The Petersfield Ramblers Annual Outing 29 June 2022
Avebury via Devizes
Our original plan was to provide a 10 mile walk from Devizes to Avebury and for lesser mortals to proceed from Devizes to Avebury by Coach; also, whilst at Devizes, to visit the famous flight of Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Alas, the best laid plans…!
Time dictated that the 10 milers had to depart directly from the Canal Basin at Devizes in order to reach Avebury before home time; from the Canal Basin they headed north to Roundway Hill then, passing The White Horse figure, continued north to join the Wessex Ridgeway, then on over the North Wilts Golf Course successfully avoiding the players. On the top of the hill above the Course there were lovely views northwards towards Calne and south back to Devizes. On, via the Roman Road, to the junction with The Ridgeway, climbing steadily.
To the left was the Cherhill monument, a National Trust property built as a tribute to Sir William Petty, a local surveyor and surgeon! Continuing downhill to the old Bath Road crossing some Horse Gallops and then to the west of Avebury Trusloe where the Long Stones mark the end of the old avenue of stones long since removed, then through the churchyard and into the Avebury Ring in time for tea and sympathy.
The rest of the party left the Canal Basin in Devizes to see the Caen Hill locks – a flight of 16 locks form the “ladder”; these are preceded by 7 other locks and succeeded by a further 6! raising the canal some 237 feet in a mile or so. This feat of engineering was opened in 1810 and is simply stupendous. We spent far more time here than intended, but it was worth it.
The Coach eventually left for the 20-minute drive to Avebury around 12.30.
Avebury is the site of one of the pre-historic wonders of the world ; the Sarsen stone circles are the largest in the world ; the Henges which surround them are magnificent , dating back 4600 years ; the surrounding country side , magnificent in itself , contains barrows and smaller stone circles some 6000 years old and there are walks to most of these sites ; Silbury Hill , about half a mile from Avebury , is the largest Prehistoric , man – made structure in Europe. There was, clearly, too much to see in the time available but this did not spoil the enjoyment.
On the way home a meal at the Harvester in Amesbury completed an enjoyable day.
Authors: Alan & Neville
Photographs: Various members, thanks to all