3km south of Avebury village, atop the rolling chalk downs so it's visible for some considerable distance, is the West Kennet Long Barrow (burial mound). It's the largest such barrow in the UK, and was the burial place for 40-50 people.
Part of the barrow has been opened up and you can walk inside to inspect the rock chambers.
When the Great Circle at Avebury was constructed, the West Kennet Long Barrow was already a millennium old. It's probably the oldest human remnant you'll see on a UK visit.
If you are only visiting for a short time, then the Great Circle is what you will probably devote your time to.
An estimated 98 stones surmount a high bank above a ditch, the whole almost enclosing the village of Avebury. The number of stones is estimated, because some are missing (marked by concrete posts). In the 18th century, when these monuments were considered barbaric, some of the stones were broken up, and the pieces may be found in the houses and boundary wall of the village.
The A4 road from London to Bath follows the course of an old Roman road across the downs. Mostly it runs dead straight, but Silbury Hill proved so massive an obstacle that even the determined Roman engineers had to detour round it.
Avebury's importance is underlined by its strategic position on the Ridgeway - possibly the oldest road on the planet. As it's name suggests, the Ridgeway follows a lonely course along the crest of the Downs - lonely because the chalk doesn't support standing water and therefore there are no settlements on it.
The Ridgeway Path National Trail begins at Overton Hill near Avebury and runs for 65km to the Goring Gap, where the Thames breaks through the chalk and enters the London Basin. Thereafter the trail follows a gentler course for another 65km to Ivinghoe Beacon, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire.
The Ridgeway Path has been controversial since its inception, as it is prized by trail bikers as well as walkers and horse riders. The three don't fit easily together!
The stone circle at Stonehenge only shows the inner circle of the complex. In Avebury, much of the monument remains: the inner circles, outer circles, and an avenue leading to the center.
The Avenue of stones leads to the inner circles and is 1.5 miles in length. In the avenue, you can try to imagine what it must have been like to walk in the complex when it was originally in use and what exactly they were using it for.
Desde el museo, pasando por la iglesia hasta el cementerio es bonito, ver Avebury es como retroceder en el tiempo.
When I visited just two days after Samhain, it was clear that Pagans had been in attendance recently. Candles were burning inside the chamber, flanked by half an apple and half a pomegranate!