I had an idea. The children were keen. So, we collected rocks from a nearby park and then built our own rock structures.
Collecting rocks was fun. Getting the rocks to balance on top of each other . . . more difficult. Soon after we began, I pulled out the hot glue gun.
This idea of mine, played out by my three little ones, made the originals at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England even more incredible, during our visit that same weekend.
Stonehenge, one of the wonders of the world and an English Heritage site, is a 90 minute trek south of London. Slower on rainy days. As was the case for us.
This prehistoric monument is 4,000-5,000 years old – the remains of a ring of ancient standing stones. The stones, themselves, may have come from Wales, almost 150 miles away. How? Oh, there are some theories as to the how and why of the remote location (really remote…be warned). And the purpose? Burial ground? Maybe a Druid temple? Alien landing spot?
Some months later, while being interviewed for a seat in the local nursery school, L was given blocks to create with, and the Head Mistress sat to watch. L was very systematic. I was more than slightly proud when he announced his finished work: “Look, Mom, Stonehenge!” And the Head Mistress was more than slightly impressed by the anklebiter sitting before her.
As members of English Heritage, we sought out other properties they boasted:
1066 Battle of Hastings – English Heritage hosts a brilliant reenactment of the battle, held each October, in East Sussex. And they make a proper carnival of the event! Activities for children. Crowds in costume. And, yes, an actual reenactment.
The children are into pirates. Aaaarrgh. After considering the portrayal of the battle, they were all conviced that the 1066 Battle of Hastings was pirate against pirate, as opposed to French against English.
Dover Castle – Though everytime we were in Dover, the castle was closed, it is supposed to be an incredible visit. I can vouch for the beauty of the outer castle, and the Cliffs of Dover, themselves.
Peveril Castle – Not to be confused with Cair Parevel, in Narnia. (I wish I could claim a visit to that castle). A short, but steep hike brought us atop a hill, overlooking the green countryside, with a castle in ruins to explore. It really doesn’t get much better than that for little explorers. And we spent hours sitting on the grassy hill, enjoying the view, and enjoying each other.