As with many English villages, traffic is the most disturbing thing, and here at Avebury it can be downright dangerous as the main road has been built straight through the circle so people wander about, crossing the road here and there and drivers and walkers alike need to be alert. Moreover, there is a bend in the road at the Red Lion pub where visibility is not the best.
Yes, the little dot in the sky in this picture is indeed a helicopter (which you see if you enlarge it), that is how low they often fly here with all the nearby army bases, which explains why you see surprisingly few sheep and cattle on these downs. I would imagine that your own pets too could be alarmed so bear this in mind if you bring them on your travels. Otherwise it is quite fascinating to see them flying around, even if the noise is a constant distraction some days.
If you cannot take a prettily rural picture in Avebury I fear for both you and your camera. For once you have dodged your fellow tourists setting up a scene of beauty is an absolute snap - well, almost! For although you have the mighty stones, trees, hills and lush grass you also have sheep. Delightful though they are, much of the ancient site seems to be used as common grazing land - which is cheaper, greener and more picturesque than maintaining a sit-on mower! However, the sheep do have an additional by-product to add to the more welcome lamb cutlets and wool - namely, sheep manure. There is loads of it, liberally pelleted across the site. So watch where you walk and search before you sit!
A visit to Avebury is certainly something I'd strongly recommend but timing is of the essence. If you are going to seek out a spiritual experience then you really need to plan your visit with a little care, for it is somewhat difficult to connect with you inner self or transport yourself back to the ancients when a coach party trundles past you armed with baseball caps and ice cream cornets. My most recent visit was made at 2pm on a delightfully warm afternoon early in September. Although my photos might suggest the place was deserted it really wasn't - to obtain a semblance of spiritual solitude a degree of patience and careful photo framing was the order of the day. Although it wasn't exactly heaving with visitors it was fairly busy and as we left yet another coach party came rolling into the car park.
The good news is that there are plently of stones spread liberally throughout the village - enough for everyone - but if you're seeking to replicate a 'mystical' experience with just you and the stones and eerily atmospheric silence you'd do best coming very early in the morning or leaving it til late in the day. If you don't you will simply have to put up with chaps like us!
PS I am busily stone-hugging out of shot.
Don't be deceived by these very gently-rolling low hills. On warm summer days they may seem dreamy, buzzing drowsily with insects and the song of the skylark, but there is treachery afoot.
In winter especially the Downs are bleak and exposed, and you should dress up warm. A wet and windy day can be miserable. The chalk is covered by a layer of clay which churns up into a slippery mire. You really need proper stout walking boots at all times of year, especially if you are walking on the Ridgeway where motorbikes and horses churn up the mud into patches of deep. squelchy wet muck!
Remember one of the reasons why the monuments are so well-preserved is because this is very marginal agricultural land which has provided a poor living to farmers over the centuries and hasn't been subjected much to the plough!