A fascinating walk starting from the village of Avebury, and its World Heritage Site. The walk takes you across beautiful and monumental landscapes and along ancient trails.
- 6.4 miles / 10.3 km circular
- Start point: Red Lion pub, Avebury
- What3words: ///still.cursing.readjust
- Grid Ref: SU102699
- OS Explorer Map: 157 Avebury & Devizes
- Buses from Marlborough, Devizes, Calne and Swindon stop at the Red Lion, Avebury.
- Parking in National Trust car park (charges apply)
- Mostly flat on paths, can be muddy, several stiles, some main road crossings
- Refreshments: pub, café/restaurant & shop in Avebury
- GPX: Click here to download
- Start at the Red Lion pub. Cross the A361 and walk down Green Street past the former chapel. After passing a farm, the lane becomes a rough track which heads gently uphill onto a ridge.
- At a crossroads of tracks, turn right onto the Ridgeway and follow a track across the downs. Eventually the track emerges at the A4. Cross this busy road with care.
- Across the road is the Sanctuary, formerly a double circle of stones linked to Avebury by West Kennet Avenue in the Neolithic period. Take the path downhill, over a bridge, along a track to a lane.
- Keep ahead but after about 10m turn right at the corner of a wall, along a footpath to a lane. Turn right, then left to the church. Go past the church and old dairy to a path onto the fields. At the next junction of paths, turn right and follow this path to a byway.
- Turn left onto the byway and immediately right onto a small path enclosed by trees. Climb a stile and walk along the left edge of the field. Climb a stile at the far end, cross over the road and continue straight ahead. Climb another stile and keep to the right edge of a field.
- The route continues ahead; or take the path left gently uphill to visit the West Kennet Long Barrow (adds ½ mile/0.8km). Retrace your steps to continue the route. Go through a gap onto a path. Follow the path as it heads towards the road. Go through another kissing gate, turn left and when you see a pedestrian gate on the other side of the road, cross with care.
- Keeping the hedgerow on your left, follow the path back past Silbury Hill and the Winterbourne stream on your left until you reach a main road. Cross into the National Trust car park and take the path at the back of the car park to the village. Turn right along the lane return to the start.
Points of Interest
- Avebury henge and stone circles – are part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site because of the outstanding Neolithic and Bronze age monumental landscape. Managed by the National Trust, they are part of an incredible landscape of global significance. See Avebury World Heritage site | National Trust for more information.
- West Kennet Long Barrow – is a stone-chambered tomb dating from around 3650 BC. It is the largest burial chamber in England. In c. 2500 BC, around 1000 years after its creation, the immense sarsen stones you see today were placed at its entrance.
- Silbury Hill – is the largest man-made mound in Europe. The Hill contains around half a million tons of chalk and was built between 2,400 and 2,000 BC. The purpose of this immense feat of construction remains one of the great mysteries of prehistory.