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Visiting Avebury, West Kennet Barrow & Silbury Hill

Practical guide for visitors to Avebury

Avebury henge and church, avebury village
Avebury henge goes right up to Avebury village

The big attraction people come to see at Avebury is of course, Avebury stone circle, (Avebury henge) part of a National Trust site; but the whole surrounding landscape including West Kennet and Silbury Hill is worth visiting in its own right.

Avebury is about 24 miles north of Stonehenge, the large Sarsen stones from Stonehenge originate from the Avebury district.

We have a page with a 3-mile self-guided walk around Avebury, West Kennet and Silbury Hill, so you can explore the prehistoric landscape at your leisure.

Professional fully guided tours to Avebury from London are also a popular option, usually combined with nearby World Heritage Site, Stonehenge.

Avebury henge

Avebury henge
Avebury henge

The main attraction at Avebury is the henge itself. Much bigger than the more famous Stonehenge. There is totally free access, you can walk among and touch the stones.

Avebury henge comprises of an enormous circular earthwork, 400m wide. Inside is a circle of immense standing stones, and inside that there are two more stone circles each 100 metres in diameter.

From Avebury there run two stone avenues, each of which had about 100 megaliths as part of a 600 stone complex.

Avebury is a great preparation for a visit to Stonehenge, some aspects like the processional avenue and earthworks are far more identifiable than at Stonehenge.

 

Avebury village

The Village of Avebury is part within Avebury henge, so a visit to the henge comes with a bonus of an interesting village too. The National Trust are dominant in the village and have two museums providing insights into material and information relevant to Avebury.

There are a number of thatched cottages, an historic church, a thatched pub and a popular National Trust cafe. It is quite a laid back place and you don't get the tour bus crowd here, so there is plenty of space.

West Kennet Long Barrow

West Kennet Long Barrow
Go inside a Neolithic tomb at West Kennet

West Kennet Long Barrow is a burial chamber that was built before the famous henges in the area. West Kennet Long Barrow is totally free access, you can wander inside the tomb. West Kennet Long Barrow is easily walked from Avebury henge in 20-30 minutes.

The chamber, which extends 10 metres into the mound that makes up West Kennet, consists of five separate chambers, two on either side of a narrow passage, which then opens up into a further chamber at the far end.

 

Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill
Silbury Hill stands alone on the landscape

The largest man made mound in Europe at 130 feet high and covering an area in excess of 5 acres the enormous contours of the hill challenge us with the mystery of why it was built and what for.

Silbury Hill is located close to West Kennet Long Barrow and also was built during the Neolithic era. Silbury Hill is very much a part of any visit to Avebury.

There are some theories of what Silbury Hill was used for, but it's all a mystery really. Even dating of when and how long it took to build have see sawed over recent times.

The latest suggestion is that Silbury Hill is the finale, the full stop at the end of the Neolithic age, the last great monument.

Self guided walk - Avebury, West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill

On a nice summer day there is great little walk to get some country air and visit also the main attractions around Avebury.

Our self guided walk starts from Avebury, the village/henge and walks along the ceremonial approach to Avebury before visiting West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill.

Notes for Avebury self guided walk

Getting to Avebury

For crowded Southern England, Avebury is in one of the most isolated locations. The only regular public transport link is an hourly public bus service between Avebury and Swindon, a major rail hub. Very frequent and fast trains run between Swindon and London.

 

Tours to Avebury from London

If you do not have your own car, the only public tours visiting Avebury are a small group tour by International Friends from London combined with Stonehenge and Glastonbury, or a regular coach service tour from Anderson Tours featuring Stonehenge, West Kennet Longbarrow and Silbury Hill.

The small group International Friends tour does not visit West Kennet or Silbury Hill but instead takes you to the other mystical places of Wessex - Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Well Gardens.

avebury

SMALL GROUP STONEHENGE, GLASTONBURY & AVEBURY

Glastonbury Tor, Avebury and Stonehenge tour from London

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury Small Group guided day tour from London

• Adult £174 • Child (3-15 years) £154

• Small group day trip - maximum 16 people per tour • Admission to Stonehenge, Glastonbury Abbey & Avebury Stone Circle • Beat the crowds at Stonehenge - go there first! • Professional guide • Photo stop at Glastonbury Tor and entry to Chalice Well Gardens

Avebury

STONEHENGE & AVEBURY TOUR

Stonehenge & Avebury tour

Visit the largest and most famous henges in one day

Adult from £109 • Child (age 5-17) from £99

• Entrance into Stonehenge • Walking tour of Avebury & Avebury henge • Free time for lunch in Avebury • Visit West Kennet Long Barrow • Professional guide • Operates Wednesday, Friday & Sunday


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