North Wessex Downs Walking Festival

The North Wessex Downs Walking Festival celebrated the 50th Anniversary of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

With 28 walks that took place across the length and breadth of the North Wessex Downs the festival was a celebration of the stunning landscapes, gorgeous scenery and top-class walking country that the AONB has to offer.

North Wessex Downs. England
From June 11 to
June 26, 2022
14 days
/ 28 routes
mainly Adult (40-60)
Difficult Levels: Moderate, Easy
Landscape: Countryside
Organizer type: Conservancy Board
North Wessex Downs AONB
01488 685440


North Wessex Downs Walking Festival

Barbury Castle & Burderop circular: a ramble through history and literature

11th Jun 2022  |  4.5 miles  |  11.00am  |  Free

A leisurely walk exploring the ancient tracks, flower-studded downlands and scenic panoramas around Barbury Castle and Burderop Downs. This walk explores the landscape immortalised in the acclaimed nature writing of Richard Jefferies; and makes connections to people and places of the past through the words of writers, photos and objects.

Savernake family fun walk

12th Jun 2022  |  1 - 2 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

A relaxed guided walk for the whole family at Savernake Forest just south of Marlborough, one of England’s most special forests. Children are invited to bring their favourite teddy to join on their woodland adventure! Wheelchair access is possible as the walk uses surfaced paths, but these can be wet and muddy in places after rain.

Forestry & Veteran Trees of Savernake Forest

13th Jun 2022  |  4 - 5 miles  |  6.00pm  |  Free

Located just south of Marlborough, Savernake Forest is one of England’s most special forests with a history reaching back more than 1000 years. This guided walk will take you behind the scenes to learn about how the forest’s unique landscapes and habitats.

Wayfarers Walk and Crux Easton

14th Jun 2022  |  5.7 miles  |  11.00am  |  Free

This is a lovely walk through some of North Hampshire’s most beautiful countryside. We visit the impressive historic Grade II listed Titt-geared wind engine in the small village of Crux Easton; walk a stretch of the Wayfarer’s Walk with extensive views of Beacon Hill and Ladle Hill, and stop at Heaven’s Gate – an unusual brick-built architectural folly on the Highclere estate.

Pewsey, Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve and Kennet & Avon Canal

14th Jun 2022  |  3.5 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

Starting and ending in the village of Pewsey, this walk goes to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve, a very special wetland nature reserve. We continue along the Kennet & Avon Canal and then back into Pewsey village centre.

Cocklebury Farm Family Walk

14th Jun 2022  |  Approx 2 miles  |  4.30pm  |  Free

This is a family focused, educational farm walk in a beautiful location west of Pewsey. It will be about 2 miles in total at an ambling pace, taking around 1.5 hours. Plenty of stops along the way to explain how the farm works and how they encourage and protect wildlife.

Wessex Airscapes – Up and Around Lowbury Hill

15th Jun 2022  |  6.5 miles  |  10.00am  |  £16 per person

This walk takes us into the world of renowned local artist Anna Dillon and aerial landscape photographer Hedley Thorne – the historic landscape of North Wessex Downs is the inspiration for much of their work . This is a walk of billowy downs, sweeping coombs and awesome panoramic views.

Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind Wellbeing Walk

16th Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  1.30pm  |  Free

A gentle summer’s walk with Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind Walking Group. When we combine the benefits of walking with mindfulness, we can experience improvements to psychological and physiological wellbeing.

Walk & Cruise the Kennet & Avon Canal

16th Jun 2022  |  Up to 5.5 miles  |  2.15pm  |  £10 per adult, £5 per child (16 or under)

The North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust have teamed up to offer a rather special afternoon’s combined walk and canal boat trip on The Rose of Hungerford. Walk as little or as much as you want.

Wildlife in and by a chalk stream

18th Jun 2022  |  1 mile  |  9.30am  |  £5.50 per adult, £3 per child (under 16)

A family walk along the riverbanks of the Kennet and the adjoining water meadow to spot wildlife. Wear wellies for a chance to explore the river and see up close the amazing creatures that live in a healthy chalk stream. Boardwalks are suitable for wheelchairs, but the water meadow is dependent on weather conditions and type of wheelchair.

Going Underground – revealing secrets from Roundway Hill’s past (longer morning walk)

18th Jun 2022  |  7.5 miles  |  10.15am  |  Free

Join members of the National Grid project team working on the Visual Improvement Programme for a morning walk to explore Roundway Hill, the site of the Civil War Battle of Roundway Down, near Devizes.

Big Skies over Ladle Hill and Sydmonton Court Estate

18th Jun 2022  |  6.5 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

A walk of country paths, woodland, chalk downland and fantastic views from the top of Ladle Hill of the surrounding countryside including Watership Down and Beacon Hill. After dropping back down into the valley, the walk follows a tree lined avenue through the Sydmonton Court Estate.

Discovering Marlborough’s History; a walk around the High Street

18th Jun 2022  |  1 mile  |  11.00am  |  £5 per person

This gentle walk concentrates on the High Street at Marlborough’s heart. Discover the town’s fascinating and dramatic past from King John’s charter all the way to present times through the eyes of local historian Nick Baxter, the Wiltshire History Man.

Discovering Marlborough’s History; the River Kennet, The Parade, and The Green

18th Jun 2022  |  1 mile  |  2.00pm  |  £5 per person

Join the Wiltshire History Man, Nick Baxter, on this gentle walk exploring the water meadows connecting Marlborough’s history within its chalk downland setting. Once dominated by the tanning and rope-making industries, Kennet Place and The Parade were central too to education and Protestant non-conformity, as well as public houses!

Going Underground-revealing secrets from Roundway Hill’s past (shorter afternoon walk)

18th Jun 2022  |  4 miles  |  3pm  |  Free

Join members of the National Grid project team working on the Visual Improvement Programme for an afternoon walk to explore Roundway Hill, the site of the Civil War Battle of Roundway Down., near Devizes.

Alongside the Thames at Goring and Streatley

19th Jun 2022  |  1, 2 or 3 miles  |  Start anytime between 10am and Midday  |  Free

Enjoy a beautiful morning stroll around the meadows and riverside paths of Goring & Streatley. Easily accessed by train, these self-guided walks are primarily aimed at wheelchair users and their carers, but are lovely walks suitable for everyone including families with buggies.

Geology and landscape around Ashdown House

19th Jun 2022  |  3.2 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

Ashdown House is set in the Lambourn Valley and on this walk we enjoy the landscape and some of the interesting features of the geological history over the last 100 million years.

Green Drove, Pewsey White Horse, Manningford Abbotts

19th Jun 2022  |  6.8 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

An exhilarating circular walk offering lots of variety, taking in Pewsey White Horse and some magnificent downland with spectacular views, as well as the River Avon, the village of Manningford Abbots and the lanes and footpaths of the Vale.

Oldbury Hill and Cherhill chalk downland

19th Jun 2022  |  4 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

Explore the chalk downland and the National Trust nature reserve above the village of Cherhill on this stunning walk. We’ll look out for chalk downland flowers, butterflies and moths and listen out for birds like the skylark. The route takes in the Lansdowne Monument and Oldbury Hill above the Cherhill White Horse.

Top of the North Wessex Downs

21st Jun 2022  |  6 miles  |  8.00am  |  £8 non-members of Wessex WALX

On the longest day we enjoy an early walk from Inkpen up to the top of the North Wessex Downs for spectacular views across 3 counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Berkshire.

Beckampton Solstice evening stroll

21st Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  7.00pm  |  Free

A leisurely midsummer evening walk in the historic Avebury area. Starting from the Old Bath Road/Wessex Ridgeway we pass Beckhampton Long Barrow, the field with the Long Stones, and take in views of barrows on Windmill Hill. If the sun is shining there will be butterflies flying and we may hear corn buntings.

Bedwyn Brail Ancient Tree Walk

22nd Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  5.00pm  |  Free - donations to Wilts Air Ambulance would be appreciated on the day (suggested donation £2)

A summer’s evening walk in the woodland of Bedwyn Brail. A rare opportunity to visit trees not visible from the public footpaths, especially a sweet chestnut, a possible ‘champion’ tree and a rare native black poplar tree. Richard Charles will join us, custodian of the Brails, who will explain about the importance and management of these special trees.

Facca’s Valley; The woods, hills & valleys of the Faccombe Estate

23rd Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

This circular walk explores the ancient tracks and woodland paths through the beautiful rolling hills and valleys of the Faccombe Estate. It is a peaceful walk with plenty of wildlife, wildflowers and lovely vistas to enjoy. Along the way you will also learn something of the story of the estate and the people that helped shape it.

Navigation Essentials – find your way in a day!

24th Jun 2022  |  6 miles  |  10.00am  |  £55 per person

This practical one-day Navigation Essentials course is a great introduction to the skills you need to get out and about. You might be looking at getting started in the outdoors, or just wanting to refresh and improve on some rusty map and compass skills you learnt a while ago. Our expert tuition and guidance will help you make sense of it all and give you confidence to plan and enjoy your own great outdoor adventures, whether on foot or two wheels.

Letcombe Brook Discovery Trail

25th Jun 2022  |  5 miles  |  10.00am  |  Free

A walk for all the family following Letcombe Brook through the historic market town of Wantage to the Local Wildlife Trust’s Letcombe Valley Reserve where we may find wild brown trout and perhaps catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or little egret.

Up in the Downs and down in the Valleys

25th Jun 2022  |  9 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

This walk crosses the open chalk downland and the valleys of the chalk streams. There is natural beauty, traditional local industry and quite possibly the most remote wooden benches in southern England on this walk.

Literary Hitchhiking in Up on the Downs

26th Jun 2022  |  9 miles  |  9.45am  |  £12 per person

Many a poet and writer have tramped and roamed the Berkshire Downs. Join us for a walk in their footsteps and immerse yourself in the Downs “among the highest, most spacious, and most divinely carved in rolling ridge and hollow flank…” (Edward Thomas). As well as literary discoveries there will be stunning panoramic views, wildflowers and butterflies.

Calstone Chalk Combes and their wildlife

26th Jun 2022  |  3.75 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

A leisurely walk from the village of Calstone Wellington along the valley of the River Marden to its source in Ranscombe Bottom. Cherhill and Calstone Combes are National Trust nature reserves with 16 species of butterflies, plus moths and farmland birds such as skylark and corn bunting.

North Wessex Downs. England