Tell people you are going to do a day trip to Stonehenge from London and you will get a wide range of reactions. Everything from praise to “its just a bunch of rocks”.
I have been to London many times, and have always wanted to see Stonehenge, but for one reason or another, never made it out. On a recent trip to London, I decided to book a private tour which included Bath. Bath is a beautiful city that I had never heard of prior to booking this tour. More on that later.
From London to Stonehenge its about a 2 hour drive. We left at 8:30AM. You have to book tickets online and pick an entrance time. We chose 10:30AM at the suggestion of our guide. According to the guide, the visitor center and busses to take you to the site are a new thing. As we approached and I saw the stones from a distance, the anticipation was building.
…and then we finally got to see the stones. I recommend you walk around the outer path before you get to the part where you can see the stones up close (note that you cannot cross the rope and go to the interior of the stones, you need to book a separate ticket for that and it’s only on certain days; you will also need to wake up early to do it – I was told 4:30 AM departure from London). This way, you can see the stones from different angles.
Our guide told us some of the history behind the stones which made the tour better. There are parts of the site where you can witness magnetism though the guide may of been playing tricks. There is also a small museum on site and a recreation of an old English village. We were also lucky in that it was raining on the way there, but was totally clear by the time we got to the site. All in all, I think it is worth seeing these magnificent structures at least once, but there would be no reason to return.
Our next stop was a 1 hour drive to Bath. The city is named for its Roman built baths. There is also a lot of interesting Roman architecture in the small city (the core is very walkable).
To enter the Roman baths, you need to book a ticket online and choose a time. We choose 3PM and it worked well with being able to arrive from Stonehenge, have lunch, walk a bit, and then go to the baths.
I felt like half a day was enough to see the main sights and walk most of the core. For lunch, we stopped at a place called Browns. I had a Guinness Pie and Sticky Toffee for dessert.
The pie crust was ok, but the jus lacked depth and seasoning. The sticky toffee was also disappointing. It is one of my favorite desserts. I love the sweetness, gooeyness, contrast in temperatures between ice cream and the warm sauce/cake in a good sticky toffee. This one lacked many of those elements. It was not sweet enough and the flavor too mild.
Overall, this was a great day trip from London and it was good to see something outside the city. I would recommend this itinerary to someone who has already seen London or has a few extra days to spare.