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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, 3 September 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Wiltshire downland

SWC Walk 249 - Tisbury Circular via Dinton and Fovant
Length: 23.8km (14.8 miles), with possible shortcuts of 3.3km (2 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10

9.20 (Exeter-bound) train from Waterloo (9.27 Clapham Junction) to Tisbury, arriving at 11.06.

Buy a day return to Tisbury using the South West Trains £16 offer (most be bought in advance, at the latest the night before, either online or at SWT-run ticket offices)

For walk directions click here.

Photos of the walk are here.

It would be a shame to let the SWT £16 offer pass without doing one of the Tisbury walks, and this one had a good reception when it was done in November by a group of SWC walkers. If it pleased then, hopefully it will be even more delightful in early September.

I have not done the walk myself so will quote from the walk notes: "[The walk] explores the Nadder Valley east of Tisbury, part of the West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is spectacular walking country with some breathtaking views. Without scaling any ridges or steep ascents, the route meanders through the beautiful undulating and peaceful countryside with a few grassy U-shaped valleys, pretty views out to some distant coombes, and scenic Dinton Park with its grand mansion (Philipps House).

"A couple of picturesque former corn mills on the Nadder River are walked past, while the afternoon route also offers views from a wood fringe across a valley to the Fovant Badges, regimental badges cut into the chalk, and the largest group of hill side figures in Europe, before leading through a couple of quiet villages followed by a gentle descent across fields back into Tisbury, a remarkably unspoilt village."

For most the main walk will be enough, but for the heroic there is an extension to the main walk which adds 5.1km (3.2 miles) and 154m of ascent and descent, and leads through the Fovant Badges up to the ridge of Fovant Down and Chiselbury Iron Age hillfort.

Lunch seems to be 11.4km (7.1 miles) into the walk at the Wyndham Arms: it serves food till 3pm on Saturdays, according to the walk document. Several tea options are described, with the very pleasant South Western pub by Tisbury station as a backstop.

Trains back from Tisbury are at 17.01, 18.01, 18.27, 19.03, 20.01 and 21.01 direct, and at 22.03 changing at Basingstoke. Up to 18.27 journey time is 1hr 50: afterwards 2 hours.


Anonymous said...

Hello! What's the ascent of the normal route without the extension/shortcuts? Thanks!

Walker said...

452 metres. (This information is in the walk directions....)

Anonymous said...

Sorry... thanks!

Anonymous said...

If you look on the walk page for any of the walks and scroll down a bit you'll see a diagram showing the ascent/descent.

Marion said...

This walk was requested by a Mid-week walker and not taken up. Could we please have this sometime soon for those of us who cannot walk at the weekend?

Bill S said...

N=12 , W=generally-wet. In fact it started spitting with rain within a few minutes of our setting out from Tisbury station and then drizzled and mizzled for the rest of the morning. After mid day things started to improve and it looked at one point as though the sun might manage to break through the clouds, but around 2.30 the rain returned and seemed determined to make up for it's poor showing in the morning by favouring us with a steady downfall for the rest of our walking day. On the plus side, the waterproof that I bought two years back passed it's first real test with flying colours, the shirt that I had on underneath staying perfectly dry. Everything else I was wearing got drenched, and two days on my boots are still wet.

I don't know whether it was the weather affecting my ability to follow the walk instructions, or some failing in the instructions themselves, but there were a number of places where we went astray. The final time this occurred we gave up trying to figure were we were and how we had gone wrong and found our own way.

We more of less managed to stick together as group until we reached the lunchtime stop at Dinton, where four of our number retired to the churchyard for sandwiches leaving six of us - and subsequently two laggards - to head for the Whyndham Arms. Partly as a result of our unplanned detours the first of us we didn't arrive until 2.00, just as the chef was about to leave. To the their credit, he or she agreed to stay on to ensure that we, and the two stragglers, were fed. Not wishing to impose, we all opted for sandwiches, though the term doesn't do credit for the what we were eventually served with.

The sandwich eaters joined us at 2.30, but as we hadn't been served by then, and the rain had started to come down in earnest, they decided to press on. Six of us finally left the pub at 3.00 - leaving the two others to their apple crumble - and, given the time, decided to take the short cut. Mistake. After 20 minutes or so we had gone astray again. Rather than backtrack, we decided to follow the River Nadder as it meandered it's way towards Tisbury before crossing a field to join a road that luckily took us, after the best part of an hour, directly into Tisbury in time (for those who were returning) for the 18.01 train back to London.

How the sandwich eaters fared, or the couple we left in the pub, I have no idea. They may still be bogged down in the wilds of Wiltshire ...