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Avebury, West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill self guided walk

3-mile walk visiting three ancient monuments

Red Lion Pub Avebury

Start of walk: Avebury's Red Lion thatched pub


Avebury walk overview

Join us on a short walk around the Avebury area, taking in two other monuments, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow.

 

First take your time to visit the Avebury site. There is of course Avebury Henge, but Avebury village is also a worthwhile place to explore.

The National Trust museums and guided walk of Avebury henge would give you good background to further enhance your walk experience.

 

If you have come by public bus, it will have dropped you off outside the pub pictured on the right, the Red Lion. This is our starting point.

 

The walk is about 3 miles, nearly all on grass paths. There are no toilets or food available on the walk, other than at Avebury. We only provide the crudest of maps below, but on the ground it is very straight forward if you follow these notes.

 

Map of route for walk between Avebury, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow

Map of route for walk between Avebury, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow

Avebury walk

From the Red Lion we are walking in between the avenue of stones that run due south, parallel to the road running to West Kennet.

 

Red Lion pub

There are public toilets by the bus stop at the main road junction, just before you come to the landmark Red Lion Pub that is thatched.

 

Cross the road which junctions off west just south of the Red Lion towards Devizes and follow the road south going through the main south entrance of the henge.

 

Follow the historic avenue of stones

After a few metres through the entrance there is a gate which gives you access to the avenue of stones on your right. Follow the historic avenue of stones. The stones form your pathway and will probably be one of the main memories you will have of your visit to Avebury.


When the avenue of stones ends you are by the road with a style providing exit onto the road. Now follow the road, continuing south and facing the oncoming traffic, which is slight but includes large buses.

 

Soon on the other side of the road there is another style into a field. Parallel the road in the field towards a farm and about 100m before the end of the road, exit the field via another style onto the road.

 

The Ridgeway - ancient trading route

If you wish you can make a detour following the signposted footpaths up to the top of the hill on your left. The Ridgeway, an ancient trading route follows this crest. On the crest you will find a cluster of Neolithic burial mounds and the Sanctuary. The burial mounds here are relatively small and closed up.

 

The Sanctuary

West Kennet, on the main walk is much more interesting. By the A4 main road on the crest is the Sanctuary. This was a small henge, thought to be where the avenue of stones started and where the people going to Avebury would congregate. There is nothing but a barren field now with markers to show you the layout of this henge.


Avenue of Stones Avebury

Avenue of Stones Avebury

Going back to the main walk, at the T junction with the main A4 road, turn right along this major road. This is a busy road, so take care crossing the road.


About 100m along you will see a lane branching off south, with the unusual thatched wall pictured left on the corner. Walk down the lane past some large houses.


After a few hundred metres you cross over an old stone bridge fording a narrow stream. On the other side of the bridge take the clearly signed footpath right.

 

The Wishing Tree at Avebury

The Wishing Tree - Avebury

West Kennet Long Barrow

Silbury Hill starts to appear ahead. Well before you reach Silbury Hill, you will come across a well surfaced path going left up the hill to your left. At the top of the gradient is West Kennet Long Barrow, well worth the excursion.

 

The Wishing Tree at Avebury Stone Circle

On your return back down the hill, at the point where you rejoin the path you left to come up the hill is a tree. Hanging in the tree you may well see various items hanging.

 

This is a pagan place. The source of the River Kennet is just up ahead of you and the spring is a sacred pagan place. The items left in the tree are left by the pagans.


Turn left at the junction by the tree, continuing on the original path. After passing through a kissing gate the path turns sharp right and up to the main A4 road again.

 

Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill Avebury

Silbury Hill

Follow the main road left using the pavement provided over to Silbury Hill. On the other side of the hill there is a car-park and viewing platform.


Just behind the viewing platform, there is a clearly marked footpath sign indicating Avebury, 1 mile. You follow the clear path through fields, getting a different perspective of Silbury Hill.

 

National Trust Museum

When you come to a T junction of paths, turn left. Follow the path until it exits onto the Avebury to Devizes road, almost opposite the car/coach park for Avebury. 

 

Walk through the car park to the picnic area at the rear and follow the access path to the National Trust Museum and our starting point.


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