GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Wansdyke Path

12 miles (20 km)

Travel through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside on this lovely walk.
The path begins in Marlborough near the famous Marlborough White Horse before passing Savernake Forest, Knapp Hill and Tan Hill and finishing at Morgan's Hill. The walk passes through a mixture of chalk-land and attractive beech woodland at West Woods near Marlborough. There are also a few climbs which offer wonderful views of the surrounding Wiltshire countryside.
The route passes close to the Milk Hill summit which is the highest point of Wiltshire. You can take a small detour from the path to reach the summit. Here you can enjoy extensive views to theMendip Hills, theCotswoldsand in clear weather as far as theBlack MountainsinWales. In this area you will also pass the noteworthy Alton Barnes white horse hill figure and the Tan Hill Way which explores several of the hills on the North Wessex Downs range.

Wansdyke Path OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Wansdyke Path Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Wansdyke Path Pubs/Cafes

At the Alton Barnes White Horse head south from the hill to the canal at Honeystreet for some refreshments. Here you'll find the idyllic Barge Inn. This historic pub is located right next to the canal and includes an outdoor seating area wih glorious views across the canal to the Marlborough Downs and the Alton Barnes White Horse. It's the ideal place to relax in and watch the world go by on warm summer days. The pub also has an interesting history having originally been built in 1810 to service the newly built Kennet and Avon canal, it was the equivalent of a modern day motorway service station. It then burnt down in the 1850s only to be rebuilt in record time so it now stands as it did then.The pub can be found just to the west of Pewsey in Honeystreet, near Alton Barnes. Postcode for you sat navs is SN9 5PS.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

For more walking ideas in the area see the Wiltshire Walks, North Wessex Downs Walks page.

Photos

The Wansdyke Path (geograph 4589594)

The Wansdyke Path waymarker

The Wansdyke on Tan Hill. - geograph.org.uk - 187162

The Wansdyke on Tan Hill 1. Looking east along the Wansdyke towards Milk Hill, this section has the path following the higher rampart along the southern side of the deep ditch. The ditch here is some 30 feet deep and was intended to stop Saxon invasion from the north in the 6-7th Century.

The Wansdyke, Looking East to Milk Hill. - geograph.org.uk - 187168

The Wansdyke, Looking East to Milk Hill. This Ancient British earthwork crosses a grassy Downland landscape, remarkably bare of trees. This isolated tree is a good landmark. Sheep in the ditch find shelter from the wind.

The Wansdyke on Tan Hill. - geograph.org.uk - 185604

The Wansdyke on Tan Hill 2. This is taken looking along the bottom of the ditch with earthen ramparts very evident on both sides. Sheep enjoy the shelter from the wind within the confines of the ditch.

Wansdyke Ditch. - geograph.org.uk - 187150

Wansdyke Ditch. This section of the path comes to an abrupt end behind the camera lens where a barn and nettles are on the earthworks. The footpath follows the top of the grassy bank on the right of the ditch. The Wansdyke was an Ancient British creation, a bulwark against the Saxons.

The Wansdyke, North-west of Tan Hill. - geograph.org.uk - 185617

North-west of Tan Hill. This is a particularly impressive section. The earthwork is far more imposing than its Welsh counterpart, Offa's Dyke - the ditch reaches about 30 feet deep here in this long section.

A Gap in the Wansdyke, North of Milk Hill. - geograph.org.uk - 185565

A Gap in the Wansdyke, North of Milk Hill. This V-shaped notch is one of the few gaps in the earthwork in this area.Behind the earthworks is the ditch. In the middle distance, the dark green conical hill is Silbury Hill at Avebury.

Downland West of Tan Hill. - geograph.org.uk - 185610

Downland West of Tan Hill. The grassy terracettes on the steep downland slopes lead down to the flatfields in the Vale of Pewsey.

Elevation Profile

GPS Files

GPX File

Wansdyke Path.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Wansdyke Path.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)