Barbury Castle Country Park - Ogbourne St George - Barbury

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Barbury Castle is an Iron Age hill-fort consisting of double ramparts, a ditch and two entrances, which offers commanding views over the Marlborough Downs and Swindon. Covering eleven acres, it is at the head of the valley of the River Og, which provided one of the main approaches into Wessex from the north. The Battle of Beranburgh took place here in 556 as the Saxons from the Upper Thames Valley pushed south into Wiltshire, conquering the Romano-British.

The unimproved chalk grassland provides one of the most diverse floral habitats in the country, which in turn attracts countless insects, including moths and butterflies.

From the country park, the walk follows the Ridgeway along the top of Smeathe's Ridge, which can be seen gently curving round in front of you. After descending from the ridge, the pretty village of Ogbourne St George is reached, with several thatched cottages, a medieval church and a pub. This is a great place to stop, before returning along good tracks close to the base of Smeathe's Ridge.

England - South England - Wiltshire - Marlborough


Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Toilets
5/24/2014 - Ian Mapp

My third Circular walk on the Ridgeway and all of them have come from this site! I adapted this slightly to take in more of the Ridgeway, avoiding Osbourne St George and the Railway Line. Saw the Oil Tanker with closed on it at Gypsy Lane but didn't read the signs. Still perfect walking country and there are a lot of geocaches along it that are being found regularly - so foot traffic is still using it! Maybe its only closed to vehicles? Although I was overtaken by three off-road bikes. My photos, on a very wet day, at

2/17/2013 - Charles Miller

Shortly after passing Way Point 14, along Gypsy Lane, the path was blocked by a an old oil tank and marked CLOSED. However it was simple enough to walk around the tank and there was plenty of evidence that many others, on foot, on horse and on bikes had done so. However, you should be aware that the footpath is officially closed to all traffic. Close by the tank there was a Wiltshire Highways & Byways Notice declaring the path closed for a 6 month period as of 26 Jan 13. All users were advised to divert via Chiseldon. There is also a similar notice just North of the Car Park at the other end of the path at GR 158761.

9/27/2011 - Sue Loder

Just a word to say congratulations to the person/persons who wrote the directions for this really super walk. Excellent detail and all correct including the update re no. 16. Highly recommended for views, variety, wildlife and, if you do it in late Sept many wild apple trees along part of walk with delicious free apples! Sue, Bristol.

3/17/2011 - Ken Jones

16 Grid ref:SU164767Lat:51.4894389087Long:-1.765116928 Continue along the track, passing the car park to a shooting club. Then leave the track, bearing to the right across the grass, where you will find the path in the photo, which is parallel to the track you were previously following, but cuts across the field. Follow the path to a road and then turn right. We could not find the path marks as farmer has reploughed and cropped the field! We simply followed the road for the shooting club back to the road where the path across the field would have come out, this was much easier. Once on the road turn right and walk downhill to next waypoint 17 then back on track.