|Length||21.9 km (13.6 mi), of which 3.9 km (2.5 mi) on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 465m. For a shorter or longer walk, see below Walk options.|
|Toughness||7 out of 10|
|Features||This walk leads mostly around the very large Fonthill Estate in the West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is spectacular walking country with some breath-taking views. You’ll find picturesque villages and excellent pubs in the beautiful undulating countryside, as well as plenty of woodlands and some dry chalky U-shaped downland valleys. The morning route is a steady ascent out of Tisbury along the scenic Oddford Vale to the highest point of the walk. This stretch is also characterised by some slack way-marking though, and a map and a compass are recommended.
The walk then leads through a grassy valley and across a wooded ridge to lunch in Hindon, where the two recommended pubs are right opposite each other. Most of the ascent lies before lunch, but there are still two climbs through woods in the afternoon. The final part of the walk is a scenic descent into the Nadder Valley and then passes one of Britain’s largest thatched buildings, followed by a stretch along the river back into Tisbury, a remarkably unspoilt village.
|Walk Options||A westerly extension via East Knoyle adds 5.7 km (3.6 mi), 2.1 km to the tarmac count and 92m ascent/descent.
Shortcut I just after lunch reduces the walk by 1.8 km (1.1 mi), but adds 0.4 km to the tarmac count.
Shortcut II at the end reduces the walk by 1.3 km (0.8 mi) but adds 0.4 km to the tarmac count. Taking one or both shortcuts does not reduce the rating, walking the extension to the full walk (even with a shortcut) makes it a 9/10, and combining the extension with both shortcuts makes it an 8/10.
Tisbury Station is on the London Waterloo to Exeter St. Davids West of England Main Line. Journey times are 106 minutes Monday to Saturday (hourly) and 114 minutes on Sunday (hourly).
Pythouse Kitchen Garden Cafe West Hatch, Tisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6PA (01747 870 444). The Pythouse is about 700m off-route and located 5.2 km (3.2 mi) into the walk. It is a fallback lunch destination for late starters or when you have missed the recommended train, as you would struggle to get to the other pubs in good time for food service. Pythouse Kitchen Garden Shop and Café, to give it its full name, is situated in a beautiful 18th century walled garden, and is a perfect place to relax, eat and shop. Open every day 09.00-17.00 and Fri also from 18.00. Food served 12.00-14.30 (and Friday from 18.00).
The Beckford Arms Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6PX (01747 870 385). Open 8.00-23.00 Mon-Sat and 8.00-22.30 Sun. Food served 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.30 Mon-Sun. The Beckford Arms is located 4.9 km (3.0 mi) from the end of the walk, and 3.6 km if taking Shortcut II.
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Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk