Avebury, West Kennett and Silbury Hill

A Avebury walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 04/08/16

This Wiltshire walk provides a way of visiting many of the interesting World Heritage Neolithic sites around the village of Avebury including the Stone Circle, Silbury Hill and West Kennett Long Barrow.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h20[?]
Distance Distance : 6.7mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 328ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 341ft
Highest point Highest point : 741ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 476ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Avebury
Starting point Starting point : N 51.425816° / W 1.858969°
Download :

Description

(D/A) The walk can be reached by public transport using the regular bus service between Swindon and Marlborough. Alternatively there is a National Trust pay and display car park (grid ref. SU099696). Leave the car park and follow the signs to the village passing a section of the stone circle on your right. This path leads you onto the main street. If you want to visit the church then turn left, otherwise turn right and walk towards the main A4361 road. Cross the main road and continue straight ahead with further parts of the stone circle to your right and left.

(1) The lane passes Manor Farm (grid ref.SU110702) on your right and becomes a track. After rain this can be quite slippery and it is probably better to walk along the grass verges where a path is developing. The climb is steady and you soon have fine views over the countryside. Reaching the junction with the Ridgeway (grid ref. SU125708) turn sharp right. It is worth reading the information board here which details some interesting facts about Overton Down and its source of Sarsen Stones.

(2) The Ridgeway is one of the oldest thoroughfares in Britain and is a National Trail. Continuing gently downhill you will see a number of sites on your right where burial mounds have been covered in trees. Known locally as 'hedgehogs', these are a prominent feature of the landscape hereabouts. You will soon reach Overton Hill the Ridgeway's starting point, which ends 87 miles away at Ivinghoe Beacon in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns.

(3) Cross the main A4 with care. Sighting distance is thankfully good. On the right is the Sanctuary another of the many Neolithic sites in the area. Continue ahead on a descending path that leads down to a bridge over the River Kennett. Cross the bridge and continue into the village of East Kennett passing an impressive house on your right. At the end of the wall take the narrow footpath on the right that follows the wall and leads out onto a lane. Turn right and walk through the attractive village. Just before crossing the river, turn left down a track. Just after a junction where another less used lane goes left look out for a footpath on your right. There is a sign but it is hard to see.

(4) Take this footpath and, following the river which is to your right, continue across fields to reach a lane (grid ref SU109681). Go straight ahead over and continue on the path to reach a junction of paths (grid ref. SU104681). If you want to visit the West Kennett Long Barrow, which is remarkably intact, then walk left up the hill. Otherwise continue ahead to reach the A4 again.

(5) Cross straight over and continue on the footpath. To your left rises Silbury Castle which is completely man-made and dates from about 4750 years ago. It has been calculated that it took 500 men about 15 years to construct and is the largest structure of its kind in Europe. Access to hill is not possible so you have to be content to enjoy it from a distance. Soon after passing the Hill you are on the approach to Avebury. Cross the A4361 and opposite is the National Trust car park. There is pub, toilets and a National Trust café in the village - the first opportunity for refreshment since starting the walk(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Car park
1 : mi 0.85 - alt. mi 0.85 - Manor farm
2 : mi 1.81 - alt. mi 1.81 - Turn sharp right
3 : mi 3.59 - alt. mi 3.59 - Cross the main A4
4 : mi 4.47 - alt. mi 4.47 - Turn right
5 : mi 5.69 - alt. mi 5.69 - Turn left to visit West Kennett Long Barrow
D/A : mi 6.7 - alt. mi 6.7

Useful Information

This Wiltshire walk offers the opportunity to visit some of the world's finest Neolithic monuments in the vicinity together with an invigorating section of the Ridgeway, which is one the oldest 'roads' in Britain. Avebury can get very busy on fine days and if you wish to explore the stone circle in the centre of the village without too many people then an early start is recommended.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4.67/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 4.5/5
Routemap quality : 4.5/5
Walk interest : 5/5


Walker
on Mon 22 Oct 2018 20:36:38 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 22/10/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

This walk is good but in my opinion can be altered to be better. Instead of returning from the A361 all the way by the river, it is possible to take a path ton the right of the river path that takes you over Waden Hill and down to the end of the Avenue. Then walk back to Avebury through the Avenue. This path is not shown on the O.S. map but is easy to find.This makes the return more interesting.


Walker
on Mon 08 Jan 2018 14:13:18 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 07/01/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

A very cold wind didn't dishearten us as we took in the Wiltshire countryside and its prehistoric offerings. Indeed, the cold kept the potentially sloppy mud in a usefully solid state. A very good walk.

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