Descent into the Nadder Valley (with Place Farm)

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

27-Aug-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Alpacas in Ridge hamlet

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

14-Mar-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Rolling Hills near Knoyle Corner

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

27-Aug-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Fonthill Estate Entrance Arch (Rear View)

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

27-Aug-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Trees, Fonthill House

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

27-Aug-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Often overgrown path in Oddford Vale

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

27-Aug-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Oddford Vale (I)

SWC Walk 248 Tisbury Circular via Hindon

27-Aug-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Tisbury Circular via Hindon walk

The Nadder Valley, picturesque villages, some dry chalky U-shaped downs of the West Wiltshire Downs, wooded ridges and one of Britain’s largest thatched buildings

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
Sat, 14-Jul-18 9

Saturday Walk - West Wiltshire Downs: Tisbury Circular (via Hindon, with or w/o East Knoyle)

Length: 27.5 km (17.0 mi) or 21.9 km (13.6 mi) [shorter options possible]
Ascent/Descent: 557m or 465 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 7 hours or ca. 5 ½ hours
Toughness: 9 out of 10 or 7 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.
Return trains: 17.01, 18.01, 18.28, 19.03, 20.01, 21.01, 22.03.

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.
A westerly extension via East Knoyle leads to the edge of Blackmore Vale, providing for fine views into Dorset.
For some shortcuts see the webpage or the pdf for details.
For walk directions and all options to shorten or lengthen the walk, a map, a height profile, gpx/kml files, and photos click here.
Lunch: The Angel Inn or The Lamb in Hindon (10.4 km/6.4 mi, food all day), or on the longer walk: The Fox and Hounds in East Knoyle (9.8 km/6.1 mi, food to 15.00). There are several other good pubs en route in the afternoon, see the webpage or the pdf for details.
Tea: Tisbury has a tearoom, a deli, a supermarket, two pubs (one is shut at the moment) and a bottle shop/wine bar. See the webpage or the pdf for details.
T=swc.248.a
9 hot and sunny

9 familiar faces off the train at Tisbury. It wasn't long before we encountered an overgrown section of the route, with not much option but to plough on through the nettles. A challenge, especially for those in shorts.

Everyone decided to do the extension via pretty East Knoyle, meaning lunch was at The Fox and Hounds. The sandwichers, all 6 of them, enjoyed the stunning views from Windmill Hill, while the remaining 3 enjoyed the efficient and friendly service at The Fox and Hounds. The sandwichers arrived, some opting for an ice cream, which then tempted the pub diners to finish their meal with an ice cream.

Not long after leaving the pub, there was again a challenging overgrown section on the Monarch's Way. More nettles and long grass to trudge through, the path is not maintained. After that, things got easier, and the afternoon was a mix of shady woodland and golden fields of wheat (?). 5 took one of the shortcuts so that they could pay a visit to The Beckford Arms.

3 just made it back in time to catch the 18:28 train, while the rest took advantage of the 30 minutes before the departure of the 19:03 to stock up o provisions at the Co Op in Tisbury. The journey was back was quite jolly and we made it to London by 21:00.

Overall, the walk was a good option on a hot day as there was quite a bit of walking in the shade. Just a pity about the nettles.


Sat, 27-Feb-16 8

Saturday Second Walk - Wiltshire downland using SWT offer

SWC Walk 248 - Tisbury Circular via Hindon
Length: 21.8km (13.6 miles) with 3.1km (1.9 miles) of possible afternoon shortcuts
Toughness: 7 out of 10

Catch the 9.20 train from Waterloo (9.27 Clapham Junction) to Tisbury, arriving 11.06

*** Buy your ticket online from SWT or at SWT ticket offices (eg at Waterloo) *** up to midnight the night before*** to get the SWT £15 return offer ("Discover the Great Indoors").

For walk directions click here.

We have not yet made much use of the SWT £15 offer, so here is a chance to do so. A 1hr 46 minute train journey whisks you beyond Salisbury to the Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where this walk circles around the large Fonthill Estate. The walk notes talk of "spectacular walking country", "breathtaking views", "picturesque villages" and "excellent pubs", so that seems to tick all the boxes.

How muddy or otherwise the route is I do not know, but being on chalk one can at least hope the mud will be less gloopy than on other routes. I also note that this walk was debuted in March last year and as far as I know no one sunk without a trace on it.

It is 6 miles to lunch in Hindon (2.5 hours at a reasonable pace) where there are three pubs serving food till 2.30pm. For any that think they might not make this, there is an earlier cafe option after 3 miles.

In the afternoon two shortcuts are possible, which if taken together would reduce the walk to 11.7 miles. However it is also now light till 6pm so it should be possible to finish the whole route.

Trains back from Tisbury are at 01 or 03 past, though evening dining types might like to note that from the 19.03 onwards they take 2hrs rather than 1hr 46 minutes. The last direct train is the 20.01, though there is a 21.01 changing at Salisbury that is actually a few minutes quicker. The 22.03 requires a (rather tight) change at Basingstoke.

8 on this walk. Some sun but more cloud with a very cold east wind It was in fact sunny on the train down, but then soon clouded up once we started: after lunch we had full sunshine for a while, however, with it becoming hazier later. The key factor in the weather, however, was a bitter east wind. We weren't always in it in fact we were surprisingly often sheltered from it but when we were it blew right through you and out the other side.

The cold wind made me find this walk a bit bleak in places, but another part of my brain kept registering how nice it would be in spring or summer. There were several huge bluebell woods, a meadow that would be a sea of buttercups, acres of yellow oilseed rape but of course none of these were yet in flower.

Others in the walk praised it for its varied landscape, and there are certainly many pretty moments and various points of interest. Quite a few big arable fields too, but also downlands grazed by sheep. Mudwise there were a lot of gloopy spots, often by gates and in the afternoon on forest tracks, also some soft fields. But quite a lot of the walk was firm underfoot, perhaps because mud is now drying out as the days lengthen.

For lunch in the Cotswoldy village of Hindon we had a choice of two pubs. From the outside the Lamb looked cosier and more charming, but the election fell on the Angel which was friendly, served nice food (even if my portion was much smaller than everyone elses!), but perhaps lacked charm. Most did the full walk in the afternoon but two of us did the second of the shortcuts. Four of us ate in the very cosy South Western pub, whose wood burning stove and sofas were very welcome. One tried the Boot (which does not open till 7pm), found it fully booked, but squeezed a pizza and two pints of beer out of them.

Six of us then caught the 20.01 train, which did indeed have a refreshment trolley as promised by the walk creator one, moreover, which passed not once but twice. Why is this line so favoured when the London to Southampton mainline never has them after dark?
Sat, 14-Mar-15 15 Tisbury Circular, via Hindon
Sat, 17-Aug-13 Tisbury Circular, via Hindon