A family enjoying the view of Stonehenge.

  • Stonehenge is now open to the public and there are COVID-safety measures in place in line with current government advice.
  • With over one million visitors a year, Stonehenge is one of the world's best-known prehistoric monuments, and certainly one of its most mystifying.
  • Trace the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors around the huge man-made circle of standing stones on Salisbury Plain.  
  • Learn about  Stonehenge history, and discover the fascinating story of the site through archaeological treasures at the world-class exhibition.


Make your way to Stonehenge, one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world, which lies at the centre of an incredible archaeological landscape. Young historians and budding archaeologists will love seeing the unique circular stone masterpiece with their own eyes. Although there’s no specific date of construction, archaeologists believe that work started on the stone circle about 5,000 years ago in the late Neolithic Age – making it older than the Pyramids of Egypt! It's estimated to have taken over a thousand years to build.  

Of course, what makes Stonehenge so extra special is the mystery that surrounds it. Why was it built and how did the Neolithic people construct it? How were the 25-tonne sarsen stones transported from their original location (of over 20 miles away)? It’s hard not to appreciate the scale of achievement here.

Stonehenge at sunset.

Discover the story of Stonehenge and explore the fascinating 250 archaeological objects and treasures at the exhibition, which is situated at the visitor centre. You will learn all about the stones - which have developed their own distinctive personalities and stories over the centuries. Check out the graffiti on Stone 52, which bears the name Wren and is thought to be carved by St Paul's Cathedral architect Sir Christopher Wren. Get up close to the Heel Stone, which stands in isolation and weighs more than 36 tonnes! Currently, there are 93 rocks or lumps of stone at the site, which covers 2,600 hectares (6,500 acres) of chalk downland and arable fields. Did you know that it’s seven-and-a-half times as big as Central Park in New York City!

For years, people have gathered on the eve of Midsummer’s day to celebrate the summer solstice, where the sun rises behind the Heel stone in the north-east of the horizon. Children and adults alike will be intrigued about the important connection to the solstices and how Stonehenge shows both the summer solstice sunrise and the winter solstice sunset. You will be swept up in the enchanted atmosphere and mystery of this unforgettable English Heritage site.

For more incredible monuments, visit the breathtaking Machu Picchu with your children from the comfort of your own home with this virtual tour with Google Arts & Culture.

What to know before you go

  • You will need to book tickets in advance and visitor numbers will be reduced so everyone can safely socially distance from each other. The shuttle bus from the car park to Stonehenge will be prioritised for those who need it and you are required to take a face covering. Additional hand sanitizer stations will be available across Stonehenge. The cafe is currently serving takeaway service.
  • Stonehenge opens at 9.30am and closes at 5pm.
  • Join the free family adventure quest with a historical twist this summer. You can download the map from the English Heritage site. Bring along a pen with you!
  • Since 1977, the stones have been roped off so people aren’t able to walk among or climb on them. The closest you can get to the stones is about 10 yards.
  • Make the day of it and visit the city of Salisbury with your family, which is just 8 miles away. Salisbury Cathedral has Britain’s tallest spire and is home to the Magna Carta. Learn more about the prehistory of the Stonehenge area at Salisbury Museum.
  • The unique, vibrant city of Bath is also under 30 miles from Stonehenge and is well worth a visit whilst you are in the area.
  • The River Avon flows southward from near Stonehenge down to Christchurch.
  • If you are staying overnight, there is a Travelodge nearby on the A303 Countess Services or the Antrobus Hotel is two miles away.
  • There is an on-site café that serves soup, pastries, salads and cakes. Takeaway is also available so you can enjoy the picnic area in the monument fields. You will have a brilliant view of the Stone Circle. The café has child sized portions, high chairs and they are able to warm bottles and food.
  • Take home a souvenir from the gift shop. They sell a range of books, gifts, clothing and accessories.
  • Stonehenge is wheelchair accessible.
  • There are disabled toilets and baby-change facilities available at the visitor centre.
  • Explore the exhibition at the visitor centre, which contains nearly 300 archaeological objects from Stonehenge as well as other nearby monuments.  
  • Why not download a free audio tour in advance from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Getting there

  • Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain, near Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE. It is located just off the A303 and is clearly signposted (you will see it from the motorway).
  • From London to Stonehenge, it takes approximately 2 hours by car or coach.
  • Take the train from London Waterloo to Salisbury on the South Western Railway line. From Salisbury, there is a Stonehenge tour bus that runs directly to Stonehenge. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Driving from Bristol to Stonehenge takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Or take the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Salisbury and jump on the Stonehenge tour bus to the site.
  • Parking is available on site at Stonehenge. There is a parking charge at peak periods to non-members and those who have not pre-booked (tickets are refundable on tickets purchased to Stonehenge). From the car park, there is a visitor bus that runs every 10 minutes and takes around 10 minutes.
  • Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Location

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Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

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English Heritage

English Heritage brings history to life in an engaging way to over 10 million people every year, caring for over 400 historic palaces, houses, monuments and other locations.

The remarkable collection of English Heritage buildings and monuments began to assemble as early as 1882. These were basically a collection of the greatest sites, which told the story of Britain. From prehistoric sites to historical bridges, gardens, forts and castles, English Heritage sites include Stonehenge, Rochester and Tintagel Castle, Rievaulx Abbey, Eltham Palace and Audley End House and Gardens.

As a registered charity, the English Heritage is governed by a board of trustees. The charitable trust depends on the income generated from admission and English Heritage membership fees to its properties and income from holiday cottages and gift shops. It is also funded from grant-in-aid income from the government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The difference between National Trust and English Heritage is that the National Trust is purely a charitable foundation that is funded mostly by members’ subscription and donations to look after their historic houses and gardens throughout England. English Heritage was originally run on a budget, funded by taxes by the British Government as a national heritage collection. In 2015, the English Heritage split into two parts: English Heritage Trust and Historic England. The government provided £80 million to English Heritage to become a charitable trust.  

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