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Avebury, Wiltshire, England
Avebury is quite extraordinary. The village looks like it was designed for tourists - a mish mash of old houses and cottages, the handsome parish church, an olde worlde pub, antique shop, a cricket green, a National Trust owned Manor House, a tythe barn, even a small museum, just what you would expect - and more - from a Wiltshire village.
But then there are the extraordinary stones. They make this place unique and attract people from all over the world. Dr. John Aubrey, writing in the 1660s wrote: "This old monument does as much exceed in greatness the so renowned Stoneheng, as a Cathedral doeth a parish Church". The questions remain about why they were placed there, by whom, where did they come from, and what means were needed to transport these huge stones; Aubrey wrote: "one might fancy it to have been the scene where the giants fought with huge stones against the Gods".
The visitor can wander around the stones, choosing to climb up and down hillocks or stay on the flat, all under the watchful gaze of the grazing sheep. Within a short walking distance is Silbury Hill, just as mystifying as to its purpose. All local children would have come to Avebury and Silbury on a school trip at some point - Mandy remembers running to the top of the hill when she was on such a trip, but Duncan's father could remember as a child cycling up it! Today the hill has been fenced off to stop climbers as it is thought there is a danger of erosion or collapse.
Avebury has a special atmosphere which can be whatever you want it to be - mystical, peaceful or simply a nice place for walk.