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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Saturday Second Walk - Across Salisbury Plain to Stonehenge

SWC Walk 67 - Salisbury to Amesbury via Stonehenge
Length: 25km (15.6 miles) but with several options to shorten: see ** below
Toughness: 7 out of 10, more for its length than anything else: only gentle inclines

9.20 train from Waterloo (9.27 Clapham Junction) to Salisbury, arriving 10.42

Buy a day return to Salisbury using the SWT £20 summer promotion (see instructions on ticket machines at Waterloo: select "South West Trains Only" also available online: may not be available from your local station unless it is SWT: if not day return with a Network card is £25 or so)

Walk directions are here.

This is a long walk, and lacking in shade on a hot day, but it is worth it for the final flourish when you come over the hill and see Stonehenge in the distance across Salisbury Plain. Also for the visit to Old Sarum, the Celtic hill fort and medieval site of Salisbury early in the walk. Plus in between there is some very nice countryside too and a pleasant pub for lunch….

** Three ways to shorten the walk:

- The best idea is probably to take a bus to Old Sarum right at the start - the walk document gives details. This cuts out 4.3km/2.7 miles, bringing the total walk down to 20.7km/12.9 miles.

- Cutting out the first lunch pub in Lower Woodford and aiming for the second one in Upper Woodford (but phone to check it is open and has room) trims another 2.2km/1.2 miles, but note that last orders at the Upper Woodford pub are at 2.30pm while the Lower Woodford one serves food all afternoon.

- At the end of the walk you can do a more direct route to Amesbury, getting just a distant glimpse of Stonehenge, saving 2.7km/1.7 miles.

- Doing all three of the above would reduce the walk to 15.8km/10 miles (so no muttering about how we always post long walks these days!!)

Note that new arrangements at Stonehenge itself mean it is awkward to visit the site from this walk. You now have to walk or take a shuttle bus some way to a visitor's centre to get in. There is a very expensive bus (£14 for a day ticket) from the visitor's centre back to Salisbury. But actually visiting the site does not add much to the experience: seeing them across open plains is much more exciting.

Buses back from Amesbury to Salisbury are the 8 and X5: they go at 00, 10, 30 and 40 past the hour until 19.00, then 19.05, 19.35, 20.33. It is a 20-25 minute journey and a 10 minute walk from the bus stop in Salisbury to the station.

Trains back from Salisbury are at 21 and 47 past until 18.47, then 19.26, 20.26, 21.26, 22.27 (a five minute change at Basingstoke for this last train, arr Waterloo 00.03)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI - Value Taxis in Salisbury. They will take you to Old Sarum for about £10. [Tel:01722 50 50 50]. They have a Mini bus! Alternatively, you can buy a Plusbus on your Summer ProMo ticket for £2.70.

tartanrug said...

FYI the kitchen at the Black Horse Inn shuts at 1.45pm. The Bridge Inn is most definately NOT a gastro pub. LM.

PeteB said...

15 on this walk, Warm and sunny. Group split up doing various options and detours. My first go at the short cut to Amesbury not a great success. See comments section for walk.