website title Steve Davison photographer and writer

Walking the Great Stones Way

The Great Stones Way, devised by the Friends of the Ridgeway, is a 36-mile route through the Wiltshire Downs from Barbury Castle (south of Swindon) to Old Sarum (north of Salisbury), linking with the the Ridgeway National Trail. With an extended start from Swindon and extended finish at Salisbury's magnificent medieval cathedral, and route variants via historic Avebury and Stonehenge, the guide covers up to 53 miles in six stages. The Great Stones Way strides across downs with far-reaching views and meanders beside the tranquil River Avon, taking in picture-perfect villages, churches and cosy pubs.

The route is accessible to most walkers and is perfect for an energetic long weekend or a leisurely week, with good transport links at either end and plenty of accommodation options nearby.

Publisher: Cicerone Press Ltd (now out of print)

ISBN: 9781852849115 (second edition)

Publication Date: July 2016

(first edition: 9781852846138; published July 2014)

This guidebook is now out of print; used copies may be available online.
Great Stones Way cover
Five thousand years ago, the rolling chalk landscape of Wiltshire between Swindon and Salisbury was, for more than a millennium, a scene of frenzied building work. Tracing a route through these now-peaceful downs and linking the greatest of England’s prehistoric sites - Avebury and Stonehenge - the Great Stones Way takes you on a journey through this prehistoric landscape, passing Neolithic henges and stone circles, Bronze Age barrows and Iron Age hill forts. But that’s not all, there are also ancient churches and the majestic medieval cathedral at Salisbury to visit along the way, as well as far-reaching views, tranquil riverside scenes, picturesque villages and cosy pubs to enjoy.

Take your time and enjoy the journey. Rest a while, listen to the sounds of the countryside around you, admire the views and imagine why our ancestors built these magnificent treasures.

This guidebook provides all the information needed to follow the Great Stones Way. Whether you do one continuous walk, or prefer to spread the pleasure over several visits, you are sure to enjoy your journey along this exciting and historic route.
Mystical Silbury Hill, AveburyWest Kennet Neolithic long barrow, AveburyKnap Hill from Adam's Grave, Vale of PewseyQueensbury Bridge, AmesburySt-James' Church, North NewntonSalisbury CathedralOld Sarum near SalisburyStonehenge
Introduction section - this briefly covers the history, geology and nature of the area as well as giving details on your planning walk, how to get to and from the Way and where to stay

Stage 1 - Coate Water to Barbury Castle - the official start
Stage 2 - Barbury Castle to Overton Hill including the optional loop visiting Avebury
Stage 3 - Overton Hill to Casterley Camp including three optional routes: the Wansdyke and Alton Barnes White Horse loop, the Marden Henge route and White Horse Trail route
Stage 4 - Casterley Camp to Netheravon
Stage 5 - Netheravon to Great Durnford including the optional loop visiting Stonehenge
Stage 6 - Great Durnford to Old Sarum including the optional finish in Salisbury

Appendices: Route summary table, useful contacts & further reading
Great Stones Way map