When planning our trip to England I knew I wanted to show my boys Stonehenge. I recognize at ages 2 & 4 they aren’t capable of comprehending the true significance of a 5,000 year old monument. However, since we had traveled 7,500kms from Vancouver to England, I figured the additional 1.5 hours in the car was more than justifiable.
The drive was fine until we reached the lead up to Stonehenge. A freeway drives surprisingly close passed Stonehenge; you get a great view without leaving your car. However, that great view comes at a cost…looky-loos! After emerging from the traffic jam we arrived at Stonehenge.
The car park is owned by the National Trust and the site is controlled by English Heritage. If you are a member of either organization, there is a discount on specific fees (parking or admission). Once inside, you are offered an audio guide at no additional cost. As there are no written display boards around Stonehenge, the audio guides are most interesting.
Once you emerge from the ramp a hushed tone falls over everyone. Other than the sound of the nearby freeway, everything is silent. Everyone, children included, are in awe.
Trying to explain the concept of 3,000 – 2,600 BC, to kids, is rather daunting. So we played a game of “how was Stonehenge built“. After the kids got over their disbelief that cranes, front loaders and dump trucks didn’t exist, they had a great time hypothesizing. My favourite ideas came from our 2 year old: elephants or pigeons built Stonehenge. Once you’ve seen the size of British pigeons, you too may believe his theory.
While at first blush you may feel Stonehenge doesn’t have much appeal to kids, despite its UNESCO World Heritage designation, you would be wrong. My kids were both quiet and respectful for the entire hour we visited. They had fun imagining the origins of Stonehenge. As they grow and study history they will know they visited one of the oldest monuments in the world. Now if I could only get our 2 year old to say Stonehenge instead of Stonehedge!