It’s hard to think of England without thinking of Stonehenge as one of its most famous landmarks. It’s probably the most recognizable ancient stone circle in the world. But the British Isles are full of stone circles. Apparently it was how the people of the Late Neolithic and Bronze Ages passed the time. Well, without television what else are you supposed to do but lug massive stones around?
Last weekend we visited the stone circle in Avebury for the first time. Avebury gets a lot less street cred than its big sister Stonehenge but I actually found it a nicer day out. It’s less restricted, more expansive, a more family friendly walkabout. And, it’s free. Stonehenge has maybe become a victim of its own success with fencing and a gift shop and everything you’d expect from a commercial tourist attraction.
Now granted, it’s the dead of winter, but Avebury was quaint and quiet, there was sun and rain. It’s physically a bigger circle than Stonehenge but it feels more intimate. Maybe because you can still get up close and personal with the stones.
Plus, smack in the middle there’s a nice little pub where you can stop for lunch, get dry, and have some hot chocolate that isn’t quite as hot as it should be. I’m sure this is exactly what people of the Bronze Age intended.