An 8.7 mile (14km) circular walk from the centre of Salisbury. It passes through the Cathedral Close to reach Harnham and then ascends gradually to reach the Old Shaftesbury Drove. This ancient route leads to Salisbury Racecourse which provides fine views back over the city. From the race plain the walk heads back to Salisbury via tracks and paths.
8.7 miles / 14km
3 – 3.5 hours
This walk starts in the long stay pay and display Central Car Park in Salisbury (SP1 3SL) (Grid Ref: SU141302).
Leaving the Central Car Park head to the path besides the River Avon and then walk through streets to reach the Cathedral Close (Grid Ref: SU142295) via the 14th century High Street Gate.
Walk past the Cathedral and continue south and leave the Close via the Harnham Gate (Grid Ref: SU142292). At a junction turn right into St Nicholas Road and then cross the River Avon. At a fork in the road go right along Harnham Road, passing the Rose and Crown Hotel and then cross the busy A3094 to head up the Old Blandford Road. After a 150 metres take a footpath on the right (Grid Ref: SU140287) this leads through the bottom of the woodland at Harnham Slope.
Pass a school on the right and then reach steps on the left (Grid Ref: SU134287). Take these steps to the hilltop and turn right along a footpath then quickly left on a fenced footpath between houses. On reaching Harnwood Road (Grid Ref: SU134283) turn right and follow this road round until it reaches the Old Blandford Road turn right and then immediately take the right fork down Shaftesbury Drove.
After passing houses this drove becomes a footpath and continues straight on to reach the Old Shaftesbury Drove a tarmacked lane which is soon littered with discarded vehicles and other paraphernalia. As the tarmac lane ends the drove carries on along a hedged route to reach the eastern end of Salisbury Racecourse (Grid Ref: SU114280).
The drove continues besides the racecourse with stunning views out to the right. Pass the main grandstand and stabling on the left and then on the verge there are the remains of Cowper’s Cross which has a bench mark carved into its north eastern side (Grid Ref: SU094284).
On reaching a minor road (Grid Ref: SU092284) turn right and walk along the western end of the racecourse. Follow the road downhill to reach a lane on the right (Grid Ref: SU097287) leading up to the car park of the Bibury Golf Course.
Following the footpath through the Bibury Golf Course, the footpath then turn left (Grid Ref: SU103282) to follow the route of the old Roman Road running besides the last four holes of the South Wilts golf course.
On joining the driveway to the course continue downhill to cross the A3094 (Grid Ref: SU114294). Go through a gate opposite to join a footpath that soon turns to the right (Grid Ref: SU115295) to head diagonally across a couple of arable fields with views of the cathedral spire in front.
After going through a kissing gate (Grid Ref: SU126298) turn right and follow the footpath alongside the River Nadder.
On reaching a road, Middle Street, (Grid Ref: SU129294) continue straight ahead to reach Town Path on the left (Grid Ref: SU134293). Turn and walk down to the Old Mill pub which benefits from an idyllic setting by the river.
Pass the pub and continue on the Town Path towards Salisbury. On reaching Mill Road (Grid Ref: SU139299) turn right and then just before the river Avon take a left down Water Lane to walk besides the river.
Turn right on Fisherton Street and then left to return to the Central Car park.
There are toilets in the centre of Salisbury and at the start/finish point in the Central Car Park.
Salisbury: There are plenty of places to purchase refreshments in the city.
Harnham: The Rose & Crown, The Old Mill Hotel.
To download GPX and print map click “Learn More” below:
To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 130 – Salisbury & Stonehenge
A narrative of this walk with pictures, historic information and other points of interest can be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.
© The 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.