Pubs: The Waggon and Horses

From the Red Lion the closest pub to Avebury is The Waggon and Horses at Beckhampton. If you're on foot, one of the nicest (and safest) ways of getting there is to follow the road down Avebury High Street, past the church and over the Winterbourne to Avebury Trusloe. There are then paths that take you past the Adam and Eve stones and eventually to the back of the pub - a walk of about thirty minutes, with only one busy road to cross.

The Waggon and Horses is a lovely thatched building with drinking areas to the right as you enter from the road and more formal dining areas to the left. It's usually fairly quiet in there at lunchtime but the restaurant area can get quite busy in the evening. From one of the windows in the drinking area there's a view of Silbury - a view only possible when the trees have lost their leaves. There's parking and a nice beer garden at the rear of the pub and more parking at the front and across the road. The walk to Silbury from the Waggon and Horses takes about fifteen minutes but is along an extremely dangerous road and definitely not recommended.

The Waggon and Horses seems to be the pub mentioned by Dickens in Chapter XIV of The Pickwick Papers under The Bagman's Story. Dickens writes of the pub, "...gabled-topped windows projecting completely over the pathway..." and, "...a strong cheerful light in the bar window, which shed a bright ray across the road, and even lighted up the hedge on the other side..." That could be the Waggon and Horses Dickens is writing about. He also describes, "...a low door with a dark porch, and a couple of steep steps leading down into the house, instead of the modern fashion of half a dozen shallow ones leading up to it." Today you actually go up a few steps into the pub if you're entering from the road but the bagman and his gig may have gone round to the rear, and from the backdoor there certainly are, "...steep steps leading down into the house..."