Saturday, 4th October
The ATS is offering members the opportunity to visit the World Heritage site of Avebury in Wiltshire, which is administered by the National Trust. It includes the largest stone circle in Europe, built some 4600 years ago, and a picturesque 16th century Manor House and Gardens. Members will also explore the historic market town of Marlborough and have tea in a village at the foot of the Wiltshire Downs.
Unlike at its better-known neighbour, Stonehenge, visitors are allowed unrestricted access to the Avebury stones and embankments. Uniquely, each of the Manor House rooms is furnished in the style of different periods in the house’s 550 years of history. Visitors are allowed to handle the artefacts, sit on the chairs, lie on the beds and even taste the wine on the dinner table (it may have been there some time).
In the afternoon, members will travel past the mysterious, prehistoric, man-made Silbury Hill to Marlborough, which has the second widest high street in Britain. From Marlborough, members will go for tea in the village of Milton Lilbourne in the Vale of Pewsey.
A coach will pick up members in central London, and also in Maidenhead, before proceeding to Wiltshire for the day’s programme, returning to London in the evening.
The tentative programme is:
0800 Pick up in Park Lane, Hyde Park, London (Speaker’s Corner, Marble Arch)
1040 Arrive Avebury
1100 - 1200 Group tour of Avebury Manor House
1215 - 1430 Individual visits to Manor House gardens, stone circle, museum, café, shop.
1430 Depart Avebury
1500 to 1600 Explore Marlborough
1630 to 1800 Tea in Milton Lilbourne
1930 Drop off in Maidenhead
2030 Drop off in Hyde Park.
The cost will be £32 for members and £37 for guests. This will include coach transport from and to London, and tea in Milton Lilbourne. Entry to the Manor House and gardens is free for members of the National Trust. Others will need to pay the standard entry fee of £9. Please note that the cost does not include refreshments in Avebury or entrance to the museum. Reductions will be available for members making their own way to and from Avebury. English Heritage members have free access to the museum. Access to the stone circle is free for all.
The early autumn weather may be unpredictable. Members are advised to bring light rainwear and comfortable walking shoes as access to the stones may be muddy in parts.
Further information about the places to be visited may be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury, http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?id=163 (click on Milton Lilbourne in the index), Wikipedia entries for Avebury and Marlborough
Members who book on this tour will be notified closer to the day of details of the coach name and pick-up point, and if there are any changes to the itinerary.
Please note that the Society can accept no responsibility for injury, loss or damage incurred during this excursion, which is at members’ own risk.