We arrived at Avebury in mid-afternoon. The #49 bus lets you off just across from The Red Lion (“The only pub in the world inside a stone circle”).
We opted to enjoy a pint before heading to the B&B. A coach had dropped off a load of German tourists earlier, and we arrived at the pub just as these travelers queued to order their afternoon beers, teas, and coffees. Service took a bit of a wait, so we walked about the pub’s car park to get our bearings. Stones ranging from the size of a billboard to that of a La-Z-Boy recliner dotted the gardens and fields around us.
Divided from the circle by an A-road, some monoliths stand isolated in a neighboring field. Behind the car park, an arc of stones curves from the A-road’s boundary beyond the pub and associated buildings.
We sat outdoors, on a patio facing green space across the A-road. Sheep grazed and people strolled about the megaliths. Some folks touched or leaned heads against stones, some simply walked happy pups in the sunshine. We nursed our pints.
- Aside: if you enjoy an ale, I recommend Abbot Ale or Avebury Wells, both brewed by Greene King (the brewery owns the pub). The beer was surprisingly inexpensive (compared to prices in London and the southeast, at any rate. We assumed it has something to do with the amount of custom the pub receives daily).
We wanted to drop our luggage before any exploration, but, being a bit lost, we called Dorwyn Manor (for our experience of the B&B, please see this post). Happily, the young woman who answered the phone offered to the 1/2 mile to pick us up from the pub–a good thing as well because the A-road was particularly busy with day-trippers and commercial traffic at the time, and we were nervous about walking on the verge.
After we’d divested ourselves of baggage, the young woman drove us back into the village. After enjoying the pub’s “ultimate fish and chips,” we walked across the road, through the gate, and among the stones. We stayed close to the pub—no use rambling off onto the public footpaths until we had some idea of the layout—and went only so far the ditch that surrounds the stone circle.
We opted to walk back to the B&B as the road had quieted. Walking through the stones at dusk, well, that’s when we decided to skip Stonehenge and spend more time at Avebury.