Visiting Stonehenge in England as a Wheelchair User

Before visiting Stonehenge I did not know much about it. I remember seeing photos within my anthropology textbooks and being curious why a sizable stone structure became historically relevant. What is much more interesting about Stonehenge may be the continuous mystery of how it had been built.

Stonehenge is an extremely important bit of prehistory located outside London, England, in Wiltshire. The making of the initial stone ring structure and surrounding burial mounds dates back to 3000 B.C. Over about 1000 years, the dwelling was built by our Neolithic ancestors and it is considered to have been used in a variety of ways including burials, hunting and as a huge calendar. Of course since the history is so extensive, it is not easy to identify the entirety of its varied purposes over time.

The structure and grounds has been listed like a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. It has become a major tourist attraction for individuals from all over the planet. Some restoration continues to be completed in order to preserve the website but the remaining stones are original. My trip to Stonehenge was mesmerizing and enlightening.

Getting to Stonehenge & Tickets:

The location, unsurprisingly, is incorporated in the middle of a field. While there is a major highway that runs nearby, the museum and exhibits are in the countryside. My arrival to Stonehenge was by car. Of the various ways to get there, this was one of the most convenient. Alternatively, there are tour buses that run every single day from surrounding cities to the site. Unfortunately, not every one of these buses are wheelchair accessible but will have space for any folding wheelchair if you can use stairs. If you're traveling by bus I suggest you originate from Salisbury. You can go to Salisbury by accessible train and then take an accessible bus to the site. I can't recommend a particular bus company but from my experience in England, a lot of companies have accessible options. The key is to call ahead.

I will explain about my experience at the site however the Stonehenge website also offers a nice page directed for the needs of visitors with disabilities. It covers a number of adaptations they have implemented for people with all types of disabilities.

Tickets will also be essential for the visit. To avoid potential long lines at the entrance, I recommend buying online before you visit. While tickets are a little expensive, they have a variety of packages and reduced prices for families and people. A person having a disability is allowed to bring one carer or attendant with them at no additional cost. While the exhibit is open until 8 pm, they're not going to let your prospective customers inside after 6 pm. A nice perk is that the exhibit is open year round, 7 days a week.

The Stonehenge Exhibit:

When arriving towards the museum you may be confused as to in which the stones are or why they are not visible. The stones can be found in regards to a mile from the main museum building that you enter upon arrival. If driving, there are plenty of accessible parking spaces very close to your building. I'd not a problem rolling my wheelchair on any of the paths. When entering the museum the floors are smooth concrete that allow for easy access. If you pre-purchased tickets online your party can join the shorter line. Audio guides and other accessible reading choices are available at the desk. The facility also offers individual accessible toilets, including one that has a changing table.

The museum exhibits describing Stonehenge history are located in this building as well. I suggest dealing with it first, as it provides you with an in depth background on the good reputation for the stones. This exhibit takes 30-40 minutes to view. It includes artifacts, videos along with other interactive exhibits that are great for all ages.

When you have decided to go out to the stones your party can make their method to the rear of the building (there are lots of signs). There you will board a bus that will drive you to the stones. Each bus has a ramp that can be deployed for individuals who may need it. The bus will drop you off away from stones where you will require the road round the stones. Readers are not able to touch the stones so a rope continues to be installed encircling them.

The surrounding path is made of dirt and grass but is flat and easily manageable for wheelchairs. I had no trouble rolling around in my manual wheelchair. The nearby land is available for tourists to view and walk ins but is not all accessible for wheelchairs as it is mainly fields. Addititionally there is an urgent situation only accessible toilet right near the stones.

Visiting the stones is a reasonably magical experience. It's a bit incredible to view a piece of history that's over 5,000 years of age. When you are viewing the stones you understand how giant they're. It's even more impressive the stones were brought from Wales – countless miles away. As I mentioned, it is also a burial ground therefore it feels very sacred. It's interesting to assume exactly what the stones were utilised for as well as their importance to the people who moved them. As time has passed many stones have fallen and also the current structure is only a bit of the original structure. The museum offers visuals on what it used to look like.

After your stroll round the stones, you are able to board the bus to the main building. There you can go to the present look for your Stonehenge memorabilia. They also have numerous interesting history books concerning the region and the stones.

Overall Experience:

My trip to Stonehenge was very educational and exciting. It had been nice to see the museum makes many efforts in order to be available to all visitors. I felt employees was very useful and properly trained. I definitely recommend a day trip to Stonehenge in your next trip to England. It's not every single day you're able to see a few of the oldest surviving bits of human history! stonehenge wheelchair accessible


About the Author – Grace Kestler is a 26 years old residing in Berlin, Germany pursuing her Masters in Intercultural Conflict Management. She has been in Berlin for one year, but is originally from Columbus, IN. Grace received her Bachelors in Communication and Anthropology from DePauw University. Additionally, she was born with Muscular Dystrophy and it has been using a wheelchair the majority of her lifetime. She loves to travel and find out about different cultures! In her own free time she enjoys a great beer or exploring a brand new cuisine and spending time outdoors.