We have selected some of the best short walks in Wiltshire for you to enjoy.
Bewley Common to Westbrook
A walk through gently undulating wooded and open countryside with good views. The beauty of this route is its variety, turn a corner and there is always something different. One steep climb at the end but definitely worth the effort. Pub at halfway point. 4.3 miles
Castle Combe to Ford
A 6 mile circular walk that's one of the prettiest in Wiltshire. There are charming villages and good views with woodland, open countryside, and a stream trickling alongside the path for much of the way. One steep climb and pubs at the halfway and finish points.
North Wraxall to Ford
An easy 4.2 mile circular walk in varied countryside. It passes through traditional water meadows, small wooded areas, and goes along an open valley with good views. Generally flat with an excellent pub at the halfway point. Ideal for a sunny afternoon.
Derry Hill to Calne
An interesting 9 mile circular walk with a great variety of landscape. Much of it crosses the Bowood Estate, you can see the house in the distance and walk along the lake that formed part of the landscaped gardens.
Avebury to West Kennett
A circular 5.7 mile, mainly flat, walk through typical Wiltshire downland. There are more Neolithic stone age sites per mile on this route than anywhere else in the world. It takes in Silbury Hill, West Kennett Long Barrow, The Sanctuary, various burial mounds, the ancient Ridgeway path and the great Avebury stone circle itself. One of its unique aspects is that you enter the circle via the Avenue of Stones, almost certainly the processional way used by the original builders of the circle. Most of what you see, including the paths, is 5,000 years old, older than the pyramids. Pub at the end of the walk.
Wootten Rivers to Savernake
This 8.2 mile circular route is very much a walk of two halves; a stretch along the Kennett & Avon canal towpath and a section through Savernake forest. Wiltshire has very little woodland and Savernake is its largest. It's a good example of ancient woodland, passing through the dense undergrowth on a sunny day gives a clear example of how light and shade generate the unique quiet, eerie, brooding content of a genuine ancient woodland.
Lackon to Bowden Hill
This 5 1/2 mile route starts and finishes in Lacock village, the location for many historic films, the most recent of note is the BBC's Pride & Prejudice. Lacock Abbey featured in the Harry Potter film and the large bay window you can see from the road was the subject of the world's first photograph taken by Fox Talbot. There is a museum in recognition of his work in a barn alongside the Abbey entrance. All in all this walk is a history lesson on foot if you take the trouble to look for the clues. There is a steep hill up from the old canal but it's worth the effort.
Pewsey Wharf to Knapp Hill
This 10.5 mile route is split between the easy walking of the Kennet & Avon canal and the downland escarpment between Knap Hill and Gopher wood. Each part is totally different and it's fascinating to view one from the other.
Barbury Castle to Ogbourne St. George
This 9 mile circular walk is easy to follow and the gradients are gentle on the legs. Fine views over downland are the dominant feature, if you are feeling low your spirits will soar as you walk the stretch of Ridgeway Path from Ogbourne St. George back to Barbury Castle.
Holt to Broughton Gifford
This is a very pleasant easy to follow 6 mile walk on level ground, ideal for those new to outdoor walking. Much of it follows the River Avon and there are a number of interesting items along the route to tempt the curious traveller so allow extra time. "The Courts" in Holt is owned by the National Trust. Nowadays it is know for its gardens but the house got its name from the court that sat there to settle disputes amongst weavers in the locality.
Devizes to Roundway Hill
This walk has fine views but it is exposed so a windy or cold day will be exhilarating to say the least. There is one steep section but this should not deter anyone from trying the route, in fact you are left wondering why there are not more hills to get such an elevated viewpoint. 7.4 miles
Corsham to Easton
Although this is a short walk do not write it off without trying it. It's an ideal choice for a spare afternoon or the wintry days when time is short. It's flat, well sheltered and full of little hamlets and houses where you least expect them. Better still make a day of it, combine this route with a visit to Corsham Court which is open to visitors in the summer. 3.6 miles
Great Bedwyn to Crofton
This is a fairly flat walk but you do get good views and, unusually for Wiltshire, much of the route is through woodland. There are two routes back from Crofton, the short one along the canal, the other through woodland and open fields. There are 2 key points of interest on the route: The Crofton Steam Engine and Wilton Windmill. 8 miles or 5.3 miles
Bradford on Avon to Freshford
As you walk along the Avon valley it soon becomes apparent how many different modes of transport are squeezed into a narrow area. Road, river, canal, railway and footpath all fight for space and nowadays I doubt if the council would grant planning permission for it, yet it doesn't spoil the scene! There is one steep hill just after Iford Manor, don't let this deter you, stop for tea at the Manor before tackling the hill. Bradford on Avon is worth a visit on its own. This old wool town is full of interesting side streets and alleyways so save a bit of time for it after the walk is finished. 6.5 miles.
Sherston to Foxley
As you climb up from the river at Waypoint 9 you begin to see the landscape flatten into agricultural fields and the wooded valleys so typical of the Cotswolds. 7.5 miles
Malmesbury to Cow Bridge
Malmesbury claims to be England's oldest borough and if buildings could talk these would have a tale to tell. None more so than the abbey. Even today, in its ruined state, it dominates the town in all aspects; there is grandeur and power in those walls. It’s worth a look around the town too, some of the buildings ooze history. 4.5 miles
Market Lavington to Gore Cross
This 5.9 mile circular route has a steep hill at the start but after that it's easy going. It takes you up to the edge of Salisbury Plain and it gives a good idea of how much the Plain acts as a barrier to the southern half of the County. Much of the Plain is used by the army for warfare training so few roads cross it. This isolation has caused some resentment amongst the residents of Salisbury and some feel they would be better served if they were part of Dorset. If you look at the map on the "Wiltshire page" you can see how few walks there are in the bottom right hand section. 5.9 miles
Edgington to Salisbury Plain
This walk is easy to follow and all but the section between Waypoints 14 to 15 runs on well maintained track or quiet roads. Consequently it is relatively free of mud in the winter. There is a long steep hill up from Waypoint 3, luckily, its impact can be softened by frequent stops to admire the wonderful view. There is nothing to fear from the army training area and those who expect to see World War 3 in progress will be disappointed. 6.5 miles
Alfred’s Tower to Stourhead
A 7.3 mile (10.3 miles if you are visiting Stourhead Gardens) undulating route that has a lot to offer. Unusually for Wiltshire much of it goes through woodland. Having said that it does afford some fine views of an area renowned for its scenic beauty.
Brixton Deverill to Bidcombe Down
A 6.5 mile through an area known as "The Deverills" because so many of the villages have this in their name. It's renowned for its countryside but the landscape is hard to describe, mainly because of its variety. One minute you are high up on open downland and the next dropping through a wood to a hidden valley or pretty village. The first half of this route is on downland and it's a long steady climb to get up there but then it’s an easy glide back home. To get the best out of it you need a clear sunny day. Avoid this walk in winter.
Longsplatt to Monkton Farleigh
The route follows the edge of a high plateau, giving good views with few hills to climb. It's a pastoral landscape lying in the hinterland between the Cotswolds and the Wiltshire downs. Part of the route follows the MacMillan Way, a 390 mile coast to coast route running diagonally across England from east to west. It was originally devised to raise funds for the Macmillan Cancer charity, now it is fully way marked and has recently been extended with connecting loops to other major routes.7 miles
Smallgrain Picnic Site to Calstone Combes
This 5.4 mile route is easy to follow and can be cut short to 4 miles when half way round, this makes it an ideal choice for those new to walking or taking children out for the day. There are many great picnic spots but no pubs.
Seend to Poulshot
This 5 mile walk will look familiar to anyone who watched the BBC TV program "A Country Parish", the path goes right through the featured village of Seend and past the vicar's church. The Rev Jamie Allen's flock is a far more balanced community than I first imagined, the section between waypoints 9 & 10 displayed all the wealth I expected but on the other side of the road lived ordinary people. To me a well used village hall and a football pitch is a healthy sign, it does them credit. Take a walk through Seend yourself and make up your own mind.
East Kennet to Wandsdyke
This 7 mile walk is very simple to follow and is ideal for those new to outdoor navigation. The views are good, more surprising there are no steep hills, they are so gentle you hardly notice them. The paths are passable most times of the year.
Fyfield Down to Temple Farm
This 8.5 mile route starts at English Nature's Fyfield Down Nature Reserve car park. The information board tells the story in detail but in brief the geology in this area is unique, sarsens are not found scattered across the ground like this anywhere else in Europe. It would be hard to call it spectacular but the place does have a quiet peaceful air about it.
Beckhampton to Wandsdyke
This 9.7 mile route is pure downland and much of it follows the "White Horse Trail" and "Ridgeway" national trail. Almost all of it is on good track making it extremely easy to follow and ideal for winter, bear in mind it is exposed and there is very little shelter from the wind.
Avebury to Windmill Hill
This 4.8 mile route has been added after numerous requests for a short walk from the Avebury stone circle to Windmill Hill.
For a full list of places to hire bikes in Wiltshire please go to: http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/site/things-to-do/activities/cycle-hire
The North Wiltshire Rivers Route
A footpath/ cycleway linking Melksham, Lacock, Chippenham, Calne, Cherhill and Avebury. Further to the West it links with Bradford on Avon, Bath, Bristol and Gloucester, and to the East with Marlborough, Newbury, Reading and London. Much of the route follows traffic free paths through a diverse natural landscape and near to monuments, sites of historic interest, industrial archaeology, public art and other attractions.
The Weavers Trail, Chippenham to Lacock
14 miles round trip, begins in the bustling market town of Chippenham, with its historic old quarter and heritage museum and then takes you into the country along the newly established cycle route to Lacock. Follow the gently flowing River Avon through some of Wiltshire’s most tranquil rural scenery to one of its most celebrated villages. Most of the route is completely traffic free, and is well suited to family cycling.
The Severn and Thames Valley Way
Gloucester to Newbury and Reading (via Bristol and Bath) - 128 miles. From the border with Wales and the tranquillity of the Severn, to the Avon Valley and on over the Wiltshire downs, into the Thames Valley at Newbury and on to Reading. This route encompasses some of the best traffic free routes in the country, including the Bristol - Bath Railway path and the Kennet and Avon canal.
The Beaker Trail, Chippenham to Avebury
begins in Chippenham, where you can either visit the old town and museum first or head off immediately into the country along the car – free cycle route to Calne. This trail has been established for some time and is one of the best places to see local wildlife. Then follow the maze of country lanes through the chalk downlands to the prehistoric site of Avebury with its accessible ancient stone circles.
Chippenham to Malmesbury (37 miles, circular route)
The tour passes through many historic villages, each having its unique flavour, and the town of Malmesbury, one of the oldest towns in England, with its’ stately abbey and its’ own “Flying Monk”. The route follows lanes and by - ways rather than designated cycle routes. A significant part of the route does however follow the Wiltshire Cycleway and, for the most part, avoids main roads.
The Canal Trail, Bradford on Avon to Bath
16 mile round trip, the route begins at the former wool town of Bradford on Avon with its’ Saxon Church, dating back to 700 AD and its’ ancient 13th century bridge, and follows the completely restored Kennet and Avon Canal in the direction of the city of Bath.. You can stop for refreshment at one of the pubs or cafes, or picnic by the side of the canal as you watch the boats and wildlife drift by. On arriving in Bath, we suggest that you leave your bike at a pre-arranged, secure spot, and sample the delights of this magnificent Georgian city on foot.
Basset Down is a brand new pay and play 9 hole course with driving range. The course is set against the spectacular backdrop of the North Chalk Downs and covers 100 acres of mature parkland. Tel: 01793 812336
lies in the western corner of 'Capability' Brown's 2,000 acre Great Park. Bowood offers a combination of beautiful surroundings, a magnificent course, excellent service and catering, and state of the art facilities. Tel: 01249 822228
One of the oldest and most beautiful golf courses, the parkland layout stretches to over 6,500 yards and is set within the 268 acre estate on undulating countryside with beautiful views of the surrounding valleys. A driving range is also available for visitors to warm up. Tel: 01793 532403
Founded in 1896 and has provided the local golfing public with a variety of golfing tests ever since. This course, which stretches to 5,540-yards, is of parkland variety and offers quite a different round every time you play it. Tel: 01249 652040
Standing in over 30 acres of peaceful, secluded grounds on the edge of the Cotswolds, the privately-owned club offers a traditional, warm and friendly welcome for those in search of tranquillity, comfort, good food and wine, with extensive recreational facilities. Tel: 01793 750751
Now recognised as one of the finest courses in the south-west. Designed for all players, the course is set up for members and visitors to enjoy the sport, offering a golfing challenge, which at the same time doesn't discourage the high handicapper. Tel: 01225 863322
Every hole presents a new and different challenge, and with three alternative length courses it is suitable for every standard of golfer. Tel: 01380 831027
Situated on the boundaries of the proposed New Forest National Park, the course winds its way through ancient woodland and over the River Blackwater. Your golfing skills will be tested to the full on a course that has already earned itself a reputation amongst golfers, both professional and amateur for quality, design and presentation. Tel: 01794 390155
High Post hosted the South West Amateur Championship in 1998, the prestigious Carris Trophy in 1999, the Wiltshire County Championship on countless occasions and more recently, the Girl's British Open Amateur Championship. It is, quite simply, one of the finest venues in the country and one that deserves great respect. Tel: 01722782356
This superb facility, with panoramic views over the Wiltshire countryside, is designed to cater for all standards of player. It features wide fairways, large greens and short rough - giving an enjoyable challenge for all. Tel: 01793766014
One of the oldest in Wiltshire - not to mention one of the most popular. Located just a matter of miles from the centre of the ancient Roman town of Bath, it is a delightful 18-hole cracker and sprawls through almost 6,500 yards of beautiful parkland countryside. Tel: 01225 743472
Located deep in the countryside of the lovely Wiltshire region in an area of truly sublime natural beauty. Its course, laid out on gently undulating terrain, is a real challenge for players of all levels of ability.
Breathtakingly situated on the southern edge of the Cotswolds where the sheer approach heightens the anticipation. As you would expect from an Alliss design, the golf course is a treat from the opening tee shot all the way to the final putt on the beautifully situated 18th green Tel: 01249 783101.
Founded in 1888 and set in the beautiful rolling Marlborough Downs, Malborough presents a real challenge to the low handicapper - the Wiltshire Professional Championship has been held at Marlborough for the last 12 years - yet, at the same time, offers the more accomplished player a serious but fair examination of their golfing repertoire. Tel: 01672 512147
Arguably one of the most stunning golf courses in Wiltshire, North Wilts offers a tough but fair test of golfing skill, spectacular views of the Wiltshire Downs and a very warm welcome to all who drop by. Tel: 01380 860330.
For a full on, fun-filled day out look no further than the outstanding leisure complex of Oaksey Park Golf & Country Club, set on the west side of the Cotswolds Water Parks. Opened in 1991, the golf course at Oaksey was designed by Chapman and Warren and comprises nine holes and is of parkland variety.
The challenging, thought-provoking 18-hole golf course benefits from excellent drainage so that the course is only closed in extreme conditions. The excellent practice facilities allow you to warm up prior to your round and get into the swing of things before hitting the fairways. Tel: 01672 841327
There are 27 holes available at Salisbury & South Wilts Golf Club and every single one of them is a cracker. Made up of a main 18-hole course, which is recognised as a good golfing challenge to all types of golfer, and a nine-hole course that weaves tantalisingly in and out of Salisbury Racecourse, this is a golfing hotspot of the very highest order.
Home to a superb downland course, complete with fine tree-lined fairways and quality undulating greens. Some of the fairways are particularly tight and will require you to be as straight as possible from the tee - miss the fairway and you could end up in serious trouble! The course boasts fine scenic views over the Salisbury Plain and beyond- a beautiful setting in which to enjoy a game.
The natural downland setting has been complemented by creative course design to yield a challenge for golfers of every ability. There are many outstanding holes, including the monstrous 13th which, at 602 yards, is one of the longest in the country. Tel: 01980 630281.
West Wilts Golf Club is home to one of the unsung heroes of golf in Wiltshire. It may not be one of the more famous golf courses in this part of England but that does not take away from its challenge and unique identity. West Wilts is a stunning hilltop course that's set in the Wiltshire downs. Tel: 01985 213133
Whitley Golf and Country Club was established many moons ago now and its course is laid out on some fine parkland. It has undulating fairways that make matters tricky for you from the tees and the greens are exceptionally well guarded by a clutch of troublesome bunkers. Tel: 01225 790099.
One of the rising stars of golf in the region. Having been all but ignored by its previous owner, The Wiltshire has progressed and flourished under new ownership. It is, without question, a golf course that is on the up. It is one of the most challenging golf courses in Wiltshire and is now known to have the best looking and fastest greens in the county. Tel: 01793 849999.
This championship standard course lies in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. There are plenty of natural hazards blended with the man-made variety that will test just about every single shot in your bag so make sure you are ready for the challenge if you don't want to fall at the first hurdle. Tel: 01666 510277
The Simon Gidman designed golf course is a perfect example of effective course planning which balances the natural contours of 205 acres of delightful Wiltshire countryside with features to excite and test players of all skills and ambitions. It is set deep in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, just outside the historic town of Highworth and boasts one of the region's outstanding venues. Tel: 01793 861327.