Did you know that you can rent a car in England and travel to the historic Stonehenge monument from London in just one day? Driving around England is a great way to see the country and explore the rural landscape of the UK, and it’s small enough for exciting day trips. Here’s how to get from London to Stonehenge with a few must-see pit stops along the way to round out your journey…
London to Stonehenge: The Route
Driving time: Approx. 2 hours and 40 minutes
The best place to start would be to pick up a rental car at Heathrow Airport. Heathrow is an ideal location to start your one day trip from London by car, as it’s just west of London and on the perimeter, and you won’t need to pay any congestion charges or extortionate parking rates here.
There are a number of routes you can take to get to Stonehenge from London, but to fit in the most incredible sights we recommend heading out of the airport and onto the M25 northbound. Next, take the exit for the M4 westbound, and just 20 minutes into your journey you will come across the majestic Windsor Castle (via the B470).
The 11th Century Castle, which was built by William the Conqueror, is associated with the British Royal Family, as it is to this day one of their homes, and is the largest inhabited castle in the world. You can tour the castle for an admission fee of about £20 per adult and experience the lovely small town of Windsor, which is also home to the famous Eton College.
For your next stop, drive for just under 50 minutes until you reach the A4/Bath Rd. then follow this road towards The Living Rainforest – a charity and exhibition that is home to 700 species of plants and animals inside an accurately constructed rainforest, which is sheltered by glasshouses. Great for both children and adults, the rainforest explores regions, foods, and biodiversity, and has free parking.
After your educational visit, drive for 20 minutes onto the small village of Donnington, a region famous for its motor-racing track at Donington Park, the village is actually home to Donnington Castle – a medieval castle steeped in bloody history and also has a gothic mansion, a priory and grove.
Just after Donnington you come to the town of Newbury where you’ll find the stunning Highclere Castle – the set for the hit TV series Downton Abbey. You can take a “Downton Tour” but make sure you book well in advance if you would like to do this, and be aware that the tour only runs for limited weeks of the year.
From Donnington Castle drive about one hour onto the city of Salisbury, take the A34 south, then the A30 westbound until you reach the city. The setting for Thomas Hardy novels, Salisbury has a glorious cathedral that is a must visit, and the city also has a wealth of British aristocratic homes and buildings, including Wilton House.
From Salisbury, Stonehenge is just a 20 minute drive north on the A360.
The prehistoric monument of Stonehenge is the most complex and mysterious Bronze Age and Neolithic site in England. The stones are set in a circle, and no one knows exactly how or why it was built. There have been a number of theories, such as a ceremonial route for death, however, the mystery continues about this beguiling ring of large stones. The more than 5,000-year-old stone formation is definitely one for the bucket list and well worth taking a scenic drive to on a day trip from London by car!
Route map to Stonehenge from London
Munich and Berlin are two of the best cities in Germany, and both have a lot to offer. But when it comes to choosing a German city to visit will it be Munich or Berlin? We have put together the pros and cons of each city to help you decide between the exciting German cities of Munich or Berlin:
Berlin, well known for its division into east and west sides during the Cold War, has modern history that is still palpable throughout the city. Walk through any street in the east side and trace the remnants of the Berlin Wall covered in stunning graffiti. Visit the museums dedicated to the history of the people living in the German Democratic Republic, such as the Stazi Museum that has every record of every person living in east Berlin, and everything they said and did.
While in Berlin a number of historic buildings were destroyed by the GDR, Munich is still home to a number of traditional German buildings and churches that are worth a visit. The capital of Bavaria, Munich has a walkable old town, with centuries-old historic buildings, a central square and a town hall that has a popular Glockenspiel show.
Munich vs Berlin?
Munich. If you want a unique living and breathing history then Berlin has it. But if it is old Germany you are after, it has to be Munich.
Berlin’s nightlife is famously impressive, known as the techno capital of the world, as the place where the genre comes from and is still hugely popular today. With Berlin’s makeshift bars, rule-less raves and warehouse clubs, Berlin has been called the best clubbing city in Europe; a place where music and dance is a religion. For food in Berlin, you can get everything here. From traditional German to burgers, and most of the options come at a very reasonable price.
Famous for Oktoberfest, the annual beer festival takes place in Munich every September to the first weekend in October and usually lasts around 16 days. During the festival large tables are assembled, people don traditional Bavarian attire and a lot of beer is consumed from the classic German steins. Throughout the festival, and all year round, beer halls are popular places to both eat and drink in Munich, offering two-pint steins and traditional German food.
Munich vs Berlin?
Berlin. If you are looking to drink beer and eat traditional food Munich is the place for you, and ideally during the exciting Oktoberfest. However, if you want a taste of an exciting, diverse music scene then Berlin wins hands down as the most exciting city in Germany.
Berlin is three times larger than Munich and has the transportation to match, with an efficient overground and underground train system covering most of the city. Berlin also has buses, trams and metrotrams if you prefer to see more of the city on your travels around.
The smaller city of Munich can be negotiated by foot but does also have both an underground and overground train line, buses and trams to help you get around. You can buy one ticket for all forms of transportation.
Munich vs Berlin?
Tie. While a car rental in Germany will offer you the best way to get around the broader area, public transportation is best for shorter trips within the downtown center. Both cities offer an excellent standard of cheap transportation around the cities that Germany is famous for.
With its thriving arts scene, Berlin has been recognized as a city for culture and creative industries. It’s home to 700 art galleries, Universal Music Group, and was even named the “City of Design” in 2005. The vibrant and diverse culture is what is truly great about this city.
Unlike Berlin, Munich maintains a traditional Bavarian culture. While Berlin could be described as a diverse metropolis, Munich harbors more of what you might imagine from a traditional German city. Famous for its renowned football team Bayern Munich and Oktoberfest beer festival, it can be difficult to locate the authentic culture of Munich and get past these archetypes.
Munich vs Berlin?
Berlin. With it’s exhilarating nightlife and expanding art, design and music scene, it has to Berlin!
So, which is the best German city to visit?
All in all, both German cities are incredible places to visit and offer and insight into German history both modern and traditional. However, Berlin has the most unique recent history that can still be felt in the city today, and the city reacted to the changes by creating a thriving music and arts scene that must be explored, while you still can. So it has to be Berlin!
Regardless of which city you choose, trust in Kemwel to find you the best prices on your public transportation while visiting either of these magnificent metropolises. Whether you need a car rental in Berlin or a Munich rental car, we offer the most affordable options with some of the best deals you’ll find anywhere. Check out your options online or give Kemwel a call, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, to speak with one of our travel experts and begin planning your tour of Germany today!
One of the most popular places to tour in all of Europe and a must for anyone visiting Rome, the Vatican City (also known as The Holy See) is a must for those looking for a little history, and a lot of surprises. We’ve put together 5 Vatican City Facts to read before you head to the picturesque location that is surrounded by Rome, Italy:
1. Surprisingly, the Vatican has its own post office, pharmacy, and publishing house.
Not to mention the influential radio station (Radio Vatican broadcasting throughout Europe), web site, important observatory that hosts international astronomers’ conferences, and a unique banking system that is central to the finances of the state. Speaking of banks, the Vatican Bank is actually the only bank in the world that allows ATM users to select Latin to perform transactions (in case you were fancying doing just that!).
2. What is the smallest country in the world? You guessed it, it’s the Vatican City.
Encircled by a 2-mile border of stone, visiting the Vatican City which is governed as an absolute monarchy with the pope at its head and currently has a population of 842, is exciting and slightly crowded. Incredibly, the Vatican produces its own euros, prints its own stamps, issues passports and license plates, and has its own flag and anthem. There are also no taxes, no restrictions on the import or export of funds, and no customs that have to be paid. Employees of the Vatican pay no income tax on gasoline or goods that they buy there and non-Italians enjoy allowances on their monthly salaries.
3. The Vatican Museum contains one of the most prevalent art collections in the world.
With multiple galleries and displays, and works from the immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the country, it’s quite the site to see. The Sistine Chapel nearby is famous for its frescos, which include works by Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, as well as the ceiling and Last Judgment by Michelangelo.
4. The Vatican is digitizing its library and making it available to everyone for free.
The Vatican Apostolic Library is undertaking an extensive digital preservation of its 82,000 document collection. The entire undertaking is expected to take at least 15 years and cost more than $63 million dollars; an effort the Vatican Library is attempting to support, in part, by crowd-source funding. Partly because of how great the task is, we just couldn’t leave this off the list of Vatican City facts.
5. The Vatican has no military branch.
Within the Vatican, the Swiss Guard has been responsible for the personal safety of the Pope since 1506, but in reality, its function is ceremonial and policing of the state is left to the Civil Guard. If anything were to go wrong, Italy would step in and take responsibility for defense. When visiting the Vatican City, you can be sure to see the Swiss Guard in their official dress uniform which is made up of blue, red, orange, and yellow with a distinctly Renaissance appearance.
Visiting the Vatican City
As the spiritual and governing center of the Roman Catholic Church, and with cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums; visiting the Vatican City is truly something to be remembered! If you plan on touring iconic sites like Vatican City, keep these fascinating facts in mind to uphold your appreciation for the amazing nation-state but be sure to visit some of the other attractions Europe has to behold, too. You’ll want a genuine and immersive experience of this wonderful country and a car rental in Italy is the perfect way to see as much as you can in comfort and convenience! Contact Kemwel today to learn just how much you can save on your next vacation abroad with some of the best travel deals and specials available; check out our options online or call one of our friendly travel experts, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668. Your next international adventure awaits!