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Exploring ancient life in the Vale of Pewsey

Our knowledge of the people who worshipped at Stonehenge and worked on its construction is set to be transformed through a new project led by the University of Reading.

This summer, in collaboration with Historic England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Wiltshire Museum, archaeologists are embarking on an exciting three-year excavation in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire.Marden Henge Dig

Situated between the iconic prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, the Vale of Pewsey is a barely explored archaeological region of huge international importance. The project will investigate Marden Henge. Built around 2400 BC ‘Marden’ is the largest henge in the country and one of Britain’s most important but least understood prehistoric monuments.

Excavation within the Henge will focus on the surface of a Neolithic building revealed during earlier excavations. The people who used this building will have seen Stonehenge in full swing, perhaps even helped to haul the huge stones upright.

Dr Jim Leary, from the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology and Director of the Archaeology Field School, said: “This excavation is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Stonehenge and its surrounds. The Vale of Pewsey is a relatively untouched archaeological treasure-chest under the shadow of one of the wonders of the world.

“Why Stonehenge was built remains a mystery. How the giant stones were transported almost defy belief. It must have been an astonishing, perhaps frightening, sight. Using the latest survey, excavation and scientific techniques, the project will reveal priceless insight into the lives of those who witnessed its construction.

“Marden Henge is located on a line which connects Stonehenge and Avebury. This poses some fascinating questions. Were the three monuments competing against each other? Or were they used by the same communities but for different occasions and ceremonies? We hope to find out.”

The Vale of Pewsey is not only rich in Neolithic archaeology. It is home to a variety of other fascinating historical monuments from various periods in history, including Roman settlements, a deserted medieval village and post-medieval water meadows. A suite of other investigations along the River Avon will explore the vital role of the Vale’s environment throughout history.

Dr Leary continued: “One of the many wonderful opportunities this excavation presents is to reveal the secret of the Vale itself. Communities throughout time settled and thrived there – a key aim of the dig is to further our understanding of how the use of the landscape evolved – from prehistory to history.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive, added: “Bigger than Avebury, ten times the size of Stonehenge and half way between the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Sites, comparatively little is known about this fascinating and ancient landscape. The work will help Historic England focus on identifying sites for protection and improved management, as well as adding a new dimension to our understanding of this important archaeological environment.”

The Vale of Pewsey excavation also marks the start of the new University of Reading Archaeology Field School. Previously run at the world-famous Roman town site of Silchester, the Field School will see archaeology students and enthusiasts from Reading and across the globe join the excavation.

The six week dig runs from 15th June to 25th July. Visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day, except Fridays, between 10:00am and 5pm. Groups must book in advance.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-exploring-ancient-life-vale-pewsey.html#jCp

Provided by University of Reading

We offer guided tours of Stonehenge and Avebury with local experts.
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On the Magna Carta trail. Celebrating the 800th anniversary.

Legend has it that in 1220 the Bishop of Salisbury shot an arrow high into the air from the ramparts of Old Sarum castle vowing that he would build a new cathedral wherever the arrow landed. He must have had arms like an ox or some seriously impressive divine intervention for Salisbury Cathedral is actually several miles from the castle.

Salisbury Cathedral. Picture: Getty

Cathedral. Picture: Getty

Little matter. The reality is that the Cathedral he had built is probably the finest example of Early English gothic architecture in the country. It is perfectly positioned on the beautiful water meadows beside the slow-moving River Avon and topped by the tallest spire in the country (which you can climb if you have the knees and lungs for it).

The cathedral’s elegant vaulted ceiling. Picture: Getty

The cathedral’s elegant vaulted ceiling. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

It is also home to the best-preserved of the four remaining original Magna Cartas which guarantees the city a starring role in the document’s 800th birthday celebrations throughout 2015.

Salisbury and surrounding areas of Wiltshire, including Stonehenge and the market town of Trowbridge, make up one of six designated Magna Carta trails. These guide visitors through some of the most historic and picturesque parts of England from Durham and York in the north to Worcester and Hereford in the centre, Norwich in the east and Dover, Canterbury and Pevensey in the south west.

Events kicked off in February when the four surviving original Magna Cartas — from Salisbury, from Lincoln Cathedral and two kept at the British Library — were brought together, the first time this has ever occurred, for three days in London.

For the rest of the year the Magna Carta is at the heart of a myriad of festivals, fetes, exhibitions and displays, literary and academic gatherings in every city, town and village with even the flimsiest link. And a few without any connection at all.

The Magna Carta, literally the Great Charter, was essentially a political device, drawn up to settle an increasingly violent dispute between King John and 25 rebel barons. Much of it referred to specific grievances. Its enduring legacy was that it outlined basic human rights, setting the principle that no-one was above the law and everyone had the right to a fair trial.

It not only became the cornerstone of the British constitution, it influenced subsequent documents like the US Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In March the Salisbury Magna Carta was returned to a redesigned interactive display in the Cathedral Chapter House along with other historical treasures from the extensive archives.

And the Cathedral itself is well worth a detailed exploration: from medieval tombs and effigies to the arched supporting pillars bent inward under the weight of the tower. There’s a beautiful modern baptismal font which spectacularly reflects the ceiling and the brilliantly coloured stained glass windows and the bumping stone, worn away from the centuries of traditionally “bumping” the heads of new choirboys to welcome them.

It has wide vaulted cloisters and boasts the oldest working clock in Europe. Built in 1386 it’s an ingenious series of weights and pulleys that has no traditional face but sounds the hour.

Running parallel to the building is the eye-catching Cathedral Close where the clergy lived. It still has a number of the original medieval buildings as well as some elegant Georgian town houses such as the impressive Mompesson House and featured in a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

More than a million visitors each year visit Stonehenge to ponder its mysteries. Picture:

More than a million visitors each year visit Stonehenge to ponder its mysteries. Picture: Getty Source: Supplied

Stonehenge, just 13 kilometres from Salisbury, remains one of the world’s great mysteries. Religious temple? Astronomical clock? Ancient burial chamber? Alien landing zone (that’s my favourite)? Truth is, nobody knows for sure. The mesmerising prehistoric circle of monolithic stones, dating back to between 3000-2000 BC and one of the most distinctive monuments in the world, still baffles experts and attracts more than a million tourists each year.

The new visitor centre, designed by an Australian firm of architects, is modern and eye catching yet sits surprisingly sympathetically in the rolling Wiltshire countryside.

Consisting of two main “pods” one of glass and one of wood, under a soft wave metal roof balanced on slender, unevenly angled metal poles. Inside, it contains an engaging interactive education centre, a cafe, shop and toilets.

The original “facilities” have been removed from their position much closer to the stones, and an access road grassed over which means Stonehenge can now be viewed not as an isolated structure but as part of a broader sweep of ancient mounds and barrows.

Visitors must walk through the gently undulating fields the approximately 2kms from the centre to the stones or take the official land-train. It always was an awesome site but now, with less clutter, it seems even more impressive.

There is more mystery at nearby Avebury which has the largest stone circle in the world, more than 100 stones believed to have been erected about 4,500 years ago. Or Woodhenge, with the remains of six concentric rings possibly part of a structure used by an early community.

From Avebury you can also see Spilbury Hill, the largest man made mound. What the circle and the mound were for, and who created them, is still unknown. Another mystery.

Trowbridge is impressively credentialed for inclusion on the Magna Carta trail. Mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1200 the town was granted one of the earliest market charters from King John.

But by 1215, Baron Henry de Bohun, tiring of the King’s constant demands for increased taxes, joined with 24 other barons to force him to seal the Magna Carta at Runnymede near Windsor. Henry, clutching the charter, is immortalised in a stained-glass window in the parish church.

Through the centuries, Trowbridge forged itself a position as a centre of weaving, first fine woollen cloth, largely for export to Europe then, when that dwindled, into coloured cloth made from the wool of Spanish merino sheep. Quick to adapt to new technology, first the spinning jenny and then the power looms, at one stage the town’s industry was so dominant it was dubbed the “Manchester of the West.”

Although not as cutesy as many of the villages and towns in Wiltshire, Trowbridge has numerous important historic buildings across a wide range of eras. Its museum, which focuses heavily on the town’s nationally important textile heritage, is a kids’ paradise. Established in one of the old cloth mills it has that real feel of living history which many of the newer and more high tech museums have lost. Here you are transported back in time in a series of historic tableaux.

Wadworth Brewery in Devizes still uses a dray pulled by Shire horses to deliver beer barr

Wadworth Brewery in Devizes still uses a dray pulled by Shire horses to deliver beer barrels to local pubs. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

No visit to any part of England is officially complete without a pint of the best local brew. Wadworth Brewery is based in the pretty town of Devizes, roughly 40 kilometres north of Salisbury and has been serving up specialist regional beers for more than 125 years.

It runs regular tours that include the opportunity to meet two of the brewery’s most popular workers, the gentle giants Max and Monty, two magnificent Shire horses who still deliver the beer to local pubs pulling the distinctive drays.

But the highlight has to be dropping in to the brewery’s own private “pub”. Here, visitors can compare the various brews like the popular 6X and the Bishop’s Tipple. Or go for something a little different like the Swordfish, created for the 100th anniversary of the Fleet Air Arm, where beer blended with Pusser’s Navy Rum. Cheers.

The writer was a guest of Visit England and travelled with British Airways.

Source: Herald Sun
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
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Magna Carta and beyond: stepping back in time in Salisbury

In 2015, Salisbury will celebrate Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in what promises to be a banner year for the city. This ancient document is one of many treasures in this charming English city, from prehistoric stone circles through to medieval pubs and stately homes. Exploring Salisbury allows you to unravel 5000 years of history. These six experiences are guaranteed to spirit you back in time.

Celebrate Magna Carta, a milestone for human freedom

Salisbury is packed with history. Image by Barry Winiker / Getty Salisbury is packed with history. Image by Barry Winiker / Getty

The ‘Great Charter’ is lauded worldwide as a symbol of freedom and justice – quite astonishing for an 800-year-old document concerning the rights of English noblemen. Sealed on the banks of the Thames in 1215, the Magna Carta curbed the powers of the English throne, gave land-owning rights to noblemen and laid down the right to a fair trial. Barons enjoyed the benefit of these new laws, while peasants remained as downtrodden as ever. But despite this, the Magna Carta has become a global inspiration, in particular the oft-quoted words, ‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled’. It has been credited as a predecessor to the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

True enthusiasts are waiting to hear if they will be part of the lucky few to see all four copies at a one-off exhibition in London’s British Library (decided by ballot). But Salisbury’s copy – the best preserved of the four – continues to be part of a grand display in Salisbury Cathedral’s Chapter House, and will be the focus of a calendar of celebrations, talks and choral music during 2015.

One of the pleasures of visiting Salisbury’s Magna Carta is the enthusiasm of the volunteer guides. Check visiting hours on salisburycathedral.org.uk – avoid 3 February 2015, when Magna Carta will be on tour in London.

Climb the spire of a medieval masterpiece

Salisbury Cathedral boasts the tallest spire in Britain. Image by Michael Day / CC BY 2.0 Salisbury Cathedral boasts the tallest spire in Britain. Image by Michael Day / CC BY 2.0

There’s much more than Magna Carta to admire at Salisbury Cathedral. This grandiose construction boasts England’s largest cloisters and cathedral close, and harbours a rather singular curio, the world’s oldest working clock (dating to 1386). Most significantly, Salisbury Cathedral boasts the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom (a cloud-piercing 123m high). Those with a head for heights – and a stomach for narrow spiral staircases – mustn’t miss a guided tour of the tower for views over the rolling hills of Wiltshire.

Detail from Salisbury Cathedral. Image by Anita Isalska / Lonely Planet
Detail from Salisbury Cathedral. Image by Anita Isalska / Lonely Planet

Visitors with a taste for the days of lordly squabbles and tight-bodiced dames will find other traces of medieval Salisbury throughout the city. It’s impossible to miss the elaborate stone Poultry Cross in the market square, and look out for the coat of arms on the North Gate.

Salisbury Cathedral is open daily. Tours of the tower take 90 minutes and allow limited numbers, so book a slot early on salisburycathedral.org.uk.

Visitors with a taste for the days of lordly squabbles and tight-bodiced dames will find other traces of medieval Salisbury throughout the city. It’s impossible to miss the elaborate stone Poultry Cross in the market square, and look out for the coat of arms on the North Gate.

Salisbury Cathedral is open daily. Tours of the tower take 90 minutes and allow limited numbers, so book a slot early on salisburycathedral.org.uk.

Explore the silent city of Old Sarum

For an alternative view of Salisbury Cathedral, step out on the ramparts of Old Sarum. This Iron Age hill fort, slightly north of the city centre, holds the key to Salisbury’s early history. Old Sarum was established in 3000BC, and for centuries was a castle stronghold with a thriving community. Old Sarum’s significance as a military outpost ended abruptly in the 13th century when its bishop was given permission to build a new cathedral in what is now modern Salisbury. People fled Old Sarum to seek their fortunes in the new city, while Old Sarum’s cathedral was gutted and torn down. The result is a site frozen in time: the old cathedral is a ghostly outline, and the windswept ramparts jealously overlook Salisbury.

Roaming this exposed site is best reserved for a sunny day. Old Sarum is a 10-minute drive (or short bus ride on the 8 or X5) from Salisbury city centre. Plan your visit on english-heritage.org.uk

Hail the solstice at Wiltshire’s stone circles

Few sights inspire such a mixture of bewilderment and awe as Stonehenge, the world-famous circle of boulders on Salisbury’s outskirts. Now known to have been transported by labourers from southwest Wales (250km from the site) and assembled around 2400BC, the motivation for this incredible feat remains obscure. Historians’ best guess is that it was an ancient burial site and then a monument to celebrate the winter solstice (pagan worshippers gather at the site to this day). Considering the various theories about Stonehenge is part of the fun, so allow time for the recently upgraded visitors’ centre at the site.Avebury Stones. Image by Gordon Robertson / CC BY 2.0 Avebury Stones. Image by Gordon Robertson / CC BY 2.0

These millennia-old monoliths certainly draw the crowds, but further north lies a site vaster and more ancient than Stonehenge. The Avebury Stones stretch back even further (to an estimated 2850BC) and form Europe’s largest stone circle. The three rings making up this Neolithic monument are thought to have been the focus of rituals warding off nature’s crueller whims. Today, a chapel and a pub, the Red Lion Inn, are encircled by these ancient stones.

Visit Stonehenge and Avebury as a combined day-trip from Salisbury. Stonehenge is a 20-minute drive north of Salisbury, and Avebury another 35 minutes by car from there. Tours from London are also available.

Swoon at 18th-century stately homes

Want to explore a more genteel era? Salisbury boasts an array of period buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the jewel in the crown is Mompesson House. With its stone exterior, iron gates and tranquil walled gardens, Mompesson House is so unabashedly English that it was chosen as a filming location for the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility.

Exploring the interior is evocative of Georgian England – you can almost detect a whiff of smelling salts. You’ll sidle past delicate plasterwork and period furniture, glance at 18th-century goblets and mother-of-pearl jewellery boxes… anyone else need their corset loosening?

Mompesson House rewards eco-friendly travellers: mention that you arrived by bike or public transport and enjoy a discount in their tea room. Plan your visit at nationaltrust.org.uk.

Quaff ales like a medieval peasantiThe Cloisters, Salisbury. Image by Charles DP Miller / CC BY 2.0 The Cloisters has open fires and Sunday roasts. Image by Charles D P Miller / CC BY 2.0

Time travel is thirsty work. Luckily Salisbury’s pubs have rich enough folklore to keep the history flowing along with the ale. Start at the Haunch of Venison: not only does this pub, dating to 1320, conceal secret passageways (supposedly wending their way to the cathedral), it’s also the site of a mischievous ghost. Another 14th-century drinking haunt is Grade II-listed The Cloisters (cloisterspubsalisbury.co.uk), a winter favourite for its open fires and Sunday roasts. Finally, the Ox Row Inn (theoxrowinn.co.uk) is a relative youngster, pouring brews since the 16th century. Some of the old-world charm has been polished out of it during recent makeovers, but its black and white timbered exterior and ale selection make it a fine stop on a historic pub crawl.

Want to go right to the source? Book a visit to a’Beckett’s Vineyard (abecketts.co.uk) or Wadworth Brewery (wadworthvisitorcentre.co.uk). 

Make it happen

Salisbury is an easy day-trip by train from London (1½ hours) or Bristol (from 1 hour 10 minutes) but you’ll need your own wheels if you want to explore the Wiltshire countryside. Basing yourself in Salisbury for a couple of days allows plenty of time to explore the sights and make the most of pubs and local eats. Sticky your fingers over cream tea at Howard’s House (howardshousehotel.co.uk), splurge on confit duck at local favourite Charter 1227 (charter1227.co.uk) or go for sophisticated contemporary Indian at Anokaa. If you want sumptuous lodgings in the city centre, choose St Ann’s House or Milford Hall. For rustic atmosphere and river views, go with the Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel.

Full article in the excellent Lonely Planet Guide Book: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/europe/travel-tips-and-articles/magna-carta-and-beyond-stepping-back-in-time-in-salisbury

Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
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Avebury shortlisted as Heritage Site of the Year.

AVEBURY has been shortlisted as Heritage Site of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine awards 2014/15.

Small Group Guided Tour of Avebury

Small Group Guided Tour of Avebury

Well known for its henge, which is cared for by the National Trust, Avebury was chosen against some strong competition for the awards shortlist.
Now the poll has been opened up for people to vote for their favourite places.

Eleanor Eaton, visitor services manager for the National Trust at Avebury said: “We’re up against some special places, including Portmeirion village in North Wales, and Kew Palace in Surrey, so we would be really grateful if people who share our love of Avebury were to take the time to vote for it before 31 January.

“This has been a special place for thousands of years, long before it was chosen as the site of the henge and it still clearly inspires people today.”

Now in its fourth year, the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards celebrate the UK countryside and its people, from great heritage attractions and favourite holiday destinations to the best nature reserves and the finest rural pubs.

Avebury was nominated by Countryfile presenter, Jules Hudson, who said in his nomination that although the stone circle is often overlooked by Stonehenge, it is more readily accessible.

He said: “You can marvel at a prehistoric world that’s as mysterious as it is beautiful and explore the wider landscape and component sites such as the Sanctuary and West Kennet long barrow.”

The awards which feature 12 categories, including rural pub and garden of the year, were launched in the January edition of the magazine.

To whittle down the contenders, BBC Countryfile Magazine asked experts in each field to draw up shortlists of candidates in each category.

To vote for your countryside favourites email awards@countryfile.com or go on the BBC Countryfile Magazine website at http://www.countryfile.com/awards2014-15 More information about Avebury is available at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury

Article source:  Gazette and Herald

The Stonehenge Travel Company based in Salisbury offer frequent guided tours of Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle

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Guided Tours from Salisbury
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Plains, Trains and Automobiles: Salisbury, Stonehenge and South Wiltshire is a truly unique destination

Take some time out and escape to Wiltshire this year. Find out more about this mysterious and beautiful part England. 

The newly completed Stonehenge visitor centre deserves an extended visit. We recommend staying in Wiltshire and Salisbury Plainexploring the surrounding area, rich in history, myths and legends.  Salisbury, Stonehenge and South Wiltshire is a truly unique destination. Set among some of the most beautiful countryside and with a 5,000 year old history the area is steeped in history but with its eye firmly fixed on the future.

Salisbury is a bit of a rail hub with main lines and frequent trains going east to London, south to Southampton and west to Bath and Bristol.  Frequent trains run from London’s Waterloo station taking approximately 80 minutes to do the journey.  There are normally two trains an hour operating up until very late evening. During the week, the cheap tickets are not available until after the morning commuter rush. Don’t worry if your accommodation is in London, its very easy to get to Salisbury or Bath from London by train and the trains run till late so there is still time to get back to London last thing.

Here are some examples of how accessible Wiltshire is using the Inter-City services from central London:
• London (Paddington) – Bath and Bristol via Swindon (55 mins),Chippenham (70 mins)  and Great Bedwyn (90 mins).
• London (Waterloo) – Salisbury (90 mins) and Tisbury (103 mins).

Cathedral Steam TrainSalisbury is one of England’s most wonderful cities – a medieval masterpiece with something for everyone. From traditional English pubs to cosmopolitan street cafes and from hard-to-find specialist shops to major high street stores, you’ll find it in Salisbury. And at its heart there is the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, towering over the city as it has for over 750 years. Step outside of the city and you are in another world. Green hills, crystal clear rivers and picturesque towns and villages just waiting to be discovered. And, of course, there’s Stonehenge. The world’s most famous stone circle stands just a few miles north of Salisbury – a must see destination.

Stonehenge Stone Circle is the most famous and enigmatic Megalithic site in the United Kingdom. Dominating the landscape of Salisbury Plain in the county of Wiltshire, the giant standing stones of Stonehenge – some weighing up to 50 tonnes – are a mysterious icon left by mysterious ancient peoples. You may have a special interest in burial chambers, the construction of Stonehenge, the purpose and culture of the people that built the henge.
English Heritage Stonehenge Visitor Centre. The fantastic new £27m visitor centre at Stonehenge is now open, offering tourists an interactive experience and the chance to examine prehistoric objects. Visitors are transported by shuttle bus more than a mile (2km) from the venue to see the stones.

Salisbury Plain
Discover prehistoric sites and rare species preserved on Salisbury Plain.  An ocean of grassland and a sweep of big sky. Ancient Private Guided Toursmonuments loom out of the mist; camouflaged soldiers crouch in the undergrowth. Salisbury Plain is a landscape of extremes. It is the largest remaining area of chalk grassland in Northwest Europe and home to 2,300 prehistoric sites yet also the largest military training area on British soil.

Avebury Stone Circle Avebury rivals – some would say exceeds – Stonehenge as the largest, most impressive and complex pre-historic site in Britain. Avebury is part of a wider complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, with many other ritual sites in English Heritage care. West Kennet Avenue joined it to The Sanctuary, and another stone avenue connected it with Beckhampton. West Kennet Long Barrow and Windmill Hill are also nearby, as is the huge and mysterious Silbury Hill. This extraordinary assemblage of sites seemingly formed a huge ‘sacred landscape’, whose use and purpose can still only be guessed at. Avebury and its surroundings have, with Stonehenge, achieved international recognition as a World Heritage Site.

Mysterious Crop circles Salisbury Plain is well known for its crop circles and much mystery still remains as to why they occur and the meanings behind their complex formations. A tour of the ancient hills and vales of Wiltshire which are, inexplicably, the world capital of crop circles Crop circles in Wiltshire often occur around the heart of the county in and around Avebury, usually first appearing in April and continuing into the summer months.  Crop circle guided tours can be arranged from Salisbury or Bath

Guided Tours from Salisbury can return to Salisbury or why not make the most of your sightseeing and be dropped off in Bath, Southampton or even London. Popular destinations can include: Salisbury Cathedral and the Magna Carta | Old Sarum Hillfort | Stonehenge Stone Circle and the new visitor centre | Woodhenge and  Durrington Walls | Ancient Chalk Hill Figures | Pewsey valleys | Salisbury Plain and mysterious crop circles | Avebury Stone Circle | West Kennet Long Barrow | Silbury Hill | Lacock Village | Castle Combe Village | The Cotswolds | Glastonbury Tor and The Isle of Avalon

Needless to say private guided tours are bespoke and can be tailoured to suit your needs in the date(s) you wish to travel.  Stonehenge private access tours allow you to enter the inner circle of Stonehenge before or after it is officially open to the public.
A once in a lifetime opportunity!

We would be delighted to arrange a private guide tour of Wiltshire and help you with your Salisbury Travel plans.  Email us: tours@StonehengeTravel.co.uk or visit our website: http://www.StonehengeTravel.co.uk

Some Salisbury and  Stonehenge links:
Visit Wiltshire: Discover things to do and places to visit across Wiltshire. Plan your visit, book hotels and accommodation and find out what’s on in the county. http://www.VisitWiltshire.co.uk

Download the Visit Wiltshire Apps here: http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/plan-your-visit/apps

Magnificent Salisbury Cathedral with the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom, home to the finest of the four surviving original Magna Carta 1215: http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/

Old Sarum Hillfort: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/old-sarum/

Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, in Wiltshire, England was opened in 1966 and was the first drive-through safari park outside Africa: http://www.Longleat.co.uk

Wilton House is an English country house situated at Wilton near Salisbury in Wiltshire. It has been the country seat of the Earls of Pembroke for over 400 years: http://www.WiltonHouse.co.uk

Amesbury Museum & Heritage Centre: http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/amesbury-museum-and-heritage-centre-p1536253

Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum: Showcasing the medieval Cathedral town of Salisbury and the ancient wonders of Stonehenge. http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/‎

The Cathedral Express. Wonderful days out by steam train:  http://www.steamdreams.com/

English Heritage: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/

The Stonehenge Tourism Website: http://www.Stonehenge-Tourism.com

London to Salisbury Trains: http://www.thetrainline.com/

Discover Britain: http://www.discoveringbritain.org/walks/region/south-west-england/salisbury-plain.html

Guided Tours of Stonehenge and Salisbury http://www.StonehengeTravel.co.uk

For Stonehenge and Salisbury News follow us on Twitter: @SalisburyTours

Local Wiltshire Tour Guide
The Stonehenge Travel Company

Experience sunset from within the inner circle of Stonehenge. A truly magical experience!

Go beyond the fences in 2014 on our legendary Magical Tour……

What better way to experience the magic and mystery of Stonehenge than with a private viewing at sunset. On our exclusive small group guided tours from Salisbury, visitors will be able to access the historic stone circle, and explore the surrounding area rich in history, myths and legends

“Experiencing the inner circle of Stonehenge at Sunset is a unique and, for many, a magical and moving experience”

Magical Tour Highlights:

  • Experience Stonehenge at Sunset from within the Inner Circle
    Expert local Stonehenge guide and small group guaranteed
    King Arthurs Avalon including Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury Abbey and Challice Springs                 Walking Tour of Avebury Stone Circle
    Drive through the Warminster Triangle and see mysterious Wiltshire crop Circles
    West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill
    Walk the Stonehenge Avenue
    Learn how to Dowse and here about the many Ley Lines

On this tour we discover the myths and legends of King Arthur, the stories behind this famous British hero. We depart from Salisbury, Wiltshire (approx. 10am) Stonehenge sunset tourand travel through  the spectacular west country of England and travel to the mystical Isle of Avalon, allowing time to walk up Glastonbury Tor for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

We will visit the vibrant, bustling town of Glastonbury to visit the Abbey and Arthur and Guinevere”s grave site. There will be time for lunch among the New Age shops and quirky little boutiques. Then, for the later part of the afternoon we move on to the ancient complex of Avebury, truly a giant among stone circles. The largest collection of Neolithic monuments in England, we spend the final part of the tour being guided around the huge stone rings of Avebury and see the mysterious Silbury Hill, Europe’s tallest prehistoric man made monument.

We end the day by heading back through the ancient Kingdom of Wessex and onwards to Stonehenge visiting and mysterious crop circles on-route. This landscape is peppered with burial chambers and stone circles, each one thousands of years old and rising above all of them on Salisbury Plain is Stonehenge. With 5,000 years of history our expert guide will explain what we now know, and then reveal theories and ideas that still have historians debating right up to today. Astronomical clock, calendar, place of worship, burial site for the elite? You can ponder the theories as you walk amongst the stones and experience sunset from with the inner circle

“A person only has so many great moments in life. You know the kind of moments I’m talking about; the ones where time moves slowly, everything feels amazing, and you walk away with a sense of awe. You will have such moment on our Stonehenge sunset tour.”

Click here to view this tour: http://stonehengetravel.co.uk/sunset-experience-stonehenge-inner-circle.htm

Stonehenge Travel Co, Salisbury

Avebury’s past to be on TV

Presenter Tony Robinson and his production team battled the elements at Avebury stone circle to film part of the four-part series Walking Through History.

Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury’s past to be on TV

Last week the team visited various locations in the county for the Wiltshire episode of the series, which looks at some of Britain’s most historic landscapes.

Other areas visited in Wiltshire included Devizes, Silbury Hill, the Kennet long barrows and Stonehenge.

Photographer Nicola Salt from Cadley was at the Avebury stones when the filming took place.

She said: “I spoke to someone from the production team and they said they’d really enjoyed the visit. It’s great to see Wiltshire get the recognition it deserves – when you live here you don’t appreciate how lucky you are.”

Full article in the Gazatte and Herald: http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/10625991.Avebury_s_past_to_be_on_TV/

Stonehenge Travel Company, Salisbury

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