Avesbury vs. Stonehenge: Battle of the Ancient Ruins
Finally ready to leave North Wales we scoured the map in search of our next destination. On the tour we had places in our mind of where we wanted to visit but we never settled on a real plan. Deciding it was best to go south before going north we made our way towards the town of Avebury.
After doing a tiny amount of research before setting off we found a story about the Avebury stones. Apparently the stones were older and far more impressive than that of Stonehenge and luckily for us the two sets of ancient rock formations were only 20 miles away from each other. Ticking off Avebury first we set off on the 4 hour car journey south.
Without a GPS I wouldn’t have been able to find Avebury as it had no visible signposts at all. You leave the M5 at some obscure junction and then follow some small and winding lanes through the hills for around 10 minutes. When you arrive in Avebury there’s one main field reserved for parking with the fee of £5 for no matter how long you’re staying.
After a short walk from the field you’re greeted by your first set of stones. I know you have to try and see the positive in things like this but we seriously couldn’t. They were literally a few big rocks stuck in the ground that were then surrounded by a whole load of man-made smaller rocks. While on the ground you can’t see a ring shape at all and to be perfectly honest it felt like you could be anywhere in the world just looking at a few big rocks. If you have a helicopter to see the stones from a birds-eye view you may get a better experience but personally I wouldn’t detour if going to see Stonehenge.
It didn’t take us long before we walked back to the car and made our way to the most famous stone circle of them all. Because we set off pretty late and the journey took us a while we didn’t get to Stonehenge till around 5pm. I’m guessing because of the time we didn’t have to pay to park there and so managed to get away with only paying the entrance fee. With Stonehenge you have the option of either standing behind a fence to look at it for free or paying £7 to go under a tunnel to the other side of the fence and see it closer up and unobscured.
With Stonehenge being on my bucket list I didn’t want to waste the opportunity of being there and so paid the £7 to take a walk around. You get an audio headset for some info on Stonehenge but I was too busy taking photos to actually listen to it. There’s a small rope barrier around the stone circle itself but I kinda agree that you shouldn’t be able to go up and touch them simply because I know they would be ruined by graffiti and people scratching their names in to the rock. There are points in the walk around Stonehenge that allow you to get very close for a nice photo and then far away for an awesome panoramic shot.
On the way around we managed to get some awesome photos and the person I was with started listening to the audio tour to give me some awesome info but broken down in to one or two sentences. I personally still haven’t made my mind up on how the stones got there… still swaying towards Aliens. I’d spent ages trying to balance my camera on top of my bag to take a timed shot of me and my friend (I left the tripod in the car) and thought the photo came out well until I loaded it on to the computer. Apparently somebody else wanted to get in to the shot as well… Never mind.
Overall Stonehenge was definitely the better of the two. Even though it’s more expensive and you can’t actually touch them I felt I got a better experience from Stonehenge… and it’s just fucking awesome!