Skip to content
Lockeridge Dene, Wiltshire
Lockeridge Dene, Wiltshire | © National Trust

Lockeridge Dene walking trail

Strike out on an adventurous circular walk through Lockeridge Dene that takes in beech woodland and a valley filled with intriguing sarsen boulders. You'll follow the Wansdyke medieval earthwork for part of the trail and have the chance to look out over the surrounding downland and spot birds such as buzzards and nuthatches.

See bluebells in springtime

West Woods is famous locally for the carpets of bluebells stretching in every direction amongst the 800 acres of beech trees in late April and May.

Total steps: 16

Total steps: 16

Start point

West Woods forestry commission car park, (off Ryles Lane/Hillside Lockeridge). Nearest postcode SN8 4ED. Grid ref: SU 15238 67257

Step 1

The car park is located at the end of an unnamed no-through road at the junction where Ryles Lane becomes Hillside. From the car park turn back the way you drove in and, just after the entrance, turn left onto an adjoining hardcore track signposted as a bridleway. Just before you reach the house in front of you, right on the bend you will see a gate with a stile next to it. Climb over the stile and cross the orchard diagonally to the right, climbing over another stile next to the stone wall and into a field. Please keep dogs on a lead as sheep graze this field. Keeping the fence on your left, make your way down the hill and over the stile at the bottom.

Step 2

Walk through this small wooded area, keeping the fence and outbuildings on your left. The path can get quite narrow and overgrown in places. You will eventually emerge on the driveway of a private house. Continue down the drive and out onto the road where you will turn left towards Lockeridge village. Please take care when walking down this road as there are no pavements.

Step 3

When you reach the play area on your right cut through it diagonally to the left and cross the minor road to reach the entrance gate to Lockeridge Dene. Lockeridge Dene contains what is known as a sarsen stream – a valley filled with sarsen stone boulders – which provides the perfect habitat for rare lichens and mosses. Take a moment to read the interpretation panel at the entrance, then follow the well-trodden path along the valley and up the slope behind the house in the middle of the site. As you reach the top of the slope you will find yourself in the middle of a large well-used badger sett. If you're lucky you might spot some trails of old bedding (dried grass) or even badger fur caught up on the fences. Turn left and pass through the gate into the other half of the Dene.

Step 4

Carry straight on following the path along the slope, which has fantastic views of the sarsen boulders in the valley below. You will eventually drop down onto the valley floor – turn left immediately, as if you're going back on yourself, and follow the well-trodden paths along the valley back towards the house. Just before the house, bear right towards the road and a gate with a stile. Climb over the stile, carefully cross the road and turn left, walking back along the road for around 100 yards (91 metres).

Step 5

Just beyond the 'Lockeridge Please Drive Carefully' sign, turn right onto a bridleway signposted 'Huish' and follow the narrow path up the hill. When you reach a large metal gate, pass through it, keeping to the left of the field to continue up the hill. Pass through another gate with a bridleway sign and continue straight on.

Step 6

When you reach a major junction with a hardcore track, turn right onto this track which is signposted as a bridleway. Keep following the hardcore track until a crossroads where the hardcore ends and it becomes a trackway. Continue over the crossroads and follow the trackway until it begins to bear round to the right.

Step 7

At this point cut through a gap in the vegetation on your left to join the main byway which runs along the southern perimeter of the woods and turn left onto it. Follow this path through beech and bluebell woodland, listening to the calls of the pheasants and bird song or smelling the scent of wild garlic in the air.

Step 8

At the crossroads where the byway, the Wansdyke and a bridleway all join, continue straight on (it's signposted 'Byway Open to All Traffic' and 'White Horse Trail'). Continue straight on round the bend – the Wansdyke should now be on your left with fields to the right.

Step 9

At the next junction turn left to pass through a row of wooden bollards, then turn immediately right onto a path signposted 'Public bridleway' and 'Wansdyke Path'. Continue on this path with the Wansdyke on your left.

Step 10

When you get to a waymark post at a T-junction turn left, still following the Wansdyke Path. Around 10 yards (9 metres) further on, turn right and continue along the Wansdyke Path with the Wansdyke now on your right. Continue on past the junction with the Easy Access Trail, following the bridleway sign. Just past the second bench on your right, the Wansdyke veers off at 90 degrees to the right – carry straight on at this point.

Step 11

When you reach a T-junction you leave the Wansdyke Path and turn left. Carry on down the hill, following the bridleway signs, until you reach a tarmac road.

Step 12

Turn right onto the road and 50 yards (46 metres) further along you will see a picnic area – the perfect place to stop for lunch or a snack. Continue on along the tarmac road, past the picnic area on your left until you come to a bridleway sign.

Step 13

Turn left here and pass through the pedestrian gate into a grassy field. Cross the field diagonally to the left and continue uphill until you spot a gate in the top left-hand corner.

Step 14

Go through the gate and bear right at the first bridleway sign. Continue following the bridleway signs through this part of the wood and you should eventually start to descend down a steep and slippery hill. Continue following the bridleway signs down the hill until you reach the bottom.

Step 15

At the bottom, turn left onto a track, ignoring the bridleway sign ahead of you. Continue along this track, straight across at a crossroads, until you reach a hardcore road.

Step 16

Turn right onto the hardcore road and follow it up the hill, passing through a kissing gate at the top and into the car par where you began the walk.

End point

West Woods forestry commission car park, (off Ryles Lane/Hillside Lockeridge). Nearest postcode SN8 4ED. Grid ref: SU 15238 67257

Trail map

Map for Lockeridge Dene walking trail
Map for Lockeridge Dene walking trail | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

This sarsen field provides a home to rare lichens and sheltered habitats for birds, flowers and insects.

Piggledene trail 

This varied and interesting walk takes in part of the iconic Ridgeway National Trail, fields strewn with sarsen boulders, ancient barrows, monuments and quaint villages.

DistanceMiles: 7 (km: 11.2)

Get in touch

Lockeridge Lane, Lockeridge, Near Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4EQ

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Visitors walking along the henge bank at Avebury, Wiltshire

Walking in Wiltshire 

From walking in the footsteps of King Alfred to exploring the county's mysterious ancient monuments, these are some of the best walks in Wiltshire.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

Visitors walking through the sheltered valley at Lockeridge Dene and Piggledene, near Marlborough, Wiltshire

History and wildlife at Lockeridge Dene and Piggledene 

Explore the ancient sarsen stones at Lockeridge Dene and Piggledene, and the wildlife that relies on them. Look out for the rare White Park cows helping our conservation work.