Walbury Hill and Combe Gibbet

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If you don't know Walbury Hill, on the North Wessex Downs near the Berkshire - Hampshire border, the highest point in South East England, this two-hour walk should be a very pleasant introduction! The views are wonderful, worth the short but quite steep climb. Walkingworld offers several longer and more challenging walks in the area, so plan to come back!

The walk starts outside Combe Manor, beside the delightful Grade 1-listed Saxon church of St Swithun, well worth a visit. You follow a lane through the quiet hamlet of Combe and then the beauty of the chalk ridge of the North Wessex Downs opens up ahead. A bridleway takes you up a short but steep climb onto the ridge. It is the start point for both the Test Way and the Wayfarer's Way.

Along the ridge you will find Combe Gibbet. The original structure was erected in 1676 and the one you see is a replica; see Additional Info'.

Walbury Hill is the highest point in the South East, just three metres higher than Leith Hill in Surrey. Straddling its summit is the Iron Age hill-fort of Walbury. The bridleway cuts across the middle and there's not much to be seem of the fort itself. The summit is marked by a trig point 100 metres south of the bridleway. Walbury Hill is sometimes used by the BBC as a temporary relay station during major sporting events, so you may see one or two olive-green BBC vehicles on the downs.

The Test Way and the Wayfarer's Way both head south-east from these hills across Hampshire to the coast. It was a book about Pub Walks along the Wayfarer's Way that first introduced your contributor to this area about 15 years ago!

England - South England - Berkshire - North Wessex Downs

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells