You might believe that Stonehenge is a place unsuited to children, and better for adults-only visits. However, this is not at all the case. Indeed, there is plenty for kids to see and do both at Stonehenge itself and in the immediate area. We’ll summarise some of the best possibilities here.
Stonehenge isn’t just a circle of large stones (which, as you will learn, many children find just as mesmerising as adults anyway) – it also now houses a vast new visitor centre containing an exhibition space with over 300 archaeological finds from the area and a 360 degree audio visual tour through the ‘story of the stones’. The centre also contains a child-friendly shop and café (The Stonehenge Kitchen), as well as baby-changing facilities. The landscape around Stonehenge also provides children with what is essentially an enormous outdoor playground – great for burning of excess energy!
Other Child-friendly Attractions in the Area
There are also plenty of other things to do to occupy the kids in the vicinity of Stonehenge. There is, for instance, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, which contains plenty of fascinating interactive displays, and which also runs regular workshops to entertain younger visitors.
Also in Salisbury is the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, which features a number of historic jets and fighter planes, including Jaguar, Harrier, and Hawk Jets. You can actually clamber into the cockpits of many of the planes, some of which even have working motors. In a similar vein, the Museum of Army Flying in Stocksbridge houses galleries devoted to all sorts of army and air force related paraphernalia, as well as a reconstructed 1940s house. The facility also contains interactive flight simulators and a cinema showing film captured during wartime, as well as a gift shop, licensed café, and children’s play area.
For some energetic fun, head down to Larkhill Space Station, an enormous, multi-levelled and vibrantly coloured indoor adventure playground in the Wacky Warehouse mould. With loopy slides, padded climbing frames, and gigantic ball pools, the facility will keep kids entertained for a couple of hours at least. There is also a separate play space dedicated to those of toddler-age.
Alternatively, visit Farmer Giles’ Farmstead to view and earn about farm animals and life on a traditional West Country farm. The site is entirely oriented towards little ones and contains an adventure playground, souvenir shop, and café. A little further afield at Ringwood is a ‘Go Ape’ facility equipped with a Go Ape Treetop Junior section. For adventurous little ones who love climbing, the site will provide an unforgettable experience.
As can be seen, there are myriad options for those with children in the Stonehenge area. Many of the attractions listed here will also provide an interesting day out for adults as well. Considering all of these factors, it would be fair to conclude that Stonehenge and its surrounds are an excellent destination for a complete all-round family holiday. Just bear in mind that due to the popularity of the area, many attractions, especially Stonehenge itself, can be busy during peak times, so plan accordingly.
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The author is a trained tour guide with www.sightseeingtourslondon.co.uk who offer guided tours from London to Stonehenge and back in a day, they are extremely child friendly and offer childrens packs to help children understand the wonders of this great attraction.