Marlborough Circular via Avebury walk

Over the Marlborough Downs and through sarsen fields to the Avebury World Heritage Site

The Cove, Avebury, NE quartile SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

The Cove, Avebury, NE quartile

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

10-Jun-22 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Devil's Den, from the northwest SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

Devil's Den, from the northwest

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

22-Apr-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Backview along bridleway between gallops on Barton Down, Manton Park SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

Backview along bridleway between gallops on Barton Down, Manton Park

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

10-Jun-22 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Sarsens, grass, buttercups: Fyfield Down NNR SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

Sarsens, grass, buttercups: Fyfield Down NNR

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

10-Jun-22 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Marlborough, Town Hall SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

Marlborough, Town Hall

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

10-Jun-22 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Marlborough, Town Hall SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

Marlborough, Town Hall

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

10-Jun-22 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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View along dry valley off Barton Down SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

View along dry valley off Barton Down

SWC Walk 354 Marlborough Circular via Avebury

10-Jun-22 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk354 52155251541 G-T-TG

Length

24.2 km (15.0 mi), with 297m ascent/descent: 297m. For a shorter or a longer walk, see below Walk Options.

Toughness

5 out of 10, with 5 ½ hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 ½ hours.

Walk Notes

This is a fascinating excursion into the heart of Neolithic Wiltshire, a mysterious landscape full of pre-historic earthworks, standing stones, sarsen fields and barrows – burial mounds of kings and warriors. The route passes through two of the most important prehistoric sites in Britain: Avebury Standing Stones and Bank & Ditch Earthworks and Fyfield Down Sarsen Stones Field. Other significant sites nearby (Silbury Hill, West Kennett Long Barrow, The Sanctuary and Windmill Hill) can be explored on extension loops.

You walk out of the historic market town of Marlborough with its extra-wide High Street onto the Marlborough Downs, passing some horse gallops of the famous Manton Park stud and go through some small and medium-sized fields scattered with sarsen stones. Briefly follow the Ridgeway and turn down it scenically to Avebury, where the route passes all notable features within the village boundary, as well as a short stretch of the West Kennett Avenue of Standing Stones.
The return route retraces the route back to the Ridgeway and descends through the Fyfield Down Sarsen Stones Field, which contains the largest train of sarsens in Britain (about 25,000). You then pass the Devil’s Den, the impressive remnants of a dolmen burial chamber, before crossing the Kennet River a couple of times and passing Marlborough College with a mini Silbury Hill and a shell grotto in its grounds.

Walk Options

Buses 42 and 49 serve Avebury, enabling a start or finish there:
· Line 42 (Calne - Marlborough) runs 7 buses on weekdays and 6 on Saturdays (in Marlborough connect to lines 20/22/X22 to Bedwyn or Hungerford Stations);
· Line 49 (Devizes-Swindon)runs hourly Mon-Sat and two-hourly Sun (Swindon is on a different train line than Bedwyn and Hungerford!).

Two Extension Loops from Avebury village to outlying sites are possible:
· Avebury to Windmill Hill adds 5.3 km and 52m ascent/descent;
· Avebury to Silbury Hill, West Kennett Long Barrow and The Sanctuary adds 5.2 km and 75m ascent/descent.

Accommodation in or near Avebury

Avebury Lodge High Street, Avebury (01672 539 023)
Dorwyn Manor Swindon Road,Avebury (01672 539 098)
The Haven 13 Truesloe Cottages, Avebury Truesloe (01672 539 846)
Avebury Life 5 Truesloe Cottages, Avebury Truesloe (01672 539 644)
The Old Forge East Kennet (01672 861 686)

Maps

OS Landranger Map: 173 (Swindon & Devizes)
OS Explorer Map: 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)

Travel

Marlborough, Ladbrokes bus stop is served by lines 20 and 22 from Bedwyn Station or from the nearby Great Bedwyn Square. The buses stopping at the station will wait for up to 10 minutes for a delayed train. A valid train ticket reduces the cost of the bus to £1.30 each way [06/2022]. There is also the occasional Express Bus X22 from Hungerford Library (Mon-Sat, 5 minutes from the Station), which may offer a connection from the train when Bedwyn doesn’t. Bedwyn and Hungerford Stations are on the Berkshire and Hampshire line from London Paddington. The journey times are from 50 minutes to Hungerford and from 65 minutes to Bedwyn.

Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 09.00 hours.

Lunch

Circles Restaurant Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1RF (01672 539 250). The Circles Cafe is located 11.2 km (7.0 mi) into the walk.
The Red Lion High Street, Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1RF (01672 539 266). The Red Lion is located 11.8 km (7.3 mi) into the walk. Open all day every day. Food served all day every day. The Red Lion was first licensed in 1802 and is nowadays part of the Chef and Brewer-chain. It is famous for its 26m deep well inside the pub which dates back to the 1600's. The Well Room is named after Alexander Keiller who excavated the ancient stone circle surrounding the pub.

Tea

The Oddfellows 71 High Street, Manton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4HW (01672 512 352). TheOddfellows is located 2.4 km from the end of the walk. Open all day every day.
Numerous Options along Marlborough’s High Street, see the walk directions for more details.

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Start Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1LW Map Directions

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jul-22 Thomas G

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk