Want to see the places from the legends of King Arthur? Take a King Arthur tour from London and see famous sites from the Arthurian legends.
Our King Arthur tour from London was one of my favorite day trips I’ve taken in England. Not only do you get to learn about the myths and legends of King Arthur, but you also get to see Stonehenge.
Check out this King Arthur tour from London for an exciting day trip to key places from the legends of King Arthur.
King Arthur and Stonehenge Tour
There are so many questions surrounding Stonehenge, which is probably what makes it so appealing. Why was it built? How did they build it? How did they transport the stones, many believed to be from south-west Wales?
And how is Stonehenge related to King Arthur?
The wizard Merlin was asked to create a monument (in some versions its to dead chieftains killed in the massacre of the Night of the Long Knives, and in others its to King Uther Pendragon’s brother). He suggests dismantling the Kin’s Ring from Mount Killarus in Ireland and bringing it to England. Merlin then reconstructs the stones on the Salisbury Plain as Stonehenge.
When Arthur was a boy, he drew the sword from an anvil, signifying he was the true King of England. In one version of the story, the sword was made from a stone from Stonehenge.
Admission to Stonehenge is now based on timed tickets due to the site’s popularity, so you have to book in advance to reserve a ticket. I recommend getting to Stonehenge right as it opens so you can beat the crowds.
Stonehenge is much more enjoyable when there aren’t so many people around. You get to walk around the entire stone circle, seeing it from close up and from far away, and this is much easier done when you don’t have to look past people’s heads.
You can also see the burial mounds that dot the landscape. Whatever Stonehenge’s purpose, it was clearly important to be buried close to the site.
Besides the stone circle, the historical site also includes Neolithic house models and an exhibition at the Visitor Center.
A lot of people will really hate on Stonehenge, saying it’s crowded and overrated. And to be fair, you are just walking around a bunch of rocks. I’ve seen Stonehenge twice now, so I totally get it.
It’s still a really interesting site, and that’s why I recommend doing it as part of a tour (whether guided or on your own) rather than making the trip out just for Stonehenge.
In the King Arthur legend, the Isle of Avalon is where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was forged and where Arthur was brought after being mortally wounded. Glastonbury Tor is believed to be the Isle of Avalon.
Glastonbury became associated with Avalon when 12th century monks at Glastonbury Abbey claimed to have unearthed King Arthur’s and Queen Guinevere’s remains.
This was most likely a publicity stunt to raise funds for the abbey. But in ancient times the conical hill of Glastonbury Tor would have been an island, or at least a peninsula, surrounded by marshlands. Even now when the fog settles around the plains, Glastonbury Tor rises like an island from the mist.
Visiting Glastonbury Tor
If you want to walk all the way to the top of Glastonbury Tor, you can. Otherwise, most people will be satisfied with a quick photo op stop here.
The climb to the top is easy to moderate. The climb is steep, but it only takes about 20 minutes. The paths are paved and gravel.
Chalice Well Gardens
In the valley beneath Glastonbury Tor flows the iron-rich waters of the Chalice Well. Fed by the waters of the Red Spring, and so given a reddish hue, Chalice Well has been linked to the blood of Christ, marking the site where Joseph of Arimathea placed the Holy Grail that had caught the drops of Christ’s blood at the Crucifixion.
King Arthur and his knights are famous for their quest for the Holy Grail.
In the design of the well lid are two circles bisected by a sword. Many believe this to be a reference to King Arthur’s legendary sword Excalibur.
Visiting the Chalice Well
The well is a place that attracts multiple faiths. Some believe the waters have healing properties, and some simply enjoy the gardens for their natural serenity.
There is a small entrance fee, and the gardens are open daily.
Take in the peacefulness of the gardens and drink from the Lions Head Fountain for a taste of the healing waters.
Glastonbury Abbey is where 12th century monks claimed to have found King Arthur’s remains, the remains of his wife Queen Guinevere, as well as the sword Excalibur.
The abbey was built in the 7th century, but in the 12th century it suffered from a fire that destroyed most of the buildings. It is believed the “discovery” of Arthur’s remains was a way to garner interest in the abbey to raise funds for rebuilding.
King Arthur’s tomb was reburied in the nave in the 13th century, and you can still see the site where they were placed beneath the high altar.
Visiting Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey suffered again under King Henry VIII’s reign and the English Reformation. What remains of the abbey today are picturesque ruins set in open parkland.
There is a small admission fee to visit Glastonbury Abbey and see King Arthur’s grave.
The abbey is located in the center of Glastonbury town, which is a great spot for lunch. I recommend hopping across the street to the Abbey Tea Rooms for a delicious lunch.
Avebury Stone Circle
The stone circle at Avebury is the largest in Europe, originally made of 100 stones and encircling the village of Avebury. The henge encloses 28.5 acres of land. The stone circle is intersected by two roads, cutting the circle into quarters that you can explore.
Within the stone circle are two smaller stone circles, and leading away from the circle is the clear avenue of stones. The purpose of this stone circle is also shrouded in mystery.
In one version of the Arthurian legend, the sword a young Arthur pulls from the stone was forged from the stones at Avebury.
Visiting Avebury Stone Circle
Unlike Stonehenge, you can walk through the stone circle at Avebury, you can go up to touch the stones, and you can have a pint at the world’s only pub inside a stone circle.
Avebury is a less popular destination for tour groups because the big coaches can’t easily get into the little village to park. There are fewer people at Avebury than at Stonehenge, and with the stones so spread out there is more room to explore.
There is also no admission to visit Avebury as it is literally a town inside of a stone circle.
Durrington Walls and Woodhenge
While not a site associated with King Arthur, a stop at Durrington Walls and Woodhenge is still worth it for their connection with Stonehenge and the Avebury Stone Circle.
Durrington Walls is Neolithic settlement about 2 miles from Stonehenge that may have been the largest village in Northern Europe during its time. What you can see at this site is the large henge (the slope and bank that make up a sort of internal ditch) that surrounded a timber circle rather than a stone circle.
Woodhenge is the timber circle monument that may have been used for human sacrifice. You can see concrete posts marking where the timber circle would have been laid out.
There is a theory that Durrington Walls fell into disuse when the stone circle at Stonehenge was built.
Visiting Durrington Walls and Woodhenge
Woodhenge and the Durrington Walls are free to visit. There are several parking spots close to Woodhenge.
You won’t need long at this stop to admire the scenery and read the informational panels.
How to Take a King Arthur Tour from London
If you want to take a similar King Arthur tour from London, you can either rent a car to drive yourself or take a guided tour.
For a guided King Arthur tour from London, I recommend this Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury Small Group Tour that most closely fits this itinerary. Here are a few other King Arthur Tour options:
- Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury Small Group Tour
- Private King Arthur Tour
- Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge Guided Day Trip from London
If you want to drive yourself, I’ve provided a map below.
King Arthur Tour Map
Ready to see these King Arthur sites on a tour from London? Use the map below to plan out your day trip.
I hope you enjoy your King Arthur tour!
Top London Tours
With so much to see, London can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top London tours to help you make the most of your time in this iconic British city.
- Tour for Muggles
- Small-Group Tour: Historical Pub Walking Tour of London
- Jack the Ripper Tour with ‘Ripper-Vision’ in London
More London Travel Tips
See more of what London, England has to offer with these fantastic itineraries:
- 37 Free Things To Do in London, England
- 2 Days in London: The Perfect Weekend Itinerary
- 10 Incredible Day Trips from London, England
Ready to visit Stonehenge? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Find the Perfect Tour: Find the right tour of Stonehenge for you here.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in London using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
Have you taken a King Arthur tour of England? Let me know in the comments!