My family couldn’t go to England without hitting up Stonehenge, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country – and we couldn’t resist throwing another henge in there! From our home in the English countryside, we drove a bit over an hour to see Avebury Stone Circle first. It’s much less frequented than Stonehenge, and I certainly hadn’t heard of it until we went…but we loved it!
Sheep roam freely among the stones of Avebury, and the relaxed and uncrowded atmosphere means that Avebury has a completely different vibe than Stonehenge. The National Trust has made sure this site is well protected, and the gate put up to prevent local cows from coming in is just one of those protective measures – so English.
This place feels much more real than Stonehenge, which is so well kept and touristy that it doesn’t seem as authentic. Here, it feels like you’ve stepped back into a time when these stones were used for whatever their purpose was – magic, worship, etc.
After another 45 minute drive, we arrived among the mob of tourists at Stonehenge on this gorgeous sunny day. For a very detailed and intelligent perspective on our experience (cue the sarcasm), let’s refer to the travel journal I kept at the time:
“We went to Stonehenge. VERY crowded. However there wasn’t the raucous noise you would expect. We went around with the audio tours. I love audio tours. We got ice cream again :). I love ice cream.”
How helpful. I do, however, remember loving the audio tour! It’s a place that you really need to know some history to enjoy, so the audio enriched our experience and made us feel a bit more knowledgeable.
All in all, our day of henges at Stonehenge and Avebury was great! I would absolutely recommend combining a day trip to Stonehenge with one to Avebury, as they’re quite close and have completely different feels.
Have you ever been to Stonehenge? Would you like to go? What about Avebury? Do you love audio tours and ice cream as much as I do?