Ancient Adventures in Stonehenge and Bath

by Jessica on March 1, 2009

Anticipating that early to bed would mean we would be early to rise, we planned to use those early morning hours to drive to our first destination. We all woke around 6:00 am feeling extremely well rested. Historic Stonehenge was first on the itinerary. This was our first day to really acclimate to the driving differences in England. Gary is an excellent international driver, which allows us to save money, and see more during our vacations. He did a terrific job of driving on the left most of the time, although turning was a little tricky. I only had to remind him a handful of times to stay on the left, which matter more to me than him since that was the side of the car on which I was riding.

The Mysterious Stones of Stonehenge

We arrived at Stonehenge about 20 minutes before opening, so we finished up our breakfast in the car. I had seen Stonehenge many years before on our first overseas trip with Ryan, but it was still just as mysterious as it seemed all those years before. The enigma of the ancient stones was magnified by the shroud of fog that sat on the countryside that day. After spending several school days learning about Stonehenge, the boys were thrilled to see it in person. Well, two of them were thrilled, but Ryan was very disappointed. He was certain that we would be able to walk up and touch the stones. When Gary traveled to Stonehenge as a teenager, guests were able to walk through the stones. Since then, vandalism has become a major issue, so guests now have to view the stones from afar.

Evan wearing the hood from my coat as it was very cold and windy.
Aidan holds a trail guide written just for kids as they explored Stonehenge.

Down the road just a few miles, we took a quick detour to Woodhenge. Woodhenge is a burial site made of six concentric rings that were supported by wooden posts. Of course, the wooden posts have degraded and have been replaced with concrete to mark the original posts. The site would not have been terrible remarkable except that it was an open field where they could run, jump, and act like little boys. There was a rousing game of tag among the pylons before we packed up the car and headed to our next location.

Our next jaunt was over to Avebury, a small town the boasts a huge collection of Neolithic stones. We actually preferred this site to Stonehenge because of its rolling hills in a peaceful English village. A big plus for Ryan including the ability to touch the stones to his heart’s content. Another game of tag erupted in the fields among the stones. Empty fields just call to the boys and beg for a game of tag, it seems.

A rare picture of just me in the city of Avebury.

Next, we toured the town of Bath, which is famous for its Roman Bathhouse. In school, we had recently finished studying the ancient Romans, so this was a perfect place to bring their culture to life.

The Roman Baths

To my delight, the older boys wanted to use the hand held audio tour that was designed for children. At each location, they punched in a code and listened to the guide teach them about each stop. They were surprising enthralled with this part of the tour. We also all enjoyed the actors around the main bathhouse that were dressed in Roman garb, and played a character from Roman times.

We all sat for a moment around the steps of the bathhouse and discussed the events of the day. Then we walked back to our car and drove back to our hotel. Bedtime was around 7:30 for all, parents and children alike.

{ 1 comment }

Mara from Motherofalltrips April 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm

We also loved the museum at the Baths! I couldn't believe how engaged the boys stayed the entire time, even though it was really crowded when we were there.

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