Wonderful walks to try during your Wiltshire holidayPosted on 11th February 2016
With beautiful rolling hills, luscious green fields and scenic rivers and streams, Wiltshire offers the perfect countryside escape for those who seek it. It offers the perfect mix of urban and rural life, with the cathedral city of Salisbury offering the chance to explore thousands of years of history in the county. If you have booked into a Wiltshire country cottage in search of an exploration, here are some of the best Wiltshire walks you can enjoy during your stay in the county.
The county capital, Salisbury is a city renowned for its stunning architecture and remains a popular choice with visitors thanks to its close proximity to the countryside. The good thing about walking in and around Salisbury is that there is something to offer all; whether it’s a short stroll for less than one mile or a 17-mile hike in the name of the Hindon Walk, you will be more than catered for. If it is the former you’re after, this gentle walk around Salisbury’s Cathedral Close is the perfect way to spend an easy afternoon. Also suitable for wheelchair users, one of the best sights on this splendid Wiltshire walk is the chance to admire the city’s cathedral up close – boasting the biggest spire in all of the United Kingdom. These are just some of the many walks to discover in and around the city, with a host of walking maps available to download from this website.
Image Credit: michaelday_bath (Flickr.com)
For an even greater challenge, this 14.3-mile walk from Salisbury to Amesbury is one of the many Wiltshire walks that allows for the discovery of one of the county’s most famous assets: the millennia-old stones of Stonehenge. Don’t be put off by the length; there are no real steep hills for you to tackle, meaning it’s a route you can easily complete in a day.
Kennet and Avon Canal
First constructed back in 1718, the Kennet and Avon Canal is Britain’s most southerly broad-beam canal and links the River Avon to the River Kennet and River Thames. Covering 107 miles, among the finest landmarks is the Dundas Aqueduct near Limpley Stoke, a structure completed in 1805 and one that you can walk alongside thanks to the canal that crosses the River Avon.
Among the finest Wiltshire walks that take in the canal at its best is the Great Bedwyn and Winton Windmill, a leisurely 5.5-mile walk which can easily be completed in just 1 ½ hours. As well as the chance to wander alongside the canal, the route also takes in Wilton Windmill, the oldest working windmill in the county, and Crofton Pumping Station, where you can admire the world’s oldest working beam engine.
Those looking for a real experience of the wilderness should head to the Wessex Ridgeway, a cross-country path that is popular with long distance walkers. It begins at Overton Hill before heading north-east to its finishing point at Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chiltern Hills. With the majority of the route covering the top of a ridge, the views over the chalk valleys and magnificent hillside forts are simply breathtaking. Once an important trading route in the region, the chance to walk the trail is sure not to be passed by history enthusiasts enjoying a holiday in Wiltshire.
Image Credit: Matthew Black (Flickr.com)
Right in the heart of Wiltshire, the beautiful National Trust village of Lacock offers some wonderful surroundings when exploring the area on foot. The walk takes you around houses dating back to the 13th century as well as the magnificent abbey and historic streets. An easy 2.5 miles and with a completion time of around an hour, Lacock is a great village for those looking to learn more about the diverse history of Wiltshire.
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Westbury White Horse
Westbury is home to a world-renowned White Horse figure that lies proudly on the hillside overlooking Wiltshire. Although you are no longer able to walk on the White Horse chalk figure itself, the views up on the hills surrounding it are not to be missed. Looking out onto the county and further afield, the moderate 3.75-mile walk starting from Bratton is a great vantage point to see the surrounding towns and villages of Cherhill, Marlborough and Alton Barnes.
Image Credit: Sarah Ward (flickr.com)
Shearwater Lake is situated in the heart of Longleat Estate, home to Lord Bath and Longleat Safari Park. This walk takes two and a half hours and leads you around the edge of the lake and through established open woodland, then onto open fields and green lanes providing a vast array of flora and fauna. This is a magnificent walk for those who have a little extra time on their hands when on holiday in Wiltshire.
Image Credit: Henry Lawford (flickr.com)