We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

Which Amesbury hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Dallas
Level Contributor
29 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

We will be taking in the sites in Oxford this May 27th (on a Wednesday), and will then drive to Stonehenge. We have tickets for the Inner Circle at 18:30 that evening. What time would you recommend us getting on the road from Oxford to make it to Stonhenge by 18:30? Do you have a preferred route?

Google Maps shows the drive to be 1 hr and 15 min taking the A34 to the A303. But, this doesn't take into account rush hour traffic. I am hoping the A34 does not have a parking lot reputation around 17:00.

Any help is appreciated.

Many thanks,

Brent

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

The A34 - not good. Gets very busy all the time and is prone to massive jams at the drop of a broken down car, accident, whatever. I have spent many a happy hour stuck on it though its improved considerably over the past couple of years, but one accident and its back to its old ways. Then onto the A303 which can be the same, ... oh, and you are driving out of central Oxford to start with ...oops :-)

I would be getting out of Oxford well prior to 5pm, so lets say 430pm? You'll probably be at Stonehenge at 530 if you do this. Leave it 30 minutes later and you might take 45 minutes just to get out of Oxford. I would probably do the exact same route, and accept I might get there too early as the price for being prudent, rather that than be too late for a one-off event.

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
Level Contributor
6,729 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

Just to add to what Joe's written, I would recommend aiming to arrive by 5.45pm - that is if you want to be able to buy some souvenirs and have a quick snack. The gift shop (and it's pretty good as gift shops go) and the refreshment kiosk will shut at 6pm. Fortunately the loos will still be open (but may not be by 7.30pm) Hopefully the weather will be kind, because there isn't any under-cover whilst you wait. (My biggest bug-bear about the facilities at Stonehenge).

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
Level Contributor
6,729 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

Sorry. Just thinking...

I would be very 'nervous' starting my journey at 5pm in Oxford. Bang on rush hour, combined with congested narrow roads (been there, done that), heading towards the M4; potential bottleneck as traffic gets on and off at Jn 13; potential bottleneck around Newbury (although the A34 IS much better than it used to be); bottle neck at the roundabout joining the A34 and A303.

I think I'd be out of Oxford by 4pm, and possibly a bit earlier. Sorry! However, if this means you find you have plenty of time at the other end, then consider stopping off at Durrington Walls (probably sign posted for Woodhenge off the A303).

Or you could have a look at Old Sarum, although factor in the traffic heading away from Salisbury. Allow at least (at LEAST) 20 minutes to get back up the A345.

But if you're a bit late, don't fret... you are let in by the security guards, and I've come to the conclusion that the one by the car park will just radio the one by the stones to say that some stragglers have arrived, and in you go. But I haven't tested that theory yet.

My experience: If you have a map handy, just find where Avebury is. One time we left there at 4.30pm (a 45 min journey) and I screeched into the carpark at 5.52pm, just in time for my American friends to run to the gift shop! But I was a nervous wreck by that point.

warrensburg,MO
Level Contributor
7,685 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

Allow an hour and a half.

Leave Oxford west on the Botley Road and onto the A420 towards Swindon, turning off onto the A338 at Tubney Woods. Take this road via Wantage and Hungerford then hit the A303 just about 6 miles east of Stonehenge. It'll be the quietest route and definately quite scenic via the Berkshire Downs.

Dallas
Level Contributor
29 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

Thanks for all this great feedback.

henneth,

I can't turn down the option of a route with less traffic and better scenery.:-) I compared in Google Maps and the A338 route is around 10 miles shorter, but 15 minuts longer. I guess Google adds time to the route when selecting smaller roads.

You also replied with the same 1.5 hours as Google Maps. Do you think if we left Oxford at 16:00 we can make the journey via the A338 in 1.5 hours, or will we hit some bad traffic around 17:00 as we start approaching Hungerford? I wonder if this could be a 2+ hour drive that requires leaving closer to 15:30 if we want to arrive before 18:00. Your thoughts?

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
Level Contributor
6,729 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

The difference being the A338 is likely to be 30 or 40 miles per hour for a lot of it, whereas the A34/A303 will be 70 or 60 for much of it...

I know Henneth and have a lot of respect for his advice and knowledge, so I'm not going to knock it. Just wish to point out that the A34 isn't all bad... it will take you past Highclere Castle

http://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/

(annoying moving graphics)

and

Whitchurch

http://www.whitchurch.hampshire.org.uk/

Mind you, if you listen to the local radio stations in the car, that may help decide the route, as hopefully there'll be regular traffic bulletins.

warrensburg,MO
Level Contributor
7,685 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

The downland of Berks and Wilts look beautiful either route. I have used the A338 route more often than the A34 and have found it a little faster but there really isn't that much in it. Slow moving trucks on the route via Didcot to Newbury on the A34 have caused delays as have farm vehicles around Tidworth and Collingbourne Ducis on the A338.

It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. It's just my route of choice is via Wantage and Hungerford. It may be determined by traffic news on the radio on the day you depart.

By the way, if you can take two hours for the journey, that'll mean you'll arrive a little less flustered and more relaxed, just in case of any delays.

Dallas
Level Contributor
29 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

Great advice - this is a great forum and I appreciate the help.

I'll be in the car and out of Oxford at 4:00. This should give us plenty of time whichever route we take. It sounds like a toss up from a risk perspective.

Thanks again, Brent

9. Re: Oxford to Stonhenge drive during Rush Hour

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:25 am, November 07, 2009