When Is the Best Time
The best time to visit Stonehenge is either early in the morning (as soon as the site opens) or late in the evening (two hours before they close). In the morning you’ll avoid the most crowds that way, as the tour buses usually start to arrive around 10 am. In the summer you can capture stunning sunset photos when arriving in the evening.
Booking in advance is highly recommended (especially during the pandemic): Stonehenge Admission Ticket. To avoid the busier times book either the first slot (9:00 AM in summer / 9:30 in winter) or the very last slot (different times depending on the season). Additionally, try to avoid weekends.
Best light for photos is in the morning. Another way to avoid crowds is booking a private sunset tour, where you could even take stunning golden hour shots. We highly recommend this tour (it’s excellent!): Stonehenge Private Sunset Tour from London – With Lacock and Bath
Stonehenge Opening Times
Stonehenge is open from Monday through Sunday. During the off-season (January to March and November to December) from 9:30 to 17:00 [9:30 am – 5 pm]. During shoulder season (April to May and September to October) the opening hours are from 9:00 to 19:00 [9 am – 7 pm]. In peak season (June to August) from 9:00 to 20:00 [9 am – 8 pm].
Please keep in mind, that the last entry is possible two hours before closing. The tickets are timed tickets with a 30 minute window.
Stonehenge Tickets & Tours | Incl. Tours from London
You can visit Stonehenge easily from London, Bath (see tours above), and Bristol (a 1,10-hour drive – Google Maps).
Is Stonehenge Worth It?
Stonehenge is definitely worth visiting and a fantastic experience if you are attracted to the ancient world. Including marveling at the dedication of those who placed those stones, as well as speculating on their meaning. The real fascination of Stonehenge is not the stones but the mystery behind them.
However, you can’t just visit the site and expect to be wowed. If you are not intrigued by pre-historic mysteries and ancient monuments, then Stonehenge might not be worth a visit for you.
SEASON GUIDE | Monthly Tips
Stonehenge receives over 1.5 million visitors each year. That means you should plan your visit carefully in order to enjoy that fascinating site without the heaviest crowds.
In the colder months, especially in winter, make sure to dress according to the cooler weather. Stonehenge is very exposed which often means windy, wet and cold. If you don’t feel like taking a short walk when it rains, there is always a shuttle taking you from the visitor centre to the site. During wet weather sections one of the pathways at Stonehenge can be closed in order to protect the monument and ensure safety.
In the summer you experience more pleasant weather at Stonehenge with one drawback: The crowds at the site pick up even more. School holidays and weekends are the busiest times overall. However, we’re here to help you. Read our detailed guide below with insights for each month and tips on how to avoid the crowds at this intriguing prehistoric monument.
Is Stonehenge Open?
Stonehenge remains fully open during the current pandemic but you will need to book tickets in advance and audio handsets are not available (audio guides can be accessed via an app, however). To ensure the safety of visitors, the shop and cafe are operating with reduced capacity and at busy times you may have to wait before entering these areas. That’s why our crowd tips for each month below are crucial, even during the pandemic when you are required to book tickets. You don’t want to wait in a line!
Gatherings: All equinox gatherings will probably be canceled during the pandemic.
January | Off-Peak Season
- Pro: No heavy crowds
- Con: Cold weather
Visitor Quote: ‘We were surprised by how much we enjoyed the Stonehenge visit on a wet and gray day in January!’
In January you experience the least crowds at Stonehenge. However, some visitors report a ‘slightly’ busy day especially on weekends. To take full advantage of this quiet month, book a weekday ticket if possible. You could visit without pre-booking in January, but we strongly recommend buying your ticket in advance. It’s just too risky.
Weather: Be prepared for cold and often rainy weather in January. Especially the howling wind can be annoying. Bring layer of clothes and a rain jacket. The average maximum temperature is 3.0°C (37.4°F). Snow is possible, which makes an awesome photo opportunity. There are 45 hours of sun which makes January the ‘darkest’ month together with December.
February | Off-Peak Season
- Pro: Still less crowded (except for school holiday week)
- Con: It’s still winter and cold
Visitor Quote: ‘Our family visited in February, which is the low season. There were probably around 80 other visitors within the large area at the site. We didn’t find it to be crowded at all!’
In the month of February the crowds are still minimal at Stonehenge when visiting mid-week. However, the second last week of February is school half-term holiday in the UK. It usually gets crowded during that week. If possible, pick another week and avoid weekends as they tend to be very busy, even in February.
Weather: In February it can still be bitterly cold. However, with a little luck you can also enjoy a cool but sunny day at the site. Bring warm clothes and rain gear. The average maximum temps hover around 6.0°C (42.8°F). You may experience snow as well. With 81 hours of sun, it’s a little better than in January in terms of daylight.
March | Off-Peak Season
- Pro: Still off-season and slightly warmer
- Con: Most days with still cooler weather and windy
- Special: Spring equinox gathering March 20th (not during the pandemic)
Visitor Quote: ‘We got lucky and hit a sunny day in March. We got told, that most mornings in March are cloudy and overcast. Our Stonehenge tour guide and bus driver was awesome!’
March is still considered off-season but it gets a little busier. As usual, it does get crowded on weekends. There are no school holidays in March. Therefore, you normally you experience a sort of quiet visit when going mid-week and arriving early or late.
On March 20th early in the morning, hundreds of neo-druids, neo-pagans and others are allowed to gather right at the stones to see the sunrise above them. This is a special event and not everyone’s cup of tea. During that time, no other private access to the stones is allowed. However, that event doesn’t affect the usual opening hours or private tours in the evening on that day.
Weather: In March it’s usually still breezy, cold and dull. However, the temps go up a little which makes a visit slightly more comfortable: Average highs are around 9.0°C (48.2°F). March has 121 hours of sun.
April | Standard Season
Stonehenge at sunrise in spring
- Pro: Temps are more pleasant
- Con: It’s getting even busier
Visitor Quote: ‘We had two tickets for 6:45 pm at the end of April The sun was setting and shining through the stones – it was mesmerizing and we couldn’t stop smiling.’
It gets more crowded at Stonehenge in April. While weekdays are still considered ‘off peak’ by the English Heritage, the weekends are marked ‘standard’. Additionally, two weeks of Easter school holidays between early and April 20 (depending on the council) cause horrendous crowds. Preferably, visit in the last week of April.
Weather: In April the temps are getting more pleasant at Stonehenge with an average high of 13.0°C (55.4°F). Also, the sunshine hours increase to 160. But still, as a local says, the weather can still be dull with rain and howling wind. Bring a rain jacket!
May | Standard Season
Stonehenge in May
- Pro: Temps are getting really nice with more sunshine
- Con: Busy and crowded
Visitor Quote: ‘We went on a private tour in early May with inner circle access. As sunset was at 8:30 pm, the photo ops were just amazing!’
May is an excellent month to visit Stonehenge. The big summer holiday crowds haven’t arrived yet and the weather is getting really pleasant. However, it already gets busy during peak times around 11 am (+/- one hour). It’s even worse on weekends. Especially if you visit on a weekend: Go early or late!
Weather: The month of May brings more daylight: There are 198 hours of sunshine at Stonehenge. The average maximum temperature rises to about 18.0°C (64.4°F), which is great. But still, there is always a 50% chance of rain.
June | Standard Season / Peak Season
Stonehenge in June
- Pro: Summer like temps
- Con: Pre-summer crowds
- Special: Summer Solstice (June 21)
Visitor Quote: ‘We were at Stonehenge on a warm Wednesday in June. According to our tour guide it was very busy. The whole visit was mystical and beautiful!’
In June the huge summer holiday tourist crowds still haven’t arrived. That and the fact of even warmer temps make June a great month to visit Stonehenge. However, the weekends are officially being marked as peak season now and are extremely busy. Always try to book the earliest ticket slot or the last one available.
A special happening in June is the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge where thousands of visitors are allowed to gather right at the stones at sunrise and watch the sun align with the stones. It’s free but nothing we would do because of the massive crowd. Others find it magical. Read more on the official website: Stonehenge Summer Solstice – English Heritage. Watch a video from 2019 here: Stonehenge | Sunrise at Summer Solstice 2019
Weather: The temperatures get very pleasant in June with average maximum temps lying around 21.0°C (69.8°F). However, Stonehenge tends to be windy as usual and rain is possible as well. So you should plan on bringing rain gear and a light jacket. June has 216 hours of sun which means there is enough light throughout the day.
July | Peak Season
Stonehenge in July at sunrise
- Pro: The warmest temperatures of the year
- Con: Large crowds
Visitor Quote: ‘We visited on a Wednesday afternoon and got really lucky with the crowds, had a smooth trip all round. Stonehenge is really magnificent – the highlight of all heritage sites!’
July is officially peak season for Stonehenge, with the English school holidays in full swing. Weekends are especially busy and it’s a good idea to try and visit early in the morning, or later in the afternoon, when the crowds are much smaller. Visitors on weekday mornings have the best chances of avoiding the queues, which can be over half an hour or more during the day.
Weather: Despite the crowds, a visit to Stonehenge during July will often be accompanied by warm temperatures and good weather. The average maximum temperature is 21°C (70°F) and cloud cover is generally less common than in other months, upping the chances of getting a nice sunny day.
August | Peak Season
Stonehenge in August
- Pro: Often very pleasant weather
- Con: Busy with tourists
Visitor Quote: ‘I’d never visited before and wasn’t sure what to expect. But the stones were really interesting and the views of the surrounding fields were fantastic.’
August is the busiest time of year, with visitor numbers usually peaking around 11 a.m. If you can’t make it early, consider going late in the afternoon or early evening, as the crowds die down from 4 p.m. onwards. Additionally, one weekend in August is a bank holiday weekend in England and this increases visitor numbers further. It’s best to avoid this weekend if possible, so check the dates before you go.
Weather: Stonehenge is often blessed with good weather in August and this can make it a great time to visit. Rainfall is low, with an average of 10 rainy days during the month. Alongside the dry weather, temperatures remain warm and will usually climb above 20°C (68°F) during the middle of the day.
September | Standard Season / Peak Season
Stonehenge Autumn Equinox (Mabon) Celebrations 2014 by Stonehenge Stone Circle – CC BY cropped
- Pro: Warm temperatures and a good chance of sun
- Con: Generally a busy month
- Special: Autumn equinox (September 22nd)
Visitor Quote: ‘Stonehenge is great, one of the most memorable sites we visited in England. We arrived early on a weekday and managed to see it in all its glory before the crowds started to build up.’
In September, visitor numbers remain high at Stonehenge, although early mornings on weekdays can be quieter. Weekends are usually busy and you may want to watch out for the date of the 22nd, as this marks the Autumn Equinox. Many druids and pagans gather around the stones on this date to watch the sunrise and engage in various celebrations.
Weather: As summer begins to turn to autumn, the temperatures at Stonehenge dip slightly, although this is still one of the warmest months of the year. The average high is 19°C (66°F) and there is less than 50% chance of rain on any particular day.
October | Standard Season
Stonehenge in October
- Pro: Smaller crowds (except during school holiday week)
- Con: Slightly cooler temperatures
Visitor Quote: ‘Stonehenge was an amazing experience, even on a cold, damp Monday in October. The visitor centre is great too – there are a lot of interesting things to see.’
By October, the crowds at Stonehenge tend to be a little lighter, marking the end of peak season. However, weekends can still be busy and there is usually an increase in visitors over the October half-term holidays. Check the dates of this before going to avoid the worst of the crowds, or visit early to see the stones at their quietest.
Weather: October is more unpredictable than the summer months, with a higher chance of rain or windy conditions. It can often be one of the wettest months, with 20 rainy days on average and a daily temperature high of 14°C (57°F).
November | Off-Peak Season
Stonehenge in November (fog)
- Pro: No heavy crowds
- Con: Unpredictable weather
Visitor Quote: ‘It was a chilly day in November when we visited – definitely recommend dressing up warm! But the lack of any crowds made it well worth the visit.’
The winter months can be a great time to visit Stonehenge, as the lower visitor numbers make the trip a far more peaceful experience. November in particular is a quiet month, although if the weather is good the crowds can still build up around midday on weekends. It’s best to book an early ticket slot if you wish to avoid this.
Weather: Although a visit during November can be good for avoiding the busy periods, it’s often a good idea to come prepared for bad weather. The temperatures are often cold, with the average high being 10°C (50°F), with a low of 4°C (39°F). Rainy days are common and there is only an 8% chance of getting a sunny day on a visit.
December | Off-Peak Season
Stonehenge Winter Solstice celebration
- Pro: Generally a quiet month
- Con: Cold weather and lots of rain
- Special: Winter solstice (December 21st)
Visitor Quote: ‘Our visit was in December. We got there early and virtually had Stonehenge to ourselves. It’s a really special place to see when hardly anyone is there, we loved it.’
In December, the visitor numbers at Stonehenge are some of the lowest of the year – you can even be the only people there on some days. Just be aware of the period around Christmas, as the crowds can sometimes pick up if the weather is nice.
December is also the month of the winter solstice – which is a very special event at Stonehenge. Each year, many people gather at the stones to mark the passing of time by watching the sunrise. The date holds great religious significance to many and is celebrated by pagans, druids and wiccans. It’s one of the few times during the year when you can get right up close and personal with the stones, however, the large crowds might not be to everyone’s taste.
Weather: Another important factor to take into account when visiting Stonehenge in December is the weather. Cold temperatures are to be expected, with an average high of just 7°C (45°F). It’s a good idea to wrap up warm for this reason, and the cold weather is often accompanied by wind and rain. December is generally a wet month, with an average of 20 rainy days.
Stay in Salisbury or Bath
If you drive on your own and/or don’t want to take a hassle-free tour (see above) from London, you have two great nearby accommodation choices: Both Salisbury and Bath (Hotel Deals – Bath – via booking.com) are excellent towns to stay during the night if you visit Stonehenge. However, locals usually recommend Salisbury.
The site is located directly at the A303, and very easy to reach. There is a path around the Stonehenge monument. However, you are not allowed to get close to the stones and touch them. The advantage: The view is always good with no visitors standing at the stones.