Stonehenge and Avebury Private Guide – the gallery

We are so lucky to be offering guided tours in one of the most spectacular and picturesque areas of the UK. As a Stonehenge and Avebury Private Guide we couldn’t have a better area to show off. The region is filled with extraordinary ancient sites, towns full of remarkable medieval and Georgian architecture and a landscape that is unsurpassed in its natural beauty.

As a result we are featuring some of our favourite places in this gallery. We do very much hope you enjoy looking through the photographs but nothing beats the real thing. Please get in touch and we will be more than happy to show you around. You can enquire about a tour here.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is probably the UK’s most iconic monument and has to be a great place to start for any photo gallery. Because it is  photogenic whatever the season I have literally thousands of photographs of this unique place.

Stonehenge guided tours - Stonehenge in pastel colours in February

Stonehenge in the pastel colours of February evening light

Stonehenge guided tour - Stonehenge Spring Solstice - inside Stonehenge

At Stonehenge for the Spring Solstice 2018

Stonehenge guided tours - Stonehenge in May with Oldbury Tours

Stonehenge in glorious May sunshine

Stonehenge guide - at Stonehenge in summer 2018 with Oldbury Tours

At Stonehenge in summer

Stonehenge guide - at Stonehenge in early October with Oldbury Tours

Still smiling – Laurence with guest at Stonehenge in early October rain

Stonehenge private guided tours - in among the stones with Oldbury Tours

Guide Laurence playing the French Horn at sunrise at Stonehenge.

Stonehenge guided tours - midwinter sunset at Stonehenge with Oldbury Tours

Midwinter sunset at Stonehenge

Stonehenge guided tours - at Stonehenge in April with Oldbury Tours

At Stonehenge in late April

Stonehenge private tours - at Stonehenge with Oldbury Tours

Laurence with guests at Stonehenge in June

Click here to read a brief article I have written about Stonehenge.

Avebury

The largest stone circle in the world and it is very, very impressive whatever the weather. People sometimes try to compare Stonehenge and Avebury: which is more impressive, which is older, which is more atmospheric or energetic. For me they are just different and if I have to place them: first equal!

Avebury Private Guide - on top of Avebury bank in May with Oldbury Tours

On top of Avebury bank

Avebury Private Guide - at Avebury with Oldbury Tours

Laurence at Avebury with a car full in the February snow

Avebury Guided Tours - At Avebury with Oldbury Tours

At Avebury in April

Avebury guide - at Avebury stone circle with Oldbury Tours

At the south entrance to Avebury in June

Avebury Private Guide - at Avebury midsummer sunrise with Oldbury Tours

Watching the Avebury sunrise at mid summer solstice

Avebury Private Tour - on Avebury bank with Oldbury Tours

On top of Avebury bank

Avebury private guide - At Avebury with Oldbury Tours

At Avebury in September

Avebury guided tours - Avebury Cove with Oldbury Tours

The Cove at Avebury

Avebury guide - November morning mist with Oldbury Tours

Avebury in November morning mist

Avebury guided tours - an aerial view of Avebury by Oldbury Tours

An aerial photograph Laurence took of Avebury

Avebury private tour - frost at Avebury by Oldbury Tours

A frosty Avebury in late December

Avebury guided tours - the summer solstice at Avebury with Oldbury Tours

The summer solstice at Avebury

Click here to read a brief article I have written about Avebury.

West Kennet Long Barrow at Avebury

This 5,500 year old tomb is an extraordinary place. Most people cannot believe we are allowed inside what has to be one of the most important places in prehistoric Britain. The setting is spectacular and the atmosphere affects everyone that visits it.

Avebury Prvate Guide - on West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

On top of West Kennet Long Barrow

Avebury Private Guide - inside West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

Inside the long barrow looking back towards the entrance.

Avebury Private Guide - walking to West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

Walking up to West Kennet Long Barrow on a glorious June day

Avebury private guide - at West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

On top of West Kennet Long Barrow in October with Silbury Hill behind

Avebury Private Tours - at West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

At the entrance to the tomb in September

Avebury Private Guide - the way to West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

The Long Barrow runs along the crest of the hill, the path leads up through a flowering Canola crop in late April.

AVebury Private Guide - inside West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

Inside West Kennet Long Barrow

Avebury Guided Tours - West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

West Kennet Long Barrow from the air

Avebury guided tours - at West Kennet Long Barrow with Oldbury Tours

Looking out from inside the tomb – can you see the face looking in?

Click here to read a brief article about West Kennet Long Barrow.

Silbury Hill at Avebury

Possibly the most enigmatic monument in the area and also the most recent being only 4,500 years old! Excavations have shown that it isn’t a burial mound, so what is it? There are plenty of theories but it is always worth bearing in mind that beneath the thin layer of grass it is made of chalk so would have been white when finished. Quite stunning and just as photogenic as Stonehenge.

Avebury guided tours - Silbury Hill with Oldbury Tours

Silbury Hill iin February snow

Avebury Private Guide - at Silbury Hill with Oldbury Tours

At Silbury Hill in September

Avebury Private Guide - at Silbury Hill with Oldbury Tours

Silbury Hill from Waden Hill in the Spring

Avebury Private Guide - Silbury Hill with Oldbury Tours

Reflected in late winter water.

Avebury Private Guide - at Silbury Hill with Oldbury T'ours

In early summer sun

Avebury Private Guide - Silbury Hill with Oldbury Tours

beneath a dramatic July sky

To read a brief article I have written about Silbury Hill click here.

West Kennet Avenue – Avebury

Not as enigmatic as some of Wiltshire’s monuments you may think because it clearly demarcates a route. However, then it gets a bit more tricky! Firstly, does the avenue lead from The Sanctuary to Avebury or from Avebury to The Sanctuary? Secondly, was it for people (initiates, celebrants or a privileged priesthood caste?) to process up or down? Or were all living people excluded? Perhaps it was a pathway for the souls of the ancestors? …you see, nothing here is quite that straightforward! Straight forward? Why does the avenue meander? Is it like a Japanese temple approach, designed to disorientate devils who can only move in straight lines? Alternatively is its winding route mimicking the course of a river?

Avebury Private Guide - at West Kennet Avenue with Oldbury Tours

Looking south down the avenue of stones

Avebury Private Guide - at West Kennet Avenue with Oldbury Tours

Heading up the avenue towards Avebury

Avebury Private Guide - at West Kennet Avenue with Oldbury Tours

The West Kennet Avenue in late April

Avebury private guide - at West Kennet Avenue with Oldbury Tours

Half way along the West Kennet Avenue on a February morning

Avebury Private Guide - at Beckhampton Avenue with Oldbury Tours

The two remaining stones of the Beckhampton Avenue

Avebury Private Guide - at Beckhampton Avenue with Oldbury Tours

The view between the Beckhampton stones to Windmill Hill

To read a brief article I have written about the Avebury Avenues click here.

Durrington Walls – near Stonehenge

Durrington Walls is the site of one of the largest henge monuments in the UK. An enormous bank and ditch surrounds an area that was once an extremely important ceremonial site. At least two circular timber ‘temple’ structures stood in the centre of the only stone age village we know of in England. Archaeologists are sure that the people who lived here built Stonehenge, the ruins of which are just two miles away.

Avebury private guide - Durrington Walls with Oldbury Tours

The bank sweeps away into the distance. The enormous ditch, now silted up, would have run along the inside of it.

Avebury Private Guide - at Durrington Walls with Oldbury Tours

The bank shows even more clearly on the eastern side of the monument after a March snowfall

Avebury Private Guide - at Durrington Walls with Oldbury Tours

Looking down towards the river Avon which leads to Stonehenge. The whole of the grassy area in the foreground was occupied by a large village in c. 2500BC

Avebury guided tours - at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre with Oldbury Tours

One of the Durrington Walls houses at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre under construction in November 2015

To read a brief article I have written about Durrington Walls click here.

The Stonehenge Cursus

The cursus really is a truly mysterious monument. Just to the north of Stonehenge there is an elongated rectangle formed of parallel banks and ditches that runs from east to west across the landscape. It predates the earliest work at Stonehenge by about 700 years and, being nearly 2 miles long and 300 feet wide, it evidently served an important function. But what was its purpose?

Avebury Private Guide - Stonehenge Cursus

Standing at the eastern end of the monument which runs all the way to the gap in the trees below the red arrow. Stonehenge is circled to the left

Avebury Private Guide - the Stonehenge cursus with Oldbury Tours

The western section of the southern bank can be quite clearly defined in late evening light.

Avebury Private Guide - the Stonehenge cursus with Oldbury Tours

A light snowfall helps define the parallel banks as they lead up the slope ahead. As a result a perceptible wiggle is noticeable in the bank on the right.

The Sanctuary near Avebury

The Sanctuary was once a very important timber and stone monument which was linked to Avebury by the West Kennet Avenue. Perhaps it was where initiates gathered before processing to take part at ceremonies within the Avebury henge. The monument was completely dismantled in the early 18th century but was rediscovered in the 1920s by Maud Cunnington, a local archaeologist. She marked the positions of the timbers and stones with the concrete cylinders that are still there today.

Avebury Private Guide - The Sanctuary near Avebury from the air

Viewed from the air it is easier to understand the design of the monument.

Avebury Private Guide - at The Sanctuary, Avebury with Oldbury Tours

The arrangement of the markers can be confusing on the ground but the views are beautiful.

Avebury private guide - at The Sanctuary, Avebury with Oldbury T'ours

Enjoying a moment at The Sanctuary