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“Much better than Stonehenge”

Avebury Stone Circle
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US$69.98*
and up
Small Group Bath Avebury and Lacock Full-Day Tour from London
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Avebury
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This mysterious stone circle is thought to have been constructed in Neolithic times between 2500 to 2000 BC by The Beaker people, who might have played a major role in the formation of another eerie ancient site at Stonehenge.
Reviewed 29 June 2013

Everyone raves about Stonehenge, I think it's awful. In Avebury you can get up close and personal with the stones, you can picnic in amongst them, walk round the henge itself (and yes it's divided into quadrants by the roads, no big deal). There's a museum, and a restored Tudor mansion house to look around too if that's your thing. (its restoration was the subject of TV series, The Manor Reborn, with - naturally - Penelope Keith). There's a cafe and the Red Lion pub. There are quiet areas and busy areas in the Henge and the stones. I recommend that if you are able, walk round the whole thing. There's a church in the village, and lots of thatched houses.

Avebury is part of a neolithic sacred landscape incorporating the Sanctuary (Time Team were here), The Avenue, Windmill Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, and Silbury Hill (you cannot climb this, it's a scheduled ancient monument).

It is also a place where many Pagans \nd other groups come to celebrate the turning of the year through its seasons, and at summer solstice attracts lots of people who aren't Pagan at all, and just want to be somewhere (as it was put to me) "cosmic and spiritual". The village gets pretty locked down at summer solstice, so best to check ahead as to access and parking (nil unless you're there the day before). On any given day there will be guided tours run by the NT volunteers and others, and you may come across someone having a handfasting!

Seriously, it's a great place to visit, and if you visit all the sites, some of which will be deserted, and just sit and be.

It may be of interest for visitors to note that Avebury is superseded in size and complexity by the neolithic complexes in Orkney! So much for ancient peoples not being in touch with one another. The peoples of Avebury and Orkney clearly *were* in touch with one another.

All of the sacred landscape is free to visit, the only cost would be parking, although there is a bus that runs from Swindon through Devizes down to Trowbridge and vice versa - this stops outside the Red Lion pub. There is also a bus that runs from Calne to Malborough, and this also stops outside the pub. There is also a cost to visit the museums and, separately, the manor house.

There are kestrels, hares and pheasant to be seen in certain quadrants of the henge, if you're quiet and fortunate.

For the person who queried the car park being shut - if you look carefully at the barrier across the car park entrance, it's easily lifted up and entry gained after hours. Just make sure you close it behind you.

Lots of fantastic photography opportunities - and well worth a visit.

8  Thank Scots L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,423 - 1,427 of 1,833 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2013

We decided to come here instead of Stonehenge, i know they are not the same, but the idea of being able to walk around the, getting up close. We enjoyed walking around not just the stones but also the Village of Avebury that are right in the middle of the circle. We had a picnic lunch at the cafe where we brought a drink to go with the picnic and use a table.

1  Thank PIKMH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2013

Didn't get to Stonehenge so can't compare. But this was a great place. Walking among the stones...then a car goes by on the country road to bring it down to earth. Great to be in an ancient place like this that also feels just like countryside.
Stones seem to sit on peoples farms. goats grazing around them. Thatch rooftops around. Great stuff.

Thank HomerToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Avebury has the largest known stone ring in the world and is older than Stonehenge. To walk among and touch the stones, which the first construction is believed to date from 2600BC is almost eerie. The mysteries of the stone rings of Avebury will fascinate many a visitor.

Thank Valerie037
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

Great place to visit, especially when the sun is shining. Took my parents and my mum hugged the first stone she came across. I am not necessarily spiritual, but there is definitely an atmosphere when you visit the area. We sat sheltered from the wind behind a stone and thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Been twice now and recommend walking all around the area (church, museum, shops etc).

Thank Grumps65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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