We hung around Avebury just about every day that we were in Wiltshire, so I’m giving Avebury its own entry. It’s both a town and the site of a Neolithic henge monument. It’s the largest stone circle in Europe. On the First Trip in 2010, Kim and I went to Stonehenge and to Avebury, and although Stonehenge is, of course, incredible and amazing… Avebury is the one that made the biggest impression on me. For one thing, you can wander amongst the huge mysterious stones at Avebury. Stonehenge is much more touristy, with tickets and a visitor center and ropes around the perimeter of the stones to keep visitors at a distance, and busy roads on two sides of it. However, they are actually in the process of moving the visitor center a mile and a half away, and closing one of the roads. And you can go up to the stones during each solstice and each equinox. Baker B was in Devizes at the Summer Solstice and got to go with his landlord, and wander around the stones with the druids and the hippies at sunrise.
Avebury is much more accessible. The stones aren’t all in one spot, like Stonehenge, so it’s not as immediately visually stunning, but they are spread out for miles. And the village is beautiful. AND touristy, but at least all the tourists are very spread-out. Our lodgings in Marlborough were only maybe 7 miles from Avebury, so we made a lot of trips. Baker B also went while he was alone in Devizes, since he was close there too.
This is the path you take from the parking area, which is fairly large and keeps traffic out of the little village. You park and then walk down this pretty little path to the village.
Car park just sounds SO much nicer than “parking lot”. Or “parking area.”
The houses are old and gorgeous, and most of them have stones scattered around in their yards.
The Henge Shop – we NEVER WENT IN THE HENGE SHOP. I’m not sure how we managed that. We actually did very little shopping anywhere due to time and money and space constraints, and also Baker B was much more about hiking than shopping so frowned on Kim and I wasting time in shops, but still. We did go in the National Trust shop, which was really nice too, but I’m sorry I missed the Henge Shop, especially since we walked by it pretty much every single day. Next time!
I love this place so much I had a similar picture from the first trip as my desktop on my previous laptop, before it died.
Baker B admiring the stones.
Kim feeling The Energy
We DID eat at the Red Lion…once. I would not recommend it. (is it a chain?? It doesn’t have its own website and looks like this link is to historical places that have been taken over by a chain) Baker B and I split a seafood platter that sounded really good but, seriously, looked like something the owner’s strange kid put together. It was just bizarre, and we did not recognize several of the items. And they didn’t match what the menu listed. Like this one:
What the hell are those things??? I tasted one and it was just…. weird. Rubbery and ….weird.
And these things!!!
We did not expect whole little crunchy fish with….EYES. EWWWWWWW!!!!!
Kim had a chicken pie, which was nothing BUT chicken, and wasn’t very good either. The chips were good, so we fought over those. And probably went for a proper meal at the Barge that night. I think The Red Lion was the only place to eat in Avebury other than the National Trust cafe. We also had a sandwich at the cafe one day and it was quite good.
You know what WAS excellent at the Red Lion, though, was the beer. And the really pleasant view when you sit outside at the picnic tables and gaze at the stones. So we had a pint or two at the Red Lion every time we went to Avebury. We just didn’t eat there. It is supposedly haunted— maybe we got Ghost Food.
Naturally, I will have to continue this later, since I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg as far as the amazing stones go.