Walk 3318 - printer friendly version
Hackpen Hill & Overton Down from Avebury Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 9.5 miles / 15.4 km
Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SU099696
Lat 51.425324 + Long -1.859001
Postcode SN8 1RF (approx. location only)
This walk combines some of the antiquities of Avebury with the wide ranging views from the nearby downs. The route starts in the village and takes you through the stone circle. This can be very busy with visitors so an early start is recommended if you want to this ancient monument in relative peace.
The walk can be reached by public transport using the regular bus service between Swindon and Marlborough. Alternatively there is a National Trust pay and display car park (grid ref. SU099696) on the southern side of the village. Leave the car park following the signs to the village passing a section of the stone circle on your right. This path leads you onto the main street. If you want to visit the church then turn left, otherwise turn right and walk towards the main A4361 road. Cross the main road and continue straight ahead with further parts of the stone circle to your right and left.
The lane passes Manor Farm (grid ref.SU110702) on your right where it becomes a track. Take the signed byway on the left. This leads across fields crossing a track leading left to Rutlands Farm. You pass Avebury Down Barn on the right with a small copse on the same side. Go straight across the tracks from East Farm and Middle Farm to reach Mill Lane (grid ref SU107726). Again continue straight ahead soon reaching the A4361.
Bear right along the main road for a short way and then take the track on your right that leads up to Berwick Bassett Down. The track doglegs around a barn (grid ref. SU113736) and then starts to climb onto the downs. With much of the climb completed turn left onto a signed bridleway (grid ref. SU120733), which is before you reach Berwick Bassett Clump. Crossing the flank of the downs, after about 600 metres the route turns sharp right (grid ref. SU122738) and leads you onto the Ridgeway.
Turn left on the Ridgeway and continue to Hackpen Hill with its White Horse. The view of the White Horse is limited but the panorama across the Wiltshire countryside is superb. This is a good spot for a break although it can be quite busy on nice days. To continue retrace your steps down the Ridgeway for about two and a half miles. This will bring you to a junction of tracks and paths on Overton Down (grid ref. SU125708). Turn right here and gently descend past Manor Farm and into Avebury.