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Cherhill downland walk


A walk to the top of Cherhill Down will reward you with wonderful views for miles around.

Once there you can explore Oldbury Castle hill fort which, during the summer, is covered in wildflowers. In the spring and summer the Downs are alive with the sounds of skylarks and meadow pipits.

Cherhill Down
View towards Cherhill Down White Horse National Trust Images / David Noton


Map route for Cherhill downland walk
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


A4 lay-by, edge of Cherhill, grid ref: SU046695


From the lay-by on the edge of Cherhill, follow the path up to the Lansdowne Monument. Flower-rich unimproved chalk grassland has declined dramatically (by a staggering 80 per cent) in Britain during the last 50 years due to the growth of agriculture. It's a rich wildlife habitat in Britain, half of which is within Wiltshire. Cherhill Down is home to rare plants and insects, such as burnt-tip orchid, bastard toadflax, Adonis blue butterfly and juniper shield bug.


Walk through the kissing gate, looking for the white horse across the valley. Continue to the Lansdowne Monument.

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Once at the Lansdowne Monument you can see the neighbouring villages of Cherhill, Calstone Wellington and Calne. Fields stretch north into the distance and to the south there are views of rolling grassland.


From the monument you can choose to take the shorter route, or continue on the longer route (go to point 5). For the shorter route, walk along the edge of Oldbury Castle towards the white horse. Keep to the left of the plantation and follow the path down to a gate. Go through the gate. Follow the track to the A4, cross over the road and walk downhill to the starting point.

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For the longer route, walk from the monument through Oldbury Castle hill fort.

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Turn left and follow the bridleway downhill through three gates until you reach the A4.


Cross the road and turn left to join the path downhill back to the start.


A4 lay-by, edge of Cherhill, grid ref: SU046695

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Cherhill downland walk


Approximately 3 miles (4.8km) for longer route, or 2 miles (3.2km) for shorter route. The National Trust land at Cherhill and Calstone is open access, so you can explore the whole area.

Well-used paths and tracks cover steep slopes, with uneven surfaces which become muddy after wet weather.

Please note: a footpath runs alongside the A4; walkers should judge whether it is safe to walk this part of the route.

Dogs welcome under control.

Cherhill downland walk

Contact us

Cherhill downland walk

How to get here

Cherhill Down, Wiltshire
By road

Between Calne and Avebury, south of A4. Park in one of the lay-bys on A4 in Cherhill or to east of village.

By bus

Wigglybus 43 and X43 or Bodmans X76, Calne to Marlborough. All services stop near start of walk.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network route 403 runs through Cherhill to the north.

Cherhill downland walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep under close control