We originally tried to avoid Stonehenge. We had read about it being a disappointment as you have to stand pretty far away, it’s too touristy, and other henges may be far more interesting.
But we also had kids who REALLY wanted to see Stonehenge. Or who at least wanted to say they had been there. So, we caved. (This is actually how Venice made its way back into our itinerary as well.)
And we are so glad we did.
It made sense to go to Stonehenge on our way out of Bath to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Ok, it actually didn’t make sense as Stonehenge is south and Stratford-Upon-Avon is north, but our whole trip planning is a bit like that. We bought our tickets in advance and had an 11:30 am entrance time.
As this was Hubs’ first real day driving in England, we allowed a bit extra time. Which was a good thing. Enough said. Bottom line, we got there on time.
When we got there, I realized we hadn’t downloaded the audioguide, but thanks to free Wifi, Hubs and I both put it on our phones. And, thanks to Y cables (yes, I am married to a geek who thinks of these things and am so grateful for that!), we could all listen at the same time.
We had the option of walking from the visitor centre to the historic site or taking a shuttle bus. It was a gorgeous day, and Hubs assured us it wasn’t too long of a walk (not sure where he got his information), so we set off walking. We had been putting 5-7 miles/day on our feet, so we weren’t worried. But it was hot. And it was a narrow road. And no one else was walking it. We walked for 1.5 miles with only shuttle busses passing us from time to time (as we would grab the kids and pull them over more to the side of the road).
The highlight of the walk was hearing JJ suddenly say, “What is that horrible ungratifying stench?!” Yep, we got to spend part of our walk inhaling the lovely scent of manure. But, thanks to JJ, we were able to get a good laugh out of it for about a quarter of a mile.
In all seriousness, though, it was a great walk, and I highly recommend it. Maybe if it wasn’t quite so warm. And if the manure wasn’t quite so fragrant.
When we got to the actual site, we were not disappointed. We found the audioguides packed with information. And seeing something with over 4,500 years of history is impressive in and of itself. They have redone the area surrounding the site so that it is truly isolated from the road and from the visitor’s centre, so it was incredibly peaceful. And since it wasn’t crowded, our pictures made it seem like it was only us on site.
So I’ll go on record as saying I now disagree with the guidebooks that say to skip Stonehenge. It’s on our list of things we are glad we didn’t miss.