reach a gate. Across the field here, you should be able to find a path that leads southwest from this gate. There is a gate that opens out onto the road just north of the Stonehenge shuttle bus. Once you reach the path, you can get nice and close to the attraction by walking south down the street.

Map To Walk From Woodhenge

This is my route, and it’s the closest and quickest.

Before we get into the details of how and where, I should mention that this is odd that you park at the intersection of Fargo Road and Willoughby Road, next to a council estate. Parking here is free and legal; no yellow lines restrict parking.

From here, it’s as simple as following the public byway that leads directly to Stonehenge. As soon as you’ve walked through the open gates of the byway, you can see Stonehenge in the distance. You are walking also alongside Stonehenge Cursus, another heritage site.


Once you’ve parked, you’ll walk this path. This is the view are you walk toward Stonehenge:

Visit Stonehenge For Free

This is the view as you return or you turn around facing where you will have parked. Notice the council estate in the background.

View of Council Houses As You Visit Stonehenge For Free

This is what the byway looks like. Many campers and vehicles are parked, and many enjoy the countryside. 

Important: You might be wondering if you can drive this route. The answer is only if you have a permit (it’s signposted). This said I saw loads of cars drive through Willoughby Road. Now, before you jump in and drive it with or without a permit, take a good look at the photo below. Willoughby Road is full of deep potholes. If you are in a rental car, don’t take the risk. It’s not worth it.

The Walk To Stonehenge Stonehenge Cursus

Stonehenge Cursus is an ancient monument located near Stonehenge, a prehistoric stone circle in Wiltshire, England. It is a large rectangular earthwork enclosure, approximately 1.5 miles long, with a pair of parallel ditches on either side. The monument was constructed around 3000 BC, during the Neolithic period, and was used for many centuries for various purposes.

The exact purpose of Stonehenge Cursus is not known for certain, but it is believed to have served as a processional way or ceremonial pathway leading to Stonehenge. It may also have been used for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes in its own right. The monument is aligned with the sun’s rising and setting at the summer solstice, which suggests a possible astronomical function.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the area around Stonehenge Cursus was used for various activities, including burials, feasting, and the production of flint tools. The monument is also located near other important Neolithic sites, such as the Amesbury Archer burial and the Durrington Walls henge.

Stonehenge Cursus

Having parked on Fargo Road, you must walk south on Willoughby Road until you reach a narrower gravel path. Keep going south down this gravel path until you reach the entrance. When you arrive at the entrance, there’s a free public gate that you can walk through:

Map To Walk From Fargo Road in Larkhill

Option 4: Free Stonehenge Day – Summer Solstice (Equinox)

On the solstices, Stonehenge aligns with the sun. Stonehenge’s heart is illuminated by the first rays of the sun at sunrise during the summer solstice when the sun rises behind the Heel Stone. Around the stone circle, the sun sets southwest on the winter solstice.

Stonehenge opens its doors for free to the public every Summer solstice.

The summer solstice falls on the first day of summer so you can visit Stonehenge for free. Astronomical phenomena and ancient celebrations are associated with it. There is the most sunlight, and the longest day of the year on the first day of summer. When the sun rises in the northeast part of the horizon, right behind the Heel Stone, it’s an ideal time to visit Stonehenge.

Stonehenge visitors can also enter the inner circle of stones on this particular occasion.

Although entrance to Stonehenge is free, you must still reserve a time in advance.

How Close Can You Get To Stonehenge Without Paying?

If you visit Stonehenge for free, you will view it from a public path about six feet wide. The only thing between you and the stones is a thin metal fence. Here’s how close you get:

How Close Can You Get To Stonehenge Without Paying

Is Stonehenge Worth visiting?

This is a subjective question. I know many people who’ve visited and still marvel at their experience viewing this unexplained stone formation.

For me, it was a total waste of time and effort. You might be tempted to think, “ah, but that’s because you did not go in.” Trust me when I tell you no amount of touring, guided narrative, or museum artifacts would have made these stones any more interesting for me.

And if you are considering visiting but want to see them. All you need to know about them, from their history to the theories on how they came to, is online. Heck, the staff that I chatted with told me this themselves.

Like many other famous landmarks, I was shocked by the location. On one side, you’ve got a council estate tucked away between farms. On the other side, bustling highways.   As with all famous landmarks, the place is packed with tourists gawping at the stones with a guide. I’m puzzled by this.

So, Is Stonehenge Worth visiting?

The short version is yes. Like me, no matter what you read or hear, you should see it with your own eyes if you can. If for nothing else, to form your own opinion.

Will you be impressed? That I can’t speak to. I can only tell you that they are nothing more than stones for me—remarkably unimpressive.

Closing Thoughts

Whether it’s worth it to see Stonehenge or not, now you know how to see Stonehenge for free. Most importantly, seeing Stonehenge for Free is the only way to see it. That is unless you desire to walk around these strange rocks.

Looking For Other Historical Places To Explore In England? Start Here:

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