Avebury

Thursday 2 January 2020. Avebury is a village in Wiltshire partly encircled by a huge Neolithic henge (a circular bank and inner ditch), which in turn encloses the largest stone circle in Britain. We visited this extraordinary site en route to Semley from Bobbington, stopping first at the West Kennet Avenue, pairs of standing stones forming a ceremonial avenue to Avebury from a site known as the Sanctuary. Having parked at the convenient National Trust car park on the edge of the village, we walked back along the West Kennet Avenue a short way, then circumambulated the henge; given its size, this takes longer than one may think. The cold, overcast conditions only served to enhance the mystery of this remarkable site. I first visited Avebury on a freezing day 24 years earlier. Although unprepared for sub-zero temperatures, I was enthralled by the stones, awed by their mystery. All the same, I was thankful for the warmth (and cider) of the Red Lion pub and relieved when the bus back to Devizes arrived. Just south of Avebury lies mysterious Silbury Hill, the largest artificial mound in Europe.

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