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Touring Avebury Stone Circle

We're traveling to England this summer with our two boys ages 13 and 15. Bath will be one of our stops and while staying there, we plan to explore the Avebury Stone Circle/Silbury Hill area. I'm only finding full-day tours out of Bath which include Avebury (along with many other stops). Knowing my teens, a full-day tour is going to test their patience! Is anyone familiar with a tour company or guide which provides Avebury-only tours? We will have a car so driving ourselves to the area is an option - we don't require transport from Bath.
Many thanks for any suggestions you may have!

Posted by
119 posts

Will you be in London for any length of time during your trip? I took a day trip with London Walks to Avebury and Lacock. If your boys are Harry Potter fans, they may enjoy Lacock - many scenes in the movies were filmed here. I enjoy their tours, because while they coordinate the transportation, and they do give you a guided walk in each location, you have plenty of free time to wander around and do your own thing.

Posted by
856 posts

My boys were about the same ages as your two when we visited Avebury. If you have a car, I don't see why you would need a tour. We spent much of the day there. We looked at Avebury in the morning (we tend to be very thorough!) and then took a picnic on a hike by Silbury Hill and over to the West Kennet Barrow and then we looped back. It was a warm day, so we all enjoyed ice cream when we got back to Avebury. It was a very pleasant day.

Posted by
16894 posts

I agree with the logic and freedom of driving yourselves and returning by a different route.

Posted by
703 posts

we drove to Avebury and walked around the stones. it really doesn't take that long as they are more or less in farmland/paddock. we then drove the short distance to Silbury Hill and over to the West Kennet Barrow . have a look on a map and you will see that they are all very close to each other. only a 'few' miles apart. the walk, through the field to west kennet barrow, is a reasonable walk on a hot day, so take some water. definitely no need for a tour, as the area is easily done DIY. parking on the side of the road for west kennet is a bit 'iffy' if there are a few cars already there. if you do it yourself you can dictate how long you stay at each place.

hope this helps.

Posted by
7578 posts

I guess the point is that you want someone to interpret the site for your family. But it doesn't make economic sense to give a tour of a single site like that. I'd suggest that you make a list of nearby places, like the excellent mentioned Lacock (and the abbey, a Harry Potter filming location). Have you already done Stonehenge? I would think that is not boring for tweens at all, and an excellent to make more of a day for a paid guide. Sorry, we did these on our own, so I have no one to suggest.

Posted by
4535 posts

I'm a bit confused. If you have a car, why wouldn't you just drive there? There isn't much to say about it on a tour; there is a visitor's center and you walk around the sheep fields looking at stones (and watching where you step...). Will you also be going to Stonehenge? That isn't far away and has a new visitor's center and museum. And the drive from Bath is quite pretty.

Posted by
47 posts

Thank you for all of the replies! Yes, we will be staying in London and that's an interesting idea about taking a tour starting there. We thought a guide would be a great way for us to learn more about Avebury and it might engage our teens more. Again, thanks!

Posted by
1470 posts

When we were at Avebury there was a National Trust Shop where you can get brochures that would allow you to self guide yourself.
Look up the National Trust site for other sites in the area. In ancient times some of the earth circles of Avebury were cut deep (as deep as a well) so you could see the stars better; even some say in the daytime. Lacock is a good idea ...be sure to visit the Fox Talbot Historical Photography Museum.

Posted by
856 posts

I don't think you need a guide. I bought a National Trust book about Avebury and the surrounding hills for about £4. It does not have a tour but I remember walking around in a certain order. I either printed something off the internet or picked up a brochure when we arrived. I remember sending the kids ahead looking for certain stones.

But, to contradict myself, if there is a tour to join, I would do that! We have found the National Trust tours to be excellent! Poke around on the National Trust site. English Heritage might have some info too. I think National Trust administers the site but English Heritage is involved somehow as well.

I must have found the hike on the internet because we had planned on doing the hike from the beginning.