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North Wessex Downs Walk
Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill

Region - North Wessex Downs

County/Area - Wiltshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km    Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SU118680
Lat 51.410901 // Long -1.831727
Postcode SN8 4EY (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill Photo from the walk - Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill Photo from the walk - Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill Photo from the walk - Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill Photo from the walk - Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill Photo from the walk - Avebury & Overton Down from Overton Hill
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An energetic walk across the North Wessex Downs is combined with a visit to the ancient monuments in the small Wiltshire village of Avebury. The start for this walk is the free parking area at Overton Hill (grid ref. SU118680) on the north side of A4 west of Marlborough.

From the parking area walk uphill north along the Ridgeway. This ancient byway starts at Overton Hill and continues for some 87 miles to Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chilterns. After half a mile take the signed track on the left (grid ref. SU 118687). This descends gently to Manor Farm. Turn left on this lane and continue into Avebury where amongst other things you can explore the wonderful stone circle which is seen by experts as more important than Stonehenge.

After exploring the village return along the lane to manor farm (grid ref. SU110702). 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). Turn right here onto a signed bridleway and walk towards the Downs. You reach a t-junction (grid ref. SU115726) where you go left. The track then bear right and leads onto the main ridge of the downs and the Ridgeway (grid ref. SU124730).

Turn right along the Ridgeway. The views to the right are excellent. Reaching a junction of tracks and paths on Overton Down (grid ref. SU125708) it is worth reading the information board here which details some interesting facts about Overton Down and its use as a source of Sarsen Stones. Continue ahead walking gently downhill. You will see a number of sites on your right where burial mounds have been covered in trees. Known locally as 'hedgehogs', these are a prominent feature of the landscape hereabouts. You will soon be back at the start.

If you have time it is worth crossing the road and taking a look at the Sanctuary. There is an information board that explains the site.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2812 Avebury, West Kennett and Silbury Hill - easy/mod - 7.0 miles/11.4 km

Walk 3417 Silbury Hill and West Kennett Long Barrow from Avebury - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 3318 Hackpen Hill & Overton Down from Avebury - easy/mod - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 2339 Milk Hill the highest point in Wiltshire - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 1807 The Southern Escarpment of the Marlborough Downs - easy/mod - 6.5 miles/10.6 km

Walk 1733 Wessex Downs & Kennet & Avon Canal from Pewsey - easy/mod - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 3295 Pewsey Hill and Fyfield Down - easy/mod - 9.0 miles/14.6 km

Walk 1928 Pewsey Downs from Wootton Rivers - easy/mod - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 2699 Lacock - a village stroll - easy - 1.0 miles/1.6 km

Walk 3720 Ham, Inkpen Hill & Lower Green Circular - easy/mod - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

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