Avebury Stone Circle
Located 22 miles to the north of the Holiday Inn Salisbury – Stonehenge and 6 miles to the west of the charming market town of Marlborough, the Avebury Stone Circles have stood since Neolithic - or New Stone Age times. By the Iron Age the Avebury Stones had been abandoned but they were rediscovered and excavated by archaeologist Alexander Keiller around 1937.
The Avebury Circle is a ‘Henge’ – a type of earthwork which is a circular bank with an internal ditch. It is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It forms part of the historic village of Avebury which is managed by the National Trust.
Things to do at the Avebury Stone Circle
- National Trust Barn Gallery
- World Heritage Stables Gallery
- Avebury archaeological walk
- Windmill Hill
- Avebury Stone Circle Picnic Area
- Circle Cafe
- Avebury Manor Tearoom
- Red Lion Avebury
- The Henge Shop
National Trust Barn Gallery
The Barn Gallery is located in a 17th Century threshing barn and is part of the museum established in 1938 by Alexander Keiller. It houses various interactive displays including Bronze Age dressing up and children’s activities. Perfect for a rainy day or to keep the children happy and bring the archaeology of the area to life. See the National Trust website for entry prices.
World Heritage Stables Gallery
The Stables Gallery houses the collection of findings unearthed by Alexander Keiller during his excavations. Flint tools, pottery and even animal bones are all on display.
Avebury archaeology walk
There is more to Avebury than just the Avebury Stone Circles and if you have time it is well worth following the Avebury archaeology walk. Taking around three to four hours to complete, the circular route passes other important archaeological sites and takes in some stunning views - so be sure to take your camera!
- West Kennet Avenue – a double line of stones and a former ceremonial route
- Falkner’s Circle – a sole remaining stone from another former stone circle
- Sidbury Hill – a distinctive triangular shaped hill fort dating back to the Iron Age
- Overton Hill Barrow – Bronze Age burial sites
- The Ridgeway – ancient track across Salisbury Plain used by our ancestors and the Romans
- The giant Cove stones – two surviving cove stones and the largest of the whole monument. They are thought to represent male and female characteristics.
Walk a mile and a half up to the North West from the Avebury Circle and you’ll find yourself on Windmill Hill. It is a good example of a Neolithic ‘causewayed enclosure’ but I am afraid you will be disappointed if you expect a windmill as the site is really a series of concentric ditches!
Avebury Stone Circle Picnic Area
Perfect for sunny days and long walks.
Run by the National Trust in an old stone fronted farmyard this cafe offers typical National Trust fare.
Avebury Manor and Gardens
For those seeking a traditional cream tea – head for the Avebury Manor Tearoom which is housed in the library of this lovely Manor House just outside the Avebury Stone Circles. It is only open in peak season so please check the National Trust website for opening times and prices before you go.
Red Lion Avebury
Dating back to the 1600s the Red Lion is a traditional rustic English pub with a good pub menu right in the middle of the Avebury Stone Circle. Don’t miss the 86 foot well if you do visit!
The Henge Shop
Independently run shop located within the Avebury Circle the Henge sells jewellery, gifts and books and is housed in one of three medieval cottages.
Where to Stay
If you are looking for a stylish and modern Salisbury hotel to stay at during your visit to the Avebury Stone Circle, check availability at the Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge. Why not round off your day by reserving a table at the super chic Solstice Bar & Grill – the perfect place to unwind and enjoy gourmet food.