This walks follows the Sarum Way a circular route around Salisbury and Wilton. It visits a number of villages and passes through Trafalgar Park, Grovely Wood and Clarendon Park. Sections of the walk follow the Avon Valley Way, Monarch’s Way and Clarendon Way.
33.2 miles / 53.2km
2927 feet / 892 metres
11 hours / 13 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: SU209305).
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 turn right and follow the road through the village to reach a green with a bench (Grid Ref: SU205266).
Now follow a path that runs inside a hedge parallel to Grimstead Road heading towards Alderbury. 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: SU197262). 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: SU197253) turn right and then after crossing the disused railway line turn left and join a permissive route parallel to the railway line (Grid Ref: SU194253).
Keep the disused railway to the left for 1.4km to reach Four Gates (Grid Ref: SU195239). 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: SU190240).
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 right 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: SU178237) go right to head towards Charlton-All-Saints. The exit from the field is by way of an unusual turnstile gate (Grid Ref: SU 177239).
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: SU171245). 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: SU167253).
Cross the main road with care to join a footpath heading uphill besides a field. After 250 metres turn right through a gate on the Avon Valley Path (Grid Ref: SU164252). Continue along the edge of a field of pasture to reach and go through another gate to join a track and follow this passing a farmyard and then reaching a minor road (Grid Ref: SU156257).
Continue straight on along the road passing houses, then as the road turns to the left take a footpath opposite (Grid Ref: SU155257). Now head through fields towards Odstock Farm. After passing the farm buildings continue in a westerly direction to cross a field and then follow a path that leads to minor road (Grid Ref: SU146260). Here turn right and walk into Odstock passing the Yew Tree Inn to a cross roads. Go straight over and follow the road for 450 metres, crossing the River Ebble to reach a footpath on the left besides a small lay-by (grid Ref: SU148265).
The path initially goes through bushes and then reaches arable fields. This is a well-worn path heading west. Ignore a path on the left and continue to a crossing of paths (Grid Ref: SU136276). Here turn right and go steadily uphill for 330metres to reach a drove and then turn left and follow the track to reach the A354 Blandford Road. Cross the road with care and take the track opposite, The Old Shaston Drove, to reach a track junction and turn left (Grid Ref: SU129282).
Stay with this drove for 3.75km passing Salisbury Racecourse to reach a minor road (SU093285). Cross and continue along the Old Shaftesbury Drove passing Hare Warren. After 1.2km at another minor road turn right and walk besides the road for 100 metres to reach an entrance into woodland on the left (Grid Ref: SU082288).
Follow this path through the trees for 1.25km, ignoring paths to the right and left, to reach a stony track (Grid Ref: SU070294). Turn right and descend to South Burcombe. Pass converted barns at Manor Farm to get to a minor road, cross and carry on heading north to cross the River Nadder to reach the A30 (Grid Ref: SU073311).
Turn right and follow the pavement for 180 metres and then take the footpath on the opposite side of the road. This heads up to cross the main Exeter to Salisbury railway line and then continues steadily uphill towards a barn. Here the track turns left and soon after right to continue the steady ascent of the hill. After passing farm buildings on the left reach a crossing of paths (Grid Ref: SU077326). Continue straight on and stay with the way marked route as it enters trees and continue north through Heath Woods passing an ancient earthworks and staying with the way marked route. At a crossing of tracks go right (Grid Ref: SU074336).
Now descend to the edge of the woodland and cross a stile into a field. Go right along the fence line and enter another field and then go left to join a path across access land above a stunning valley. The path descends steadily to a stile (Grid Ref: SU080343). Cross and continue diagonally across an arable field to reach a track. From here head under the railway line and join a minor road (Grid Ref: SU081347). Turn right and after 50 metres take a footpath on the left leading down to the River Wylie.
Continue besides the river to reach a footbridge which leads into South Newton. On reaching the village with the busy A36 running through it turn right on the pavement and follow the road for 250 metres to reach Forge Close on the opposite side of the road (Grid Ref: SU086345). Cross with care and then follow the footpath into the Close and carry on besides allotments. After passing more houses the footpath turns right to head out on to an arable field. At the field boundary turn left on a footpath on a track heading steadily uphill (Grid Ref: SU089344).
On reaching a fork in the track the path goes to the right and heads onto downland (Grid Ref: SU090346). Continue along the top of the downs with the fence to the right to reach a stile near a copse (Grid Ref: SU095351). Now follow the path heading towards telecom aerials at the top of the hill. After passing the masts the route follows a track to reach the A360 (Grid Ref: SU104356).
Cross and take the footpath opposite heading towards woodland. At the edge of the trees the path turns to the right (Grid Ref: SU107358). Now follow the track for 2km to reach Lower Woodford. In the village turn right and then after 50 metres turn left to take a waymarked path that goes through a gate besides a cattle grid (Grid Ref: SU126353).
The route follows the drive of a property to reach a bridge over the River Avon. After crossing the river the path goes uphill to reach a minor road. Turn left and then almost immediately right at Salterton Farm (Grid Ref: SU129357). Keeping the farmyard to the left go through a gate and follow a path steadily uphill on the route of the Monarch’s Way.
Stay with the Monarch’s Way path as it heads towards the A345 at Longhedge. Cross the main road and continue on the Monarch’s Way which now follows a drove to reach a road, known as Portway, with a World War II pillbox in the field to the right (Grid Ref: SU159342). Cross the road and start to descend to Hurdcott.
Near the village leave the Monarch’s Way and continue straight on to cross the River Bourne and then turn right at a road junction in the village (Grid Ref:SU169338). After 60 metres turn right into Black Horse Lane and pass the Black Horse pub. At the end of the lane join a footpath and follow this as it skirts the edge of a field and then goes through the hedge line into a second field to continue on to a footpath running behind houses. This soon opens up into a driveway to properties and reaches a minor road in Ford (Grid Ref: SU165329).
Turn left and walk 350 metres to Broken Cross Bridge, this crosses the railway line on the A338. After carefully crossing the bridge turn left into Old Malthouse Lane. After 200 metres take a footpath on the right besides industrial units (Grid Ref: SU171330).
Follow the path steadily uphill for 400 metres to reach the A30. Cross the busy main road with care. The path continues on the far side through a hedge to follow a farm track that ascends steadily along the side of a field. At the top corner of the field turn right and follow the edge of the field to join a path leading through bushes to reach a kissing gate into the open access land of Cockey Down Nature Reserve (Grid Ref: SU175322).
The route follows a path along the top of the downs towards a clump of trees (Grid Ref: SU168316). After passing through the trees the path descends steeply and continues south on Laverstock Down. At a fork in the path (Grid Ref: SU165308) go left and head uphill to reach a kissing gate and then follow a hedge lined path to reach the gates for Clarendon Estate at Rangers Lodge Farm. Now turn left on the Clarendon Way (Grid Ref: SU165298).
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: SU170299). 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: SU185302).
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 after 2.9km reaches a minor road on the edge of Pitton. Turn left and after 140 metres at a crossroads turn right and walk up White Hill to reach the starting point at the Silver Plough.
There are no public toilets.
Toilets are available in the pubs on this route during opening hours.
Pitton: Silver Plough, Pitton Village Stores
Alderbury: Village Post Office
Odstock: The Yew Tree Inn
Old Shaftesbury Drove: Coombe Caravan Site shop
Burcombe: Manor Farm Butchers
South Newton: The Bell Inn
Lower Woodford: The Wheatsheaf
Hurdcott: The Black Horse
To download GPX and print map click “Learn More” below:
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 Maps OL130 Salisbury & Stonehenge and OL131 Romsey, Andover & Test Valley
© Walking Moonraker (2020-21)
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.