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Avebury
  1 introduction
2 history
3 sights & sites
4 getting there
5 practical info
6 links
7 travel article
  photo gallery
 
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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Avebury
Avebury How to get to Avebury page 4
The A4 road passes to the south of Silbury Hill, Wiltshire at My Favourite Planet

The A4 road between Malborough (east) and Beckhampton (west) passes to the south of Silbury Hill.
Getting to Avebury
by train by bus by car by bicycle and motorbike
parking in Avebury walking around Avebury
Avebury is on the Marlborough Downs in east Wiltshire,
about halfway between Marlborough and Calne.

Distances from Avebury

Marlborough 10 km (6 miles) east

Calne 11 km (7 miles) west

Swindon (M4 motorway & railway station)
19 km (12 miles) north

Pewsey (railway station) 16 km (10 miles) southeast

Stonehenge 32 km (20 miles) southeast

Devizes 13 km (8 miles) southwest

Bristol 31 km (50 miles) southwest

Oxford 56 km (35 miles) northeast

London 121 km (75 miles) east
Getting to
Avebury
by train
The nearest railway stations are Swindon and Pewsey.

Regular mainline trains connect Swindon with London Paddington Station
(to the east) and Chippenham, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff (to the west).

Rail information Tel: +44 (0) 845 74 84 950
www.nationalrail.co.uk station information and online booking.

Rail travel: some words of caution

Trains in the UK are operated by several companies which makes planning itineraries more complicated than on the European continent. Telephone enquiry lines seem to be permanently busy and the websites of the various companies can be confusing. Online booking requires a credit card, and last time I tried to book it simply did not work. The nearest station was unmanned and the ticket machine, which only sold local tickets, was out of order.

Luckily, I was able to board the first train on the initial leg of my journey without a ticket (which in some places is illegal) and the train conductress was very friendly and professional. A real Person! She not only provided me with a ticket at a price lower than stated on the defective website, she also provided information on when and where to change trains.

Hopefully things have since improved. We would be interested to hear about your experiences of rail and bus travel in the UK. Please get in contact.

If you plan to take a bicycle on your train journey, check to find out if this is possible and whether there is a guard's van in which to store it during your journey. Otherwise you may find yourself having to stand in the narrow train corridor with your bike, being cursed by fellow passengers trying to get to the toilet.
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Getting to
Avebury
by bus
As with rail travel, the plethora of bus companies can make route planning
in Britain a real headache. The buses themselves are usually great value.

The BBC Wiltshire website has local bus information with links to bus companies,
timetables and route maps.

National Enquiry Line: +44 (0)870 608 2608
timetable enquiries for anywhere in the UK.

Wiltshire bus enquiry line: +44 (0)084 57 09 08 99

There are regular buses to Swindon from London (Victoria coach station),
Bath and Bristol.

National Express coaches is the largest nationwide bus operator.

From Swindon, buses which pass through Avebury include:

Stagecoach bus No. 49 Swindon–Trowbridge;

Wilts and Dorset bus No. 96 Swindon–Pewsey.

Both from near Swindon railway station.

Local buses also run to Avebury from Calne, Marlborough, Trowbridge and Salisbury.

There are local bus stops near most of the historical sites around Avebury.
 
Getting to
Avebury
by car
Avebury is 16 km (10 miles) south of the M4 motorway which runs east-west from London to Bristol and South Wales.

Exit the M4 at the Swindon Junction 15 and follow signs to Marlborough.

From Swindon itself you can also take the A4361 south through Wroughton village to Avebury.

You may find the older, slower A4 London to Bath road, which passes right by Avebury, better for enjoying the countryside of southwest England.
 
Getting to
Avebury
by motorbike & bicycle
East Wiltshire has great countryside for two-wheeled travel. The low-rolling hills should not be too much of a challenge for most pedalists, especially the downhill bits. For refreshment and breathing breaks, you are seldom more than 10 km from a village, café or pub.

As on most of England's roads, traffic can get quite fast and heavy, with plenty of huge trucks hurtling about. However, there are smaller B class roads if you want to get away from the noise and diesel fumes.

Information about local cycling routes: the National Cycle Network website
 
Getting to
Avebury
parking in Avebury
It is not avisable to try to park in the tiny village itself, especially in summer.

There is a free disabled car park in the centre.

The larger The National Trust "pay and display" car park is 500 metres south
of the village on the A4361.

Parking charges and opening times
£5 all day. £3 after 2 pm in winter, after 3.30 pm in summer.
Redeemable against entry to the Alexander Keiller Museum.
Free for National Trust and English Heritage members.
No charge for coaches and motorbikes in the main car park.

All proceeds from the car park go to the care of Avebury.

winter 9.30 am - 4.30 pm, summer 9.30 am - 6.30 pm.
Overnight parking is prohibited.

Alternative parking available in the village car park after 5 pm.

The Red Lion Pub has a small car park for customers.

There is free roadside parking  (the great British lay-bys) just over 2 km south
on the A4 near Overton Hill (the Sanctuary) and Silbury Hill. From the latter it is an easy walk to the ancient sites of Swallowhead Springs, West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill before continuing along West Kennet Avenue which leads to Avebury Henge and the village.

This is the route we show in the photo gallery.

Of course you will have to walk all the back to return to your vehicle, but from Avebury it's downhill.
 
Getting to
Avebury
walking around Avebury
Avebury's sites are all within walking distance of each other, and most can be visited in a day. Care should be taken crossing the busy roads. The uneven, rough grassland and the slippery-when-wet chalk footpaths also demand some attention. Good sturdy footwear and weatherproof clothing are always essential when walking in the British countryside.

Sheep graze just about everywhere, so it is important to close gates after you and keep your ferocious dog on a lead.

For more serious hikers and cyclists there is also the 137 km long (85 miles) Ridgeway National Trail, part of a much longer ancient pathway which is thought to have run from Dorset in the west to Norfolk in the east. The surviving section starts near the Sanctuary at Overton Hill and ends at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire among the Chiltern Hills. See National Trails and The Friends of the Ridgeway websites for further information.
 
Footpath signpost, Silbury Hill, Wiltshire at My Favourite Planet
Articles and photos: © David John 2005-2015

Many thanks to Mark Mallett, my host and guide in Wiltshire.

Some of the information and photos in this guide to Avebury
first appeared in 2005 on www.davidjohnberlin.de.

We welcome considerate responses to these articles
and all other content on My Favourite Planet.
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