Located near Salisbury in the Wiltshire countryside, it is an iconic symbol of Britain and the South West. Any visit to the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site should include this world-famous Stone Circle.
Dating back 4,500 years, the true meaning of this awe-inspiring creation remains a mystery. Many theories have been put forward – who could have built it, when and for what purpose? Was it a temple for sun worship, a healing centre, a burial site or perhaps a huge calendar?
How did our ancestors carry the mighty stones from so far away and then, using only the most primitive of tools, build this amazing structure?
It appears that Stonehenge is not an isolated monument, but one part of an extraordinary landscape of early Neolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age monuments, giving insight into ceremonial and mortuary practices at that time.
Two types of stone were used and brought from great distances – probably South Wales and near Marlborough, each stone weighing 2-5 tons. This makes the last remaining lintelled Stone Circle in the world a masterpiece of engineering.
For some it is a wonder of the world, for others a deeply spiritual place.
The visitor centre houses permanent and temporary exhibitions and goes some way to explaining the different theories, one being that it was a temple aligned with the sun’s movements. Atmospheric audio-visual experiences help to bring the past alive.
Children will be fascinated by the Neolithic Houses, imagining life at that time. There may also be demonstrations of ancient domestic skills. Families with older children in particular may enjoy exploring the ancient landscape surrounding Stonehenge so pack your walking boots and allow plenty of time for your visit.
Audio tours help visitors make the most of their visit. A free tour is available for download in advance or tours can be hired on arrival. There is an audio tour especially for families. Just see the website to find out more.
A free shuttle bus operates between the Visitor Centre and the Stones themselves. Advanced booking is recommended.
Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. Explore the ancient landscape on foot and step inside the Neolithic Houses to discover the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life. Visit the world-class exhibition and visitor centre with 250 ancient objects and come face to face with a 5,500 year-old man.