Row over Stonehenge visitor centre continues

First published in News

A TOUR operator has waded into the row over the £27million improvement project at Stonehenge, saying that while some operators may bypass the stones the “vast majority” are welcoming the transformation.

The new development – involving a ten-minute shuttle from the new visitor centre being built 2km from the stones – will require a significantly extended visit time for tour operators.

Some guides fear the plans have been ill-thought out and that the two-hour stop recommended by English Heritage will put tourists off as many have limited time and want to “see as much as possible” in their packed daily itineraries.

But Ralph Bennett, director of Tours International, who has brought visitors to the iconic site for the last 25 years, said they only spend a short while at the site because the current facilities are inadequate.

He said: “Parking is problematic, our clients have to queue and there is nowhere to sit and eat under cover. Yes, we currently fit two or three destinations into a one-day tour, but Stonehenge is most definitely the star attraction.

“The transformation being made by English Heritage will address these problems and enable us to offer Stonehenge either as a day out in its own right or as part of a two-stop tour; and a two-hour visit will be about right.

“The vast majority of us are embracing the future, which will at long last mean we can properly showcase one of our most iconic and fascinating visitor attractions to tourists from around the world.”

Comments (2)

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10:35pm Tue 15 Jan 13

the optimist says...

You need to look at Tours International web site to see how this company fits itineraries together. 8.30am leave central London to arrive in Bath for lunch after visiting Stonehenge. I have yet to do that journey in a car in less than two and a half hours let alone a coach. That gives about 45 minutes at the stones including queuing to get in.

I wonder if he has spoken to his staff about his plans to stay at the stones for longer.
You need to look at Tours International web site to see how this company fits itineraries together. 8.30am leave central London to arrive in Bath for lunch after visiting Stonehenge. I have yet to do that journey in a car in less than two and a half hours let alone a coach. That gives about 45 minutes at the stones including queuing to get in. I wonder if he has spoken to his staff about his plans to stay at the stones for longer. the optimist
  • Score: 0

11:14pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Capricorn 1 says...

If it puts people off who can't be bothered to take the time then it's their loss, no-one else's.

Tour companies will have to adapt and allow their paying customers to have the time needed to see this World Heritage site.

The current set up is an embarrassment.
If it puts people off who can't be bothered to take the time then it's their loss, no-one else's. Tour companies will have to adapt and allow their paying customers to have the time needed to see this World Heritage site. The current set up is an embarrassment. Capricorn 1
  • Score: 0

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