The freedom of walking and its regenerative power that makes it a pleasure.
With Spring now upon us, and for some reason, the beginning of this season seems to generate in us a big surge of energy and a “Let’s grab this opportunity and go with it”, sort of thought. For us this spring, it was planning and implementing a few walks around the area we were housesitting. Having been in Wiltshire about two weeks ago.
What I love about being in the UK is the fact that we don’t have to travel far to have a substantial amount of choices to entertain us or places in which to walk. The UK has many forests and bush walks since 13 percent of its land is covered with trees and fauna.
Here are just a few of the walks we enjoyed while in the Marlborough area:
1. THE RIDGEWAY
We were following a route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers the 87 miles long Ridgeway passes through ancient landscapes through downland, secluded valleys and woodland.
This is a very small part of that 87-mile long walk that we did venture along:
Barbury Castle Country Park to the White Horse
The beauty of the Ridgeway is you’re only a few feet away, a hop over a fence or through a gate, from a perfect picnic spot, an excellent place for a doze on a warm spring day. Even though this walk is about visiting a castle, which is no longer there, it is the vistas that surround us that grab our attention as we amble along the Ridgeway. It gives us time to reflect on how a village full of people would arrive on that hill to free themselves from attacks from potential invaders. Within a small area there is so much history, and impossible to cover here.
Before we knew it, we were at the ancient site of the Uffington White Horse, which is believed to be 3000 years old and sits below the Uffington Castle Hill Fort.
It wasn’t too white looking the day we saw it. I tried to take a photo of the whole carved out horse sketch, an impossible task unless I walked right down the steeply sided dry valley where, as legend has it, the white horse went to feed and further down the road. Not a mission I was about to contemplate after already having walked for a couple of hours. So a lobsided part of the horse is my reward for walking down most of that hill.
Next is the small, flat-topped mound named Dragon Hill where the magnificent St George apparently sorted out a certain dragon once and for all. The views, of course, were awe-inspiring, and it’s a great spot to spend some time relaxing and taking in this ancient landscape.
Ogbourne St George is worth a visit if doing this walk, with its pretty thatched-roof homes, medieval church and not forgetting the pub. There are never a shortage of pubs to sit and rest if the weather turns out to be unpleasant or even if it is shining most seem to have a garden seat to sit on to sip that beverage.
Above photo of the said hill, I needed to climb to gain a view of the ground to where once the castle stood. Approx 6 km walk from Badbury up to the site of Liddington Castle [info and an aerial view] via countryside and partially by road. The Squire stayed below. As we were back along the road, and past a few parked cars, we came across a “Twitcher“, whose enthusiasm was a delight, when he was regaling his reasons for heading up on one side of the hill and not the usual side to visit the castle. He reasoned that the migratory birds apparently only go to one side not the other. He had no explanation. Other than, it was a birds logic.
We enjoyed this walk, which included tracks, field paths, with some road walking and the usual diversions, as part of our journey to explore Avebury. The farm ground was the least accessible part to walk along, the mud areas had hardened, and numerous potholes from horse and vehicles made the walk slow. No doubt made more comfortable if we had been wearing hiking boots with ankle support. Though it was still indeed a fantastic experience to wander over farmland which gave us more of an insight of the area than using a car to go to each sight. An area that has had people living and working on it for 7000 years. Incredible. A walk to Avebury helped us process and appreciate yet another World Heritage Site. How incredible is the fact that we were able to wander over this area with no signs saying “keep out”.
Check out our visit to Avebury Village.
Pop over to A Saunter down GRAND AVENUE to read about our walk.
It was certainly no surprise when we finished our walk to see the carparks full. With people in various spots having a picnic, playing, walking and just making the most of a sunny Sunday. Really that is what life is all about. Enjoying living in the moment.
When we finished our walk in the forest a decision was made that we had a small amount of energy left for a walk down by a canal. With that idea firmly planted, we decided to head over to Kennet and Avon Canal for a shorter wander.
We followed part of the Kennet and Avon Canal trail from the bridge and back again to the pub and carpark. The pub in question is called “French Horn” on The Pewsey Wharf.
We overheard two gentlemen chatting with the last comment making us smile, “With all that walking you must be in need of a pint or two”.
What an excellent idea!
Where did you last go for a walk? Love to hear about it!
N.B. The Featured Image is “The Yarned Land”, it was on display in The Horse Gallery, High Street, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1HW. The aim is to “tell stories of the land and the different ways we relate to it in the modern world”