Visiting Stonehenge With Kids

Visiting Stonehenge With Kids

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

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.

UCI Four-cross World Championships: Celebration for Holland and Australia

UCI Four-cross World Championships: Celebration for Holland and Australia

567At 35 years old, the Dutch Joost Wichman is one of the discipline’s “dinosaurs”. The man who was European Champion in 2010 had decided to leave the world four-cross scene after the event in Leogang. Third in 2011 in Champéry, he certainly made sure he went out in style. After an average start in the final, he avoided a crash between the two Czech riders Michael Mechura and Thomas Slavik. Although France’s Quentin Derbier was leading the way for a long time, he couldn’t stave off two rockets: Wichman and Mechura. Joost Wichman followed in the footsteps of Roger Rinderknecht last year by winning his first world title before turning the page of his career. At just 20 years old, Michael Mechura, finished second as he did last year, and can tell himself that he still has some wonderful years of competition ahead of him. For the first time in his career, Quentin Derbier took pride of place on the podium. No French athlete has been on the podium since Saladini’s silver medal in 2009.

Women’s: Buchanan’s exploit

BMX World Champion in Auckland (New Zealand) this summer, Caroline Buchanan was dreaming of a perfect end to the season. She wanted to make her mark on the Downhill Worlds in Pietermaritzburg and the Four-cross in Leogang. After a fifth place in South Africa, she shone through in her final challenge of the season, easily dominating the Austrian events. After clocking up the fastest time in the qualifying rounds, she was never in danger in the final. She took the honours in front of England’s Cathy Curd and France’s Céline Gros. The French athlete won the Downhill World Cup in 2004 and finished third in the Worlds the same year. She now retires after 15 years on the circuit. Buchanan, who will celebrate her 23rd birthday in October, now has three four-cross World titles to her name after 2009 (Canberra) and 2010. In total she now has five World titles with the BMX time trial in 2012 and her win in the main race this year.

Competition continues on Sunday with the DHI World Cup final, to be followed live on redbull.tv.ch