Stonehenge & Avebury
Ooooh, mystery, history. The countryside surrounding Bath holds two of England's most goose-pimply prehistoric sites, Stonehenge and Avebury. As old as the pyramids, and older than the Acropolis and the Colosseum, Stonehenge amazed medieval Europeans, who figured it was built by a race of giants. Today, it still retains an air of mystery and majesty (partly because cordons, which keep hordes of tourists from trampling all over it, foster the illusion that it stands alone in a field). Nearby Avebury is a prehistoric open-air museum, with a complex of fascinating Neolithic sites all gathered around a great stone circle that's likely even older — and for many, more enjoyable — than Stonehenge.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Stonehenge England's most famous stone circle, unique for its horizontal stones.
▲▲ Avebury Stone Circle Giant stone circle, 16 times the size of Stonehenge — but with a fraction of the tourists.
▲▲ Salisbury Cathedral Architecturally harmonious Gothic cathedral, boasting the tallest spire in England, surrounded by a huge, peaceful green.
▲ Salisbury Museum Random collection of costumes, art, ceramics, and other historical items, plus a fine exhibit about Stonehenge.
▲ Ritual Procession Way Double line of stones at Avebury that once served as a route for ritual processions.
▲ Silbury Hill Pyramid-shaped chalk mound — and the largest man-made object from prehistoric Europe.
- Pondering Britain’s Stone Circles