Posted by: travelrat | June 20, 2011

The Henge Hopper

I often get visitors to my blog asking if there are tours from Salisbury which take in the stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury. It used to be possible using regular service buses, but, sadly, due to revision, and sometimes withdrawal of routes, that’s not an option any more.

I have posted about the Stonehenge Tour, run by the Wilts and Dorset bus company from Salisbury, which doesn’t go to Avebury. And, about ‘Mad Max’ Tours, which visits both sites, but operates from Bath.

A new operation has now joined the fray; the ‘Henge Hopper’ is a recent innovation, purely experimental at the moment, which only operates on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. They use the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s minibus, which is based in Devizes, and runs a circular route, visiting Upavon, Stonehenge, Amesbury, Woodhenge, Silbury Hill and Avebury.

Now, ‘it says here’ that this is open only to members of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, BUT, you can get special 2-day membership of this for £3, which is included in your £10 round-trip fare (half-price for children.)

What your ticket also buys you is free entry to the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes, and discounted entrance to Stonehenge (Avebury is free; they only charge for the car park … which, of course, you’re not going to use!)

Also, your ticket is good for the weekend, so, if, for instance, you were in Amesbury and wanted to go to Avebury on Saturday, you could spend the night in, say, Devizes, and continue your journey the following day.

But, what about Salisbury? I hear you ask. Well Amesbury is only eight miles away, and is regularly served by regular buses; you need Service No. 8 or X5.

 

I must emphasise that, at the time of writing, the service is only experimental, but they do hope to operate on more days, if it’s feasible. You can find details at http://www.stonehenge-avebury-bus.org.uk , and get real-time information, including the present position of the bus, by following them on Twitter @HengeHopper.

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. Hi Keith,
    I am very surprised by this, I would of thought these were very popular tourist places, or is it just that I’m into ancient history and I assume the wrong thing? For some reason I always invisioned these places with buses parked behind each other and tourists everywhere taking photo’s, at least that is what I would be doing.

    I love the way the photo’s look in your post very nice indeed, a very soft look I feel.

    • It used to be possible to visit both monuments by using regular service buses, but operators seem to have been very slow to take up the idea as these routes were adapted or discontinued.

      I suspect, possibly, a case of ‘I’ve said fifty times this week; there’s no demand for it!’

      But, judging by the questions put to search engines which point here, the demand is there, and I really hope this venture takes off.

  2. Do you feel a sense of mystery and otherworldliness when you go to Stonehenge? I’ve always wondered. I would love to see it. I think it is one of the great wonders of the world.

    I agree with Mags, I would have thought it would be a very popular destination too. Who knows what the bus operators are thinking….

    • Not really … there’s usually too many people there. We’re stll laughing at the lady who thought it shouldn’t have been built so close to a main road!

      It’s not alone … the Pyramids and the Shinx suffer similarly for being located hard by a suburb of Cairo.

      However, English Heritage are attempting to restore some of the atmosphere by closing one of the roads that meet near the monument, and relocating the Visitor Centre to a point some distance away.

      Whether or not it’ll work … if, indeed, they can get permission … remains to be seen.


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