Stonehenge – A Family Day Out

Stonehenge – A Family Day Out

Stonehenge has always fascinated me. You can see the imposing monument as you drive through the English Countryside; located in the county of Wiltshire, its grand stones stand impressively and draw you in to stop and take a look.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, a world heritage sight, and one of the best known prehistoric monuments in Europe.[1]

It has a history dating back for over 4500 years, yet despite all that we have learned so far, its purpose very much remains one of the greatest mysteries of the world.

Visiting Stonehenge

I have always wanted to visit Stonehenge, to try to understand, and to piece together in my mind its purpose and meaning. Considered one of the best known ancient wonders of the world, it is an iconic monument that I want to say I have visited in my lifetime. Myself and Mr S have talked about it for a year or so, but we were unsure if it was a place that would be appropriate for young children.  Would they get bored quickly? Is it family friendly? The only way to find out I guess was to visit, so on a very windy but sunny day we took the long drive and ventured out to see what all the fuss was about.

Parking is available on site and is free to English Heritage members and Stonehenge ticket holders. You can download a map of the road access and parking. There is a visitor shuttle available regularly from the visitor centre, and this takes you to to the stones (about ten minutes) or to the Fargo Plantation  (half way to the stones) where you then have the option to walk the rest of the way if you wish.

Tickets and Prices

Member –  Free
Adult £16.50 (without gift aid)  £18.20 (with gift aid)
Child (5-15) £9.90  (without gift aid) £10.90 (with gift aid)
Family (2 adults, up to 3 children) £42.90 £47.30

Visit the website for opening times and further details.

For a small fee (£3) you can purchase an audio tour. There are also family audio tours available for the younger children. The girls loved them, they are interactive, informative and well worth purchasing to get the most out of your visit.

Family Friendly

Stonehenge is very much a family friendly place. It is well signposted off the main roads, and there is ample car parking, with designated family and disabled parking spaces closer to the attraction. The first thing I noticed is that the paths are all buggy friendly, even around the attraction itself. There is baby changing facilities at the visitor centre and highchairs available in the cafe.

 

Our visit

On arrival we took the bus straight to the stones. The buses were regular and you can take the bus without having to collapse the pushchair which is always a bonus. The audio tapes kept the girls entertained from the outset. They were interactive, and informative for the children, and both the girls were captivated by the story.

We walked around the circle of stones, reading the various information boards, and listening to the audio recordings. There were quite a lot of visitors around at this time, but the area is vast and it didn’t affect our visit or the atmosphere.  We found our visit to Stonehenge a real adventure, it allowed a glimpse into a past that we know nothing about. The audio tapes and information boards added to the experience, they really transported you back in time.

Stonehenge was built in phases over thousands of years, but considering the sarsen stones weigh on average 25 tons,  it is still not understood how the Neolithic people built it using their simple tools

A walk around the stones can provoke lots of strange feelings. It has a sense of calmness about it, yet I could also describe it as haunting, mysterious and in some ways magical.

There are many theories around the purpose of Stonehenge. These have included a place for crowning of Danish Kings,  a Druid temple, a place for worship, a centre for healing and a historic temple aligned with the movement of the sun. [2]

Archaeologists are some way from understanding why Stonehenge was built, no-one is really sure of its purpose.

 

During our day we visited the circle of stones, explored the neolithic houses, and marvelled in the exhibition, before stopping off in the shop (purchasing a book or two) , and enjoying an ice cream in the cafe.

We had a wonderful and memorable day, one that I will remember for years to come.

I remain in awe of the fact that despite all the years of research, theories and myths, its purpose, and how it got there still remains very much a mystery.

Have you ever visited Stonehenge?

 

 

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A family day out at Stonehenge, Wiltshire

http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk

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**Disclosure – We were provided with passes to Stonehenge by Visit Wiltshire in exchange for a review. All opinions and views are of mine and my family.**

[1] English heritage (2017)

[2]English heritage (2017); history.com (2017)

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13 Comments

  1. May 16, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    This is somewhere I’d really like to visit soon as it’s not that far from us but is something I’ve only ever seen from afar when driving past and is such an intriguing place!

  2. May 16, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    I really must stop off here one day rather than just driving past! #familytraveltips

  3. May 16, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    We’re camping near Stonehenge at the end of the month, can’t wait to take the kids there. Great to hear your thoughts, thanks. Lovely photos! #familytraveltips

  4. May 16, 2017 / 10:48 pm

    I have so many photos of Stongehenge taken from the car window as we shoot up and down the A303 back and forth to Cornwall, yet never have we stopped. It is one of the milestones on the journey from Cornwall to London and I have photos in all weather, each beautiful in their own way. I can imagine being up close is rather special. I still hold early memories from school trips as a child. Back then you could wander among the stones, in fact we were even encouraged by the teachers to take stone rubbings. I wish I still had them, they could be worth something now! There were no buses or shop and you just stopped by the roadside. It sounds far more sophisticated now. Your photos are beautiful and I like the idea of an audio guide, very handy for the children.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  5. I haven’t been for years and I didn’t realise you could visit the houses? They do have a such a mystical feel about them! Good to know about the changing facilities for babies! #familytraveltips

  6. May 17, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    We had a very brief trip to Stonehenge earlier this year but I would love to go back and explore more fully with the girls. It’s such a fascinating place. Looks like you had a lovely day out there 🙂 #countrykids

  7. May 17, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    I have never been but have always been intrigued by it and would like to visit. It is good to hear that it is family friendly and I like the sound of the audio guides to keep little ones engaged. This post has made me want to visit even more! #countrykids

  8. May 18, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    I loved Stonehenge, it has been a while since I visited. I love history and you can not get more magic than that of Stonehenge.

  9. May 20, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    I’ve seen Stonehenge before but have yet to take the girls. It was pouring with rain too when I visited. #familytraveltips

  10. May 21, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    I have always wanted to visit Stonehenge. Its on our ever growing bucket list so we must make sure we do it one day! Its great that it is family friendly too. Im sure our boys would love the audio guides to listen to as well #familytraveltips

  11. May 22, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    I would love to visit here, your pictures look amazing! #familytraveltips

  12. May 23, 2017 / 9:16 am

    I haven’t been for years but have driven past so many times. I’d love to take the kids so it’s great to know that you found it to be family friendly. X

  13. May 23, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Oh I love Stonehenge. I haven’t been with the children yet, it’s great to see that yours enjoyed it. We’ll definitely be going with our girls soon. Thanks so much for linking up to #FamilyTravelTips.
    Nat.x

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