"Standing Stones of Avebury" Top 5 Page for this destination Avebury by Bwana_Brown

Avebury Travel Guide: 101 reviews and 244 photos

In deciding which scenic route we should take to Cornwall on this trip, I had been thinking of a meander along the south coast through Hampshire and Dorset like we had done during our Summer, 2000 trip. However, Sue mentioned how much she had enjoyed Wiltshire on our last trip and that got me thinking about the standing stones at Avebury that I had read about on VT. As a result, we decided to take a northerly route instead (please see my 'General' tip for a map of our travels to the southwest tip of England).

Avebury is one of 26 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the United Kingdom, having been designated in 1986 in the same group as its more famous nearby cousin at Stonehenge (20 miles to the south). The District Council's web-site sums up the many attractions in and around Avebury that make this a 'must visit' :

"The landscape around Avebury contains some of the most important surviving prehistoric archaeological monuments in the British Isles. Since its inscription on the World Heritage List, jointly with Stonehenge, the principal prehistoric sites within this landscape have been universally acknowledged as of international cultural significance.Within the 23 square kilometres of the WHS the monuments are of exceptional size and interest, including remains of the largest stone circle in the British Isles, the longest stone avenue (West Kennet), one of the longest Neolithic burial mounds (West Kennet long barrow) , one of the largest causewayed enclosures (Windmill Hill), and the largest prehistoric mound in Europe (Silbury Hill). As well as these key monuments, the landscape contains a wealth of archaeological remains including well-preserved Bronze Age round barrows which belong to one of the greatest concentrations of round barrows in the country. Over 330 archaeological sites are known within the WHS, 160 of which are Scheduled Monuments. The area is also of national significance for its nature conservation interests and it is wholly situated within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A measure of Avebury's uniqueness is its appeal to a wider variety of people. 350,000 annual visitors are attracted to Avebury, including a large element of international tourists. Pagans also visit the site as a place of contemporary celebration and gathering.

Unlike Stonehenge, the monuments at Avebury do not stand in isolation. The Village of Avebury, with its Saxon origins, and the main road share the interior of the henge with the stone circle, making use of the original entrances for the road pattern and of many of the stones themselves for building material. This close proximity gives Avebury a unique atmosphere, with the busy life of the village going on in and around the monuments."

Having visited Stonehenge three times myself, I can say that Avebury ranks right up there with it!

  • Last visit to Avebury: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2006
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Reviews (9)

Comments (25)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Hi Glenn, lovely and interesting page about this place! I am going there next year and am looking forward to it very much. The village looks very cute!

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Great Tips, I'm off to Avebury next week!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    I just learned something new, had no idea there were the Neolithic Stone Circle and the White Horses are fascinating! Thank you for another lovely page!

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2009 at 4:14 AM

    Just been there, Glen . Wish I'd checked your page first, though.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2009 at 10:36 PM

    Great interesting tips Glenn! With burrial mounds, anciant stone circle and white horses this sounds to be a place I should visit one day.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2009 at 6:45 AM

    what a fascinating place!

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:57 AM

    I just realise looking at your page that I have once been to Avebury. A friend from Somerset took me there once.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2007 at 8:11 AM

    I love Avebury - always more atmospheric than Stonehenge especially now the fencing has spoiled the place. Great page, Glenn. leyle

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2007 at 5:33 AM

    I have visited quite a few places in England, but must admit that I have never heard of Avebury. It really seems to be well worth a visit with all these ancient sights. Well done ... :-)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2006 at 5:52 PM

    Perfect tips and very interesting info on the largest stone circle in Europe. Well, the place is mysterious although doesn't look very interesting. Hertz is said to be expensive. I don't know.

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