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The Great Stones Way practicalities
As at May 2013 and (going the other way) May 2014


This is a very impressive 2 day walk that feels longer. Apart from the scenery, there are several neolithic sites by which to ponder our origins. It is not (yet) waymarked, but the paths are all good and a route is suggested below. There are undulations, but nothing too serious; walking over chalk plains can be quite fast.

Because the walk is not (yet) well-known, we found no choice of B&B at the end of day 1. The one at East Chisenbury, and its associated pub, are more expensive than usual but the rooms were more like a country house hotel, and the pub food was superb; the luxury of the evening was a special reward after a long day's walking.

1. Walking days
This can be done in a week-end, but travel to Avebury the previous evening is essential. We walked a long first day (15 miles), stayed at East Chisenbury, and walked 12 miles the second day, arriving at Stonehenge in mid-afternoon.

2. Getting there & away
Train from London (Paddington) to Swindon: 55 minutes. Bus station is near train station; number 49 bus to The Red Lion, Avebury: 25 minutes.
Stonehenge Tour bus to Salisbury (30 minutes), then train to London Waterloo: 1½ hours.

If you start at Stonehenge, the bus goes from the railway station but they won't sell you a single ticket, and charge £13 for a return; for two people, a taxi is a bit cheaper. An alternative is to take a regular bus to Amesbury and walk, but Stonehenge then requires a detour from your general northerly direction.

3. Leaflet, Maps
The most useful site is The Friends of the Ridgeway. It contains route suggestions, and a leaflet for the southern section. The site directly about the walk is The Great Stones Way. It has nice photos, but no practical information as the route seems to have got bogged down in bureaucracy. There are very few waymarks. However the paths exist, and are not hard to follow. Places on the maps that correspond to our route are listed below. Ordnance Survey maps 157 & 130 are both necessary. Surprisingly, we noticed a few errors in both, but nothing serious.

4. The Route
Previous night: B&B Avebury Life (double: £65)
Day 1: Avebury to East Chisenbury (15 miles)
(OS 157) Avebury - down river Kennet to Pan Bridge - side trip to West Kennet Long Barrow - East Kennet - Red Shore - Adam's Grave - Alton Barnes - Saw Mill - along Kennet & Avon canal, R to Church Farm - (OS 130) Woodborough - Pub (Seven Stars, closed for lunch Mon & Tue) - Cuttenham Farm - Charlton Clumps - Casterley Camp - L at sign saying 'Ridgeway' to West Chisenbury Farm - down to road, and R to find the proper footbridge to cross to East Chisenbury (we crossed on an improper one - see photos page). The path marked on the map is hard to find, it's right-ish where the main track swings left. If you are going the other way, keep counting the paths off Salisbury Plain, it's easy to overshoot (we did).
B&B Troutbeck Guest House (double £120) is part of the Red Lion Free House.
Day 2: East Chisenbury to Stonehenge (12 miles).
East Chisenbury - Fifield - Netheravon - Figheldean - Ablington Farm - Tank Crossing - across road and soon left - Durrington Walls - Long Barrow - The Avenue - Stonehenge
As of 2014, the Visitor Centre is now a mile west of Stonehenge, but if you walk to the north of it there is a path along the Cursus, swinging left to the road and round to the left of the Centre.