Categories
South West Wiltshire

Bagging Cherhill and Devizes White Horses

Description:
This 17.4 mile (28km) walk follows the Kennet & Avon Canal for 4.75km before following tracks and droves to reach the Landsdowne Monument and Cherhill White Horse. It then crosses Morgans Hill and follows the historic Wansdyke before going along a drove to Roundway and the Devizes White Horse.  A 300 metre section of this route is on a busy ‘B’ road with no pavement so care needs to be taken.  

Walk Grade:
Moderate/Challenging

Distance:
17.4 miles / 18 km 

Total Ascent:
1594 feet / 485.9 metres

Time:
6h 30min / 7h 45min

Parking:
The starting point for this walk is the large pay and display car park on Station Road, Devizes (SN10 1BZ) (Grid Ref SU000614).

Walk Route:
Leave the car park and turn right along Station Road to reach the Market Place.  Cross and turn right along a pedestrianised lane, Little Brittox, at a junction turn left in The Brittox, at the next junction turn left along Maryport Street and then cross the A361 by the Caste Hotel and turn right to follow the A361.  Besides a roundabout turn left into Commercial Road.  At a mini roundabout opposite the Community Hospital turn right and head down New Park Road.  On reaching the Kennet and Avon Canal turn right to join the tow path (Grid Ref: SU006618).

Now follow the towpath heading east for 4.75km to reach Bishop Cannings Swing Bridge, along the way passing London Road Bridge, Coate Road Bridge, Devizes Marina, Laywood Bridge and the Horton Road Bridge with the Bridge Inn sat beside it.  Leave the tow path and cross the canal to take a farm track towards Bishop Cannings (Grid Ref SU043638). 

The track leads by the entrance to Court Farm Caravan site and continues to join a minor road for 80 metres before turning right to join a footpath that goes across fields towards Bourton (Grid Ref: SU039642). At a fork in the path go left to reach a junction of paths here turn left and walk into Bourton soon joining a minor road (Grid Ref: SU042646) turn right.  

After 200 metres at a fork in the road by a post-box go left and follow this track as it heads steadily upwards towards the downs.  At the end of the lane there is a fork in the track (Grid Ref SU043650).  Go left heading westwards and stay on this path for 700 metres to reach the A361 (Grid Ref: SU037652).

Cross the main road with care and take a footpath opposite which continues uphill for 160 metres to reach a road.  Turn right and walk besides the road for 300 metres to reach Hill Barn Cottages, there is no pavement so be cautious of traffic. By farm barns leave the road turning right onto a footpath (Grid Ref: SU033654).

The footpath goes along a track which passes through the farm buildings and then continues north with Furze Knoll on the downs in front.  After 850 metres at a crossing of paths turn right (Grid Ref: SU032662).  Now go in a north easterly direction along a drove for 2km, passing Baltic Farm, to reach a junction of tracks (Grid Ref: SU051671).  Turn left on a footpath for 900 metres to reach a junction with a Roman Road (Grid Ref: SU048680).  

Cross the Roman Road to join the Wessex Ridgeway and White Horse Trail following it uphill towards the Lansdowne Monument at Cherhill.  After 700 metres go through a gate to enter Access Land and continue on the well-worn path as it heads uphill to another gate.  Now cross the access land to the Iron Age hill fort of Oldbury Castle, and turn left (Grid Ref: SU051693) and follow the path through the ramparts towards the Lansdowne Monument.

From the monument head northwest on the ramparts to pass the Cherhill White Horse.  Then take a path that descend steadily on to reach a track on the north side of the access land (Grid Ref: SU048699).  Now follow the fence line along the northern edge of the access land to reach a stile onto a drove (Grid Ref: SU042696).  

Turn left and walk up the drove for 275 metres to a gate.  Go through and turn right to follow a path descending across access land to a gate in the north west corner (Grid Ref: SU037694).  Now follow a path heading west for 500 metres to a crossing of paths turn left and head south for 800 metres to reach a track.  Stay heading south on the track for 80 metres and then turn left on a footpath.  Then immediately take a path on the right that follows a track to cross the River Marden.

Soon after crossing the river at a junction of paths turn right to pass South Farm and then take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: SU030684).  The path heads uphill through paddocks and then carries on across fields to a copse (Grid Ref: SU029680).  The path now runs along the edge of the next field heading uphill.  At a fork in the track go left, to stay on the main path and carry on to a track (Grid Ref: SU030674).

Cross the track and head steeply up to Morgan’s Hill.  Go through a gate and continue south across the hill passing the wireless station to reach the Wansdyke Path (Grid Ref: SU033669).  Turn right and follow the path besides the dyke for 750 metres to reach a footpath on the left that enters North Wilts Golf Course (Grid Ref: SU025671).  Now head south across the golf course this is the route of Mid Wilts Way and the Wessex Ridgeway.  The signs across the course are clear and pass the clubhouse and cross a road to join a drove heading south (Grid Ref: SU023667).  

Stay on this drove for 1.7km to reach a parking area besides a plantation (Grid Ref: SU015642).  Stay with the drove as it descends and joins a minor road and then follow a permitted path that runs down the side of the field parallel to the road with views of the Devizes white horse on the hill behind. The path leads into Roundway, stay with the road heading south, leaving the hamlet take a footpath on the right (Grid Ref: SU015631).

After 200 metres at a junction of paths go left and head south towards Devizes.  This path is known as Quakers’ Walk, follow it for 1.4km to pass through the park gates to reach Park Bridge over the Kennet and Avon Canal.  Cross the canal follow the road into the centre of Devizes and from the Market Square return to the car park in Station Road.

Toilets:
There are public toilets in the Central Car Park in Devizes.
Toilets are available in the pubs on this route during opening hours.

Refreshments:
Devizes: There are a wide range of pubs and cafes in Devizes.
Horton – Bridge Inn
Bishops Cannings:  The Crown Inn

To download GPX and print map click “Learn More” below:

Additional Information:
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.

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL 157 Marlborough & Savernake Forest

© 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.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access. 
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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