Long walk over Wiltshire downs to Avebury World Heritage Site
|Length||36.5 km (22.7 mi), of which 6.5 km (4.1 mi) on tarmac or concrete.
Cumulative ascent/descent: 616m. For an alternative ending in Avebury and a shorter walk, see the Walk Options below
|Toughness||10 out of 10|
|OS Map||Landranger Map: 173 (Swindon & Devizes); Explorer Map: 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)|
This is a strenuous excursion into the heart of Neolithic Wiltshire, a mysterious landscape full of pre-historic earthworks, standing stones, sarsen fields and hillforts as well as barrows – burial mounds of kings and warriors. The route passes through or past four of the most important prehistoric sites in Britain: Fyfield Down Sarsen Stones Field, Avebury Standing Stones and Bank & Ditch Earthworks, Silbury Hill and West Kennett Long Barrow (two other sites, The Sanctuary and Windmill Hill, can be explored on extensions).
There are four different options to finish the walk in Avebury, with a rating of between 5/10 and 10/10.
Pewsey Station is on the Berkshire and Hampshire line, served by Intercity trains between London and the West Country. The journey time is about 60 minutes. Pewsey is outside the Network South East Area, necessitating split journey tickets at either Reading or Newbury if using the Network Railcard. Marlborough High Street (Lloyds Bank) bus stop is served by lines 20/22 from Bedwyn station, which is in the Network SE area, or from the nearby Great Bedwyn Square.
Bus 49 Devizes-Swindon means you can do a ‘Neolithic Highlights’-walk and finish in Avebury (runs roughly hourly Mon-Sat and two-hourly Sun; but requires a separate train ticket Swindon–Reading):
Buses 20/22 (Mon-Sat only) to Marlborough sometimes connect well with trains at Bedwyn station (or the nearby Great Bedwyn Square), which is inside the Network SE and has a frequent service, enabling a start or finish in Marlborough. A valid train ticket reduces the cost to £1 each way.
|B&Bs in or near Avebury||
Avebury Lodge High Street, Avebury (01672 539 023)
|Lunch and Tea||
The Who’d A Thought It Lockeridge, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4EL (01672 861 255). The Who’d A Thought It is located 9.7 km (6.0 mi) into the walk. Open 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-23.00 Mon & Thu-Fri, Sat 12.00-23.00 and Sun 12.00-21.00. Food served 12.00-15.00 & 18.00-21.00 Mon and Thu-Sat and Sun 12.00-16.00. A traditional English village pub.
For tea options in Pewsey or Marlborough please consult pages 2 and 16 of the pdf.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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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