Broad Hinton, the Ridgeway and Marlborough Downs

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Starting from the Barbury Inn on the A4361 at Broad Hinton, the walk takes you along the White Horse Trail straight up onto the Ridgeway as it skirts around Marlborough Downs.

The White Horse Trail is a 90-mile circular route that takes in Wiltshire's eight famous white horses carved into the chalk downland and links Avebury, the Ridgeway, Devizes, Marlborough and the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The White Horse ahead of you is known as the Hackpen, Broad Hinton or Winterbourne Bassett Horse and was cut in 1838, probably to commemorate Queen Victoria's coronation.

The Ridgeway offers great views to the south and west. You then follow the Wessex Ridgeway east through Fyfield Down National Nature Reserve, across horse gallops and walk back through a quiet valley where buzzards soar on the thermals.

Fyfield Down shows the remains of a prehistoric landscape formed by the forces of nature. The 25,000 sarsen stones on the reserve are resting in their natural setting, in contrast to the orderly rings and lines of sarsens placed by ancient people around nearby Avebury.

Many sarsen stones were used for housing from Roman times. The sarsen industry in the Marlborough area reached a peak by the mid-1800s and lasted until about 1930, when concrete became the building material of choice. Despite many of the stones being removed from Fyfield, the site still holds the largest naturally deposited collection of sarsens in the country.

Today, Fyfield and most of the area you walk through until you climb back up to the Ridgeway forms part of the 3,000-acre Manton Estate, owned by the Sangster family and famous for the very successful horseracing stables.

England - South England - Wiltshire - Ridgeway


Ancient Monument, Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland