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We are delighted how visitor numbers have increased at Stonehenge thanks to the fantastic new visitor centre and it looks like 2015 will be another vintage year for Wiltshire tourism. English Heritage are keeping tour operators fully informed and I have included their useful information and tips for the travel trade below:
Keeping in touch with travel trade and group colleagues
With summer just around the corner, Stonehenge is gearing up for the second high season of its new operation – with advance booking, timed ticketing and the shuttle service to the Stone Circle now bedded in and in full swing.
Since the new visitor centre opened 15 months ago, we have all had to adjust to the major changes it has made. None more so than the tour operators and organisers sending groups to Stonehenge and the drivers, tour leaders and guides who work with us to make the visit as enjoyable as possible.
We’d like to extend a big thank you to you all for your support and patience and for helping us achieve a record 1.3 million visitors in 2014 – up by 9% on 2013.
We’ve also had some exciting highlights at Stonehenge – including a visit from US President Barack Obama. Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg also dropped in to see the changes we have made. But the biggest hit with our visitors was a personal appearance by Paddington Bear, who took time off from filming his new movie to call in!
Plenty of hard work has also been going on both behind the scenes and front of house to improve the visitor experience. Last Spring, 65 volunteers completed building five Neolithic houses beside the visitor centre, which give a real sense of life at Stonehenge for our ancestors. The former car park and buildings close to the Stones have been removed and a whopping 250kg of grass seed planted along the road which ran alongside the Monument – our fingers are crossed for good weather, so it will be standing in a sea of green this summer.
We hope your groups will enjoy our third temporary exhibition, Wish You Were Here, which opens inside the visitor centre in May and runs till 31 August. It takes a light-hearted look at Stonehenge as a visitor attraction through the last two centuries and invites today’s visitors to share the experiences – good, bad or bizarre – of tens of millions of earlier visitors. The current exhibition, Soldiers at Stonehenge closes on 12 April, but your clients can still enjoy seeing over 250 ancient objects on display in our permanent galleries.
Top Tips for Group Visits
◾Please remember to call or email with your booking well in advance to secure your preferred time slot
◾Please ensure your final numbers are confirmed correctly – no refunds can be made once payment has been received or an invoice raised
◾Please arrive at Stonehenge within your designated time slot. If your journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes due to exceptional circumstances, call with a revised arrival time so we can do our best to accommodate you
For all Stonehenge group bookings and enquiries, contact our exclusive Stonehenge line –
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00Tel: + 44 (0) 370 333 0604
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours