We love half term. The freedom from the school routine is sooooo welcome! The Summer term is fun but seems super busy with the longer days and more outdoor activities! This half term we’re staying pretty local with a few long weekends visiting family.
Last weekend we took ourselves off to Stonehenge. It’s somewhere we have wanted to visit for a while, especially since my son studied the Stone Age in Year 3.
Exploring Stonehenge with kids
We’re English Heritage members so had pre-booked our tickets via their website. We picked a 10am slot as we knew it would get busy and really wanted to be able to visit when it was quiet. We left London early and arrived, heading straight for the visitor centre.
Away from the actual site of Stonehenge is the visitor centre with exhibition, shop and cafe. We showed our tickets and were all given free audio guides. I’m not usually a fan of audio guides but these were really good, the kids loved theirs. We also saw signs for the Early Man Quest (based on characters from the recent Early Man film) which the children really wanted to do. This was a simple activity sheet to complete during our visit.
Our first stop was the Stone Circle. You can walk but we decided to take the free shuttle bus which took a couple of minutes. We were let out a short distance from the stones. Although we’ve driven past Stonehenge lots of times nothing beats getting really close to them. You have to follow a path around the outside of the stone circle but you still get really close and there were a few times we were able to take photos without other visitors in the way.
I have to admit that despite getting there as the site opened it was still incredibly busy. We laughed at all the tourists with their selfie sticks but then decided to join in and take our own selfies! The site was amazing and so atmospheric despite the hundreds of visitors. We listened to our audio guides which were really informative and just the right length to help us learn more about the stones and its landscape.
We spent about half an hour at the stones before taking the shuttle bus back to the visitor centre. Then we were able to explore the reconstructed Neolithic Houses. There was also a replica monolith which the kids loved seeing as it really brought home just how big they were. Finally we visited the exhibition which features more than 250 archaeological objects and a 360° audio-visual experience.
We all really enjoyed visiting Stonehenge. There was plenty to see and we spent around 2 hours there. I’d say my 8 year old got more from the visit as he loved his audio guide and was really interested in learning more about Stonehenge. My 6 year old enjoyed the activity sheet, the shuttle bus and exploring the Neolithic houses. It was a great experience, despite the crazy amount of people there, and we would recommend a visit.