Backview down Church Bottom, Prescombe Down NNR (II)

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

05-Sep-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk250 walkicon banner

View from a Down

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

11-Apr-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk250

Along Swallowcliffe Down (westerly view)

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

05-Sep-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk250

Sheep on Descent from Elcombe Down

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

05-Sep-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk250

Sheep and Tumulus, Sutton Down

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

05-Sep-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk250

Walker in Field, Swallowcliffe Down

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

11-Apr-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk250

Cloudscapes over Middle Down

SWC Walk 250 Tisbury Circular via Alvediston

11-Apr-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk250

Tisbury Circular via Alvediston walk

An Iron Age hill fort, pretty coombes, and lots of ascent: the Vale of Wardour and West Wiltshire Downs AONB with views to the Cranborne Chase AONB and all the way to the coast

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sun, 20-May-18 7

Sunday Walk: Scottish Warm-up in Tempting Tisbury with Optional Navigation Exercise

SWC Walk 250: Tisbury Circular from the Vale of Wardour an Exploration of the West Wiltshire Downs (Clockwise Version) T=SWC.250

Length: 16.2 Miles or 26.0 km for those more metrically minded (for those wanting something shorter, a shorter version of 13.1 miles/21 km is available)

Difficulty: 10 out of 10 (or 8 out 10 for the shorter version)

Train: Take the 9:15 AM South West Exeter St. David’s train from London Waterloo arriving in Tisbury at 11:09. Return trains are at 18:05; 19:05; 20:05; and 21:05. Buy a day return to Tisbury.

This walk heads from the Vale of Wardour through the West Wiltshire Downs Area of Natural Beauty to the Cranborne Chase Area of Natural Beauty with views all the way to the coast. The route includes a number of pretty coombes, an iron age fort and picturesque villages. For the main walk, I would suggest using the new clockwise directions which should get you to the recommended lunch pub in time for last orders at 13:45.

As an alternative, since the open terrain with its undulations should prove good ground for those interested in honing their navigation skills before the Scottish trip, I would suggest we do the route in original anti-clockwise formulation relying on the trusty map and compass (not a line on a device) to navigate. With any luck, we will encounter the main group along the way and of course at the end at one of the hostelries in Tisbury. If interested in this option, please bring a compass and a print out of the route using the OS Map tab on the introduction page for the walk.
Whichever option you choose, you can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.
On the main walk, the suggested lunch spot is at the Horseshoe Inn in Ebbesbourne Wake (01722 780 474), 6.1 miles/10.2 km into the walk. Please call ahead! For those practicing their navigation, I would suggest bringing a picnic, as we will not make it to the pub in time for food…..maybe a drink before it closes at 16:00….Although there seems to be some signs of life from the pub in Alvediston, I do not think it has reopened yet…we can investigate….
Post walk refreshies can be had at various spots in Tisbury – including the Boot Inn and the Beckford Bottle Shop.

Enjoy the walk!
Sadly, the Boot Inn & Beckford Bottle Shop are both closed on Sunday evenings. However the Benett Arms (no food) will be open, as will be the Co op to stock up on supplies for the long train journey home.
For those travelling from Victoria (changing at Clapham Junction), note that the ticket machines at this station last year did not offer the lowest priced super off peak fares for journeys on South Western Railways. I don't know if this has been fixed, but it might be prudent to book tickets online to collect from the machines (which gets round this problem) or to allow time to queue at the ticket office.
7 sunny warm a light breeze

7 off the train at Tisbury. 4 of us took the clockwise route, while 3 opted to test their navigational skills. We bid them a tearful goodbye as it was possible we might never see them again.

Wiltshire put on a good show and the countryside was awash with cow parsley, buttercups, dandelion clocks (I've never seen so many), hawthorn blossoms, many other flowers and can't name, and the last of the bluebells towards the end of the walk, some still looking quite good. Oh, and nettles. Yes, there were some of those.

3 picnicked on Sutton Down and enjoyed the views. One kept going to the Horseshoes Inn where the 3 picnickers caught up with him later. The pub was very welcoming, the food reported as being good, and unprompted offers to fill our water bottles (even with ice, if wanted) was a nice touch. One of the navigators caught us as we left, having taken the shortcut. So, she made it? But what of the others?

2 continued on for the full walk, 2 the shorter option. On the full walk, we crossed paths with the other two navigators. Phew! They made it. On us 2 went, stopping for refreshment at the Royal Oak and not long after catching up with the 2 short cutters and making it back for the 19:05 back to London. Though time was tight, some had the energy to run to the Co Op and back for refreshments.

A lovely day out. And having done it both ways, it is equally nice in either direction. Great views.
I should add, that all 7 made it for the same train back.
I don't often leave comments but this is one of my favourite walks completed with a lovely companion on a bright sunny day. With amazing open views, secret valley's, steep climbs and the sound of the birds and the bees (and the odd baaaa!) you really feel you have gone backwards in time. I have never seen such an abundance of frothy white hawthorn but be warned..... as Karen mentions.......there are a few patches of nettles to be negotiated but do not detract from the walk in the slightest.
Sat, 04-Feb-17 11

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
11 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...
Sat, 11-Apr-15 8 Tisbury Circular, via Alvediston