Click onl picture above for full size picture of Avebury Stone Circle
AVEBURY to WEST KENNETT
General:- A circular 5.7 mile, mainly flat, walk through typical Wiltshire downland. Avebury has World Heritage status; there are more Neolithic stone age sites per mile on this route than anywhere else in the world. At the end of the walk you enter the Avebury stone circle via the Avenue of Stones, a processional way used by the original builders of the circle. The paths you walk are over 5,000 years old, that's older than the pyramids! The circle its self is much larger and older than Stonehenge but sadly nobody is sure why it was built. Its this air of mystery that attracts the visitors, legend says the stones have power and are warm to the touch; so if you touch a stone ask yourself why you did it!
The route passes Silbury Hill (sadly you cannot go up it) the largest manmade hill in Europe. Nobody knows why it was built; the archaeological digs have been both disastrous and very expensive failures, ruining reputations in the process.
West Kennett Long Barrow is a 5,500 year old burial mound. You can go inside it and in my view its loaded with atmosphere. The last third of the walk runs along the ancient Ridgeway runs path; now a national long distance trail. It takes you past The Sanctuary and various burial mounds, whilst not as spectacular as Avebury they add to the flavour.
The Red Lion pub is in Avebury, at the end of the walk; There is no mystery why this was built!
How to get there:-From Swindon take the A4361 through Broad Hinton and Winterbourne Monkton to a right hand junction junction with the B4003 soon after the Red Lion pub SU 1023 6982. Turn right and follow signs to Avebury car park on the right @ SU 0996 6958.
From A4 Calne to Marlborough road. Turn off A4 at Beckhampton roundabout @ SU 0871 6890. Take the A4361 towards Wroughton. Soon after Avebury Trusloe at SU 0996 6958 turn left into the Avebury car park.