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This sarsen field provides a home to rare lichens and sheltered habitats for birds, flowers and insects.
This sarsen field provides a home to rare lichens and sheltered habitats for birds, flowers and insects. | © National Trust / Paul Wakefield

Piggledene trail

This is a long but rewarding walk along tracks, byways and country lanes. Along the way you'll take in part of the iconic Ridgeway National Trail, fields strewn with sarsen boulders, ancient barrows, monuments and quiet villages.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

The Ridgeway car park, Overton Hill, off A4. Grid ref: SU 11876 68114.

Step 1

From the car park, go through the gap next to the gate onto the Ridgeway. Walk along the Ridgeway for about 1.5 miles.

Step 2

When you reach a crossroads with a black fingerpost sign, turn right through a metal pedestrian gate into Fyfield Down National Nature Reserve. Please keep dogs on leads as sheep graze throughout the reserve and there are ground nesting birds in the spring and summer. Follow the well-trodden path across the field.

Step 3

Before reaching the gate onto the gallops, turn right through a large metal gate and head towards a clump of three trees to the right. Keeping the trees on your left, head towards the Overton Down Experimental Earthwork. Head for the highest point on the downs, keeping the earthworks on your left. There are lots of nettles in this area, with no visible footpath to follow as the downs are open access.

Step 4

At the highest point look for the large grey barn ahead with a small thatched cottage to the left and head straight for them, using the sheep tracks as a guide.

Step 5

When you reach the fence line in front of the buildings, turn left and continue along it until you find a small metal pedestrian gate. Go through it onto the trackway towards the cottage. At the fork, take the left-hand track and continue until it joins with the main hardcore track, turning left and continuing until you reach a gate next to some farm buildings.

Step 6

Go through the gate, keeping the farm buildings on your right. At the next fork keep left, following the track towards more barns, surrounded by a high stone wall. Pass through a gate, and head towards the barns. At the fork, keep left, continuing round behind the barns. Continue behind the barns and through a gate on the left into Piggledene.

Step 7

Making your way between the sarsen boulders, follow the valley round to the right. Drop down a slight ridge into a lower part of the valley and continue round the curve until you see the A4 ahead of you with a gate and stile in the right-hand corner of the field.

Step 8

Climb over the stile and cross the A4. Be careful as this is a very fast and busy road. Turn left up the hill for 220yd, turning right at the signpost for Lockeridge and Lower Fyfield. Head over the River Kennet and cross the road to continue on the pavement. In Lockeridge village you'll find the 'Who'd a Thought It' pub, a good place to stop for refreshments.

Step 9

Just past the pub and before the school, turn right down a narrow (signposted) public footpath, carry straight on alongside the back of a house and out onto a trackway. Continue straight on, the track then bears round to the left and out onto a road. Turn right onto the road and head towards West Overton village.

Step 10

Just over the crest of the hill, past the West Overton village sign, take the right-hand fork and continue down the hill. Turn left through the churchyard, with the church on your right, out the other side to join a tarmac road. At the bottom of this road, turn left through the village (although it looks like it continues straight).

Step 11

At the T-junction turn right, and once past two houses on your left, turn left down a narrow (signposted) public footpath. The sign is partially obscured. Cross through a yard and down a track to the road. Cross the road and the footpath continues straight on. Keep right through a small playing field, then turn right onto a gravel path beside a house, emerging onto the road. Turn left towards East Kennet village.

Step 12

At a T-junction with a large stone wall in front of you turn right, continuing straight on over the River Kennet, then follow the track as it carries on up the hill. The A4 and Ridgeway car park should come into view ahead of you. Cross the A4 carefully to return to the car park.

End point

The Ridgeway car park, Overton Hill, off A4. Grid ref: SU 11876 68114.

Trail map

Piggledene trail map
Piggledene trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

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

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