Take a day trip from London to visit three of the most quintessentially English landmarks in the UK and still be home for dinner
When: Autumn | Cost per couple: £30 (excluding fuel) | What for: Heritage, History, all round Englishness
An English Heritage Day trip from London
9:30AM You will see Stonehenge on your right from the A303 Amesbury Bypass. Now you can follow the signs for the official car park but you will pay £20 per person to visit, or you can double back on the same road heading back to London from the roundabout after Stonehenge and take the dirt track on your left up to the park gates (not suitable for low profile vehicles). You can then take the walkers gate to the side of the main checkpoint which is free and gives you views like our pictures.
It can be cold and windy so make sure you have the right clothes…you have been warned!
Pay entry for this if you want to spend longer here but the price didn’t justify our duration.
10AM – Get back in the warmth of your car then head to the little town of Shaftesbury and park in Angel Lane Car Park SP7 8DF (free on a Sunday).
10:30AM – You will be hungry so squeeze into the very British café ‘The John Peel’ (52 High St) with it’s quirky roof. Fuel up on some breakfast and a pot of tea or an early lunch. It’s nice to give something back to the community for what you are about to witness next for free!
11AM – The main reason for coming here is to see the perfectly English Gold Hill (found down the old staircase opposite Cancer Research and next to the council building). Star of a nostalgic Hovis bread advert directed by Ridley Scott.
11:40AM – After you have soaked in the views of Gold Hill and watched the Hovis advert several times on YouTube from your phone, you can explore the quirky shops around town or jump back in the car and start heading back towards London with the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, your last stop where you will witness the tallest spire in England. Use SP2 7TD on your SatNav for parking at Lush House car park.
12:20PM – If Lush House car park is full, continue along Crane St and use any of the free Pay & Display street parking bays or the Old George Mall Car Park SP1 2PH. You could always park in the Cathedral grounds (SP1 2EJ) but they were charging £10 when we visited. Soak in in the Cathedral from outside and in. Don’t miss the Magna Carta and if you can, try to hear a recital. The acoustics in this place is incredible and makes you feel like you have stepped back centuries in time. There is a suggested donation of £14 per person but the Cathedral is free to visit. You can give more or less than the suggested donation.
2PM – Stay for a late lunch in Salisbury and wander round its medieval charms or head back to London so you can beat the weekend rush hour between 16:00 – 19:00 and spend your evening chilling whilst admiring your amazing pictures with a sense of satisfaction you hit three of the most nostalgic, quaint English heritage sites within reach of London in one day! Well done you!