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  1. Robert Murphy

Stonehenge bosses respond to criticism that its new visitor centre can't cope with high tourist numbers

The new visitor centre at Stonehenge has come in for heavy criticism from some tourists who are claiming that being at the centre - which opened last month - is chaotic because of long delays and severe overcrowding.

Some of the complaints about the experience include reports of visitors queuing for more than an hour to board the 'land train' which carries people from the centre to the stones. The journey of a mile-and-a-half takes just ten minutes.

Managers have said that the majority of feedback has been positive. They say that they are trying to address the problems. Robert Murphy reports.

  1. West Country (E)

Stonehenge: "majority of feedback positive"

Managers at Stonehenge's new visitor centre say feedback has been "overwhelmingly positive", though they admit there have been "some issues."

The statement comes after the centre received a number of complaints about overcrowding and delays in the transport to the stones.

There has been huge interest in Stonehenge since the new visitor centre opened towards the end of December. On one day alone we welcomed 5000 visitors which is along the same levels as during our peak summer season.

This is a brand new operation, on a completely different scale to the old visitor centre, and naturally during these early days, there have been some issues. But we are solving them, we have increased our shuttle service taking people to the stones and from 1 February, our timed ticketing system will swing into place.

The majority of feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, visitors have been fascinated by our new exhibition and love the sense that the stones are now reconnected with the wider landscape. We appreciate all the feedback we've received and we would ask people to be patient while we iron out the few remaining issues.

– Kate Davies, Stonehenge's General Manager

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Stonehenge visitor centre 'struggling to cope with tourists'

The new £27 million visitor centre at Stonehenge is struggling to cope with the amount of visitors it receives.

Tourists have described the scenes at the centre as 'chaotic', with staff and volunteers also voicing their concerns with having to cope with thousands of visitors every day.

People have also expressed their anger through tourism websites such as TripAdvisor, criticising the ticketing and transportation from the centre to the mysterious stones.

Queues of more to an hour to go and see the stones has been the main complaint.

English Heritage has called for patients while they deal with 'teething problems'.

The £27 million new visitor centre is having a few 'teething problems' according to English Heritage Credit: ITV Meridian

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  1. National

Virtual tour of stones opened at Stonehenge centre

The £27 million project to modernise facilities at Stonehenge will finally open after decades of planning. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The new facilities are housed in a pair of single-storey "pods", sitting beneath an undulating canopy that mimics the rolling plains nearby.

Further work to decommission the existing facilities, built in 1968, and returning the car park to grass will start in the New Year.

The new visitor centre. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

There is a 360-degree Stand in the Stones experience, using state-of-the-art laser scans, to allow visitors to experience summer and winter solstices.

Young visitors experience the virtual tour of the stones. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Stonehenge revamp unveiled

Visitors to the historic site will be allowed inside a special exhibition Credit: PA

The much-anticipated new Stonehenge exhibition will open tomorrow, giving visitors a special exhibition surrounding the story of the historical monuments.

The transformation comes as part of an English Heritage £27 million project to enhance the visitor experience of the iconic site.

A 360-degree virtual experience will allow visitors to 'stand in the stones' where they can be transported back in time with the stones.

Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said:

"At last, visitors to Stonehenge will be able to get a sense of the people who built this monument, of their lives, their deaths and their ceremonies. Visitors will learn the astonishing history of the stones and will see objects, many never seen before, that will bring the stones to life."

Stonehenge visitor centre is nearing completion

Video. The long awaited visitor centre at Stonehenge is nearing completion. £27 million has been spent on transforming the setting of the ancient stones and generally improving the experience for the thousands of visitors who visit the site each year.

It is the largest project undertaken by English Heritage and today, they revealed just what the public will be getting for their money. Our reporter Robert Murphy was given a preview.

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