the “other” stonehenge: avebury

A few weeks ago, everyone piled into the car for a weekend in the countryside to celebrate my birthday. Our plan was to visit Stonehenge and Bath before ending up just across the border of Wales, where we’d tool around for two days before heading home.

We’d barely made it outside of the city limits when the hubby and I started chatting about all the different recommendations that have been thrown our way since we moved to London. British people are rightfully very proud of their country. Inevitably a conversation with a local, whether it’s someone I’m befriending or just the cashier at the grocery store, ends up with a slew of names I’ve never heard before being thrown at me.

“You have to go to Whitstable and have oysters from their heritage seabeds.”

“Devon and Cornwall are must-visits, if for no other reason to settle the debate as to whether the cream or the jam goes on the scone first.”

The food in Norfolk is other-worldly, and it’s a beach town!”

When I’d shared an English acquaintance that we were headed to Stonehenge for the weekend, she took me resolutely by the arm and looked me in the eye. “Manage your expectations,” she warned grimly. “You can’t get close, and the stones are tiny.”

I’ve been to Stonehenge before, but I didn’t remember it being underwhelming. Then again, I was also 22 at the time, and pretty much everything was amazing to me back then. I pressed on for details. “If I were you,” she said. “I’d go to Avebury.”

I recounted this conversation to the hubby, and soon we found ourselves re-routing on the highway and heading for Avebury. We justified it because it was actually closer to stop there than Stonehenge and Bath en route to our hotel in Wales, and because why not? Isn’t that what road trips are all about?

What’s amazing about Avebury is that the entire town of Avebury actually sits inside the Neolithic stone circle. The stones — about 100 in total — are spaced far and wide, so much so that you have to cross streets and fields to actually walk the entire circumference of the circle.

On the day we went, the weather was bone-chilling, but the kids didn’t complain. We bundled ourselves up and headed across the wet English countryside to see these amazing stone structures up close.  About 45 minutes into our trek, it started to snow — not beautiful, soft flakes like in a movie, but wet, painful pellet snow.

We cut our hike short and enticed the kids with a cup of hot chocolate back at the visitor’s center, which they of course readily agreed to. As we took off across the path and back towards town, I caught the kids doing this:

Yeah, I’d say that Avebury is pretty magical.

Avebury | Marlborough | Wiltshire | England

Get Meimei’s and Ge Ge’s rain boots here (pink version here)– they’ve held up over a year through some very muddy adventures, and we absolutely love them! These rain jackets (pink and green) match perfectly and also have held up really well.

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About me

I’m Ann, a mom / wife / lawyer / certified culinary enthusiast. I share recipes, travel guides and home life tips while living overseas. Currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

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