Welcome to the
North Wessex Downs Walking Festival
celebrating the 50th Anniversary of this
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

With 28 walks on offer across the length and breadth of the North Wessex Downs our festival is 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 have opportunities for you to seek out wildlife, history or culture, visit a farm, follow an accessible trail, picnic with the family, improve your navigation skills or simply to soak up the views from the top of the downs. Many of the walks are free. Join our knowledgeable and welcoming guides to discover more as they bring alive some of their favourite places in the North Wessex Downs.

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

Find the perfect walk for you by either scrolling through the list in ‘List View’ or using the map.  You can filter the walks in either view and hit ‘Lets GO’.

We look forward to seeing you!

For general booking information, health and safety advice, terms and conditions please see our useful information page.

Filter Walks:

Beckampton Solstice evening stroll

21st Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  7.00pm  |  Free

A leisurely midsummer evening walk in the historic Avebury area. Starting from the Old Bath Road/Wessex Ridgeway we pass Beckhampton Long Barrow, the field with the Long Stones, and take in views of barrows on Windmill Hill. If the sun is shining there will be butterflies flying and we may hear corn buntings.

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Bedwyn Brail Ancient Tree Walk

22nd Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  5.00pm  |  Free - donations to Wilts Air Ambulance would be appreciated on the day (suggested donation £2)

A summer’s evening walk in the woodland of Bedwyn Brail. A rare opportunity to visit trees not visible from the public footpaths, especially a sweet chestnut, a possible ‘champion’ tree and a rare native black poplar tree. Richard Charles will join us, custodian of the Brails, who will explain about the importance and management of these special trees.

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Facca’s Valley; The woods, hills & valleys of the Faccombe Estate

23rd Jun 2022  |  3 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

This circular walk explores the ancient tracks and woodland paths through the beautiful rolling hills and valleys of the Faccombe Estate. It is a peaceful walk with plenty of wildlife, wildflowers and lovely vistas to enjoy. Along the way you will also learn something of the story of the estate and the people that helped shape it.

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Navigation Essentials – find your way in a day!

24th Jun 2022  |  6 miles  |  10.00am  |  £55 per person

This practical one-day Navigation Essentials course is a great introduction to the skills you need to get out and about. You might be looking at getting started in the outdoors, or just wanting to refresh and improve on some rusty map and compass skills you learnt a while ago. Our expert tuition and guidance will help you make sense of it all and give you confidence to plan and enjoy your own great outdoor adventures, whether on foot or two wheels.

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Letcombe Brook Discovery Trail

25th Jun 2022  |  5 miles  |  10.00am  |  Free

A walk for all the family following Letcombe Brook through the historic market town of Wantage to the Local Wildlife Trust’s Letcombe Valley Reserve where we may find wild brown trout and perhaps catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or little egret.

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Up in the Downs and down in the Valleys

25th Jun 2022  |  9 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

This walk crosses the open chalk downland and the valleys of the chalk streams. There is natural beauty, traditional local industry and quite possibly the most remote wooden benches in southern England on this walk.

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Literary Hitchhiking in Up on the Downs

26th Jun 2022  |  9 miles  |  9.45am  |  £12 per person

Many a poet and writer have tramped and roamed the Berkshire Downs. Join us for a walk in their footsteps and immerse yourself in the Downs “among the highest, most spacious, and most divinely carved in rolling ridge and hollow flank…” (Edward Thomas). As well as literary discoveries there will be stunning panoramic views, wildflowers and butterflies.

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Calstone Chalk Combes and their wildlife

26th Jun 2022  |  3.75 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

A leisurely walk from the village of Calstone Wellington along the valley of the River Marden to its source in Ranscombe Bottom. Cherhill and Calstone Combes are National Trust nature reserves with 16 species of butterflies, plus moths and farmland birds such as skylark and corn bunting.

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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 - greatwestway.co.uk, 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