Favorite thing: On landing in England for our Christmas 2005 trip, we spent the first two nights in Farnham (the 'red' circle), just outside London where Sue's brother lives. Our first day in the country was spent exploring our old haunt of 'Horley' south of London and just off the map to the right. This was followed by a full day of touring in the heart of 'London' itself. Now, it was Day 3 of our visit and time to start our slow drive west to Cornwall at the tip of England. By the time we had said our good-byes, it was almost 11 AM as we headed out on the 'blue' route marked on the map (the 'black' route was our February, 2004 trip). Keeping to the secondary highways as much as possible, it was about and hour and a half later that we reached Avebury, indicated by the pointer. I had earlier read on VT about the amazing Neolithic monuments here, so this was my target for the day. After a bit of exploring in and around Avebury, and a pub lunch, we continued onward until overtaken by the onset of late afternoon winter darkness as we drove into Bradford-on-Avon (the 'orange' circle) just southeast of Bristol and Bath. We considered this day to have been a fantastic start to our road trip! Note that the famous Stonehenge site is not far from Avebury, lying almost directly south, at the top left side of the sudden sharp 'V' dip (due to road works) in our previous year's 'black' route.
I was surprised to be able to see crop circles from Avebury. (The picture was taken in July.) I'm not sure if they are visible except in the summer and I don't know who or what is responsible for them. You need to click on the picture to really see the pattern.
There's another VT Avebury page with a picture of this but it doesn't look exactly like mine. You can see the stones in the middle ground.
If you visit Avebury, especially during the summer months, you can quench your thirst at the pub on the bend - you just cannot miss it - there are tables & benches outside, and more often than not, a crowd of bikers.
But please do not let that put you off, it seems to be a meeting place, and if you are like me and just love bikes, Harley's in particular, then go for that thirstquenching drink.
To date, about 700 stone circles have been identified in the United Kingdom. Nobody is quite sure what their purpose was, but the sheer scale of Avebury suggests that they were of immense importance to the indigenous people at the time - about 2500 BCE. Flints have been found around Avebury that have been traced to the flint mines at Grimes Graves near Thetford in Norfolk - 250km away. So Avebury was clearly worth the trip!
Avebury's Great Circle, at 350m in diameter, is by far the largest of the 700 - over half as big again as the runner-up, the largest of the three circles at Stanton Drew near Bristol. In third and fourth place are subsidiary circles at Avebury.
The Stanton Drew circles are featured on my Bristol page.
The stone circles - built around 2500 B.C. Avebury is 24 miles north of Stonehenge. Unlike Stonehenge, you can walk up to the stones and touch them if you want. The Avebury stones circles are larger too. The prehistoric monument begins with the Sanctuary then makes its way along the Avenue which ends at the circles. There are other prehistoric sites nearby as well: West Kennet Long Barrow and Silsbury Hill to name a couple.
Favorite thing: Children love to roll down into the moat so everywhere you look, they seem to be doing just that on a sunny day :)))