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Of all the landmark destinations on a tour of England, Stonehenge is one that often gets a bulk of the attention. While the mysterious structure is certainly a stunning sight, there is another formation that is no less impressive, yet often gets overlooked. The henge of Avebury in the town of Wiltshire was recently given its due by Which? magazine, which named it the second best World Heritage site, placing it ahead of the likes of Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal.
The rankings were based on many different criteria, ranging from visitor experience to how well preserved the site is, and Avebury scored especially well on them all. Among its most appealing aspects, experts say, is its remote location in the idyllic hills of southern England. Not only that, since it only attracts around 250,000 visitors each year, the crowds are often small, allowing guests to explore the site at their leisure.
"We have always known we have a wonderful piece of history on our doorstep and now we have official confirmation," Wiltshire Council's Stuart Wheeler told BBC News.
The Avebury Henge dates back as far back as 2,600 B.C. and is believed to have been built some time during the so-called New Stone Age. While they know the period it was built, archeologists are unsure of what its original purpose was.
After spending the day at Avebury, you may feel inspired to explore some of the bucolic settings a tour of Wales has to offer. Natural highlights such as the remote lake of Llyn y Fan Fawr and the Clwydian Range, which provide some of the best views in the country, each a great way to complement the rustic appeal of Avebury.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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