Avebury Stone Circles in England - visitors guide with photos.

Wandering around Avebury Stone Circles as well as West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and Barbury Castle in Wiltshire.

Avebury is an excellent place to go and get a real close up look at some ancient Neolithic stone circles and henges plus there are several other prehistoric sites in the immediate area to enjoy too.
The old church of St James at Avebury in Wiltshire.

About where are Avebury and Avebury Stone Circles in England and how to get there.

The World Heritage Site of Avebury is located just off the A4 and is around 6 miles to the west of Marlborough, Wiltshire - if driving on the A4 from Marlborough take the A4361 towards Beckhampton and Avebury is around 1 mile along.
Avebury itself (post code SN8 1RG for your routefinder) is actually quite a small village and car parking for visitors is restricted within the village itself - generally you have to have a local permit even if parking in the village car park. Incidentally Avebury Village itself is really worth looking round as well - some lovely old buildings and a pub or two plus the really nice old Church of St. James to visit. Parking for visitors is at the fairly large National Trust car park which you enter from the A4361 - it's well signposted. Car parking is currently UK Pounds 5 (unless you are a National Trust member) and this allows for parking all day - entry to the three Neolithic stone circles and other areas around Avebury is free.
Part of the many standing stones at Avebury in Wiltshire.A huge standing stone at Avebury, Wiltshire.The ceremonial stones of Neolithic Britain at Avebury, England. Unlike the world famous Stonehenge stones which currently are fenced off, at Avebury you can get right up to all of the stones - give them a hug if you wish - therefore possibly Avebury is a much more interesting place to visit than Stonehenge. It's certainly way cheaper to visit as far as entrance and parking fees are concerned. Avebury Village itself is adjacent to the N.T. car-park - the village is quite interesting to wander around in it's own right with nice old buildings, several pubs and their nice church of St. James.
If on holiday in the area and touring around then apart from visiting Stonehenge (which is around 23 miles away) there are several interesting ancient locations to visit in the immediate area - including West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill - also the huge earthworks which make up Barbury Castle are not too far away.

Silbury Hill near Avebury, Wiltshire in England.

The Prehistoric Mound at Silbury Hill in Wiltshire

Silbury Hill - with it's flat top - dates back around 4,500 years -i.e. to around 2400 BC which was towards the end of the Neolithic Period of the Stone Age in Britain. Silbury HIll is 131 feet high making it the tallest man-made mound in Europe. It is located on the left alongside the A4 on the way back to Marlborough where there is a car park available. Very little is known about Silbury Hill, why it was built and it's purpose in the scheme of things which make up the huge area around Neolithic Avebury.
The public are no longer allowed to climb up onto Silbury Hill in order to avoid further damage and erosion - i.e. it is now completely fenced off - only sheep have permission to be there.

West Kennet Long Barrow - Wiltshire, England.

Just a very short distance further along the A4 from Silbury Hill and on the right is a road-side parking area for use by visitors wanting to take a look at West Kennet Long Barrow. The Neolithic burial mound dates back around 5,500 years and is one of the largest and best-preserved examples of a chambered tomb to be found in England. The mound contains five burial chambers which were constructed at the eastern end of the structure - there were at least 46 people buried in the chambers over a 1000 year period.
West Kennet  Long Barrow - Wiltshire, England.Entrance to West Kennet Long Barrow, England.The inner chambers at West Kennet Long Barrow in England. You have to walk around 1/4 of a mile to reach the Barrow and once there you can also get a little way inside it. For some odd reason people can also wander around on top of the Long Barrow so it is getting a little worn down. Neither Silbury Hill or the Long Barrow have any parking or entry fees. Incidentally one of the best views of Silbury Hill is actually from halfway up the path when walking towards the Long Barrow.

Barbury Castle seen from The Ridgeway Path in England.

Avebury to Barbury Castle walk using The Ridgeway National Trail in Wiltshire.

It's worth noting that this can be a fairly tiring walk with quite an overall amount of climbing. Unless return transport arrangements have been made at the Barbury Castle end it also means you have to walk back too since there are no shortcuts - a total walking distance of around 20kms. If the weather is particularly cold at Avebury then up on The Ridgeway temperatures will probably be considerably lower - the same applies to how windy it is - in other words you do need to have proper walking gear and food and drink with you. From the National Trust car-park at Avebury there is only one pedestrian exit - take this to reach the tarmac road which goes through the village. Turn right and fairly soon arrive at a staggered crossroads (on the left there is a large pub on the bend) - go straight across onto a narrow road called Herepath (on the maps it's called Green Street). Follow the road as it gently climbs and goes past Manor Farm on the right - just after the farm buildings the tarmac surface ends and it becomes a track. Just keep ahead on the rough track which climbs ever more steeply until you eventually reach The Ridgeway National Trail. Turn left along The Ridgeway and just stay walking along for some kilometres until you reach the huge earthworks which make up Barbury Castle.

Walking conditions. In reality walking conditions along this part of The Ridgeway National Trail are not too brilliant (the same applies for anyone cycling it). This is because the way is heavily rutted from where vehicles were once allowed to use the trail and subsequently destroyed the surface. Some way along the track starts to undulate more and from here as far as Barbury Castle the surface has been graded and packed with hardcore - quite often with 2 inch peices of aggregate scattered loosely on top. It really does make walking and probably cycling very difficult at times on both parts.

Barbury Castle in Wiltshire.

Situated on top of Barbury Hill, the Iron Age Hill Fort of Barbury Castle is made up of two very deep defensive ditches and ramparts. Should you be fortunate to visit Barbury Castle on a clear day the views of the surrounding countryside for many miles around are excellent and on a sunny but not too windy day this is a great place for a picnic. The original Ridgeway Trail's route goes round the Hill whilst the "new" Ridgeway path route takes you straight over the top. You can drive to Barbury Castle if you wish - it is located a little way to the south of Swindon - head along the M4 and then take the narrow B4005.
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