Categories
South West Wiltshire

Martinsell Hill and The Pewsey White Horse

Description:
This 21.2 mile (34.2km) circular walk from the centre of Pewsey visits Martinsell Hill, with stunning views across the Vale of Pewsey, before descending to the Kennet and Avon Canal.  After a section along the canal the route passes the historic Wolfhall Manor and then crosses the vale before ascending Milton Hill to follow the downs to the Pewsey White Horse.  A 350 metre section of this walk is besides the busy A338, with no pavement, so extreme care needs to be taken.

Walk Grade:
Challenging

Distance:
21.2 miles / 34.2km

Time:
8 / 9 hours

Parking:
This walk starts from the free car park in the centre of Pewsey, off Goddard Road (SN 9 5EQ) (Grid Ref: SU162601)

Walk Route:
Leave the car park along Goddard Road to join the Market Place at the village Post Office. Turn left and follow this road, at a mini roundabout continue besides the A345, now North Street.  Stay besides the main road for 200 metres to reach Buckleaze Lane on the right.  This lane goes under a railway bridge and then turns right to run parallel to the lane before becoming a footpath besides an old mill.

After crossing the River Avon continue on the narrow path besides the railway line, when the path opens out fork left keeping a fence to the left and soon pass gardens.  Reaching a tarmac lane continue to a junction and turn left to head north on a bridleway, this is the route of the White Horse Trail (Grid Ref: SU166608).

The path heads downhill and crosses the River Avon and then goes over the Kennett and Avon Canal at Pains Bridge.  The path is now a farm track still heading north.  After passing the entrance to Inlands Farm take a footpath on the left which crosses a stile into a field (Grid Ref: SU164615).

In a second field continue on the well-worn path to reach a minor road, Sunnyhill Lane, cross remaining on the White Horse Trail along the edge of a field. At a track cross and go through a kissing gate (Grid Ref: SU161628) then head across a field of pasture to reach another kissing gate. The path now climbs steeply to reach an Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar (Grid Ref: SU166632).

The White Horse Trail now follows the fence line and passes through the promontory hill fort known as Giants Grave and continues along the ridge.  After passing through a gate continue following the way markers, at a fork in the path go right leaving the White Horse Trail to join the Mid Wilts Way (Grid Ref: SU171634).  

This path goes along the edge of a field of pasture with a fence to the right. It then joins a path into woodland around Martinsell Hillfort.  Stay with the clear path to reach a gate close to a bench (Grid Ref: SU179638). Continue on the path along the top of the hill staying with the way markers for the Mid Wilts Way to pass around a copse and then go right at a junction of footpaths (Grid Ref: SU177642).

Now head in an easterly direction, still on the Mid Wilts Way, for 750 metres to reach a car park and minor road (Grid Ref: SU183645).  Cross the road and join a track, Mud Lane. Stay with this track heading east for 3.1km to reach a minor road (Grid Ref: SU213642). 

Turn right and gradually descend on the road, for 200 metres to reach a driveway on the left to Brimslade (Grid Ref: SU212640). Take this tarmac drive which continues steadily downhill to cross the Kennet and Avon Canal.  After crossing the canal bridge turn left on the towpath to immediately pass Cadley Lock (Grid Ref: SU212634). 

The towpath heads east to pass Burbage Wharf and goes under the A346, after 2.2km it reaches the entrance to the Bruce Tunnel the path veers away from the canal (Grid Ref: SU233633).  Follow the way markers to cross a minor road and then after passing houses the path descends to rejoin the tow path on the eastern end of the tunnel (Grid Ref: SU238630).

Now continue along the tow path for 1km to reach Wolfhall Bridge (Grid Ref: SU245624).  Leave the towpath here and turn right to follow a track up to Wolfhall Farm and then turn right along the minor road in front of Wolfhall Manor.  After 300 metres on the road take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: SU239618).  Now head south besides a field to reach a five way junction of paths, here continue south along a made-up track, passing cottages and then reaching the edge of a playing field on the outskirts of Burbage (Grid Ref: SU237611).  

Turn left here on a track and take a footpath heading south easterly, soon crossing a stream and then going through a copse to reach the A338.  Turn left and walk along the broad verge for a 100 metres, then take a footpath on the right to head south east besides an arable field. At a junction of paths turn right (Grid Ref: SU243603).  Now head south for 500 metres to reach the edge of Southgrove Copse, turn right and follow a path along the edge of the woodland.  At a junction with another path turn left on a path into the woods (Grid Ref: SU237594).

Follow the path through the copse for 800 metres to join a farm track close to barns.  Turn right along this track and follow it for 550 metres to reach A338. Turn left and walk 350 metres besides this busy road to reach a drove on our right beside a small car park (Grid Ref: SU225589).  Follow this drove for 2km to reach a junction of paths close to Falstone Pond.  Here continue south on the track 750 metres to reach a junction of tracks on the edge of the Ministry of Defence Restricted Land (Grid Ref: SU211566).

Turn right and follow a drove along the edge of the MOD land for 2.7km to reach a minor road (Grid Ref: SU202590).  Here turn left and go south west for 1.2km to reach a junction of paths (Grid Ref: SU195581), turn right and head north for 1km to reach Access land on Fyfield Down.  Turn left and follow a path along the top of the down to a gate.  Go through and turn left on a path keeping the fence line to the left, passing Giant’s Grave Long Barrow, to reach a junction of tracks (Grid Ref: SU186580).

Go through gates to continue along the ridge to reach Victory Clump.  The path now descends gradually down Pewsey Hill to reach Winter’s Drove (Grid Ref: SU 175582). Cross the track and go over a stile to follow a path along the foot of Pewsey Hill for 500 metres to reach a point below the Pewsey White Horse chalk carving (Grid Ref: SU171581).

Turn right along a path to reach a gate and then carry on along a track, Green Drove, until almost reaching the A345.  Here turn right into Raffin Lane and walk through a residential area, after 400 metres take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: SU167597).  This path leads to the River Avon, on reaching Church Lane turn left to cross a bridge and pass the Old School House. Now turn right to head back through the village to reach the Post Office and turn left to the car park and starting point.

Toilets:
There are public toilets in Pewsey in the car park at the start and finish of this walk.

Refreshments:
Pewsey:  There are a wide range of pubs and other shops to purchase refreshments in the town.

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 OL157 Marlborough & Savernake Forest; OL131 Romsey, Andover & Test Valley; OL130 – Salisbury and Stonehenge

© Walking Moonraker (2020)

AAll 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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