Discover Windmill Hill
Archaeologist's highlight "This hill was a gathering place for centuries. Its peace and serenity today belie the buss of activity you would have witnessed if you'd been here 5,500 years ago. Archaeologists have unearthed polished stone axes from as far away as the Lake District and pottery from Cornwall showing the breadth of the connections that were forged here."
Along the way
You will find the area around Windmill Hill is rich in wild flowers, particularly in Springtime, supporting a wide variety of insect life and the predators that eat them. Look out for spectacular birds of prey, including Red Kites, with their distinctive red colouring and forked tail. These were once rare in England but, thanks to a lengthy protection programme Red Kites can be seen riding the thermals on a warm day and hunting for carrion or small mammals.
Old Farmyard, Avebury
Start outside the Museum: Barn in Avebury's Old Farmyard, walk past the Dovecote on your left, towards the Museum Stables. Turn left and go through the entrance ahead into the churchyard. Go through the gate on your right just before you reach a white-washed cottage. Follow this path for about 250 yards, passing a pumping station on your left. Cross a small bridge over a stream and then another bridge over the Winterbourne river and bear right at the fork.
Shortly after the fork in the path, there is a stile on your right. Cross over into the field and carry on to the stiled footbridge to your right that takes you back across the Winterbourne. Head northwards, keeping close to the right hand fence line and you will see a stile. Go over and straight ahead to the next boundary where there is a double stile. Go straight ahead to the hedge line in the distance for around 400 yards, then cross a triple stile and walk across a large field for another 500 yards, keeping the hedge line on your left.
When you reach a metal field gate turn left up a grassy track and begin your ascent of Windmill Hill. Continue up the long slope for around 1 mile, through a metal pedestrian gate and a wildflower meadow until you reach a pedestrian gate with a National Trust sign.
Feel free to explore Windmill Hill and enjoy the stunning views. From this site you can see the Ridgeway on the horizon to the east; Avebury Henge to the south-east; Silbury Hill to the south; Milk Hill (the highest point in Wiltshire) on the horizon to the south-west; and Cherhill Down with the Lansdowne Monument to the west.
Make your way to the gate in the south-west corner of the site. Turn left after the gate and start walking south down the byway,
After about 900 yards, just before the byway crosses the Winterbourne, there is a footpath signposted left. Take this turning and enter a field through the metal field gate. If you look to your right as you cross this field you will see the last remaining stone of the Beckhampton Avenue and the stone next to it that once belonged to the Beckhampton Cove. Head towards the metal pedestrian gate about 200 yards away on the right hand side of the field. Go through the gate and follow the hedge-lined footpath into Avebury Trusloe.
When you reach the lane, turn sharp left and walk through the old part of the village. You will come again to the bridge you crossed earlier on your walk. From here, you can make your way back to the Old Farmyard, where the Stables Gallery of the Alexander Keiller Museum has more information on Windmill Hill, together with Neolithic finds from the site.
Old Farmyard, Avebury
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