England

Hotels near Stonehenge perfect for exploring the history of Wiltshire

This iconic World Heritage Site, in the English county of Wiltshire, showcases 5,000 years of history, dating from the Mesolithic period through the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon era.

The iconic standing stones were put into place in around 2500 BC and the site, which is considered “the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world”, certainly packs a punch.

A place of worship and celebration for thousands of years, crowds flock to the ancient monument year-round but the ultimate experience is the Summer Solstice when up to 12,000 people seek to see the sun rise above the Heel Stone. An experience worth writing down on your bucket list, make a proper getaway out of it with a stay at one of these hotels near Stonehenge.

Visiting stonehenge

Entry: Advance booking is highly recommended to guarantee entry on the day and at the time of your choice. The first entry is 9.30 a.m. and last entry at 4.30 p.m.

Price: An adult ticket is £19.00 and a child £11.40. Concessions cost £17.10 and a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) is £49.40.

Getting there: From Salisbury Station (trains from London Waterloo), take The Stonehenge Tour bus. From London, it’s a 90-minute drive and access is from the A303. Parking is free for ticket holders—another reason to buy a ticket in advance.

Top tips: English Heritage and National Trust England members get free admission, the audio guide is really worth it, and if you’re driving get there well before the first admission time at 9.30 a.m.

Explore Stonehenge from this luxury, country house hotel

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Bishopstrow Hotel is an imposing Georgian house set in beautiful gardens, halfway between Stonehenge and Bath. Welcoming to couples, families and even pets, the hotel has two swimming pools, tennis courts and a spa. Inside there’s a gorgeous regal feel, with rich furnishings in dark reds, golds and burgundies, imposing mirrors and floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooms are bright and airy—ask for a ‘Comfy room’ on the courtyard and wake up to a garden view.

In winter, it’s all logs fires and cosy drinks curled up on swallow-you-up sofas. In summer, the grounds are rife for exploring—check out King’s Barrow, a Neolithic Long Barrow (a prehistoric mound of earth and stones built over a grave), which lies 100 metres north of the house. The pretty town of Warminster is a one-mile stroll away and country walks can be had in the nearby West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The hotel’s award-winning bar serves a formal menu using many local ingredients but—cue applause—has a full a vegan and vegetarian version too. The bar is exceedingly well stocked and includes 16 gins and five-step guide to choosing your perfect Martini.

The Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa

Warminster, 15.9 km to Stourhead
8.3 Very good (432 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.7 / 10
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A historic Salisbury hotel close to the ancient Stonehenge monument

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The Red Lion Hotel, Europe’s oldest purpose-built hotel, is a fitting bolthole for a trip to one of the UK’s most historic sites—Stonehenge is just 10 miles away. This 13th century Inn was built in the Middle Ages to accommodate workmen tasked with building Salisbury Cathedral, which lies two streets to the south.

Originally called the White Bear, the hotel may have changed genus to Red Lion but it retains many features of the original building. Wander into the South Wing and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in a living museum—check out the 800-year-old wattle and daub walls. Outside the front door was a popular spot to punish nagging women by dunking them in a sewer! Thankfully it’s a more hospitable place these days, with a clutch of pretty rooms, many with original fireplaces—we love the gorgeous Seamstress Suite in the hotel’s attic, with its freestanding cast iron bathtub, exposed beams and walk-in shower.

The courtyard, where stagecoaches used to pull up to collect passengers travelling to London, is now set up for alfresco eating and the 1220 bar has a long history of keeping guests fed and watered. Take afternoon tea or choose from the eclectic all-day ‘gastro menu’ for dinner, which features a full range of fare from burgers to pan-seared venison.

Best Western Red Lion Hotel

Salisbury, 2.9 km to Old Sarum
8.1 Very good (1080 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
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Explore Stonehenge from this boutique hotel with noble connections

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This gorgeous old coaching inn has just nine bedrooms yet sets a remarkably high standard. Its beautifully furnished rooms are a unique combination of chic and cool, and ornate and quirky; you’ll find intricate, on-trend wallpapers alongside classic, dark wood furniture and pretty thrift store, antiques.

Guests love the luxe touches—the full down duvets and pillows and the huge fluffy bedroom towels are a big hit. For a small hotel, there’s a remarkable selection of room sizes on offer including a triple and family room, which makes the Pembroke Arms, in Wilton, appealing if your group numbers more than two.

Set in the grounds of the Wilton Estate—the 400-year-old country seat of the Earls of Pembroke—makes ita quintessentially English setting. Dinner is informal and the menu packed with varied delights from homemade ‘Pembroke Pies’, to eight veggie or vegan options with a Middle Eastern twist. Wilton House is open to visitors at Easter and from May to September each year. There are visiting art exhibitions and Lord Pembroke’s classic car collection to peruse.

A regal guesthouse

Noble guests and royal visitors to Wilton House may have stayed at the Pembroke Arms in the late 1700s. It was built as accommodation for guests who couldn’t be catered for in the main stately house.

The Pembroke Arms

Wilton, 0.2 km to Wilton House
9.0 Excellent (551 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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A small contemporary hotel perfect for couples visiting Stonehenge

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This 12-room gem of a hotel in Salisbury may date back to the 19th century but the décor is far from old. The vibe at Qudos is slick, modern and minimalist, which ensures it stands out amongst Salisbury’s many old-world hotels.

The rooms are sharp and uncluttered in grey and white hues, with comfy beds and big baths and the staff, can’t help but please. The food is unfussy—think burgers, steaks and salads—and the bar menu is jam-packed with gins, rum and Whiskeys. Couples will love the live music and acts, every Thursday through Saturday. The hotel is a five-minute walk from Salisbury Cathedral and just two minutes from the bus stop for the Stonehenge Tour.

A visit to the city’s cathedral is a must. Medieval craftsmen toiled for 38 years to build the Gothic structure and its impressive spire—the tallest in the United Kingdom. Foodies will love the Charter Market and the Farmer’s market on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Scout around for local produce, fresh breads, cheeses and Wiltshire wines. You’ll find independent shops and boutiques on Milford Street, Winchester Street and Fisherton Street near City Hall.

Qudos

Salisbury, 2.5 km to Old Sarum
8.1 Very good (836 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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A Grade II listed hotel on the doorstep of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site

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Many hotels near Stonehenge have a backstory, but few count their tales back to the year 1242 and have royalty as their former guests. Rollestone Manor in Shrewton was once owned by the Seymour family. Lady Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII and mother of his son Edward VI) allegedly used the house as a bolthole in the early 1500s.

The tranquil manor house is packed with period features, offset with modern touches. Its seven welcoming rooms have ornate fireplaces alongside walk-in showers and flatscreen TVs and are all named after previous owners. We like the Cardigan Room (namesake the Earl of Cardigan), with its four-poster bed and roll-top bath.

Dinner is a three-course affair with touches of French, English and Thai cuisine. Shrewton is three minutes by car from Stonehenge and 20 minutes from Salisbury. There are numerous bridleways and footpaths around the village. For a walk and Sunday lunch follow the River Till south to Berwick St James and stop at The Boot Inn.

Rollestone Manor

Top rated
Salisbury, 12.3 km to Old Sarum
9.2 Excellent (544 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.5 / 10
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