More than 1.3 million visits to Stonehenge in 2023, new report shows

VISITOR numbers to Stonehenge increased by 36% in 2023, reaching more than 1.3 million, according to a new report.

The figures, from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), showed a 19% rise in visitor numbers to the UK’s most popular destinations last year.

More than 1.3 million people ventured to the stone circle of Stonehenge, making the Wiltshire site the 23rd most-visited attraction in the UK.

Top of the pile was the British Museum, which attracted a whopping 5.8 million visits, up 42%. That was followed by the Natural History Museum (5.6m).

The British Museum was the most visited UK attraction. Picture: Luke Massey/Greater London National Park City Initiative

The British Museum was the most visited UK attraction. Picture: Luke Massey/Greater London National Park City Initiative

The most visited outdoor attraction was Windsor’s Great Park, popular among royal spotters, which saw 5.4m visits.

In fourth place was the Tate Modern (4.7m), with the Southbank Centre in London completing the top five (3.1m).

Bernard Donoghue OBE, director of ALVA, said: “Our members are not yet back to hosting the same number of visitors that they did in 2019, but they are really delighted that even in a challenging cost-of-living climate, visitors are still prioritising spending special time with special people at special places.”

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He said an extension of tax relief for venues such as museums and theatres helped boost numbers, but the removal of tax-free shopping for tourists was a “missed opportunity”.

“While the extension of tax relief for museums, theatres and galleries was a very welcome announcement in the recent Budget, there was a missed opportunity to reintroduce tax free shopping for overseas visitors, which would have improved the UK’s international competitiveness, and reduce VAT for tourism and hospitality which would have helped businesses repair their balance sheets,” he added.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.