A new Groups Reception Building located in the recently completed 52-space coach park at Stonehenge, opens at 9.30am on Monday 9 October, making visits for groups arriving at the world famous ancient attraction by coach simpler and easier.
The opening marks the completion of phase 2 of a major improvement project started by English Heritage almost a year ago aimed at streamlining group arrivals and improving visitor flow at the busy site.
The new building gives group leaders a new and more convenient interior reception space for ticket and audio guide collection. It also houses extensive toilet facilities which almost double the number on site and will be especially handy for passengers disembarking from coaches after long journeys.
Other improvements completed earlier this year include a newly-designed permanent coach park with an upgraded layout on the footprint of its temporary predecessor, which has already made vehicle movements more efficient and enhanced pedestrian safety. A new groups-only shuttle pick up point has also been added next to the reception building. It allows groups to go directly from the coach park to the Stone Circle, where an enlarged drop off/pick up layout makes the shuttle service more fluid and flexible – and able to provide more visitor journeys at times of peak pressure if required.
Groups returning from the Stone Circle are dropped at the nearby visitor centre where they can view internal and external exhibitions, shop for souvenirs and enjoy refreshments in the café before walking the short distance to the coach park to re-join their vehicles.
Completion of the improvement project marks a significant moment in the recent history of this ancient World Heritage Site, which has seen enormous changes take place in the past four years since English Heritage opened new visitor facilities 2km away from the Stone Circle.
Kate Davies, Stonehenge’s General Manager says: “This marks an important milestone for us and for the tour operators and GTOs who bring the majority of our visitors to Stonehenge each year. We worked closely with our travel trade partners to find the best way to meet demand and ease congestion at this important heritage attraction and feedback shows they have already noticed a significant improvement since we finished the first phase earlier this year.
“The project’s completion now lets us extend a truly world-class welcome to all our visitors across all areas of the site. It will allow our travel trade partners to plan their Stonehenge itineraries for the years ahead knowing that their groups will have the opportunity to fully enjoy all aspects of our facilities and an enhanced experience of this ancient wonder of human endeavour.”
English Heritage has also just released admission prices from April 2018 through to April 2020 at Stonehenge, to help operators plan ahead. They are:
Groups of 11 or more receive a 10% discount on these entry prices to Stonehenge. One tour leader and one coach driver are admitted free with each group (and do not count towards group numbers).
Group admission to Stonehenge operates on a timed ticket system and group admission must be pre-booked. To book, call +44 (0)370 333 0604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The fourth special exhibition to open in the award-winning visitor centre at Stonehenge opens later this month. Called ‘Feast!’ it reveals the diet and lifestyle of the people who built Stonehenge.