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:

Freeman’s Marsh at Hungerford

This oasis of calm brimming with wildlife is easily accessed from Hungerford town centre

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Snelsmore Common

A haven for wildlife and a great place for a picnic.

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Fosbury Camp

Sitting atop Knolls Down, on the edge of Wiltshire, lies this iron age hillfort and scheduled monument.

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The Ridgeway National Trail

Travel along its length and you will experience wide, open views of rolling chalk downland and find many archaeological monuments

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And finally… Stained Glass Window at Farnborough

The Church of All Saints is the location of a glorious stained glass window designed by John Piper in a memory of his great friend the poet Sir John Betjeman.

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