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This route runs through the West Country of England. From approximately the 6th to 10th centuries, the area was the Kingdom of Wessex.

Understand[edit]

Explore Prehistoric Wessex - this trail links the most significant archaeological sites and museums in Wiltshire and Dorset.

Prepare[edit]

Find out more about prehistoric sites and museums in Wiltshire from this guide to Prehistoric Wiltshire

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

To Devizes, West Kennet, Silbury Hill and Avebury

  • By train to Swindon and then catch the Trans-Wiltshire Express bus (no.49)
  • By coach to Devizes from London, and a local bus to Avebury

By train[edit]

To Salisbury

  • By train from London

To Dorchester

  • By train from London

By car[edit]

To Devizes and Avebury

To Salisbury

  • From the A303 take the A338 to Salisbury

To Dorchester

  • From the M3, take the A31 to Ringwood and then the A35.

Go[edit]

  • West Kennet Long Barrow: The most impressive and accessible Neolithic chambered tomb in Britain. Built in around 3650 BC, nearly 50 people were buried in its five stone-built chambers.
  • Silbury Hill: The largest man-made mound in Europe, mysterious Silbury Hill compares in height and volume to the roughly contemporary Egyptian pyramids.
  • Avebury: With its huge circular bank and ditch and circles of standing stones, Avebury is at the centre of a remarkable complex of monuments, including the West Kennet Avenue.
  • Devizes - Wiltshire Museum. Prehistoric Wiltshire displays, telling the story of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.
  • 1 Durrington Walls, A short walk from the Woodhenge car park. A massive henge, the site of the discovery of Neolithic houses in 2004-2006, where the people who gathered from across Britain to build Stonehenge may have lived. Durrington Walls (Q471738) on Wikidata Durrington Walls on Wikipedia
  • Stonehenge: The most sophisticated stone circle in the world, at the centre of a remarkable sacred landscape. Includes the cursus, a 3km long earthwork and the Avenue, leading from the River Avon.
  • Old Sarum: The original site of Salisbury – the remains of a Norman castle and cathedral, set within the impressive earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort.
  • Salisbury (England)
  • 2 Salisbury Museum. Salisbury Museum is home to the famous ‘Amesbury Archer’ and unique finds from Durrington Walls and Stonehenge, and a gallery dedicated to the archaeology of Wessex. The Salisbury Museum (Q7404829) on Wikidata The Salisbury Museum on Wikipedia
  • Dorset Cursus: Remains of the banks and ditches of a Neolithic cursus that runs for six miles, surrounded by barrow cemeteries. Contact in advance to arrange a visit to the private museum at Down Farm, and for a landscape tour.
  • Ancient Technology Centre: Visit during a special open day to take a step back in time. Experience the realities of daily life in the past and learn ancient skills in an authentic landscape.
  • Knowlton henge: An impressive Neolithic henge, with a Norman church built inside the bank and ditch. You can also see other nearby barrows and burial mounds.
  • Dorchester - Dorset County Museum.
  • Maiden Castle: The largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe. Multiple ramparts once protected an important settlement, but the site has 4,000 years of history, from a Neolithic causewayed enclosure to a small Roman temple.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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