- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
Locality & Walks
This self guided walking holiday in southern England is a journey through Wiltshire’s prehistoric landscape. On route from Coate Water on the outskirts of Swindon to the medieval city of Salisbury you will visit the greatest of England’s prehistoric sites, Avebury and Stonehenge, as well as the hill forts of Barbury Castle and Old Sarum. Asides from Neolithic stone circles and Iron Age hill forts, you will pass ancient churches in picturesque villages, walk alongside rivers and waterways and have far reaching views from the rolling chalk downland.
Avebury henge and stone circles are some of the great marvels of prehistoric Britain. Built and altered during the Neolithic period, 2850 BC to 2200 BC, the henge is a huge circular bank and ditch, encircling an area that includes part of Avebury village itself. The Avebury monument is a part of a larger prehistoric landscape which you can see on your holiday including West Kennet Long Barrow, West Kennet Avenue, Silbury Hill and The Sanctuary.
During the week you can also see 2 of the nine white horse hill figures located in Wiltshire. The first is Hackpen Hill White Horse, supposedly cut into the chalk downland by a local parish clerk in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria and then Alton Barnes White Horse, dating from 1812 it is 51m high and 49m wide, the second largest of Wiltshire's famous chalk figures.
The prehistoric stones at Stonehenge are at the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Your route takes you onto the plains surrounding Stonehenge. You’ll pass a number of historic sites on route. Your final approach follows the Avenue (no longer on the ground) which was the track used between the River Avon and Stonehenge, two ceremonial sites. After visiting the stones,
Your walk ends in the historic city of Salisbury with its cathedral, a masterpiece of early English architecture, boasting the highest spire in the UK.
A moderate walking holiday with each day's walk averaging 20km and maximum daily ascent being 300m. The walk follows many different types of paths, tracks and small country lanes. Occasionaly the walking trail is steeper when ascending or descending the chalk escarpments, but in general the walking is gentle in nature.
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome in guest house close to Coate Water Country Park on the outskirts of Swindon in Wiltshire.
Day 2: Swindon - Avebury
Your first day's walk takes you through Coate Water Country Park through Chiseldon following an old railway line before heading up over Burderop Down to Barbury Castle. You then head south visiting the Hackpen Hill White Horse via the Ridgeway and then the Wessex Ridgeway to arrive at the monumental stone circle of Avebury. 24km, +250m
Day 3: Avebury - Bottlesford
The second day's walk takes in the associated prehistoric sites of the West Kennet Avenue, Silbury Hill and the West Kennett Long Barrow with an option to visit The Sanctuary before climbing the chalk downs to walk a part of the Wansdyke. You then follow a section of the White Horse Trail passed the Alton Barnes White Horse before descending to a stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal to your accommodation for the evening in a country pub. 18km, +250m
Day 4: Bottlesford - Amesbury
Today's walk takes you from the Vale of Pewsey to Salisbury Plain on the edge of the military training area. You then traverse down to the River Avon which you follow via a multitude of villages southwards to the town of Amesbury, in the midst of the Stonehenge landscape. 24km, +200m.
Day 5: Amesbury - Great Wishford via Stonehenge
Today you'll have the chance to visit a collection of prehistoric sites which are unrivalled in the UK. Visit the world famous Stonehenge with its enigmatic stones, as well as other sites such as Woodhenge close by and a plethora of other mounds and earthworks. After walking across open downland you'll pass through the pretty village of Stapleford with its thatch cottages to reach the Wylye Valley. 17-21km, +300m
Day 6: Great Wishford - Salisbury via Old Sarum
Your route takes from the Wylye Valley into the delightful Woodford Valley where you are back beside the River Avon, here there’s an option to explore further. You then traverse south to the Iron Age Hill fort of Old Sarum before returning to the River Avon to head into the medieval city of Salisbury. 19km, +250m
Day 7: Departure
Departure after breakfast. Or additional night in Salisbury for extra time to explore the City of Salisbury
For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holiday please take a look at the articles in our top-tips section.
Once you have booked on this independent walking holiday in southern England, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.
Accommodation & Meals
6 nights B&B in a variety of small quality guest houses with ensuite accommodation. Mixture of inns or pubs, bed & breakfasts and small hotels. They are located in delightful historic properties, mainly in villages, but some in beautiful locations in the countryside. Lunches are picnic meals, often provided by your guest house. Evening meals are taken in your guest house or in local pubs and restaurants. There will be plenty of local specialities to try and of course the local real ales. A couple examples of the types of guest house we use are shown below.
|Fairlawn House||Guest House||Fairlawn House is a fine Georgian Grade II listed town house offering a warm and friendly welcome and lovely food in the town of Amesbury||4 star rated enjoy England|
|The Seven Stars Inn||Inn||The Seven Stars Inn is a 17th Century thatched pub in the heart of the beautiful Pewsey Vale with original wooden beams and open fires.|
To Get to Swindon
Swindon is served by trains from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Cheltenham Spa via Gloucester, Swansea and the rest of South Wales.
The nearest airport is Bristol, however Swindon is better served by train or coach from London
Swindon can be reached by National Express coaches from London Victoria in 2 hrs.
Customer to get bus or taxi to start of walk from train or coach station.
Return from Salisbury
Salisbury served by main line station. Routes from London are via Waterloo station & take about 1hr 30min. National Express operate services to Salisbury from throughout the UK including London.
Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets
Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights or trains. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you.