Visiting 2 Alluring Icons round Salisbury Plain

Visiting Salisbury Plain icons
The Legendary Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain. Photograph: James Visser.

Icons of England.

Ask individuals what they affiliate Salisbury Plain England with and you’ll predominately simply get one reply. The legendary Stonehenge. It has been the principle icon of the world and promoted as such in Britain’s tourism advertising and marketing. Stonehenge even takes up the entire cowl of my England Lonely Planet ebook during which it’s listed as #1 in England’s high 20 points of interest, to not point out broader TV promoting and its picture being plastered on the partitions of so many journey companies.

Stonehenge is particular and understandably thought-about a ‘must-see’ for thus many home and worldwide vacationers alike. Nevertheless, there may be one other website shut by that in my opinion, is equally fascinating and worthy of a go to. It is usually much more accessible, and one you can truly contact and discover extra totally.

Avebury Stone Circle is the second icon I wish to share with you right here. It might not be as well-liked as Stonehenge however there are numerous issues I reveal under presents a compelling argument that Avebury is each bit as particular as its extra well-known landmark, simply half-hour away.

Each these Icons of England are well-known prehistoric archaeological websites which are collectively on the UNESCO World Heritage Checklist acknowledging the websites on this space of the British Isles amongst probably the most well-known teams of megaliths on this planet.

Salisbury Plain Map. Image BBC News
Salisbury Plain Map. Picture: BBC Information

Recognized for its wealthy archaeology, Salisbury Plain itself is such a beautiful flat, lush space of nature to take pleasure in even when simply driving the Avebury Stonehenge route. As you’d think about the panorama is usually flat however affords some fantastic views of the countryside.

My fiancé James and I had been fortunate sufficient to discover these Icons of England whereas driving with fantastic associates Di, Richard, and their daughter Grace. Their firm and native data of the world as residents of the UK made all of the distinction to this journey.


Salisbury Plain Map and locale

Salisbury Plain Map within the UK showing relative locations of Stonehenge and Avebury in Wiltshire County.
Salisbury Plain Map inside the UK exhibiting relative places of Stonehenge and Avebury in Wiltshire County.

The Salisbury Plain UK is a chalk plateau in southern England not removed from the South Downs Nationwide Park. This Plain covers an space of 780 sq. kilometers (300 sq. miles). It’s a part of a system of chalk downlands all through jap and southern England fashioned by the rocks of the Chalk Group.

Salisbury Plain itself is situated 12 miles north of the city of Salisbury within the coronary heart of Wiltshire nation however does stretch a bit into the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, and a small a part of Somerset.

What many guests don’t understand is that land inside the Salisbury Plain is owned by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and is a spot the place a few of their workout routines and firing follow happen. This isn’t to say you’d be in any hazard as locations used for navy workout routines are nicely signposted to warn you away from wandering into potential hazard.


Driving across the Salisbury Plain
Driving throughout the Salisbury Plain was largely flat after all and a preferred route for vacationers. Photograph: James Visser.


If you’re driving throughout Salisbury Plain, the signage is fairly good, making it simple to discover and discover locations like Avebury and Stonehenge, to not point out a number of pure surroundings, charming villages, and pleasant locals alongside the best way. Your complete space has a beautiful, relaxed, and laid-back really feel to it from a customer’s standpoint.


A mountain climbing/trekking possibility: Nice Stones Means

Great Stones Way walking tour map
Nice Stones Means strolling tour map by way of Salisbury Plain. Picture: Stonehenge Guided Excursions.

At a complete size of 45-52 miles, the Nice Stones Means is among the latest strolling trails within the UK. This route goes from Swindon south to Salisbury (or vice-versa). The stroll travels alongside the Avon River and incorporates each Avebury Stone Circle and Stonehenge in addition to different prehistoric stone circles and henges in addition to 2 white horses in Wiltshire. These are all choices you may select to go to or not, making this trek one you can actually customise based on your pursuits, funds, and obtainable time.

There are additionally skilled guided excursions that supply the Nice Stones Means over numerous days, together with one operated by Stonehenge Excursions. The perfect occasions to expertise this stroll/hike/trek could be from March to October. As Salisbury Plain is just about flat countryside, this may be comparatively simple, particularly if you’re an skilled hiker.


Visiting Stonehenge

Of the 2 icons of England on this area, I believed I might begin with probably the most well-known first. Owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage, Stonehenge is nicely price a go to.


Nicole Anderson at Stonehenge
Me on Salisbury Plain on the entrance of Stonehenge. Photograph: James Visser



Visitor center map of Stonehenge showing stone types
Customer middle map of Stonehenge exhibiting stone sorts used. Photograph: James Visser.

Now not in a freely accessible location, Stonehenge is located on the Salisbury Plain some 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. Once I say not ‘freely accessible’, I imply the world is totally sealed off to anybody who doesn’t attend the official entrance and customer middle which fees you a price for visiting the attraction. The tickets you buy are additionally ‘timed’ so it’s essential to present up on time should you ebook on-line.

The event of this website has been in response to the huge vacationer numbers which have grown through the years. The constructing of the brand new customer middle was designed to accommodate an enormous variety of coaches that ferry individuals from London out to Salisbury Plain, to not point out separate automobile parking and people coming by way of public transport. There are a number of strains to get tickets to get in and you actually need to consider the most effective time to keep away from enormous crowds.


Customer Centre

That is fairly a powerful place that features many shows and visible displays exhibiting the recognized historical past and a few hypothesis concerning the aim and origins of Stonehenge. There actually is a lot in the best way of fascinating info right here you can spend a while taking every part in. You come away with an excellent impression of what life and the land seemed like again when Stonehenge was being created.


Visual display of how Salisbury Plain looked 4000 years ago, up to construction to modern day. Photo: James Visser.
Visible show of how Salisbury Plain seemed 4000 years in the past, as much as development to modern-day. Photograph: James Visser.


Stonehenge’s stone blocks weigh some 40 tonnes and are thought to have been introduced right here from the Preseli Mountains, in South Wales, 250 miles away from Salisbury Plain! It’s actually wonderful to suppose how stone-aged individuals managed to do that given the very fundamental instruments that existed at the moment. Though nobody is aware of for positive, it’s believed that this may have been achieved by means of ropes, sledges, and tree vehicles which acted as rollers.


A life-size model of how it is thought the massive stone blocks of Stonehenge were moved
A life-size mannequin of how it’s thought the huge stone blocks of Stonehenge had been moved. Photograph: James Visser.


There may be additionally a full re-creation of housing that existed within the space over some time frame which was fascinating to take a look at. From right here you proceed to different areas of the middle which included a big present/memento store and the world put aside for embarking one of many many buses taking individuals to and from the precise Stonehenge website.


Signage explaining what was found to explain how people who built Stonehenge lived on Salisbury Plain
Signage explaining what was discovered to clarify how individuals who constructed Stonehenge lived on Salisbury Plain. Photograph: James Visser.


Nicole Anderson at Stonehenge visitor center
Standing exterior one of many reconstructed huts that existed within the stone-age. Photograph: James Visser.


Stonehenge hut inside model
The within of the huts, depicting what home life would have been like on Salisbury Plain again in time. Photograph: James Visser.


The Precise Website

Visiting the precise attraction of Stonehenge concerned taking a bus for a couple of minutes to the drop-off space the place signage and pathways led you out to this wonderful stone monolith. Nose to nose with this marvel, you begin to understand what all of the fuss is about.


The pick up point for taking the bus to Stonehenge
The pick-up level for taking the bus to Stonehenge. Photograph: James Visser.


The view over Salisbury Plain from the Stonehenge bus
The view over Salisbury Plain from the Stonehenge bus. Photograph: James Visser.


Stonehenge Map of Site on Salisbury Plain
Stonehenge Map of Website on Salisbury Plain. Picture:


It’s a proven fact that Stonehenge is probably the most architecturally refined prehistoric stone circle on this planet (the construct of this starting an estimated 3000 years in the past).

To Quote UNESCO:

“Stonehenge is among the most spectacular prehistoric megalithic monuments on this planet on account of the sheer measurement of its megaliths, the sophistication of its concentric plan and architectural design, the shaping of the stones – uniquely utilizing each Wiltshire Sarsen sandstone and Pembroke Bluestone – and the precision with which it was constructed.”

Not like Avebury Stonehenge (the core circle) was roped off to forestall guests from touching the stones which have stood right here for multi-millennia. You might see this was disappointing to some guests however most didn’t thoughts and as a substitute targeted on getting the most effective photographs of probably the most well-known icons of England.

We had been lucky on the day we visited; it was not overly crowded. We had been in a position to simply stroll across the website unimpeded and admire what it will need to have taken to assemble. Visiting Stonehenge was a pleasant inclusion in our exploration of the Salisbury Plain. Whereas I usually dislike being round crowded points of interest, the truth that it wasn’t that crowded to start with and we had been outdoor, made it a extra nice expertise than it in any other case may need been.


Di, Richard and Grace at Stonehenge
A shot of our fantastic associates and hosts on this go to to the UK. Di, Richard, and their daughter Grace. Photograph: James Visser.


Visiting Avebury Stone Circle or Avebury Henge

Avebury Henge and stone circles are managed by The Nationwide Belief on behalf of English Heritage, and the 2 organizations share the price of managing and sustaining the property.


Nicole Anderson with some of the stones at Avebury.
Me at one a part of the stones at Avebury. Photograph: James Visser.



Just a few 30 km (18.5 mi) north of Stonehenge, the Avebury Stone Circle is located across the village of Avebury in Wiltshire County. It’s simple to seek out by automobile and the Avebury cark park has a number of areas, though there are charges for this. The location itself is extraordinarily accessible and is free for guests to discover and contact the stones at Avebury.


The information sign at Avebury Village Car Park
The knowledge signal at Avebury Village Automotive Park. Photograph: James Visser.


The village of Avebury UK

Avebury village has developed partly inside the Avebury stones. Avebury Henge or Avebury Stone Circle crosses roads and varied fields with grazing sheep. Trying a technique, elements (the outskirts) of Avebury village and homes might be seen whereas past the Avebury stones are pure surroundings of the gorgeous English countryside.


Avebury stones pathway near village
A bit of the customer path exhibiting the stones of Avebury closest to the village within the background. Photograph: James Visser.


Looking out from the Avebury Stone Circle you see the lovely countryside
Searching from the Avebury Stone Circle you see the stunning countryside. Photograph: James Visser.


Part of the Avebury Circle crosses over roads and continues partly into the village
A part of the Avebury Circle crosses over roads and continues partly into the village. Photograph: James Visser.


A brief distance from the principle Avebury automobile park is the Avebury pub which isn’t simply the one pub within the village but in addition lies inside the Avebury Stone Circle itself. The title of the Avebury pub is the Avebury Pink Lion and is on the intersection as you arrive within the village from the south. The Pink Lion Avebury can also be thought to be one of the haunted pubs within the UK! The within of the pub seemed very very similar to most conventional pubs in England and its menu, service, and hospitality had been on a par with many others on this a part of Britain.


The Avebury Red Lion Pub
The Avebury Pink Lion Pub, the one place to get a meal right here. Photograph: James Visser.


The stones at Avebury

Avebury Stone Circle (or Avebury Henge as some say) is definitely a lot bigger and older (courting again to 2500BC to 2200BC) than Stonehenge.


Avebury stone circle map
Avebury stone circle map. Picture:


With a diameter of 348m, the stones of Avebury truly make up the biggest prehistoric stone circle on this planet! The unique outer circle comprised 98 stones with some being 6m in size and plenty of weighing 20 tonnes. Additionally, Silbury Hill close by is the biggest prehistoric mound in Europe, demonstrating the excellent engineering expertise which had been used to create masterpieces of earthen and megalithic structure.

When you’re at Avebury, you’re free to stroll about as you would like and at your personal tempo. There are many informative indicators round, telling you an amazing deal about this historic website. You’ll be able to stroll proper as much as any of the Avebury stones and contact them, getting a really feel for the way strong and heavy these are.


This Avebury stone is really big, solid and heavy!
This Avebury stone is de facto huge, strong, and heavy! Photograph: James Visser.


The trail goes around the Avebury stones
The path goes across the Avebury stones and offers some nice scenic factors. Photograph: James Visser.


The Stones of Avebury are everywhere!
The Stones of Avebury are in every single place! Photograph: James Visser.


Not solely is the Avebury circle website a lot bigger in land measurement than Stonehenge, Avebury Henge simply has a way more relaxed and nicer environment. Sure, you’re proper close to a village however it nonetheless feels a lot better than a extra organized business surroundings that’s Stonehenge.

There additionally isn’t only one Avebury ring of stones however numerous them. It was actually fairly an expertise to discover this website, learn the knowledge and picture what the Avebury stones website seemed like when first created. It’s unhappy to suppose that (much like Stonehenge) many stones of Avebury Wiltshire are not there. Happily, such websites at this time are being nicely sorted for future generations to understand.


Conclusion of my Salisbury Plain Icon go to

The stones of Avebury and Stonehenge rightfully need to be protected and obtainable to go to. It’s nice to have the ability to find out about a major a part of human historical past throughout a time when stone-aged peoples survived in such a wonderful setting on Salisbury Plain. Whereas Stonehenge is so extensively recognized, I hope I’ve highlighted an analogous significance within the stones at Avebury England, which so many by-pass with out even understanding of its existence.

Had been you conscious of the scale and significance of the stones at Avebury? Maybe you’ve additionally visited and wish to share your ideas on this or Stonehenge (and even different elements of Salisbury Plain) within the feedback under. I might love to listen to from you and as at all times, thanks for studying.


Nicole Anderson and James Visser at Stonehenge
James and I having fun with our adventures exploring Salisbury Plain. Photograph: Di Toms.


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