Sunday, 24 July 2011

From Avebury to Devizes

For a change  a "straight line" walk rather than a circular trek.Thank you to Nigel Vile and the Bath Chronicle for suggesting this one.

It meant getting up horribly early for a Sunday and driving to Devizes to leave the car tucked away in a safe corner of a long stay car park and taking the "trans-Wiltshire express" ( better known as the number 49 bus !) to Avebury with the intention of walking the 9 miles back.

Avebury was safely gained and rapidly left with barely a glance at the circles ( I know I know but I've been there many times). I couldn't resist just one shot though as we walked down towards the church and out into the countryside.

I was rewarded though by the sight of the  two Long Stones at Avebury Trusloe. The landowner very kindly allows access to the stones  across his field so we were able to go in amongst them.   These are truly massive stones, originally there would have been more but they have been removed.

Nice vistas of Silbury Hill

Eventually we reached the highlight and main objective of our walk  - Wansdyke ( Woden's Dyke). This is a Saxon linear defensive earthwork consisting of a long ditch and bank and now dated to around 500CE. The path runs along the top of the bank giving views across the downland and provides a wildlife corridor between the intensively farmed field on either side. A major highlight for me was seeing a hare up close which is very rare now. The hare once it spotted us "hared" off into a cornfield and for several hundred yards we could see his ears popping up above the ripe corn as he bounded away.

Time for lunch and time to leave the Wansdyke path for the village of Bishop's Cannings and lunch in the garden at the Crown.

 Getting close to Devizes now and the last 2 miles were along the Kennet and Avon canal which was busy with narrow boats. The white horse by the way is fairly new - a millennium project!
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