As you might have seen on our travel map, since a few weeks we are in the U.K. And of course we can’t leave the United Kingdom without having seen the famous highlights, like Stonehenge! On our way from London to Bristol we suddenly discovered that Stonehenge was on our way, and of course we wanted to take a look.
As always, Valine did her online research on the conditions: opening hours and prices, and we were a bit shocked to find out that visiting Stonhenge costs more than 17 euros per person. And for that money you could not even come close to the stones, but only view them from some 15 meters of distance. But as this is a very famous site, we decided that we should bite the financial bullet and just go!
But we had such a nice surprise when we arrived there…
The first thing we saw when approaching Stonhenge was a huuuugggeee line of colourful campervans, all parked on a dirt road right next to the stones. That was where we had to go! So we decided to skip the official parking lot, save ourselves the parking fee of 5 pounds and park Box right between the colorful campers. We felt right at home. We made a little video of all our neighbors:
From there we could walk right to the stones. There is a walking trail through the grasslands that passes by Stonehenge. At the end of this post you can find the exact directions. This photo we took from the free spot, not bad huh?
At the end of this post you can find the exact directions to the free spot.
So after this tip on how to visit Stonhenge for free, we want to give you another extra special secret. This we found out because of the people of the colorful campers.
Stonhenge Equinox Celebration
As I wrote before, normally you are not allowed to come close to the stones, let alone touch them. One option to get closer to the stones, is to book a special guided visit. But for the low budget traveler that is probably out of reach.
But see what happened next during our visit….
We visited Stonehenge on the 21st of September: which is the equinox. It turned out that on 4 mornings (equinoxes and solstices) per year there is a special access granted at the stones. During these mornings modern druids and pagans have the opportunity to celebrate on this very special spot. Everyone can come to these celebrations, and it’s a great opportunity to walk between the stones, to touch them and to watch the sunrise from between the giant rocks. And that all for free 😉
To us it was a very special experience. It was not just visit stonehenge for free, but also to get SO close, and to be between all these different kinds of people, each performing their own ritual on this place that means so much for them. We saw people meditating, singing, healing, or even getting married You can see more images of the Equinox Celebration event here.
So if you happen to be in England around the 21st of March, June, September or December we strongly recommend you to go and watch the sunrise at Stonehenge. These events are not widely promoted, so you might have to go there and ask around, or contact English Heritage for more information.
Directions to visit Stonehenge for free
When you come from Anesbury on the A303, at one point you’ll see Stonehenge on your right side. Then you will see a little dirt road on your right. The GPS coordinates of the road are 51°10’33.0″N 1°49’57.5″W and it looks like this:
Since it’s not allowed to turn right at that point of the road, drive on until the roundabout and make a U-turn there. This way you can approach the dirt road from the other direction and turn left to enter it.
Then, when you have parked your car, walk further on the dirt road until you see the ticket controller and the shuttle bus stop on your right. If you follow the path just a bit more, you’ll notice a gate in the fence on your right. Open the gate and you walk right on the farm land. This is a common walking trail, so you’re doing absolutely nothing illegal by going there. Follow the walking trail over the grassland, and after a few hundred meters you are standing just 50 meters away from Stonehenge. Tadaa!!!
What is your experience with visiting Stonehenge for free? Dit you try our tip and what was it like? Any questions? We’d love to hear from you in a comment below!