Visit Avebury

Avebury is, in many ways, a typical English village. Ancient homes under thatch and tile line a walking-pace high street that threads past a pub, community shop and village hall. Set back are a few stately manor houses and an atmospheric village church, surrounded by graves worn dateless by the centuries.

But even a casual glance at Avebury reveals quite exceptional differences that set it apart from any other English village. The approaching road cuts through an array of standing stones that rival Stonehenge. Footpaths skirt a massive circular ditch dating back five thousand years, Europe's largest Neolithic henge, that loops close to the village centre and out across the fields. And the stones continue to all points of the compass, striding across a rolling landscape bumped with anonymous graves, now known to date back to very birth of agriculture. This was the area where hunter-gatherers first cleared parts of the forest that then clothed the country and learned to cultivate the land for food. This gave the early Britons the security and time to build their first monuments to their early gods. And around Avebury they built like nowhere else, carving out the remarkable structure of Avebury Henge, lifting standing stones to stand in serried rows and spending a hundred years building Silbury Hill, layer by layer, to rise up above the rolling plain. For three thousand years, until the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages, this ancient mound remained Europe's tallest man-made structure.

These pages aim to tell more of Avebury's ancient past but also of the present. Of the sites and sights that make any visit here an intensely spiritual, affecting experience. Of the shops and restaurants that ease any stay. Of the activities on offer, from yoga lessons to dowsing classes, tours of the stones and flights over crop circles. The practical issues of transport and getting to Avebury, of where to stay and what to do. 

In Avebury you can experience a typical English village, but also one that is quite exceptional. These pages cover the why, when and how.