World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
Stonehenge and Avebury form part of one of the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The explanations behind why the sites are located where they are and what their exact purposes are still remain a mystery to this day.
Managed by English Heritage dates back approximately 5,000 years. Evolving between 3,000 and 1,600 BC, Stonehenge is aligned with the rising and setting of the sun at the solstices. The summer solstice in June often attracts up to 20,000 visitors to view the sunrise. When visiting Stonehenge pick up one of their audio guides (available in different languages) giving details of the history and legends behind the site. For a more intimate experience there’s an inner circle tour which takes place before and after the site is open to the general public (pre-booking is essential) or join one our our tour companies who offer general and inner circle visits to the stones.
Around the Stonehenge landscape there are other sites of notable importance including Durrington Walls, the largest henge monument in Britain and Woodhenge, a Neolithic monument dating from around 2,300 BC.
If you are planning to visit Stonehenge by public transport then the Stonehenge Tour Bus will transport you from Salisbury (via Old Sarum) to the historic landscape.
October 2013 sees the scheduled opening of the Stonehenge Visitor Centre which will house interpretive information and a cafe.
The largest stone circle in the World, Avebury was erected around 4,500 years ago and consists of around 100 stones. Many of the stones were re-erected by Alexander Keiller in the 1930s.
The Alexander Keiller Museum in the village holds many of the archaeological finds that Keiller discovered during the excavations of Avebury during this time and the history of the excavations. Today Avebury is managed by the National Trust.
The site is open daily (due to its village location) and visitors can not only explore the stone circle but also the Avenue, the West Kennett Long Barrow and can look over at Silbury Hill – the largest man-made hill in Europe. Similarly to Stonehenge, Avebury is also plays host to both Winter and Summer Solstices.
In 2012, Avebury Manor opened its doors following the BBC TV programme 'The Manor Reborn' which also saw the kitchen garden transformed into a working Victorian kitchen garden.