If you’re coming to Avebury from outside the UK, getting a cheap flight to Bristol or London is the easiest way to begin the journey. Bristol airport is the closest airport with a good international service.
London has the most route availability in the UK and is not too far away either.
Which is better Avebury or Stonehenge?
There is some contest between Avebury and Stonehenge in terms of which is the ‘better’ UK stone circle. Stonehenge is certainly more eye-catching. The stones are far taller and the two circles are structurally different.
It is easier to imagine what Stonehenge looked like when it was first erected than to imagine what Avebury might have looked like. But Avebury has three stone circles, one of which is actually a far larger site than Stonehenge, making it the largest stone circle in Europe.
Avebury is also wonderful for the fact that it doesn’t attract anywhere near the amount of tourists as Stonehenge and is uncluttered by ropes cordoning it off and man-made walkways directing visitors around.
There is no pressure to move around the site quickly either. It is refreshing to be able to walk past the numerous sheep and go right up to the stones, something that is not possible at Stonehenge. Also, where Stonehenge has an entrance fee of more than £5, Avebury has an old fashioned wooden box with a slot on the top for donations with a collection of photocopied leaflets about the site next to this.
Both Stonehenge and Avebury are sites of significance to modern-day pagan communities. As such, the public are allowed access to the stones at Stonehenge twice a year on Winter and Summer Solstice. At the times of Solstice, all the stone circles have a path for the sun to travel through. There are many theories as to why this is so, from the basic concept of Neolithic people creating gigantic sundials to an ancient praise and representation of fertility.
Another site that can often be placed in the same category as Stonehenge and Avebury is Glastonbury. While Avebury and Stonehenge are both in Wiltshire, Glastonbury is in nearby Somerset. Glastonbury is another well-known site of significance for pagans.
Here you will find all sorts of shops selling New Age materials such as Tarot cards and healing crystals. There is also a Goddess Centre amongst other things and the famous Chalice Well, the water of which is said to have healing properties (it does contain an unusual amount of iron).
Glastonbury Tor itself is a good walk with a sweet church at the top and two oak trees locally referred to as Gog and Magog here as well. It’s worth a trip to the Speaking Tree bookshop in town if you want to learn more about local mythology. You can be sure to find books about Avebury and Stonehenge there too.
It is possible to visit Avebury, Stonehenge and Glastonbury as part of one trip, although leaving a day for each is advisable. Glastonbury has lots of accommodation in it so is a good place to use as a base for your trip.