This circular walk takes in Morgan’s Hill Nature Reserve. We will pause along our way to enjoy the wildlife and stunning views. Keep your eyes peeled for wild thyme, horseshoe vetch, common rock-rose and marsh helleborine. Along the Wansdyke, we may find the Adonis, chalkhill, common and small blue butterflies.

As well as the rich wildlife, there is some interesting history to discover at Morgan’s Hill. A Roman road runs along its northern edge and the fifth-century Wansdyke defines its southern border – built to defend the northern territory of Wessex. It is believed the hill was named after a local man, John Morgan, who was hung in 1720 at this prominent site for murdering his uncle!

These stunning chalk downlands can be quite exposed, so be prepared for the weather conditions, and bring plenty of water. The route includes 143m ascent, bridleways and byways. Where suitable footwear and clothing. On the route back, we will have a stop for a picnic lunch.

There will be a handout with information on what wildlife we might see.

Walk leader/organisation: Judy Hible, North West Wiltshire Ramblers

Walk information

  • Booking: Free – Booking essential – 20 places
  • Distance & approximate duration: 5 miles (8 km) – 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate (more challenging, for keen/active walkers).
  • Accessibility: Suitable for older children (8+). Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult (see useful information). Not suitable for wheelchairs or prams/pushchairs. Steps/stiles on the route.
  • Dogs: Dogs on leads welcome.
  • Refreshments: Bring a packed lunch and snacks and drinks as needed. There are no places to purchase refreshments on the route (see below).
  • Toilets: There are no toilets on the route (see below).
  • Meeting point: Smallgrain Picnic Area, near North Wiltshire Golf Course, SN10 2LP. What3Words: beamed.wordplay.fallback. OS grid reference: SU 019 670. Google Maps. Please note: finding Smallgrain is tricky – the road is steep, narrow and winding, and there is no sign until the actual turn.
  • Public transport: None available.
  • Parking: Free public parking at Smallgrain Picnic Area, SN10 2LP. 

For general booking information, health and safety advice, terms and conditions please see our useful information page.

Further information

There are refreshments and toilets in the nearby villages Cherhill, Calne, Heddington, Bishops Cannings.

For information about Morgan’s Hill, see Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

For more information and other walks, see North West Wiltshire Ramblers.

For general information on the Ramblers and to find other groups and walks near you, see Ramblers.

This walk is brought to you by our partner:

North West Wiltshire Ramblers

Morgan's Hill © Judy Hible