Although Avebury is not really "off the beaten track" looking at the UK it is a distance away from Chipping Norton and the Cotswolds but we had not been nearer to it on other holidays so we decided to do a longer drive and visit it and it is well worth the drive (about 2 hours from Chipping Norton).
Avebury and its wonderful Standing stones circle is so worth a visit - the circle is a world Heritage Site and the circle emcompasses the little village of Avebury. It is the largest stone Circle in the world and it is easy to walk around and explore - admission to the site is free but you have to park in the paid parking areac which is well signposted.
it is a very impressive sight all these huge standing stones through the countryside. While Stonehenge (another wonderful circle) was built and dedicated to the worship of the sun and moon Avebury is thought to have been built with more human themes as the triangular and columnar stones are often paired together - which experts think gives a sexual symbolism.
Close to Avebury is the largest man-made mound in Europe, the mysterious Silbury Hill. It was completed around 2400 BC but it is not a burial mound - there are no graves in it. Silbury Hill is part of the Avebury World Heritage Site, it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. it can be viewed free of cost during daylight hours but there is of course no access to the hill.
National Trust car park (South of Avebury off A4361). Free parking for English Heritage members, parking charges apply for non-members. Free disabled parking is available in the village car park.
If you take wander on the commons west of the town, alongside Worcester Road, you can't help but notice the striking chimney of the former Bliss and Sons Tweed Mill. Sometimes described as "A Tuscan Tower", othertimes as "A Toilet Plunger" the mill which it was attached to was, in Victorian times, one of Chippy's major employers.
The Blisses were instrumental in bringing the railway to the town to provide the coal for their mill's steam-operated machinery and following the coal-fired conflageration of the original factory William Bliss II commissioned the renowned industrial architect George Woodhouse to rebuild it as both an aesthetic and functional workplace (with a few fire safety features included)
The building was completed in 1872 and produced some of England's finest tweeds for the ensuing decades. As a working mill it closed in 1980 and stood derelict for several years before being redevoloped as luxury residential apartments. Being a grade II listed building the modern-day architects Burrell, Foley and Fischer had to work closely with English Heritage (and of course their grant aid) to preserve the building's fabric and the result is suitably impressive.
Kinda out of my salary scale but if anyone wants to lend me an odd half-million I'll consider writing an indoor piece about the place ;-)
We went by this wonderful old mill building on our way into Chipping Norton. Later, back in Oxford, I was looking at a local paper and what did I see in the real estate ads but a picture of the Bliss Mill and a listing for a pricey "co-op" type flat.