This 20 mile /32.5 km circular walk from Pitton visits Trafalgar Park, once the home of Lord Nelson’s ancestors, the beautiful River Avon at Standlynch Mill and then climbs to reach Clearbury Ring hill fort with panoramic views. It then heads through Odstock and into Salisbury before returning to Pitton on the Clarendon Way. Sections of this walk follow quiet country lanes, but they are not completely devoid of traffic so care needs to be taken.
20.2 miles / 32.5km
7.5 / 8.5 hours
This walk starts from the Silver Plough public house in Pitton (SP5 1DU) (Grid Ref: SU212312). Please only use the pub car park if you intend to stop for refreshments before or after your walk.
Leaving the car park cross the road and take the track to the left of the village hall passing the village playing field. Just after the tennis court the footpath leaves the track and follows a parallel route on the left. This leads into a copse. Just after passing Coldharbour Cottage fork left and head steadily uphill through the copse to reach a fence lined path along the ridge with memorial benches. At a junction of paths continue straight on along a track, Cock Road (Grid Ref: SU209304).
Stay with this track for 1.2k to reach a tarmac drive and then continue straight on to a junction with Lucewood Lane (Grid Ref: SU210289). Here turn right and walk along the road for 1.1km to reach a T-junction with Clarendon Road, turn left. After 160 metres fork right into Green Drove. At the bottom of the drove carry straight on to cross the River Dun and then go under the railway bridge. Here leave the road and take a footpath directly opposite (Grid Ref: SU207269).
After 340 metres the track reaches a road turn right and walk through the village of West Grimstead to reach a green with a bench. Now follow a path that runs inside a hedge parallel to Grimstead Road. Nearing Alderbury the path joins a pavement and crosses the A36. Continue down the road to a junction and turn right onto the Southampton Road (Grid Ref: SU196262). Within 50 metres turn left opposite the village shop to walk along an unmade road, Castle Lane. When the lane forks go left and then join a footpath on the right and stay with this to pass Matron’s College Farm. (Grid Ref: SU195262)
This footpath crosses the disused Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway and continues on a clear track across arable fields. At a junction of footpaths (Grid Ref: SU197252) turn right and then after crossing the disused railway line turn left and join a permissive route parallel to the railway line (Grid Ref: SU193253).
Keep the disused railway to the left for 1.4km to reach Four Gates (Grid Ref: SU194239). After passing through a gate turn right and walk along a minor road to reach a junction with Witherington Road. Turn right and follow this minor road downhill towards Standlynch Farm. After 240 metres, just before the entrance to the farm, take a footpath on the left which heads into woodland (Grid Ref: SU189239)
Stay with this path as it goes through the woods to reach a gate, go through and cross a field to reach a gate on the far side and follow a track through woods. Stay with this path until it reaches a concrete driveway (Grid Ref: SU182235). Turn left and head downhill to reach the disused Standlynch Mill besides the River Avon. The way marked footpath goes over weirs on the river, then after a series of small footbridges it reaches a field. At a fork in the paths (Grid Ref: SU177327) go right to head towards Charlton-All-Saints. The exit from the field is by way of an unusual turnstile gate (Grid Ref: SU 177238).
Now turn left along a path for 50 metres to reach a road running through the village. Turn right and walk along Lower Road for 240 metres to All Saints Church then turn left into Church Lane. After 80 metres take a footpath on the right across a field. This is the Avon Valley Path, stay with it to cross further fields to reach a minor road (Grid Ref: SU170245). Turn right and follow the lane passing old barns and Matrimony Farm House, after 650 metres take a footpath on the left and cross a field to reach the A338 (Grid Ref: SU 166252).
Cross the main road with care to join a footpath heading uphill besides a field. Keep on this path and ignore a turning where the Avon Valley Path goes through a gate on the right. This is a steady ascent and after going through a gate carries on along the edge of a field of pasture to reach Clearbury Ring fort (Grid Ref: SU152244).
The path follows around the ring on Clearbury Down. After passing through a gate this becomes access land, stick to the path continuing around the ring and then take a track which descends in a south westerly direction (Grid Ref: SU151243). The path descends steadily and then joins a track that heads uphill to a junction of tracks Grid Ref SU140234). Turn right along a wide drove, after 420 metres at Yew Farm the track meets a road junction (Grid Ref: SU141239). Continue straight on along the road towards Odstock Copse.
After going through Odstock Copse the road starts to descend to reach Odstock by the Yew Tree pub. At a crossroads in the village (Grid Ref: SU146261) continue straight on along Odstock Road soon crossing the River Avon. After 450 metres as the road bends to the right take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: SU147265). This path initially goes through bushes and then reaches arable fields. Follow this well-worn path heading west for 1.65km to a crossing of paths (Grid Ref: SU135276).
Turn right and go steadily uphill. This path crosses a drove and continues up towards houses. It then descends down steps to reach the A354. Cross and take a footpath opposite. Initially fenced this path soon reaches Bouverie Avenue South. When this road sweeps into Bouverie Avenue take a footpath directly in front between properties (Grid Ref: SU139286). This leads to steps go to the right and head down to reach the Old Blandford Road. From here continue downhill to a junction with the A3094 (Grid Ref: SU141288).
Turn right and then cross the road at traffic lights and then turn left into Harnham Road passing the Rose and Crown Hotel and continue towards Salisbury. Follow the wall of the Close to reach Exeter Street and turn left still besides the close wall. Pass the White Hart Hotel and continue into Catherine Street. At the junction with Milford Street turn right and head out of the City Centre. After passing under the ring road continue up Milford Hill.
At the top of Milford Hill fork right into Shady Bower following it as it descends to Milford Mill Road and turn right and continue along to cross the River Bourne. After the river turn left into Queen Manor Road (Grid Ref: SU SU158297). Stay with this lane for 770 metres to reach the gates to Clarendon Estate at Rangers Lodge (Grid Ref: SU 165298). This is now the route of the Clarendon Way. Follow the Estate Road for 450 metres before forking right on the Clarendon Way footpath to cross a field heading towards King Manor Hill (Grid Ref: SU169298).
The path continues up a track and as it bends to the right (Grid Ref: SU180301) continue straight on to visit the remains of Clarendon Palace. This Royal Hunting Lodge was a major residence of Kings from the reign of Henry II to Henry VII. Leave the site of the palace by a gate in the north east corner and rejoin the Clarendon Way and turn left along a track. After 80 metres fork left leaving the track to follow the Clarendon Way sign into the woods (Grid Ref: SU184301).
Now stay with the Clarendon Way as it follows a clear path through the trees to reach farm buildings and then continues around the back of Four Cottages and then after 2.9km reaches a minor road on the edge of Pitton. Turn left and then after 140 metres at the cross roads turn right and walk up White Hill to reach the starting point at the Silver Plough.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 130 Salisbury & Stonehenge and 131 – Romsey, Andover & Test Valley.
There are public toilets in Salisbury.
Toilets are available in the pubs on this route during opening hours.
Pitton: The Silver Plough, Pitton Stores
Alderbury: Village Post Office
Odstock: The Yew Tree Inn
Harnham: The Rose & Crown, The Greyfisher
Salisbury – Numerous cafes, pubs and shops.
A narrative of this walk with pictures, historical information and points of interest can be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.
© Walking Moonraker (2020)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.