The watery vein that runs through North Wiltshire is not the Thames, which soon
disappears into Oxfordshire, but the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Throughout the area
there is a pleasing mix of downland (the Marlborough Downs and the downs
above the M4 east of Swindon) and woods and forest (West Woods and
Savernake Forest). The ridges offer opportunities to secure unforgettable views of
the countryside around.
As might be expected, the Romans were here and feature in four of the walks.
The Civil War was here too, and features in the walks centred on Malmesbury ,
Aldbourne where there was a tussle in 1643, and Devizes where north of the town
at Roundway Hill the Royalists won their last victory later in 1643.
With its variety there can be fewer better areas for walking. And the pubs
aren't bad either.
The ten circular walks, ranging from 3.5 to 9 miles, suit the needs of families,
groups of friends or individuals looking for a gentle stroll or a longer walk, and
reflect the many varied facets of the area – its people, its history, and its working
landscape and will help first time visitors to experience some of the great scenery
the area has to offer. The ten walks are: Malmesbury and Little Somerford;
Bremhill and Maud Heath; Devizes and Roundway Hill; Clyffe Pypard and Bincknoll Castle; the Lydiards and Purton; Pewsey and the Kennet & Avon Canal;
Wansdyke and West Woods; Aldbourne and Snap; Savernake Forest, Great
Bedwyn and Wilton; and Wexcombe, Chute Causeway and Hippenscombe.
Halsgrove’s new-format guidebook, containing maps, photographs and useful
information will ensure a great walking experience alongside the chance to sample some quintessentially English pubs. Packed with colour, the book
is an ideal reminder of a visit to the area.
In previous lives Robert Wood was a researcher, an academic and a business psychologist. Now
he concentrates on writing walking books. He has written A Boot Up the North Hampshire Downs,
A Boot Up the Berkshire Downs and A Boot Up the Chilterns, also for Halsgrove.
Imprint: PiXZ. ISBN 978 0 85710 088 7, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages. Published June 2014