Walking

Walking trail

Avebury archaeology walk

Walking trail

Starting at the heart of the Avebury World Heritage Site, this walk takes you through the remains of the largest stone circle in the world and along the West Kennet Avenue into beautiful, rolling chalk downland.

Discover the heart of a prehistoric landscape

You'll catch glimpses of mysterious Silbury Hill, pass Bronze Age burial mounds, and walk along ancient roads with fabulous views.

Standing Stones at Avebury

Map

Map route for Avebury archaeology walk

Start:

Avebury National Trust car park, grid ref: SU099696

1

From the car park follow the signs to the henge. Turn right into the High Street, enter the henge via the first gate on your right and follow the curve of the huge sarsen stones and the ditch. Cross the road and head along the fence line past the bank and trees. Go through the gate and cross the minor road into the West Kennet Avenue.

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2

This part of the Avenue was excavated by Alexander Keiller in the 1930s. He re-erected the stones, putting markers where he found holes that once held stones that had been broken up and taken away for building.

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3

At the end of the reconstructed part of the Avenue, cross the road and follow the footpath straight ahead. Look out for the sole remaining stone of Falkners Circle in the hedgerow on your left. Continue on this footpath until you reach a crossroads.

4

Follow the waymarker pointing right and uphill along the track. As you gain height, looking across the valley, you'll be able to see the top of Silbury Hill. Ahead you'll see the hedgehogs. Stay on this track, until it meets the well defined track that is the Ridgeway. The Ridgeway was set out in the 18th century when the downland was split up into fields. The use of this route along the high ground extends much further into the past.

5

Turn right for a short detour to explore Overton Hill barrow cemetery. The chalk burial mounds from around 4,200 years ago are called barrows, and some of the best preserved are on Overton Hill. 19th-century landowners planted trees on top of some of them - you can see why they are known locally as hedgehogs. See if you can spot the grassy remains of a Roman road running across the field. Retrace your footsteps along the Ridgeway.

6

Continue along the Ridgeway until you meet the junction with Green Street. Turn left along here, heading downhill. Green Street was once the main road from Marlborough to Bath. It's also known as the Herepath, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning army road.

7

Passing through the banks of the henge, go through the gate on your right into the north-east sector of the henge. Cross the road at the gateway behind the giant Cove stones to explore the north-west part of the henge.

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8

The steps down from the henge bring you into the farmyard. Turn left for the footpath to return to the car park, or turn right to explore the museum and shop, or why not take a well deserved break in the restaurant.

End:

Avebury National Trust car park, grid ref: SU099696

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Avebury archaeology walk

Terrain

Footpaths and tracks which can be slippery and very muddy. Take care crossing roads. Only part of the circle at Avebury is accessible for wheelchairs. Route is open all year round, although parts of the henge may occasionally be closed to enable erosion repair (an alternative route will be signposted).

Dogs on leads are welcome.

Avebury archaeology walk

Contact us

Avebury archaeology walk

How to get here

Address
Near Marlborough, Wiltshire
By road

6 miles (9.6km) west of Marlborough, 1 mile (1.6km) north of the Bath road (A4) on A4361 and B4003. Pay & Display car park (free for National Trust members).

By bus

Stagecoach in Swindon 49, Swindon to Trowbridge (passes close to Swindon train station).

By bicycle

National Cycle Network routes 4 and 45 meet in Avebury.

Avebury archaeology walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • Pay & display parking, 500yd (455m) from stone circle (off A4361)
  • Enjoy local, seasonal food at the Circle Café