The North Wessex Downs Walking Festival
celebrated the 50th Anniversary of this
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Our walking festival has now finished.  With 28 walks that took place across the length and breadth of the North Wessex Downs the festival was a celebration of the stunning landscapes, gorgeous scenery and top-class walking country that the AONB has to offer – and its 50th Anniversary as a protected landscape.

We are very grateful to all our partners who helped us by organising and leading walks.

You can see the walks that were on offer in the list below.

Filter Walks:

Barbury Castle & Burderop circular: a ramble through history and literature

11th Jun 2022  |  4.5 miles  |  11.00am  |  Free

A leisurely walk exploring the ancient tracks, flower-studded downlands and scenic panoramas around Barbury Castle and Burderop Downs. This walk explores the landscape immortalised in the acclaimed nature writing of Richard Jefferies; and makes connections to people and places of the past through the words of writers, photos and objects.

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Savernake family fun walk

12th Jun 2022  |  1 - 2 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

A relaxed guided walk for the whole family at Savernake Forest just south of Marlborough, one of England’s most special forests. Children are invited to bring their favourite teddy to join on their woodland adventure! Wheelchair access is possible as the walk uses surfaced paths, but these can be wet and muddy in places after rain.

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Forestry & Veteran Trees of Savernake Forest

13th Jun 2022  |  4 - 5 miles  |  6.00pm  |  Free

Located just south of Marlborough, Savernake Forest is one of England’s most special forests with a history reaching back more than 1000 years. This guided walk will take you behind the scenes to learn about how the forest’s unique landscapes and habitats.

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Wayfarers Walk and Crux Easton

14th Jun 2022  |  5.7 miles  |  11.00am  |  Free

This is a lovely walk through some of North Hampshire’s most beautiful countryside. We visit the impressive historic Grade II listed Titt-geared wind engine in the small village of Crux Easton; walk a stretch of the Wayfarer’s Walk with extensive views of Beacon Hill and Ladle Hill, and stop at Heaven’s Gate – an unusual brick-built architectural folly on the Highclere estate.

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Pewsey, Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve and Kennet & Avon Canal

14th Jun 2022  |  3.5 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

Starting and ending in the village of Pewsey, this walk goes to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve, a very special wetland nature reserve. We continue along the Kennet & Avon Canal and then back into Pewsey village centre.

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Cocklebury Farm Family Walk

14th Jun 2022  |  Approx 2 miles  |  4.30pm  |  Free

This is a family focused, educational farm walk in a beautiful location west of Pewsey. It will be about 2 miles in total at an ambling pace, taking around 1.5 hours. Plenty of stops along the way to explain how the farm works and how they encourage and protect wildlife.

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Wessex Airscapes – Up and Around Lowbury Hill

15th Jun 2022  |  6.5 miles  |  10.00am  |  £16 per person

This walk takes us into the world of renowned local artist Anna Dillon and aerial landscape photographer Hedley Thorne – the historic landscape of North Wessex Downs is the inspiration for much of their work . This is a walk of billowy downs, sweeping coombs and awesome panoramic views.

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Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind Wellbeing Walk

16th Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  1.30pm  |  Free

A gentle summer’s walk with Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind Walking Group. When we combine the benefits of walking with mindfulness, we can experience improvements to psychological and physiological wellbeing.

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Walk & Cruise the Kennet & Avon Canal

16th Jun 2022  |  Up to 5.5 miles  |  2.15pm  |  £10 per adult, £5 per child (16 or under)

The North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust have teamed up to offer a rather special afternoon’s combined walk and canal boat trip on The Rose of Hungerford. Walk as little or as much as you want.

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Wildlife in and by a chalk stream

18th Jun 2022  |  1 mile  |  9.30am  |  £5.50 per adult, £3 per child (under 16)

A family walk along the riverbanks of the Kennet and the adjoining water meadow to spot wildlife. Wear wellies for a chance to explore the river and see up close the amazing creatures that live in a healthy chalk stream. Boardwalks are suitable for wheelchairs, but the water meadow is dependent on weather conditions and type of wheelchair.

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image credits: Jefferies and Barbury Castle - Creative Commons, Family Walk - Forestry England, Savernake - Forestry England, Jones's Mill - Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership, Crux Easton Wind Engine - Jackie Browne, Hill View - Cocklebury Farm, The Ridgeway_Streatley Warren - Pipsticks Walks, The Rose of Hungerford – KACT, Walking Group - S&G Mind, Marlborough High Street -, The Green at Sunset - Marlborough Town Council, View from Ladle Hill autumn - Charmaine Hoey, Roundway hill - National Grid Benjamen Graham, At Stonebridge – ARK, Golden Hour Green Drove - Jonathan Helps, Cherhill view to white horse - Judy Hible, Accessible walk - John Boler, Sarsen stones on the downs above Ashdown House- Lesley Dunlop, Walkers - Wessex WALX, Beckhampton Corn Bunting - Judy Hible, Bedwyn Brail Sweet Chestnut - Judy Haynes, Faccombe estate- Jackie Browne, Map & Compass Selection - Philippa Saunders, Coopers in the Wood - Charmaine Hoey, Letcombe Valley Pond - Jacky Akam, John Piper Window_Farnborough - Philippa Sanders, Calstone - Adonis blue on wild carrot - Judy Hible