Better than the Taj Mahal?

Avebury named the second best heritage site in the world

The Taj Mahal is on most people's travelling wish list, but Avebury? If it's not then it should be as it's just been named as the second best heritage site in the world.

Compared with the Great Pyramids in Egypt or Angkor Wat in Cambodia it may be hard to understand why, but according to experts at Which? Travel magazine it's up there with the best sites in the world.

Mexico's ancient city of Monte Alban came in first place and the destroyed city of Herculaneum in Italy completed the top three.

The panel used criteria including the preservation of the site and appeal of the local region as a place to take a holiday.

The three stone circles at Avebury outscored more famous historic landmarks because of a high score on the overall visitor experience.

Better than the Taj Mahal? Avebury is

The site, which attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year, was praised because tourists can wander freely between the stones, unlike the more famous Stonehenge, also in Wiltshire, where the formations are roped-off.

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

Reacting to the news, Stuart Wheeler of Wiltshire Council said: "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."

Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument comprising of three stone circles. The monuments, thought to have been constructed around 2,600BC, are the largest stone circles in Europe, and a place of great importance to pagans.

Which heritage sites do you think should have made the top 10? Post your comments below.

The top 10 sites:

1. Monte Alban, Mexico
2. Avebury, UK
3. Herculaneum, Italy
4. Forbidden City, China
5. Angkor, Cambodia
6. Pech Merle caves, France
7. Taj Mahal, India
8. Petra, Jordan
9. Valley of the Kings, Egypt
10. The Great Pyramids, Giza, Egypt