I have been wanting and meaning to visit Averbury for years. Somehow, despite all the wonderful things I’d heard about it, I just never got around to it or found the opportunity. So when Angus suggested a detour en route to visit my parents, I was delighted!
The drive there was made slightly surreal by the fact there seemed to be absolutely no signs to the place. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Literally to the point where we started to worry the iPhone map we were using to navigate by had selected the wrong destination! There were signs to some kind of Bird World. Signs to a garden centre. A sign welcoming us to some obscurely named village. But literally not a mention of, y’know, an enormous Neolithic henge until we were practically upon it!
Which, in a weird kind of way, probably worked out quite well: when you have to go out of your way to see the place, and no effort is made to draw your attention to it, the utter magic of the village, henge, and surrounding landscape is perfectly preserved.
Speaking of which… oh! The village! Americans I’ve spoken to often have a picture postcard impression of what life in England must be like – all dreaming spires and thatched villages. I confess the more old fashioned aspects of my nature would rather like to live in that England, if only it still existed.
To say I fell in love with Avebury would be the greatest of understatements. It. Is. Beautiful. I very much hope we’ll be going back there one day when we’re less pressed for time, both to spend more time walking around the stones, and to properly explore the village – not least, the gorgeous National Trust managed manor house in the village, which unfortunately we only had time to see the gardens of.
We were lucky with the weather, too – glorious sunny day! Alas, it’s only on my return that somebody has explained to me the best way to get my camera to co-operate in brighter weather, so many of the photographs ended up horribly overexposed. Still, enough for some wonderful memories, and what an amazing place to be on the day of a rare blue moon!