Visiting Stonehenge is one of my dreams. Since I am staying in London for 4 days, it is a perfect time to go for a day trip to Stonehenge. So, I have done some research and come across a very.
In short, it shows you how to travel from London to Stonehenge, Salisbury & Bath on the same day. I was surprised and excited that I can visit all of them as I was only planning to go to Stonehenge. I have followed its advice from the beginning to the end. But, it is missing the info on how to get to Stonehenge from Salisbury Station. Therefore, I have done some further research and finally decided to join The Stonehenge Tour. It will be explained in details below.
It has been a very busy day for me.
I bought the train tickets on the day for £57.50 that include the trains from (1) Waterloo Station in London to Salisbury Station, (2) Salisbury Station to Bath Spa Station, (3) Bath Spa Station to Paddington Station in London. Note that this is a super off-peak ticket price (it would cost more during peak hours), more information about off-peak ticket is here. It may be cheaper to book the train ticket online, but I want flexibility (to get the good weather) so I only buy the ticket on the date of travel.
My train departed at 8.50am from Waterloo Station and reached Salisbury Station at 10.20am. And then, I bought The Stonehenge Tour ticket on the bus (just outside the Salisbury Station) for £28 which includes the return journey by bus (from Salisbury), tickets to Stonehenge and Old Sarum as well as an audio guide.
I join this tour because this is the easiest and cheapest way to go to Stonehenge since I do not have a car. By the way, it does not make sense to pay for the ticket to cathedral because there is no formal charge for the admission – read below.
The downside of The Stonehenge Tour is that the bus only departs every hour in the winter season (check schedule here). I have to wait for 40 minutes for the next bus departing at 11 am and it takes another 30 minutes from Salisbury Station to Stonehenge by the bus. So when I reach Stonehenge it is already 11.30am. It is more time-consuming that I have originally expected! In hindsight, I should have come a bit earlier and take the earliest tour bus at 10 am.
Stonehenge is mysterious
Well, ticked one item off the bucket list! 😆
Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious places in the world… until now no one really knows why it was built in the past. It is famous due to its sophisticated architecture and the arrangement of the stones. Pretty odd right?
At the end of the tour (audio), it asked us to take some time to imagine what the Stonehenge was used for. Some people say it may be used as a burial site, astronomical clock, religious temple or healing place… but who really know?? Hmm… it is too hard for me. I would rather believe that the ancient people can do something that was long-lost in the present, and we have not yet discovered it. Since all of us are only guessing, no one can prove I am wrong. 😝
Old Sarum – nothing much to see
I visited Old Sarum because the admission was included in my Stonehenge Tour ticket. Also, the tour bus can drop passengers in Old Sarum while on the way back from Stonehenge to Salisbury. But to be honest, I don’t think there is much to see here.
Old Sarum is the historical settlement of Salisbury that includes a castle and a cathedral. But for now, you can only see some little ruins and you really have to use your imagination a lot to ‘feel’ what it looks like in the past.
Well, it is still one of the most important historical sites and some people will enjoy it, but not for me. Perhaps I am lack of creativity… and time. I have to wait for the next hop-on-hop-off bus to get back to Salisbury which is very time-consuming. Since I am going to Bath on the same day, I should not have visited Old Sarum so I will have more time in Bath.
Salisbury Cathedral is beautiful
This is a very beautiful cathedral with the early English architecture. The cathedral does look impressive and exquisite and is worth a visit. But I think it is good enough to see it from the outside and I shouldn’t go inside to the cathedral.
There is no formal entrance fee to enter into the cathedral, instead they will ask you for a donation. It is clearly written that the suggested donation amount is £7.50. To be honest I do not like the way they handle the donation. There is a counter just right in front of the entrance asking for a donation and makes me feel that I shouldn’t donate anything less than the suggested amount. I donated £7.50 in the end though I think it is a bit too much. Also, I would prefer the donation is not asked in the beginning but in the end.
They claim to have the oldest working clock and the best preserved Magna Carta. It is nice to see them in real once I am inside – a good learning.
By the way, the weather can change dramatically! It was sunny when I reached here; I went inside to the cathedral and once I came out the sky has become cloudy.
Salisbury is relaxing
I hope I have more time to explore this lovely city. It looks different from London as it is more quiet and peaceful. There is a big market and you can buy food here.
Bath is sweet and romantic ❤️
I took a train at about 3.30pm and reached Bath at 4.30pm. It is a shame that I couldn’t spend too much time here because Bath is such a romantic place!
All buildings are sweet honeycomb color which make it a very special place. I fall in love with this place at first sight… I walk around the street and find it too beautiful. Unfortunately, most of the shops are closing at 5-6pm and the sky is getting dark. I hope I can come back again.
What I should not have done for today
Limited time is the main constraint as I shouldn’t visit all of them in one day. I did have a good time today, but I believe it would better if I am not in a hurry.
In hindsight, I should not have entered into Salisbury Cathedral, as I think it is good enough by just seeing it from outside.
Also, I should not go to Old Sarum. In fact, many people on the tour bus did not get off in Old Sarum although the entrance ticket is included in The Stonehenge Tour (they are wiser!). I would rather spend more time in Bath which is a really lovely place.