Categories
South West Wiltshire

The Smallest Village in Wiltshire

Description:
This walk goes over attractive sections of Cranborne Chase and visits Fifield Bavant, the smallest village in Wiltshire.  There are good views of the Regimental Badges on Fovant Down and towards the end of the walk it passes extensive watercress beds.  Sections of this walk follow minor roads which are not devoid of traffic so care should be taken.

Walk Grade:
Moderate

Distance:
15.5 miles / 25 km

Total Ascent:
1480 feet / 451 metres

Time:
5 hours 30 mins / 6 hours 30 mins

Parking:
This walk starts from the car park of All Saints Church in Broad Chalke (Grid reference SU040254). Please park considerately and check to ensure that no church service is planned.

Walk Route:
Leaving the car park by the entrance gateway turn left and walk along The Causeway soon crossing the River Ebble.  At the road junction close to the Queens Head pub turn right to pass the United Reform Chapel that now also houses the village community shop and café.  Just after the chapel take a footpath on the left, (Grid Ref:SU040256) that leads to a lane. Turn right and continue along a footpath when the lane ends, now heading north easterly uphill.

At a junction with a broad track turn left (Grid Ref:SU050263) and continue uphill towards Stoke Down. After passing a farm continue on the track, this is a long steady haul up the hill, at a way marker (Grid Ref: SU058279) leave the track to fork right and head across arable fields on a clearly defined path. The route then enters woodland and soon reaches a driveway, turn left following it to a crossing with the Old Shaftesbury Drove (Grid Ref: SU063288).    

Turn left and follow the drove for 2.75km to reach a track on the right (Grid Ref: SU037282) leave the drove and follow this track as it descends steadily on Compton Down. The track continues to the A30, cross and follow a track to Naishes Farm. After passing the farm buildings the track heads between fields and then descends on a sunken track through woodland continuing on to Compton Chamberlayne (Grid Ref: SU029298).

Turn right and walk through this attractive village.  Just after the entrance to the church take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: SU029300) follow this path heading west to reach a junction of paths at Home Farm (Grid Ref: SU023298).  Continue straight on to pass barns and continue west.  This path continues for 1.75km to reach a track, Green Drove (Grid Ref: SU006297).

Turn left on the drove and then almost immediately take a footpath on the right which goes along the edge of a field besides woodland on Fir Hill. After 750 metres ignore a kissing gate on the right, instead continuing for another 300 metres to take a path on the right going downhill through woodland (Grid Ref: SU003291).

On reaching a lane in Fovant turn right and then after 50 metres go left into Mill Lane and follow this through the village to meet the Tisbury Road.  Turn right and continue to a crossroads with a small green, here continue straight on along Moor Hill heading out of the village.   Stay with this lane passing Long’s Farm and then at a junction (Grid Ref:ST988296) turn left into Panter’s Road. This lane gradually climbs towards Sutton Mandeville.  After 650 metres take a footpath on the right and follow it past All Saints Church. 

From the church continue along a path to reach a road and turn left and follow the road to pass the Old Rectory.  At a fork in the road (Grid Ref: ST990288) go right joining Glass’s Lane heading south towards the A30.  After crossing the main road join a footpath going south along the side of an arable field.  The path enters access land on Sutton Down (Grid Ref: ST995266).  Follow way-markers across a stile, the path now goes uphill roughly following the fence line on the left to reach a stile in the top corner (Grid Ref: ST994263).  

From here head west along the fence line to enter another field and then turn south to join the Old Shaftesbury Drove. Turn left along the drove for 350 metres to reach a footpath on the right (Grid Ref: ST998264).  Take this path and follow it as it heads steadily downhill through arable fields to reach a minor road on the edge of Fifield Bavant (Grid Ref: SU013249).

Turn left to walk into Fifield Bavant.  This is the smallest village in Wiltshire with just two houses, the Manor House and the former rectory and ten cottages. Stay with the road to a footpath leading through a farmyard. Now turn right and take a footpath through a gate heading downhill (Grid Ref: SU018251). Cross a footbridge over a stream, and then turn left on a footpath heading east and follow this through the attractive valley to reach a minor road (Grid Ref: SU023250).

After passing the watercress beds stay on the lane to a junction (Grid Ref: SU031251) turn right and after 110 metres, just after passing a bus shelter, turn left into with South Street.  Follow this lane into Broad Chalke passing attractive cottages.  At the church take a path to the left returning to the starting point in the car park. 

Toilets:
There are no public toilets.
Toilets are available in the pub on this route during opening hours.

Refreshments:
Broad Chalke: Chalke Valley Stores and Coffee Shop, Queens Head.

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 OL118 – Shaftesbury & Cranborne Chase and OL130 – Salisbury & Stonehenge

© Walking Moonraker (2021)

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.