Walk Description: Today we start at the Honeystreet Mill cafe and walk up to Alton Barnes and Alton Priors. The churches are of interest here with St Mary's in Alton Barnes being Saxon in origin and All Saints in Alton Priors is Norman. There is a sarsen stone path connecting the two churches.
We walk up towards Milk Hill (highest point in Wiltshire 295m) via Adams Grave which was a neolithic long barrow. We then walk round the ridge and approach the Alton Barnes White Horse commissioned by a local farmer Robert Pile in 1812. The story goes that the first person to take up the work absconded with the advance payment and then was apprehended and hanged! It's the second biggest of the Wiltshire White Horses. We can see two other white horses in the distance on this walk too.
We continue along the escarpment which is thought to have been created by glacial melts and reach the ancient Wansdyke. This is thought to have been a defensive boundary in Saxon times and site of several battles at this time. We descend from the Wansdyke and reach the Kennet and Avon canal built between 1794 and 1810 which joins to the Thames at Reading and then to Bristol Channel the other way.
Our lunch spot today Honeystreet Mill Cafe has lots of information about the history of the canal.
Walk Length: 6 miles.
Directions: Walk starts at the Honeystreet Mill Cafe - postcode SP9 If you get there early you can enjoy hot drink as cafe is open from early. Do share lifts if possible to ensure we don't fill the car park.