A day at Stonehenge

If you’re pondering a UK break, there are some classic landmarks that spring to mind when it comes to making that list of places you don’t want to miss, and Stonehenge should be right up there at the top of the list in all its prehistoric, mysterious glory.

Image: Pete Adkins

Image: Pete Adkins

 If you’ve seen pictures of the famous stones (and let’s face it…who hasn’t?) but you’re a little fuzzy on its history, then we admit, there may be other landmarks that barge to the forefront of your mind when plotting where to take the kids, but trust us, this beautiful corner of Wiltshire pretty much has it all.

For one thing, there’s nowhere in the world quite like Stonehenge (it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a place of Outstanding Universal Value), so Stonehenge tours are a rare opportunity to experience something completely different from the usual family attractions. One of the wonders of the world, this sacred monument has been the site of some of the most important archaeological discoveries ever, and it’s had a place in the heart of the nation for longer than any of us can remember.

Far from sliding into a quiet life as a humble ruin guarding its secrets, Stonehenge still sits at the centre of spiritualism, and every summer Solstice sees people turn up in their hundreds to watch the sun rise behind the stones…just as those who built the Stone Circle planned it.

Days out don’t come more educational than a Stonehenge tour, and the brand new visitor centre brings the history of the Stone Circle to life for all ages. With hundreds of ancient artefacts found in the area, the centre separates the myths from the truth behind the stones we see today, and the tale’s a fascinating one.

Take the remains of the prehistoric man found nearby for example. Dating back more than 5500 years, research has been able to tell us where he came from, what he ate and how he lived, and what better way to get your kids thinking about what life was like for Neolithic man?

stonehenge

Image: Julian Wathen

Cared for by those clever folks at English Heritage, Stonehenge is free to visit if you are a member and, if you visit the exhibition and take the audio tour, it’s still a reasonable day out for the whole family. A shuttle bus takes visitors from the visitor centre to the Stone Circle, and with comparestonehengetours.com you can take the guesswork out of planning your visit to ensure you get the most from your day. There are some fantastic Stonehenge tours to choose from, and the site makes it easy to select the best one for your family.

Stonehenge may stand proud in the heart of rural Wiltshire, but just under two hours from London by coach, it’s within easy reach if you plan your visit in advance, and the tours offer personal headsets to make sure you know everything there is to know about the site before it even comes into view.