Secrets of the Stonehenge Landscape

Walking trail

Archaeologist's highlight "Building the 1.7 mile long banks and ditches of the Stonehenge Cursus would be no mean feat today. But to do it using nothing but stone tools and antler picks speaks volumes for the powerful beliefs and sheer determination of our ancient ancestors."

Along the way

The famous stone circle is just one part of the enormous ceremonial landscape on Salisbury Plain, development of which started more than 5000 years ago. The National Trust manages 827 hectares of downland and hundreds of ancient monuments to keep this place special for everyone. The landscape contains the densest concentration of round barrows in Britain, some of which you will visit on the walk. A National Trust programme has returned ploughed fields back to chalk grassland and the cattle and sheep grazing helps to ensure a wonderful wild flower display in spring and summer. Please note: Only assistance dogs are allowed on this walk. See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehenge-landscape for more information.

Secrets of Stonehenge landscape

Map

Secrets of the Stonehenge Landscape

Start:

500m east of Stonehenge visitor centre

1

Approximately 500m east of the visitor centre is a pedestrian gate on the north side of the road at grid reference SU 1060 4285, go through this and head to the gap in the trees towards a gate on the west end of the Cursus.

2

At the west end of the Cursus go through the pedestrian gate and take some time to read the information panel and enjoy the views. Then head along the woodland fence line to your right until you reach a pedestrian gate.

3

Enter Fargo Woodland through the gate and head along the wood chip path. Look out for a large Bronze Age burial mound on your right known as the Monarch of the Plain. As this barrow comes into view take the path leading to the left.

4

Take the left turning and follow the path until it comes to a lovely open area within the woodland surrounding another Bronze Age barrow, this offers great views across the Stonehenge landscape.

5

Make your way around the barrow and rejoin the wood chip path heading right. You have now reached the Fargo Woodland information point. This is a good place to get your bearings, admire the view and take in some of the features of the landscape.

6

Exit via either of the gates and head for the group of barrows in front of you. Keep to the left of the barrow group and look for a pedestrian gate on the fence line to your left. Once at the barrows go through the pedestrian gate to explore the barrows and read the information panel.

7

Leave through the pedestrian gate opposite the one you came through and head south in the direction of Stonehenge. If you have a ticket from the visitor centre then head to the stone circle.

8

When you are ready head south along the byway and look for a kissing gate on your right. Enter into the field through the gate and walk in a westerly direction parallel with the fence and away from the stone circle.

9

This field is a great place to spot hares. It is one of the many areas that we have taken out of the plough and restored to chalk grassland to protect the archaeology and benefit wildlife.

10

Once in Fargo Woodland turn left and head along the wood chip path with the fence line on your left. You will eventually see the Monarch of the Plain burial mound again. Keep to the left of the mound and head straight on until you reach a pedestrian gate. Go through the gate and head back towards the gate at Step 1.

End:

500m east of Stonehenge visitor centre

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Secrets of the Stonehenge Landscape

Terrain

This walk follows hard tracks and gently sloping downs, as well as open access land along rights of way, with pedestrian gates. Surfaces can be uneven, with potholes or long tussocky grass. Dogs are welcome on a lead and under control as sheep and cattle graze the fields and there are ground nesting birds present.

Secrets of the Stonehenge Landscape

Contact us

Call 01672 539920 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehengelandscape.

If you would like this information in alternative formats, please call us on 01672 539920 or email stonehenge@nationaltrust.org.uk

Secrets of the Stonehenge Landscape

How to get here

Address
500m east of the Stonehenge visitor centre. Grid Reference SU 10523 42797
By road

To reach the Stonehenge Visitor Centre Car Park (not National Trust), driving west along the A303, exit towards Devizes at Long Barrow roundabout. At Airman's Corner take the third exit and the Stonehenge car park is on your right.

Parking: A parking charge will apply at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre (not National Trust). National Trust members free with a National Trust car sticker on display.

SatNav: The postcode for Stonehenge Visitor Centre Car Park is SP3 4DX.

By foot

Stonehenge Down is a 2 mile (3.2kn) walk from Amesbury. There are several routes along byways and bridleways, either across Countess Farm or Coneybury Hill. Larkhill is 1 mile (1.6km) away across bridleways. Durrington Walls is ¾ mile (1.2kn) from Durrington and 1½ miles (2.4kn) from Amesbury, along small roads and bridleways. From Amesbury you can use an underpass to get under the A303 roundabout, then use the pavements along the A345 (Countess Raod). Next to Woodhenge the old A345 still exists, running parallel to the current road, where you can safely walk along the grass verge near the top end of the roundabout.

By bus

Salisbury train station to Stonehenge Visitor Centre. To reach the landscape from Amesbury take the Activ8 or the X5 buses, check www.connectingwiltshire.co.uk/plan.a.journey/tourism/travelling-to-stonehenge for more details.

By bicycle

Cycling is a great way to get to the Stonehenge Landscape with some wonderful views along the way. Just keep to the byways and bridleways. Route 45 runs from Salisbury up the Woodford Valley to Amesbury, east of National Trust land at Stonehenge. It then travels north to Marlborough and Swindon.

Secrets of the Stonehenge Landscape

Facilities and access

  • Explore the ancient ceremonial landscape and wildlife surrounding Stonehenge.
  • Landscape guided walks, family events and workshops take place throughout the year. Please contact us before you visit.
  • Groups welcome - please contact us before you visit.
  • Assistance dogs only. The National Trust has recently created dog free zones in all fields that are grazed by sheep in the Stonehenge landscape where there is permissive access.
  • Further details and map of where dogs are allowed can be found elsewhere on this website.
  • Stone circle, visitor shuttle and visitor centre exhibition free to National Trust members if a pre-booked ticket holder. Please bring your membership card with you to the ticket kiosk (please note this does not apply to National Trust staff cards).
  • A visitor shuttle service from the English Heritage Visitor Centre includes an optional stop at Fargo Woodland (National Trust), which is a great place to explore and enjoy a picnic - under a mile to Stonehenge.
  • English Heritage Pay and Display car park at Stonehenge visitor centre is free to Trust members if a pre-booked ticket holder.
  • Please note that if you have not booked ahead you may not be guaranteed a parking space (particularly on weekends and during peak season). Limited parking at Woodhenge car park (free).
  • Café at Stonehenge visitor centre (English Heritage).
  • Toilets located at the Stonehenge visitor centre (English Heritage).
  • Stone circle audio guide available for ticket holders.