Better than the Taj Mahal? Avebury named world's second best heritage site

Better than the Taj Mahal? Avebury named second best heritage site in the world

A panel of experts in the Which? Travel magazine have named Avebury in Wiltshire the second best heritage site in the world for tourists.

The stone circle, which attracts 250,000 visitors a year, came second only to Mexico's Monte Alban, and beat out other famous sites like India's Taj Mahal, Peru's Machu Picchu, and Egypt's great pyramids.

Better than the Taj Mahal? Avebury named second best heritage site in the world

The sites were judged on 25 categories, including visitor experience, the preservation of the site and the holiday appeal of the local region.

Wiltshire Council's Stuart Wheeler told the BBC: "We have always known we have a wonderful piece of history on our doorstep and now we have official confirmation.

"Being placed second only to Mexico in providing visitors with the best heritage site experience in the world is a wonderful accolade."

Better than the Taj Mahal? Avebury named second best heritage site in the world

The Which? report described the Unesco World Heritage site as "the best-preserved and most impressive complex of prehistoric sites in Europe".

According to the Daily Mail, Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument comprising of three stone circles.

The monuments are thought to have been constructed around 2600BC, and are the largest stone circles in Europe.

A Which? spokesperson said: "Avebury came an impressive second in our list of World Heritage sites with a score of 78%.

"Our experts found the idyllic rural setting, lack of crowds and freedom to wander freely through the historic site made for a rewarding visit."

See more don't-miss tourist sites in England here:

England's finest: the best places to visit
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Better than the Taj Mahal? Avebury named world's second best heritage site

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Chatsworth House is an elegant stately home that's been transformed into a vibrant visitor attraction with exhibitions throughout the house, family-themed activities and an amazing 105-acre garden. There's a farmyard area for the kids, a woodland adventure playground and a huge maze. It's also a great place to visit any time of the year, where you can take part in Easter egg hunts in spring, Christmas shopping sprees in the Stables Shops in winter and walks around the garden in the summer. Visit

Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre, Kent

If you love beer and fancy a change from your local pub, visit the Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham where you can enjoy tutored tastings, the Brewery Ghost Tour and find out about the brewery's history – it's been producing beer since 1698! It's housed in medieval buildings and there are special events throughout the year, including a barn dance, murder mystery evenings and a beer festival. Visit

Bedruthan Steps Hotel, Cornwall

This environmentally-friendly hotel on the Cornish seaside is family run and has all the luxury you'll find at a five-star hotel. The owners offer guests an indulgent stay with contemporary rooms, a sleek bar, restaurant and swimming pools - without it being a guilty pleasure. Its eco innovations include a green roof system, solar heating and a buy local policy. The hotel's great for all the family and there are even OFSTED-registered kids' clubs and activities to keep the little ones entertained. Visit

Number 43, Cumbria

This gorgeous boutique B&B is all about style and luxury with its chic rooms that have Bose music systems, mini bars and home-made biscuits. As a guest you'll receive everything a hotel offers, from luggage assistance to two-course suppers in the evening. Number 43 works with local artists, exhibiting their work throughout the hotel that guests can buy, and local food providers whose ingredients feature in the menus. Visit

The Langham, London

Since 1865 the iconic Langham in London has attracted guests to indulge in its grandeur, luxury and excellent service. The hotel's imposing architecture is spectacular and inside you can enjoy fine dining at celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr's restaurant, Roux at the Landau, sleep in opulent rooms and suites and relax with the world-class spa facilities. For a memorable trip to London this enchanting and elegant hotel is THE place to stay. Visit

Cumbrian Heavy Horses, Cumbria

It's the only equestrian centre dedicated to heavy horses and a unique treat if you think you've experienced everything. Based in the Lake District, Cumbrian Heavy Horses gives you the chance to ride Clydesdale and Shire horses, which have in the past been labeled as horses that are only fit for farm work. Whether you're a beginner or pro, riding the horses around the lakes, on the beach and through local farmland will give you a one-of-a-kind riding experience. Visit

The Dovecote Barns, Yorkshire

If you're holidaying at home this year and want to stay somewhere rural but stylish, The Dovecote Barns is the perfect place. The converted barns offer self-catering farm accommodation with luxury and include log-burning stoves, wooden country kitchens with top of the range appliances and contemporary en-suite facilities in all the bedrooms. If you don't fancy cooking, there's a 17th century inn along the riverbank and enjoying the natural surroundings is a must, with cycling, wildlife and walking just a few of the things that'll keep you entertained. Visit

Royal Ascot, Berkshire

The world-famous racing event is one of the highlights of summer in England and attracts everyone from royalty to racing enthusiasts. Royal Ascot is a real glamorous day out and the place to be seen – especially if you own a big hat! It's a place for families too, with themed days and affordable ticket prices. Big spenders can watch the horse racing from a private box and dine in the top-notch restaurants. Visit

The Deep, East Yorkshire

You'll find the world's only submarium The Deep on the Humber Estuary in Hull. The imposing building is an attraction itself and was designed by Sir Terry Farrel to look like a shard of rock coming out of the sea. Inside you'll find tanks filled with 3,500 sea creatures including sharks and stingrays, and there are lots of hands-on experiences the kids will love. Braille introductions, audio guides, wheelchair access, as well as vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free menus are just some of the facilities that make The Deep accessible for all. Visit

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Porthminster Beach Cafe, Cornwall

The Porthminster Beach Café is perfectly located on the beach and has a daily-changing menu, which depends on what the fishing boats bring back. Australian head chef Michael Smith uses the freshest produce available and even grows vegetables and herbs opposite the restaurant. Ingredients from the nearby woodlands you may find on the menu include samphire, elderberries, sloes and sorrel. Visit

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