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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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Monday, 2 May 2016

Bank Holiday Monday Second Walk - Vale of Pewsey and Marlborough Downs. Far Views. No Bluebells

SWC Walk 127 – Pewsey Circular
Length: 26.1 km (16.2 mi) [shortcuts possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  444 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10 

Take the 10.57 Plymouth train from Paddington (11.33 Reading), arriving Pewsey at 12.02
Only just missed the 10.57? Take the 11.00 Bristol Temple Meads train to Reading (arr. 12.26) and change there…
Return trains: 17.12 (80 mins), 19.29 (82 mins) or 21.22 (90 mins)
Buy a Pewsey return (the full price is £37.20, but it's cheaper if you buy separate return tickets London-Reading and Reading-Pewsey)!! And as Pewsey is just outside the Network Southeast Area: if you are using a Network Railcard, buy a discounted London-Reading return and an off-peak Reading-Pewsey return, which saves you £10.30 vs the full price!! Split tickets can not be bought at the machines in the station, only online or at the ticket counter.

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, tea options exist in the hamlet of Honeystreet. Finally, an undemanding stretch along the Kennet & Avon Canal leads back to Pewsey.

Note 1: this is not SWC 255 Pewsey Circular (via Avebury), there are no standing stones on this walk.
Note 2: there is no lunch pub en route with this late start, so prepare for picnic on the Downs, then tea in Honeystreet and/or Pewsey.

Two Shortcuts 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).

For the walk directions click here. For a map, a height profile, gpx/kml files, and some photos click here.
The en route cafe is The Honeystreet Cafe (18.8 km/11.7 mi), 4 mins away is The Barge Inn (19.2 km/12.0 mi), it markets itself as ‘Crop Circle Central’ and attracts plenty of folk that are interested in all things otherworldly (plus some weary walkers). The pub has re-opened on April 21 after a Mgmt change and a subsequent lengthy refurb. 
For the tea and dinner options in Pewsey check page 2 of the walk directions pdf. 


Anonymous said...

Could not ONE of the bank holiday walks been under 13 miles, for those who want a more relaxing day out?

Thomas G said...

To quote the text of the posting: "Two Shortcuts 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)." How is that not below 13 miles? Puzzled...

Thomas G said...

AND with a very late start! How is that NOT a relaxing day out? Even more puzzled...

Marion said...

There are lots of people who want the security of walkng within a group and are not confident about tackling a short cut on their own. Last week one of the attendees for the Ullapool trip had just bought a compass but needed to be shown how to use it! This army range walk is a complete nightmare if you don't have a compass and map to back up the walk directions as there is no signage to guide you. And yes lots of people prefer shorter organised walks at a relaxed pace that they can tackle with friends or with physical stamina issues!

Anonymous said...

very brave of you to promote a walk with no bluebells and no lunch pub on a may bank holiday monday. could we not at least have some anemones to feed the soul. ta very much

Thomas G said...

Well... of course I can't guarantee that there won't be the odd blue-ish bell or wood-ish anemone, as there are some small stretches of woodland en route, but they certainly aren't the main draw of this outing.
'tis a walk for the - often very vocal - army of long sleepers/extended breakfasters (this late train only runs on Sundays/Bank Holidays, and I don't have slots on Sundays), for the picnicers, the far viewers and the walkers. Just a good walk, in stunning, remote countryside, with plenty of refreshment options late on. That's all there is to it. But no less than that.

Anonymous said...

N=9 w= selection of all four seasons including high winds and torrential rain on the ridge. A cracking day despite some afore-mentioned awful weather. loads of bluebells. Strenuous but not lethal hilly bits and some nice views. All washed down with pre-walk alcohol, picnic lunch, good cake, beer and picnic on train home