Destination UK

Visiting Stonehenge with Kids

Posted on
August 26, 2018

Stonehenge has been on our days out wishlist for a long time and now we are English Heritage members we decided to take the hours drive north to visit.
Luckily we managed to dodge the Dorset Steam Fair traffic, as it was going in the opposite direction, but did get to see a couple of steam engines trundling along on route to the event.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Amesbury, near Salisbury and is somewhere we have driven past many times and you can see the stones from the busy main road.
We arrived to find a small queue to get into the carpark, as during peak times a £5 refundable parking charge is collected on arrival. This is refunded at the admissions point when purchasing your ticket, but English Heritage and National Trust members are exempt from this charge.
Stonehenge Visitor Centre
Unsurprisingly, being the height of the school holidays in August, there was a queue to get in; one for English Heritage members and the other for tickets on the gate and it took us about 20 minutes to finally get inside.
Stonehenge Shuttle
We picked up our audio guides and made the decision to see the stones first and hopped straight on the visitor shuttle which takes you 1.5 miles up to the stones. You can walk from the visitor centre if you prefer and the shuttle also stops halfway up, so you can walk through the woods and through the ancient landscape, which is what we did.
Woods
If you are able to make this 15 minute walk to the stones, I highly recommend you do it as you are able to view some information tables with points of interest along the route and it’s a fascinating walk.
Stonehenge Curcus
We have never really given a second thought to the landscape as we whizz past it in the car, but along this walk you get to see several round barrows – earth mounds, usually covering one or more graves or burials and surrounded by a circular ditch.
Information Point
It was here the audio guide really caught the kids attention as the kids version gave them all the information I read in a Horrible Histories style. Sebby excitedly pointed to the round barrow and told me “there are dead bodies in there”.
Round Barrow
The kids then spotted Stonehenge itself on the horizon and started running towards it.
Stonehenge Fields
I have to admit that my heart sank a little when we arrived at the stones as it was packed and I was worried that we wouldn’t get to appreciate the stones.
Stonehenge Kids
What we found, however, was a well thought out, wide concrete path that circled around the stones, with a grassy area where people could sit and enjoy a picnic.
Stonehenge
The stones and the circular ditch, which is part of the original low earthworks are all roped off at knee level, giving you an uninterupted view of the stones. There are also boxes with numbers positioned at intervals, telling which section of the audio tour to listen to.
Audio Tour
Eliza loved the fact that the audio tour told her “secrets” that adults were not allowed to hear.
Stonehenge Sarsens
We learned that there are of two types of stones, the larger sarsens and the smaller bluestones.
Stonehenge bluestones
The Sarsens are found locally on Salisbury Plain and Marlborough Downs, but the Bluestones were brought in all the way from Wales.
Kids at Stonehenge
What impressed us the most, is that the Stone Circle is a real masterpiece of engineering, and building it would have taken huge effort from hundreds of well-organised people using only simple tools and technologies, plus the monument is aligned to the movements of the sun.
Midwinter Sunset
The stones were shaped and set up to frame at least two important events in the annual solar cycle – the midwinter sunset at the winter solstice (21st December) and the midsummer sunrise at the summer solstice (21st June).
stonehenge heel stone
We spent a good 90 minutes exploring the site, before catching the shuttle bus back to the visitor centre, where we wandered around the Neolithic houses which have been laid out to show how the people who built Stonehenge would have lived.
Neolithic House
The kids all declared that the beds were very uncomfortable.
Wicker Bed
Also outside the visitor centre is a replica Sarsens stone, set on top of an example of how they would have tried to move the stones, which weigh on average 25 tons each.
Sarsens Stone Replica
Lets just say we didn’t manage to move it!
Replica Sarsens Stone
Inside the Visitor Centre is a huge shop, cafe and a museum. As you enter the museum you watch the seasons pass and take a trip through time with an incredible audio-visual 360 degree view from inside the stones.
Stonehenge 360
The museum then takes you through the history of the site, with models of how it would have looked in different periods of its history, plus 250 archaeological objects and treasures discovered in the landscape surrounding Stonehenge.
Bronze Pot
Stonehenge is a fascinating day out for kids and adults alike and we were there for around 3 hours. The kids preferred the outdoor activities to the museum and I strongly recommend you get the audio tour to get the most out of your day.
Museum
A family ticket to Stonehenge is £50.70 (with Gift Aid £55.90 ), however it is included in an English Heritage annual pass which costs £99 for the year and gives you entry to over 400 historic places. Use code PART16 for 20% off plus Top Cashback to get 5.25% cashback too.
 

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
25 Comments
  1. Reply

    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    August 26, 2018

    What an amazing place to visit, I bet the children loved it. So much information available for them to soak up.

  2. Reply

    Laura Dove

    August 26, 2018

    Gorgeous photos! I havent been to Stonehenge in years but I remember going as a child and finding it such a magical place! I;d love to take the children when we are next down that way!

  3. Reply

    Hannah Wood

    August 26, 2018

    I love this place so much as you say not just for Adults kids can also benefit from this place.

  4. Reply

    michelle twin mum

    August 26, 2018

    I love a good audio tour, you can get so much from them. We need to plan a visit to Stonehenge. Mich x

  5. Reply

    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    August 26, 2018

    There is so much there now to help explain the history. Last time I visited you just parked along the A303 and walked right up to the stones, there was nothing else there. To be fair that has to be 40+ years ago!

  6. Reply

    Hannah

    August 27, 2018

    It looks like a great day out. I’ve never been to Stonehenge

  7. Reply

    Anosa

    August 27, 2018

    The Stonehenge was on my bucketlist for a long time too, I was happy to have visited it earlier in the year.

  8. Reply

    scots2travel

    August 27, 2018

    Admittedly ruined by Stone Circles in Scotland, but Stonehenge is one of the best so it’s definitely on the bucket list. So intriguing. And after its star appearance on GoJetters the kids are hooked!

  9. Reply

    Jenni

    August 28, 2018

    Oh it looks like an amazing place to visit. I went years ago but it was pouring down so we only had a brief look

  10. Reply

    Nicola

    August 28, 2018

    Visiting Stonehenge is on my to do list – my two are probably too little to appreciate the experience but hopefully in a few years’ time we can pay a visit.

  11. Reply

    Joanna

    August 28, 2018

    I have visited Stonehenge a few years ago and I did enjoy it. I think the audio guides are the ones that make the entire site interesting and make you stay there for at least an hour.

  12. Reply

    Olivia Jade

    August 28, 2018

    Fantastic post and love the photos of Stonehenge, would love to visit one day! 🙂 x

  13. Reply

    Nickolai Kinny

    August 28, 2018

    Thank you for the coupon codes. Sometimes we take things nearby for granted, but with these I’m sure to visit

  14. Reply

    lauren porter

    August 28, 2018

    We went here before the kids were born & really enjoyed it. Can’t wait until their older so they can experience it for themselves,

  15. Reply

    MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    August 28, 2018

    It sounds like an interesting place to visit as a family. I’ve never been myself but it looks like we’d enjoy it.

  16. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    August 28, 2018

    I’ve driven past so many times and haven’t visited. I must add this to our list to visit, it looks a great day out x

  17. Reply

    Beth @ BethinaBox.com

    August 29, 2018

    What a fab day out! I have always wanted to go to Stonehenge. It looks like it is great fun with the kids. 🙂

  18. Reply

    Stephanie Merry

    August 29, 2018

    I’m still yet to visit Stonehenge, but it looks like you had a great family day out x

  19. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    August 29, 2018

    What great idea for a day out with the kids. Love the photos.

  20. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    August 29, 2018

    Totally enjoyed reading your review as Stonehenge has been on our visit list for a long time but we were unsure of what was there and how our kids would react, so thank you for the informative share. Its so helpful for families like us who are heading there for the first time.

  21. Reply

    Stephanie

    August 30, 2018

    Brilliant day out. We have driven past here a few times and thought is there really any point visiting to see up close…..however after reading your post I want to visit now! I love the audio idea, my kids would love that too

  22. Reply

    Leigh Travers

    August 30, 2018

    I’ve always wanted to visit Stone Henge, especially during solstice! Looks like you had a great time there!

  23. Reply

    Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels

    August 30, 2018

    Stonehenge absolutely fascinates me – especially as I live very near the bluestone area of Wales. Lovely review. Kaz

  24. Reply

    Laura

    August 30, 2018

    I love Stonehenge have been many time sbut not in recent years, will have to add it to next years kids to-do list as we are pretty full for the rest of 2018.

  25. Reply

    Zena's Suitcase

    September 6, 2018

    There is a lot more to visiting Stonehenge than I thought there was. It looks like you had a fab day out despite the crowds

LEAVE A COMMENT

KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk