Celebrating 50 years as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The North Wessex Downs became a protected landscape in 1972 – protected by law for the nation.  But for hundreds of years its natural beauty has inspired poets and painters, writers and wanderers.  We hope to inspire you with our selection of fifty things that are not-to-be-missed: places, experiences and wildlife which we think deserve a special mention.

Thank you to everybody who contributed to the selection process – particularly to members of the Council of Partners for their input.  Not everything made the cut – there is simply too much to choose from!

Please share your journey through the list via our social media channels using #northwessexdowns50 – we’d love to see your images and know what you think about our choice.

What would you have included?

You can also explore the locations included in our list of 50 Things on our Interactive Map.

Explore the very best of the North Wessex Downs:

Four County Tops

The North Wessex Downs AONB spans four counties – Berkshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – and includes all four county tops.

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The Dawn Chorus

Experience birdsong at its best in spring in the North Wessex Downs.

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Sunrise at Adam’s Grave

This high point on Pewsey Downs provides some of the best views in the AONB!  What better place to watch the sun come up?

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Often overlooked, this pretty Wiltshire village is a real gem with some quirky cultural links and surrounded by inviting countryside.

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An archetypical English market town in the rural north east corner of Wiltshire surrounded by the glorious countryside.

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Sarsen Stones at Lockeridge Dene

Explore this intriguing site with its landscape of sarsen stones

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Hungerford, steeped in history and immersed in antiques, lies at the very heart of the North Wessex Downs AONB and is easily accessible by train.

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‘Chocolate Box’ Villages

Thatched roofs, cottage gardens and village pubs! The protected landscape of the North Wessex Downs includes its picture-perfect villages.

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Pewsey Vale by Bicycle

Great cycling is to be found in the Vale of Pewsey, both on and off road

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