The stone circle in Avebury is one of Wiltshires hidden gems, it sits on the edge of the downs, to the west of Marlborough, it’s believed to be the oldest standing circle in the world. Although it is often almost forgotten due to it’s bigger and much younger counterpart, Stonehenge being just down the road in Salisbury. The beauty of Avebury is that you can still walk amongst the stones freely (although dogs must be kept on leads when sheep are grazing) it looks fantastic from the air as you can clearly see the earth ditches and hills which run around the perimeter and the houses and a pub which are actually inside it.
In addition to what can be seen in this picture, the avenue is an additional 2 rows of standing stones which lead from East Kennet village, right up to the stone circle, again this can be freely accessed and does attract numerous tourists throughout the year.
A common trail for the tourists begins in the market town of Marlborough, then on to Avebury, taking in The Long Barrow at West Kennet and Silbury Hill, then ending up in Salisbury and Stonehenge, but this is quite a full day.
The Circle is owned by the National Trust, although English Heritage holds the guardianship.
Until the 1930’s nobody quite knew what the circle looked like as many stones had either fallen down or been broken up for building. When Alexander Keiller the archaeologist arrived he re-erected the stones and brought Avebury back to it’s former glory.
It’s completely free to visit the stones, there is also a museum in the old 17th century barn, it’s open all year round but for longer hours in the summertime. There are also coffee shops and gift shops. Of the numerous tourist attractions in the area, Avebury is one you really should take the time to visit.