Stonehenge and Avebury

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We had booked our tickets for Stonehenge well before Obama visited and made it trendy. It's not cheap. At £12.50, tickets for seniors cost only slightly less than standard adult tickets. The information provided by English Heritage is fairly comprehensive and accessible. The location, with its complex layers of ancient history, is fascinating. The car park is good, and there are accessible shuttle buses to & from the visitor centre and the Stones. My favourite part = the replica round houses + their contents, and the enthusiastic, well-informed woman who was there to talk about them and their context. We walked from the visitor centre, which I would recommend if you are able, as it gives a better chance to look around at the wider Stonehenge environment and take note of the cursus, some of the barrows, etc. Downsides: – When we visited it seemed a bit too busy – rather crowded – which certainly spoiled any 'atmosphere' there might have been. It's better to visit early in the day if you can. – The prices in the visitor centre seemed extortionately expensive. – The taps in the ladies' loos were not working that day.

Afterwards we drove on to Avebury, which is about 25 miles north of Stonehenge. The standing stones there are not as big or as formal as at Stonehenge, but are more extensive and freely accessible. (Not for wheelchairs.) We found Avebury absolutely enchanting. It hasn't been commercialised, and one is free to wander round and look at the stones as closely as liked. Avebury is a little village, and the stones surround it on all sides. Across the road from the main cluster is the Red Lion pub, where we had an acceptable meal whilst gazing out at the stones. I hope to return there before too long, and spend much more time absorbing the atmosphere, which I found captivating.

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