Neolithic Avebury named second best heritage site in the world


The three Neolithic stone circles of Avebury near Calne have been named the second best World Heritage site for visitors by Which? Travel magazine.

The experts at Which? voted the henge better than more famous tourist attractions such as the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India and Herculaneum  in Italy. The only site to beat it was Monte Alban in Mexico.

The report described the Unesco World Heritage site as “the best-preserved and most impressive complex of prehistoric sites in Europe.”

The panel used 25 judging criteria including the level of preservation of the site, the visitor experience  and the appeal of the local region as a holiday destination.

Stand out features for the panel were the fact that people are free to wander amongst the stones and that there are not usually any large crowds. The quiet and beautiful countryside setting was deemed to be idyllic.

Avebury attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year and it can now expect even more visitors to flock to its atmospheric stones.

Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust archaeologist at Avebury, said: “Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers work year round to ensure that it remains a source of inspiration and delight.

So it’s wonderful to see that the very special qualities of Avebury have been recognised in this way.”