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The Plain & Avon Walk, including part of The Great Stones Way
Casterley Camp to Stonehenge, with a shorter option from Netheravon.
14 miles of magnificent historic landscape, the shorter option is 8 miles, with fantastic views, pretty villages with welcoming pubs and good walking surfaces on public footpaths and military tracks.
The full length Plain & Avon Walk starts at the Iron Age hill fort at Casterley Camp on Salisbury Plain, winds through the beautiful Avon valley, and passes the Neolithic Durrington Walls and Woodhenge monuments to arrive at the Old King Barrows and The Avenue, just east of Stonehenge. The 8-mile route starts at All Saints Church, Netheravon.
Click here for a pdf of the walk pack which contains much more detail about the Plain and Avon walk plus an introduction by our Chairman Ian Ritchie.
On 26 March we were delighted to see 40 walkers inaugurate The Plain & Avon Walk. Several members of Friends of The Ridgeway, were joined by visitors from as far afield as Wednesbury in the West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Berkshire and Southampton, as well as walkers from Calne and Bath, and Devizes MP Claire Perry.
See the report below of a good day walking in sunshine for most of the time. Thank you to everyone who came on the walk, and who helped with the organisation.
The Friends of The Ridgeway organised the launch of The Plain & Avon Walk route to raise funds for The Great Stones Way project. The Friends of The Ridgeway has already received grants from the Tidworth Community Area Board and Plain Action LEADER fund, and many donations from members of the Friends of The Ridgeway.
Enjoy a weekend in Wiltshire – we recommend
The Manor B&B at Upavon, a 17th century thatched house, 01980 635115, www.themanorupavon.co.uk and
You can donate to The Great Stones Way project at our Friends of The Ridgeway page on Charity Giving website.
Click here to visit www.walkingworld.com
Click here to visit www.walkingpages.co.uk
Report of the inaugural Plain and Avon Walk, 26th March 2011
Saturday 26 March was a particularly good day weather-wise for the inaugural walk along the southern part of the Great Stones Way. The start point at Casterley Camp on Salisbury Plain was gloriously dry, bright and wind-free, unusual for this exposed part of the plain. Most walkers started from here, sent off with a walk-pack and map to cover the 14 miles to Stonehenge. More walkers joined 6 miles further on for the shorter walk from Netheravon. About 40 walkers took part in all, some of whom came from as far away as the Midlands and Bath. A notable walker was Claire Perry MP, our local MP for Devizes, accompanied by her yellow labrador. She is a keen walker and supporter of our aims.
The route was temporarily signposted along its length and no one had any difficulty finding their way. The landscape is very varied, from open downland to the Avon Valley, through the valley and then back over to the plain again. Some walkers took advantage of the pubs en route, The Swan at Enford and the Dog & Gun at Netheravon.
Netheravon was the first major resting point. A full size café bus awaited walkers in the car park at Netheravon church, providing high quality coffee and snacks and plenty of seating inside and out. Most took advantage of a drink and a sit-down. The next resting stop was at Figheldean Community Rooms in Ablington, where quantities of delicious cakes and pastries were on offer, provided by Figheldean Parish Council. This was the last stop before Stonehenge and most people stopped for a while.
The final stretch across the River Avon back onto Salisbury Plain was a return to open country after the intimacy of the Avon Valley. The walk across to Larkhill and through Durrington Walls seemed to go on for ages, and it was not until turning a corner at the Old King Barrows that Stonehenge finally came into view in the distance. Taxis were laid on to ferry walkers back to their cars, and most made it before the rain came down. A few of us found the café bus still open at Netheravon, and took advantage of another excellent coffee before the drive home.
PRESS RELEASE, 31 March 2011
New Wiltshire trail attracts walkers from across England
Walkers from the West Midlands, Southampton, Berkshire and Northamptonshire joined local people to stride out on Wiltshire’s new walking trail, The Plain & Avon Walk, on 26 March.This new trail, part of which will become The Great Stones Way between The Ridgeway at Overton and Stonehenge, was launched with 40 walkers.
Most of them set out from Casterley Camp near Upavon for the 14-mile route to Stonehenge, while others chose the 8-mile route from Netheravon.
“We were delighted to see so many people walking through Wiltshire’s finest landscape on Salisbury Plain and down the Avon Valley for the first time,” said Ian Ritchie, chairman of The Friends of The Ridgeway who organised the walk.
As well as walkers from far afield, there were families from Bath, regular long distance walkers from Reading and two women from Calne training for the Moon Walk in London.
Devizes MP Claire Perry joined the walk at Netheravon. She is pictured (above) with fellow walkers in front of the Café Guate coffee bus parked outside All Saints Church.
“People have told us how much they enjoyed walking this trail, finding interesting villages and seeing parts of the Wiltshire countryside for the first time,” said Ian.
“They visited local pubs and enjoyed a magnificent tea at the Ablington Community Rooms in laid on by the Figheldean Parish Council, one of several local groups and councils that is looking forward to the development of The Great Stones Way as one of England’s premier walking routes.”
The Plain & Avon Walk route is posted on The Friends of The Ridgeway website www.ridgewayfriends.org.uk for keen walkers to use during the summer. It uses public footpaths and bridleways, military roads and tank tracks open to the public.
The Friends of The Ridgeway has received grants from the Tidworth Community Area Board and Plain Action LEADER fund to support the development of The Plain & Avon Walk.
PRESS RELEASE, 2 March 2011
The Plain & Avon Walk including part of The Great Stones
The Plain & Avon Walk, a 14-mile route from Casterley Camp to Stonehenge, will be walked for the first time on Saturday 26 March.
The Plain & Avon Walk route starts at the Iron Age hill fort of Casterley Camp high on Salisbury Plain, goes down the picturesque Avon Valley, and takes in the pre- historic sites of Durrington Walls and Woodhenge before it reaches Old King and New King Barrows at Stonehenge.
Ian Ritchie, Chairman of The Friends of The Ridgeway says: “This is a magnificent route with fantastic views across the Plain, and beautiful riverside paths beside the Avon before it goes up to the historic downland around Stonehenge.
“Our original plan was to open The Great Stones Way on 26 March,” says Ian, “but the project is delayed while we address concerns raised by some local people and organisations about the precise line of the route in the northern section.
“We have the support of communities along the Avon Valley through whose villages we pass on 26 March, and the agreement of the Ministry of Defence to use their tracks around the Plain.”
The Plain & Avon Walk on Saturday 26 March starts from Casterley Camp at 10am, or for a shorter 8-mile route, from All Saints church, Netheravon between 12noon and 2pm. The route uses public footpaths and bridleways, military roads and tank tracks open to the public.
“As well as encouraging more people to enjoy this immensely historic and beautiful landscape we’re raising funds for The Great Stones Way project,” says Ian. Registration fee for The Plain & Avon Walk is £10 per person, payable on the day.
The Friends of The Ridgeway has received grants from the Tidworth Community Area Board and Plain Action LEADER fund.