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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.

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Saturday, 7 November 2020

[cancelled] Saturday Walk - Cancelled due to nationwide lockdown (Pewsey Vale and Marlborough Downs: Pewsey Circular )

One of the best walks within an hour of London, surely?
 
Length: 26.8 km/16.7 mi [shorter options available, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 413m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10 
 
Take the 08.36  Exeter St. David’s train from Paddington (Reading 09.01), arrives Pewsey at 09.34. 
Return trains  are on 17.06, 19.23 and 20.45.  
Cheap Advance Tickets  are available at time of posting. With a Network Railcard, split the ticket at Newbury.
 
This is an 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. Part of the walk leads along the Wansdyke – an earth bank and deep ditch running east to west – which sporadically links Bristol to Marlborough. It was built by the beleaguered Romano-British Celts – after being deserted by the Romans in the 5th century – as a fortification to stem the Saxon advance. From there it is just a short walk to Wiltshire’s highest peak (Milk Hill) with its stunning steep serrated Down and then to the Alton Barnes White Horse – cut into the hillside in 1812. After a scenic descent into the Vale of Pewsey, an undemanding stretch along the Kennet & Avon Canal leads back to Pewsey with its tea options. 
 
Shortcuts reduce the rating of this walk to 6/10 or even 5/10.
 
Lunch/Tea: Honeystreet Mill Cafe and The Barge Inn, both in Honeystreet (19.6 km/12.2 mi into the full walk). 
More than a handful of tea options  just off-route in Wilcot and in Pewsey. For details see the walk directions pdf. 
 
For  walk directions, maps, height profiles, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.127

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