The Great Stones Way proposal is to create a 38-mile walking route between the present end of The Ridgeway National Trail at Overton Hill near Avebury in Wiltshire, and the ancient Iron Age hill-fort of Old Sarum near Salisbury. The route will re-create the ancient Ridgeway route linking the World Heritage Sites of Avebury and Stonehenge. From Old Sarum, routes are available for walkers across Cranford Chase to join the Wessex Ridgeway at Win Green on the Dorset border.
- Offer enjoyment for all types of walkers, from strollers to serious, long-distance trampers, with a mixture of high-level walking on the Downs and Salisbury Plain, peaceful countryside through the Vale of Pewsey and the picturesque villages of the Avon Valley;
- Be an atmospheric and educational journey through the Stone Age landscape along the ancient Ridgeway, that links the iconic stone circles of Avebury and Stonehenge, and historic Old Sarum; with easy access also to many other pre-historic sites and monuments, such as Silbury Hill, The Sanctuary, The Wansdyke, Adam’s Grave, Casterley Camp, Durrington Walls and Woodhenge;
- Provide access for all to the unspoiled countryside, wonderful views and rich and varied ecology of the Downs, the Vale, the Plain and the Avon Valley, and inspire respect and appreciation for its conservation;
- Enjoy good public transport connections along the route with easy access for walkers from the railways at Swindon in the north, via Barbury Castle and The Ridgeway, and Salisbury in the south;
- Appeal to visitors from the UK and from overseas seeking to visit the best of the heritage attractions of Wessex and Wiltshire;
- Bring the economic benefits of sustainable tourism to all the communities along the route;
- Not adversely impact the natural, heritage, cultural or social environment along the route, or any of the residents. Respect the Countryside Code!
Photographs copyright Chris Cole.
Signpost at West Kennett, Walking on the Wansdyke