A delightful, varied walk taking in the village, the canal towpath, downland and the mysterious Wansdyke with a fantastic view across to the Lansdowne Monument.

Useful Info

  • 5 miles/ 8 km circular
  • Start point: Main southern entrance path to the Church of St Mary in Bishops Cannings
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  • OS Explorer map: 157 Avebury & Devizes
  • Grid Ref: SU037641
  • Parking on lanes
  • Buses between Devizes and Swindon stop at The Crown Inn, see Stagecoach website for information
  • Several stiles, some slight gradients
  • Refreshments: The Crown Inn in Bishops Cannings
  • GPX: click to download

Route Directions

  1. Follow the footpath through the churchyard (with the church on your left) onto Church Walk. At the end of Church Walk turn right onto a lane, continue straight ahead down a concrete drive towards Court Farm Caravan Site. Follow a track to a stile and a swing bridge over the Kennet & Avon Canal. Note World War Il Pill Box on right (see below).
  2. Cross the swing bridge over the Kennet and Avon Canal and turn left. Follow the towpath to the next bridge over the canal, No. 132. Go under it and turn back up the slope to reach the busy Devizes – Pewsey road.
  3. Turn right over the bridge to follow the road for about 200 metres. At Harepath House, turn left onto a Restricted Byway. Follow this byway for 2.5 kms, ignoring paths to the left and right at farm buildings. Just past a water tank on the right, climb a stile and walk along the left side of the next field to reach Wansdyke.
  4. Turn left through the gate and climb up onto the top of the bank. The view from here includes Lansdowne Column on Cherhill Down to the left. Continue along the bank to a gate and track on the left.
  5. Take the track downhill to Easton Farm.
  6. Turn right and walk along the lane. Shortly after the lane bears left, turn left and then at a fork bear right towards Bourton Green Cottages. After a thatched cottage on the right, go through a gate into a field. Bear right towards the church spire. Cross a footbridge and follow the hedge on the right heading towards a row of cottages to a gate in the corner. Turn left down the driveway and then straight ahead along Church Walk to the start of the walk.
Points of Interest
  • Pill boxes are small concrete structures that were built during World War II as defences against German invasion. Many were built along the Kennet & Avon Canal.
  • The Wansdyke dates from between 400 and 700 AD and its purpose is a mystery but commonly thought to be a defensive structure to keep invading Saxons out.
DOWNLOAD rOUTE Bishops Cannings map