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Great Stones Way

74 km / 46 miles

The Great Stones Way is a recent walking route (2014) originated by the Friends of the Ridgeway.

The guidebook to the Great Stones Way long-distance route covers the route from Barbury Castle (just south of Swindon) to Old Sarum (just north of Salisbury) through the North Wessex Downs AONB, with extensions to start in Swindon and finish in Salisbury and visit the Avebury Ring, Stonehenge and other prehistoric sites. The core 36-mile route described here in six short stages, suitable for a challenging long weekend or a leisurely week, takes walkers on a journey through our prehistoric past heading south from Barbury Castle to Old Sarum, meandering through a diverse landscape from the open chalk downs with far-reaching views across the Vale of Pewsey and Salisbury Plain to tranquil scenes alongside the River Avon. On the way the route visits picturesque villages with historic churches, chocolate-box thatched cottages and cosy pubs. Optional detours clock up an extra 14 miles and take in visits to the renowned prehistoric remains around Avebury and Stonehenge with a final finish at Salisbury's beautiful medieval cathedral.

The route shown here includes the start from Coate Water County Park near Swindon to the official start at Barbury Castle (7.5 miles) and the end extension from Old Sarum to Salisbury Catherdral (2.2 miles) making a total distance of some 46 miles.

The 'Alternative' routes visiting Avebury, Alton Barnes White Horse, Marden Henge, White Horse Trail and Stonehenge are also shown as path variations to the main route.

A separate route stripmap, listed below under Other Maps entitled the Avebury-Stonehenge Walk, is a 26-mile walkers route devised and illustrated by cartographer Nick Hill between these two sites. It is not always the same route in this section as the Great Stones Way or its options/variants, but they overlap. This stripmap includes route-finding tips, mile/km markers along the route, walking conditions underfoot, pub details and points of interest, that also include The Sanctuary, Adam's Grave and Woodhenge.

Stonehenge and Avebury became a World Heritage Site (WHS) in 1986 for their outstanding prehistoric monuments which date from 3700 to 1600 BC. At Stonehenge, the unique lintelled stone circle is surrounded by a landscape containing more than 350 burial mounds and major prehistoric monuments such as the Stonehenge Avenue, the Cursus, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls.


Path Type
Other Paths
Stone plinth over two uprights with path name.
Average Gradients; Downland/Wolds; World Heritage Site; Heritage
SU177827 - Coate Water County Park, Swindon, Wiltshire
View on StreetMap
SU142295 - Salisbury Catherdral, Salisbury, Wiltshire
View on StreetMap
User Group
Friends of Ridgeway
c/o Anthony Burdall, 2 Fernham Road, FARINGDON, Oxfordshire, SN7 7JY
01367 240713

Publications, Badges and Certificates:



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National Trails (England & Wales)
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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger
OS Landranger Active
OS Explorer
OS Explorer Active
Other Paper Maps:
Avebury to Stonehenge - Walk Map (Nick Hill - 2015)
ZigZag 25 Stripmap
Great Stones Way (Yellow Publications - Jan 2016)

Walking Support Providers:

Support Providers
Guided Walking Holidays (Footpath Holidays)
Support Providers
Walking, Hiking and Cycling Holidays (Let's Go Walking! Ltd)
Support Providers
Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Contours Walking Holidays)

Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

From Path
Along Path
Hostel Accommodation
4 Km
56 Km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 Km
73 Km

Additional Images:

Connected Paths:


GPX Route File
Great Stones Way GPX Exchange Format Route File
Last Updated 22/07/2016 17:08:56 - Minor adjustments to route near Chiseldon
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(Members Only)
MemoryMap Route File
Great Stones Way Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 22/07/2016 17:08:56 - Minor adjustments to route near Chiseldon
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(Members Only)
Tracklogs Route File
Great Stones Way Tracklogs Route File
Last Updated 22/07/2016 17:08:59 - Minor adjustments to route near Chiseldon
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(Members Only)

Route Profile:

73.7 Km (45.8 miles)
989 m (3,245 ft) ascent
270 m (886 ft)  maximum height