A leisurely wildlife and landscape walk from the village of Calstone Wellington along the valley of the River Marden to its source in Ranscombe Bottom.
As we walk, we take in Calstone and Cherhill Downs, a special chalk downland habitat managed by the National Trust and maintained by conservation grazing. In June, the downs support myriad species of butterflies, moths and farmland birds (such as skylark, yellowhammer, corn bunting, stonechat), which we may be lucky enough to see. There are also chalk downland flowers, with excellent displays of wild common spotted, fragrant and pyramidal orchids.
We can follow Ranscombe Bottom or venture into the side combes to look for the flowers and butterflies. We return via the River Marden.
There will be a handout with information on what we should see. If the gates are locked, we will need to cross a couple of stiles. Walkers are welcome to stop and picnic in the combes towards the end of the walk as it is easy to find the way back to the meeting point.
NOTE: This walk is currently fully booked but you can join a waiting list
through the booking system.
Walk leader/organisation: Judy Hible, North West Wiltshire Ramblers
- Booking: Free – Booking essential – 20 places
- Distance & approximate duration: 3.75 miles (6 km) – 2 hours
- Difficulty: Fairly easy (some gentle inclines, steps/stiles).
- Accessibility: Suitable for older children (12+). Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult (see useful information). Steps/stiles on the route. Not suitable for wheelchairs.
- Dogs: No dogs
- Refreshments: Bring snacks and drinks as needed. There are no amenities on the route (see below). Walkers are welcome to stop and picnic in the combes towards the end of the walk.
- Toilets: There are no public toilets on the route (see below).
- Meeting point: Meet at South Farm, Calstone Wellington. No useful postcode available. What3Words: ///dumplings.snore.elsewhere OS grid reference: SU 025 683
- Public Transport: There are no buses on Sundays. If you would like a lift from Chippenham or Calne, please contact the walk leader (see below).
- Parking: Parking on the verge at Manor Farm, Calstone.
For general booking information, health and safety advice, terms and conditions please see our useful information page.
If you would like a lift from Chippenham or Calne, please contact the walk leader after booking (their number will be on your booking confirmation).
For refreshments and toilets, the Black Horse Inn is about 5 minutes’ drive from the walk meeting point on the A4, Main Road, Cherhill, SN11 8UT.
For information on Calstone and Cherhill Downs, see Calstone and Cherhill Downs | National Trust.
For more information and other walks, see North West Wiltshire Ramblers.
For general information on the Ramblers and to find other groups and walks near you, see Ramblers.
This walk is brought to you by our partner: