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Avebury

Avebury stone circle from the air

Avebury is listed alongside Stonehenge as one World Heritage Site. They are respectively the most sophisticated and largest stone circles in the world. They lie at the heart of prehistoric landscapes containing numerous ceremonial and sacred monuments.

Within the 25 sq km of the Avebury World Heritage Site landscape there a number of outstanding prehistoric monuments that can be visited on foot. They include the early Neolithic West Kennet Long Barrow (around 3,500BC), the remains of the largest stone circle in the world and Silbury Hill, Europe's largest prehistoric mound whose original purpose remains a mystery. At the heart of the site and partly within the stone circle and henge lies the picturesque village of Avebury. At Avebury you can visit the Alexander Keiller museum and Barn Gallery run by the National Trust.

Avebury World Heritage Site sits within the beautiful North Wessex Downs and is near to the historic market towns of both Marlborough and Devizes.

For more information visit the Wiltshire Council website

Directions

Arriving by train

Swindon is the closest mainline train station to Avebury. Trains from London leave  from Paddington Station.   

When you arrive in Swindon there is a direct bus service to Avebury from the nearby Swindon bus station. It is a 3 minute walk to the bus station.  Buses take around 30 minutes to reach Avebury. 

Alternatively you could catch a train to either Great Bedwyn or Pewsey from London although bus travel from these stations to Avebury may be less direct requiring a change in either Marlborough or Devizes.

If visiting from Stonehenge you would need to take the train from Salisbury and change at Bath before arriving in Swindon.

Coming from the south west there are regular trains to Swindon from Bath, Bristol and further west.

If you are arriving from Stonehenge by train you will need to take the train to Swindon from Salisbury via Bath and then take the bus.  It may be quicker to travel by bus from Salisbury as outlined below. 

Train services

  • London Paddington to Swindon (journey time 1h)
  • London Paddington to Great Bedwyn (journey time approx 1.5h)
  • London Paddington to Pewsey (journey time 1h)
  • Bath to Swindon (journey time 25 mins)
  • Bristol Temple Meads to Swindon (journey time 30 mins)
  • Salisbury via Bath to Swindon (journey time approx 1.5h)

Arriving by bus

You can catch a direct bus from Swindon bus station to Avebury.  Service 49 operated by Stagecoach or 96 operated by Wilts & Dorset.

Buses from  Devizes (49) and Marlborough (43A/96) also travel direct  to Avebury.   (Service 43A stops at Avebury Trusloe about 1 km south of  the stone circle while others stop in its centre near the Red Lion pub).

There is a direct bus to Avebury  from Pewsey (96).  From Great Bedwyn  you can take a bus to Marlborough (20) but you will need to change there for Avebury (43A/96).

If you want to travel from Stonehenge to Avebury by bus you can travel via Salisbury.  Take the service 5/6 from Salisbury and change at Pewsey onto the 95/96. This will take you direct to Avebury. Wilts & Dorset operate both services and offer bus day tickets. You could also purchase a Wiltshire Day Rover ticket on the first bus you take  in Wiltshire.  This ticket is valid on nearly all bus companies in Wiltshire.

Please use the interactive map and live transport links to check services and times as these are regularly updated by transport providers. Please contact transport providers directly if you need to check whether services are accessible for wheelchairs or will carry bicycles etc.

Walking to Avebury

There are numerous rights of way and permissive paths which allow you to explore the monuments and landscape once you arrive in Avebury.  If you want to be really intrepid why not walk there along the Ridgeway which begins in the Avebury World Heritage Site.  This  National Trail stretches  for  87 miles ending at  Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chilterns but you can join it at any point. For further information visit the National Trails website.

Cycling to Avebury

The National Cycle Routes 4 and 45 pass through Avebury for those of you who prefer to explore by bike. For further information on cycle routes visit the Sustrans website .

Itineraries

West Kennet Avenue

Exploring the landscape on foot

To really appreciate the Avebury World Heritage Site and get a sense of the interrelationship of the monuments a walk out into the landscape is highly recommended. There is a network of rights of way, permissive paths and open access land that allows you to explore much of the 25 square kilometres that make up the Avebury World Heritage Site.

Avebury Henge, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow

If you have around 3 hours you can walk south from the henge along the West Kennet Avenue and then turn east up Waden Hill from the top of which you will get a wonderful view of Silbury. After this you can walk down, cross the A4 and climb up to West Kennet long barrow. Please take very great care if you cross the very busy and fast A4 main road.

Coming back go along the A4, past Silbury Hill and cross over into the car park. A path leads from here along the River Kennet back to the main National Trust car park for Avebury. Look out for fingerposts to help guide you in the landscape. A number of self-guided walking tours are available as a booklet from the National Trust shop in Avebury.

A visit to the nearby museum and gallery managed by the National Trust will greatly enrich your visit to the World Heritage Site.

Visiting Stonehenge

You can also visit Stonehenge, the other half of the World Heritage Site, as part of your exploration of Neolithic and Bronze Age landscapes. To get to Stonehenge from Avebury by public transport you will need to take the bus to Salisbury changing at Devizes or return to the train station at Swindon and travel via Bath to Salisbury. From there you can take a bus or a taxi to Stonehenge.

Visiting Bath and the other World Heritage Sites

Return to Swindon and you can take a train to explore the rest of the South West World Heritage Sites.  You can be in Bath in less than an hour from Swindon by train.

 

Accommodation

Avebury is in the heart of the World Heritage Site and offers several B&B accommodation options of various standards.  Marlborough and Devizes are charming historic towns with good public transport links to the site and a choice of hotels and accommodation.  For a more rural experience, try one of the many B&Bs on farms in the Wiltshire countryside. The nearest youth hostel is in Clyffe Pypard close to the Ridgeway around 6 miles away. There is a bus link to Avebury.

www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/site/where-to-stay

For green accommodation, select "green tourism businesses" in the map key.