The only time I have visited Stonehenge was when I was very young. I remember very little about it other than seeing the stone monument from some distance away. Rich and I have passed Stonehenge driving back from other places in the past, but he had never visited. As Freyja has been getting more interested in history, we thought we would spend one of our last family days of the Christmas holidays seeing this ancient landmark.
Stonehenge is managed by English Heritage, but the land surrounding it is owned by the National Trust. This means that as a National Trust member you can park at the site, use the visitor shuttle bus, explore the visitor centre and see the iconic stone circle for free. With entrance fee costing about half of our yearly membership, it definitely made it worthwhile!
It is worth booking your visit online before you go. There are half-hour timed slots for tickets. We arrived fairly early in the morning, so the queue for the pre-booked tickets was just as long as the queue for those who hadn’t booked, but later on in the day, this was a very different story.
We decided to visit the stone circle first. There are several shuttle buses ferrying visitors to the site. However, the monument is only about 1.5miles from the visitor centre, so we decided to walk there and get the bus back. It was an easy, flat walk and not only did the girls (well, Emily) do this without complaining about the walk, they really enjoyed each others company.
Despite seeing the stones from the road on our way to the centre, they still managed to take your breath away as you got closer to them. It is just such a special place. Yes, it is iconic, it is ancient, but there is something else about them. They are magnificent. Obviously, so many people from all around the world flock to them, and when you are stood next to the monument, it is easy to see the appeal.
Once we had walk around the stone circle, we got the shuttle bus back to the visitor centre and had lunch. The cafe was really busy, so we were glad we had bought a picnic with us.
After we had eaten, we explored the visitor centre. Freyja and I were fascinated by the Stonehenge timeline. We had recently finished the Rotten Romans book from the Horrible Histories series, and looking at how much closer the Roman era was to modern day in comparison to when Stonehenge was built really bought home to us just how old the stones are. Whilst Freyja and I were being amazed by this, Rich and Emily were seeing if they were strong enough to drag one of the stones. They weren’t!
We had such a lovely day. We spent some really great quality time with each other, learnt somethings and saw an iconic, cultural monument whilst should be on everyone’s bucket list.