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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

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sunday Walk - Pewsey Vale and Marlborough Downs: Pewsey Circular

Length: 26.1 km (16.2 mi) [shortcuts possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  370 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours
Toughness:  7 out of 10 

Take the 09.57 Plymouth train from Paddington (10.32 Reading), arriving Pewsey at 11.03.
Return trains: 16.11 (77 mins), 18.13 (77 mins) or 22.00 (88 mins) 
Buy a Pewsey return (the full undiscounted off-peak price is £39.20, but it’s of course cheaper with Railcards, and in any case cheaper if you buy separate return tickets London-Reading and Reading-Pewsey). !! For example, if you are using a Network Railcard, you buy a discounted London-Reading return and a separate off-peak Reading-Pewsey return for a total cost of £29.30 !! The costs are lower for other railcards. 
Advance Tickets shave off a few quid for all of these combinations, but they tie you to a fixed return train, of course. Your choice…

Exhilarating excursion through the solitude of the Vale of Pewsey, which separates the chalk upland of the North Wessex Downs to the north from that of Salisbury Plain to the south, including an ascent up the southerly hill chain of the Marlborough Downs, from where there are stunning far views in all directions over this land of wave-like hills, with its scarps, ridges and valleys. It is a mysterious landscape, full of pre-historic earthworks and hillforts as well as barrows – burial mounds of kings and warriors. 
After a scenic descent back into the Vale of Pewsey, a tea option exists in the hamlet of Honeystreet. Finally, an undemanding stretch along the Kennet & Avon Canal leads back to Pewsey. 

Two Shortcuts on the downs are possible: they reduce the walk by 3.5 km (2.1 mi) or 3.4 km (2.1 mi) and the rating to 6/10; or to 5/10 when walking both Shortcuts (19.2 km/305m height gain). See route map and pdf for details. 

Note 1:  this is not  Pewsey Circular (via Avebury), there are no standing stones on this walk.
Note 2: there is no lunch pub en route, so prepare for picnic on the Downs, then tea in Honeystreet and/or Pewsey.

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here
The  en route café in Honeystreet is now shut due to being too successful (!!!), read here. 2 minutes away is The Barge Inn  (19.8 km/12.3 mi, food to 17.00), which used to market itself as ‘Crop Circle Central’ but seems to be a more serious enterprise these days. For the tea and dinner options en route to and in Pewsey check page 2 of the walk directions pdf. T=swc.127

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