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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, 20 April 2019

Saturday Walk - West Wiltshire Downs: Tisbury Circular (via Ludwell and Berwick St. John), with short options and some bluebell woods

Length: 26.3 km (16.4 mi) [with a bus option to shorten the walk, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  557 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  10 out of 10 
Length: 17.2 km (10.7 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  290 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours
Toughness:  5 out of 10 

Take the 09.20 Exeter St. David’s & Bristol Temple Meads train from Waterloo  (09.27 Clapham J, 09.46 Woking), arriving Tisbury at 11.06. (you have to be in the front 3 cars).
Return trains: xx.01 (from 108 mins).

This walk explores parts of the Upper Nadder Valley (also known as the Vale of Wardour) in the south westerly parts of the West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is spectacular walking country with some breath-taking views. Heading west from Tisbury, initially it broadly follows the valley, while never being flat for long, before routing through Wardour Park with its large neoclassical mansion and romantically ruined 14th century Castle to then bypass the Donheads via a hill crossing.
After lunch in Ludwell it is a long and steady ascent to South Wiltshire’s highest point: Win Green Hill, providing for 360°-views to the coast and the inland valleys. After a stretch along the Cranborne Chase ridge a steep descent into the Chalke Valley is followed by a re-ascent up Berwick Coombe to White Sheet Hill, followed by a steep and rough descent from the chalk escarpment. A few woods, an often-boggy brook crossing and some smaller copses are followed by the descent back into Tisbury, a remarkably unspoilt village.

Bus Option: The number 29 bus (Shaftesbury to Salisbury)  stops outside the lunch pub on the main walk (13.31, 15.16, 16.31), as well as in Berwick St. John  later in the afternoon (15.25, 16.40, 17.55), it gets you to Salisbury Bus Station (a 10 minutes’ walk from the train station) in just over an hour.

Lunch: The Forester in Donhead St. Andrew (7.3 km/4.5 mi, food to 14.00) on the short walk (Michelin Bib Gourmand every year since 2013); The Grove Arms in Ludwell (10.6 km/6.6 mi, food all day) or The Talbot Inn in Berwick St. John (17.6 km/10.9 mi, food to 14.00) on the main walk. 
Tea: Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop (open to 17.00) and Beckford Bottle Shop  (open to 21.00) plus a deli, a fish & chips, two pubs and a Co-op; check page 2 of the walk directions pdf. 

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.  T=swc.251

1 comment:

Thomas G said...

Some dandelions, bluebells (and even a proper bluebell wood), woodpeckers, anemones and all our other dear friends of the flora and fauna were spotted/heard, but that is not what this walk is about. It's about scenery and views, stunning coombes, quiet woods, the odd country pile and hills to remember. Today's weather of w=hot-unmitigated-sunshine-with-only-a-weak-breeze delivered. So there was a bit of a haze, so much so that we couldn't quite make out the Isle of Wight 50 km away from Win Green Hill, but else it was a great day for this route. n=8 disembarked from the train and 1 fell behind early on (a Tisbury first-timer obvs overwhelmed by the beauty of the surroundings), the others stuck together for the rest of the walk. Only 2 had lunch at the pub, the picnickers joined them for a drink. The legendary 'difficult' brook crossing in boggy ground has unfortunately been and gone: a plank approach and a two-railed bridge have been installed. The 7 got to Tisbury minutes before the 18.01 was due, so opted for the train. Walker 8 later went for a pub and fish & chips.