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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, 4 February 2017

Saturday Walk - West Wiltshire Downs: Tisbury Circular (via Alvediston) [Short]

Short version of this favourite of mine

Length: 20.9 km (13.0 mi) [longer option available, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 530 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10
Full Walk (walk fast & eat very quickly, or take an earlier train): 26.0 km (16.2 mi), 10/10

09.20 Exeter St. Davids & Bristol Temple Meads train from Waterloo (Clapham J. 09.28, Woking 09.49), arrives Tisbury 11.06 
[You have to be in the front part of the train, as it splits at Salisbury, and in Tisbury you have to be in the front three cars of that front part of the train due to a short platform]
Returns are at xx.01 (basically), last train 22.03 [a trolley service is usually on board]

The walk heads south from the Vale of Wardour through the southerly parts of the West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is spectacular walking country with some breathtaking views. The long version of this walk reaches the hilltop boundary with the Cranborne Chase AONB (with views all the way to the coast, around Bournemouth and Poole). You’ll find picturesque villages and atmospheric pubs in the beautiful undulating countryside, as well as a wooded Iron Age hill fort site and plenty of dry chalky U-shaped downland valleys.
The middle part of the walk especially leads through or around the rim of several very pretty coombes.
The walk starts ascending pretty much straight from the platform and features a few short and sharp ascents as well as three more prominent ascents, spread out through the day, followed by a gentle descent across fields back into Tisbury, a remarkably unspoilt village.

Lunch: The Horseshoe Inn in Ebbesbourne Wake (11.1 km/6.9 mi, table booked for 13.15).
For summary, map, height profile, walk directions, photos  and gpx/kml files click here. 

Note: due to the closure of the recommended lunch pub on the main walk, the full walk needs to be reversed for future use
my aim is to record notes for a clock-wise re-write, i.e.: I'll do this walk in reverse, map-led, and meet the group at the lunch pub (happy to have company, of course).T=swc.250.a

1 comment:

Karen said...

n=11 w=sunny_a_little_cloud_in_afternoon

11 walkers: 2 on train an hour earlier to walk the full walk following new clockwise directions. 8 off the posted train, with 1 checking the new clockwise directions on the shorter route. 1 regular SWCer joined from visiting friends in the area and arriving before the posted train, set out on the shorter route.

Us two off the early train had a picnic up on Sutton Down with views down to the Fovant Badges and the spectacle of a local drag-hunt to entertain us. Stopped for refreshments at The Horseshoe Inn, hoping to bump into the group walking the shorter route. Thomas, checking his new clockwise directions, arrived not long after us and ordered lunch. We had to continue on before the group arrived, as we had more ground to cover. Word reached us later in the day that the pub landlord got a bit antsy when the group did not show up on time and not all at once. Last food orders time was a strict 1:45 and one walker had to make do with a scotch egg. Those who were lucky enough to get food, reported it as being fine.

Both in the morning and the afternoon, plenty of fine views. Having done this walk a couple of times as per the original directions, it was interesting to walk it in reverse and enjoy the views from a different perspective. Quite a few muddy field crossings slowed everyone down a bit, but the sunshine almost all day helped keep spirits high. A bit of a squeeze trying to get the full walk done at this time of the year maybe, so look forward to coming back when the days are longer. In particular to enjoy some refreshments at The Royal Oak about an hour before the walk's end (on new, clock-wise routing). For research purposes, we managed a swift drink, and the service and attitude of the gentleman behind the bar couldn't have been more of a contrast to the lunchtime experience.

All 11 on the 18:01 back to London. A few newbies to the Tisbury area and they all enjoyed the walk and landscape and might be tempted back...