Calstone Down tranquil walk

Walking trail

Discover a wonderful tranquil setting hidden in the coombes of Calstone Down. This is an awe-inspiring landscape which was shaped during the last ice age.

Be rewarded with great views and abundant wildlife

This is a great place for butterflies from May to September and orchids in June. The walk is dotted with many archaeological features, and the view from the top will take your breath away.

Calstone Downs

Map

Map route for Calstone Down tranquil walk

Start:

Bridleway to the west of Divine Café on A4 in Cherhill village, grid ref: SU022699

1

Follow the public bridleway until you get to a crossroads at the red barn. Follow the footpath to the left until you cross a stile, follow the rough track above the fence line to the right.

2

Through a gap in an old hedgerow, passing A2, into a strip of chalk grassland above some arable land. A good spot for some of the blue butterflies as well as green hairstreak. It also has a good juniper population.

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3

Over the stile and turn right, follow the fence line to find a gentler descent into the coombes of Calstone Down.

4

Cross the stile and follow a cattle track to the right up the slope in front of you, at the post follow the medieval strip lynchet around the slope until you reach a farm track, passing A5.

5

Ignore the gate at the bottom of the track, instead carry on around the slope into Ranscombe Bottom. The slope that you are walking across has some of the best chalk grassland on the downs; look for Adonis blue, wall brown and clustered bellflower. Keep the fence line to your right.

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6

Cross the stile into the heart of the coombes. The flora on the slopes is outstanding with orchids, round-headed rampion and tuberous thistle.

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7

Walk up the coombe, passing A7, this is the best spot for marsh fritillary seen in May and early June.

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8

Through the gate (A8) and pass the dew pond on your right which would have been used to collect water from the 19th century onwards. Follow the track uphill to join the Wessex Ridgeway, a drovers trail from Marlborough to Lyme Regis.

9

Through the gate and turn left towards Oldbury Iron Age hill fort. The ditch between the ramparts has its own micro-climate which is great for butterflies. Follow the track past the Lansdowne Monument.

10

Through the gate (A10) and follow the track back to your starting point. Look out for bastard toadflax and field fleawort along the way.

End:

Divine Café on A4 in Cherhill, grid ref: SU022699

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Calstone Down tranquil walk

Terrain

A circular walk with some steep slopes, gates and stiles. Walking on tracks and natural grassy terrain. The quality of the chalk downland is maintained by summer grazing with Aberdeen Angus cattle, sometimes with a docile bull.

Please keep dogs under control and be respectful of cows with calves by keeping your distance.

Calstone Down tranquil walk

Contact us

Calstone Down tranquil walk

How to get here

Address
Calstone and Cherhill Downs, Near Calne, 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 foot

Various footpaths run from the A4 onto the Downs.

By bus

Connect2Wiltshire, Calne to Marlborough, stops on A4 in Cherhill. All services stop near start of walk.

By bicycle

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

Calstone Down tranquil walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep under control as sheep and cattle graze the Downs