One of Wiltshire’s most beautiful ancient walks is the West Kennet Long Barrow. There is something wonderful about golden fields set against blue skies dotted with stretched cotton-like clouds that makes me go a wee bit weak in the knees. The memorising views are peppered by grasses gleaming and waving in the wind. If you are like me, you will definitely be able to get your fill of fields of gold on the beautiful walk to West Kennet Long Barrow.
This Neolithic tomb was built circa 3650 BC. Between the period of 3000 and 2600 BC, West Kennet Long Barrow was used as a burial site for approximately 50 people. It truly astounds me to think of how many people must have traversed this breathtaking walk over the centuries (millenniums!).
And what a beautiful walk it is. It is quite a short walk from the road to the barrow, but do be aware, it is a gradual uphill climb. Once you arrive at the crest of the hill, you have the opportunity to explore inside the multi-caverned tomb or simply enjoy the stunning views from the top of the barrow.
Just a short walk away (or 2 minute drive) from West Kennet Long Barrow, is the prehistoric Silbury Hill, constructed over 4000 years ago. It is the largest neolithic man-made mound in Europe. And this is where one’s imagination can really soar, because no one really knows what this hill was used for! Celebrations? Ceremonies? As a beacon?
One thing we do know is that the Romans must have been drawn to it as they built a road and a small town around the base of the mound. And what did the Romans use the mound for? The mysteries continue…
It may very well have a connection to the nearby Avebury Stones or perhaps some ancient and altogether unknown link to other neolithic sites that abound in Wiltshire…Either way, Silbury Hill remains an enigma and I quite like it that way.
For your own wanderings and wonderings, have a wee read below!
West Kennet Long Barrow:
Parking is free and can be found on a layby off the A4. This layby fits roughly 8 cars and there is a smaller one for around 6 cars just a minute away.
Postcode for SAT NAV: SN8 1QH
Please be aware there are no barriers at the top of the barrow and there is a drop right above the entrance.
As for Silbury Hill…there is a small car park directly next to the hill. It is free for English Heritage members, but there is a fee for non-members, payable by phone.
Unfortunatley, people are no longer allowed to climb Silbury Hill.
Do be aware that if you are walking to Silbury Hill from the Long Barrow, it is quite a busy road, so consider parking at Silbury’s wee car park (fees).
Prices? Free to both sites.