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Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
107 posts
38 reviews
Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

I've read a lot of posts on the Stonehenge tour bus but I'm not sure what to do. I thought the bus was the way to go until I read a post saying a family of 4 should just take a taxi-and this poster beat the buses by far in timing. Here's our situation:

Family of 4 traveling from London to Salisbury via train on Sunday July 3. Earliest train arrives in Salisbury at 9:45 am. We have a Salsibury cathedral tour at 2:15 pm. So clearly off to Stonehenge first, then Old Sarum (if time) and back to Salisbury for cathedral tour and walking around Salisbury. I've looked at the Stonehenge tours bus schedule and it can be done (10am bus to Stonehenge, leave by 12:13 at the latest, arrive Old Sarum at 12:33, leave Old Sarum at 1:33, arrive Salisbury at 1:45 for a 2;15 pm tour). Am I better off taking a taxi so that I am not tied to the bus schedule? I see the bus is 40 pounds for the family without admission (and I realize if I take a taxi I would have to get a timed admission from the Heritage site). The taxi would probably be more but I'm willing to pay a bit more if people think that I will have issues with the bus (like not getting on the 10am bus, late running buses etc.) Thanks for the help!!

Edited: 14 April 2016, 11:37
Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London, Windsor
Level Contributor
8,033 posts
63 reviews
1. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

Why not contact eg www.spiretravel.co.uk to see how much they would charge, so that you could make an informed decision about which way to go.

You don't need to book the HOHO bus, so even if your train did arrive late, you've not lost money, and can then get a taxi. (But prebooked should be cheaper than getting one of the rank).

It doesn't give you a lot of time at Stonehenge, and possibly a bit too long at Old Sarum (in my opinion, anyhow). But there's not a lot in it. However, a taxi just gives you a little bit more flexibility at Stonehenge. With the bus, if you're not on it by 12.13, it's gone. With a prebooked taxi, they will wait for you for a bit, if you are late out. And when are you going to eat?

Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
107 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

Thanks. As far as eating, I think we'll need to bring something or grab something at the Café at Stonehenge. Had no idea long Old Sarum would take--the buses run every half hour so I could do it in 30 minutes if that is enough? I'll check out the taxi co. I assume there is no place to rent a car at the train station??

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London, Windsor
Level Contributor
8,033 posts
63 reviews
3. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

If you're not used to driving on the left, I don't think it's worth the aggravation and panic of hiring a car for what is essentially not very far, and just for a few hours and the cost would probably be more than a taxi. But no, I can't think of anywhere by the station, but that's because I've never needed to look!

Old Sarum could take an hour if there are events going on - or it could take 20 minutes to look at a few ruined walls and admire the view. It's hard to know what your level of interest is going to be there. My dog enjoyed a run there once, so it's very pleasant. And although I enjoy history, there's not enough wall or rooms to keep me engaged there. But that's just me.

Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
107 posts
38 reviews
4. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

Thanks!! The taxi co is quite expensive unfortunately. One other question (if you know). If I decide to take a cab (say the train is late and I miss the bus by 5 minutes) to Stonehenge, can I buy a ticket for the bus at Stonehenge and take the bus back? I assume I could but figured I should ask (I realize I'll be paying full price for it)

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London, Windsor
Level Contributor
8,033 posts
63 reviews
5. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

How much was the taxi charging? (I'm just being nosy)

I don't see why you couldn't get the bus from Stonehenge. You pay the driver, and it's not like you need reserved seats. So whilst I can't categorically say yes, I can't see why not.

Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
107 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

Thanks! Not nosy at all, TA is nothing if not a great place to share travel information. The taxi co quoted me 150 pounds. I also contacted Spire Tours (which I found in another post) and they were willing to give me a guided tour of Salisbury and Old Sarum for the same price (and possible Salisbury if there was time before the Cathedral tower tour). So if I were skipping the bus, it seems the guided tour would be the way to go. www.spiretours.co.uk

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London, Windsor
Level Contributor
8,033 posts
63 reviews
7. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

Oh, I thought Spire Travel and Spire Tours were the same company; just different branches.

Well, whatever you decide to do, hope you have a great day.

8. Re: Salisbury/Old Sarum/Cathedral tour July 3-bus vs. taxi

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