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Visit Wiltshire's 'other' Stonehenge

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Visitors come from around the globe to travel to the south-west corner of England to see the famous Stonehenge.

But far fewer people are aware of Avebury in Wiltshire - a stone circle with all the prehistoric mystery of the more famous attraction, but one which allows its visitors on a day out to get closer to the action.

A much less touristy affair, Avebury's outer circle on Salisbury Plain in south Wiltshire is one of the largest from the prehistoric period and still has archaeologists debating as to its exact significance.

Whatever its original purpose, today the attraction is breathtaking and due to its largely undiscovered nature, visitors can get right up close to the stones and even touch them, if they wish.

From this spot, visitors can get a feel for the mysterious ceremonial landscapes of ancient burial grounds, with its processional walkways and enclosures. And there is even the chance to enjoy great views of the more famous Stonehenge circle, which, like the Avebury monument, is a world heritage site.

Those enjoying a day out at the mystical attraction may also want to drop in on the pretty village of Avery, which in the 1930s was partially encompassed by the stone.

Archaeologist Alexander Keiller re-erected many of the stones and excavated other historic relics in the process, which visitors can now behold in the 17th-century threshing barn and stables galleries of the Alexander Keiller Museum.

Here, his findings are on show with a series of interactive displays that invite visitors to get to grips with the history of the artifacts.

Admission to the museum costs £4.90 for adults, £2.45 for children and £13.45 for a family ticket, while there are reduced rates for those who arrive by bicycle or public transport.

The stone circle, owned by English Heritage and maintained by the National Turst, is free for visitors to admire.

Meanwhile, walking fans can also enjoy a trek to the Bronze Age burial mounds at nearby Windmill Hill and the Landsdowne Monument and Iron Age earthwork in Oldbury - showcasing this area's rich history.

Walking enthusiasts are recommended to bring their hiking boots as they will surely not want to miss the opportunity to explore the Stonehenge Down, which is a wide open landscape, where they can explore the Bronze Age barrow cemeteries and prehistoric monuments.

There is also the King Barrow Ridge within easy walking distance, where Bronze Age burial mounds stand side by side with beech trees and a hazel coppice shelter provides a haven for wildlife.


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