One of the largest prehistoric sites in Europe, Avebury lies on the Kennet River, 11km (7 miles) west of Marlborough and 32km (20 miles) north of Stonehenge. Some say visiting Avebury, in contrast to Stonehenge, is a more organic experience -- you can walk right up and around the stones, as no fence keeps you away. Also, the site isn't mobbed with tour buses.
Visitors can walk around the 11-hectare (28-acre) site at Avebury, winding in and out of the circle of more than 100 stones, some weighing up to 50 tons. The stones are made of sarsen, a sandstone found in Wiltshire. Inside this large circle are two smaller ones, each with about 30 stones standing upright. Native Neolithic tribes are believed to have built these circles.
Wilts & Dorset (tel. 01722/336855; www.wdbus.co.uk) has two buses (nos. 5 and 6) that run between the Salisbury bus station and Avebury five times a day Monday through Saturday and three times a day on Sunday. The one-way trip takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. Round-trip tickets are £8 for adults, £6 seniors, £14 family ticket, and £5 for children ages 5 to 14 (4 and younger ride free).
Also here is the Alexander Keiller Museum (tel. 01672/539250), which houses one of Britain's most important archaeological collections, including material from excavations at Windmill Hill and Avebury, and artifacts from other prehistoric digs at West Kennet, Long Barrow, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Avenue, and the Sanctuary.