The North Wessex Downs Walking Festival 2024
31 May – 9 June

Welcome to our fourth annual Walking Festival!

STOP PRESS! (10 April 2024) Our events are booking up fast and some are now full. However, there are still plenty of events with spaces available for you to choose from.  

With 29 events on offer across the North Wessex Downs our festival is a celebration of the stunning landscapes, glorious scenery and top-class walking country that this National Landscape has to offer.

We have opportunities for you to seek out wildlife, history or culture, picnic with the family or simply soak up the views from the top of the downs.  And this year there are even more farm walks on offer where you can hear directly from the farmers or land managers about their work.

Most of our walks are free.  But all events must be booked in advance.
(If an event is booked up you can join a waiting list.)

Join our knowledgeable and welcoming guides and explore more as they lead you to some of their favourite places in the North Wessex Downs.

We would like to take this opportunity to express how grateful we are to all our partners who organise and lead walks, without whom this festival simply would not be possible.

All walks are listed below. Either scroll through the list or view all events on the map.  You can search for events by length, by date, accessibility or whether they are on a bus or train route.  A copy of our printed programme leaflet can be downloaded here.

We look forward to seeing you!

Filter Walks:

Facca’s Valley: the woods, hills and valleys of the Faccombe Estate

Friday 7th Jun 2024  |  3 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

Explore the ancient tracks and woodland paths through the hills and valleys of the Faccombe Estate. This is a peaceful walk with plenty of wildlife and beautiful vistas. Along the way, you will also learn the story of the Estate and the people that helped to shape it.

More Details

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

Friday 7th Jun 2024  |  3.5 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

Starting in the village of Pewsey, we go out to the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve (orchids a-plenty) and then back along the Kennet & Avon Canal, returning to Pewsey via The Scotchel, a lovely little nature reserve with the River Avon running through it.

More Details

Ramsbury and Littlecote history walk

Friday 7th Jun 2024  |  5 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

A walk from the pretty village of Ramsbury – across countryside with great views and wooded valleys – to the Tudor mansion of Littlecote House. The walk returns past a Roman villa with an impressive, restored mosaic floor.

More Details

Wiltshire 3 Peaks Challenge

Saturday 8th Jun 2024  |  10km or 13 miles  |  £8 or £16 with discount (under 12s free)

Come and join local charity the Youth Adventure Trust in the beautiful Pewsey Vale to take on the Wiltshire 3 Peaks Challenge – a 10km or half marathon circular route. Use discount code NWD20 to get 20% off when you register, and walk, jog or run to raise funds for vulnerable local young people. More details available on the YAT website – the link below will take you directly there.

More Details

Wetlands and regenerative farming around Wilton

Saturday 8th Jun 2024  |  4 miles  |  10.00am  |  Free

A circular walk through the countryside of Wilton exploring regenerative farming and local history. Starting at Wilton Windmill, we will see newly created wetlands and the Kennet and Avon canal, and return along a Roman Road.

More Details

Coopers in the Wood and Cowdown Copse

Saturday 8th Jun 2024  |  6 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

A circular walk from Whitchurch railway station, taking us into the North Wessex Downs towards Coopers in the Wood, looping back towards the Harrow Way (Neolithic road), and finally returning via Cowdown Copse.

More Details

Going underground: transforming the landscape of Roundway Hill

Saturday 8th Jun 2024  |  5 miles  |  2.00pm  |  Free

Explore Roundway Hill on this walk which takes in an Iron Age hillfort, the site of a civil war battlefield and glorious open downland country. See work underway on a major landscape enhancement project from National Grid which will remove 10 pylons from Roundway Hill on the western edge of the National Landscape.

More Details

A walk around Lambourn Downs and Sheepdrove Organic Farm

Sunday 9th Jun 2024  |  3.3 miles  |  10.30am  |  Free

In the heart of the North Wessex Downs, this circular walk explores Lambourn Downs and Sheepdrove Organic Farm taking in the drovers’ roads and footpaths that criss-cross this 2,000-acre mixed farm.

More Details

Sunday saunter

Sunday 9th Jun 2024  |  4.5 miles  |  3.00pm  |  £8 adult, £5 child (under 16)

Join us for a Sunday afternoon walk through woods and over open fields from Hampstead Norreys, an historic village nestled deep in rolling downland on the upper reaches of the River Pang. There is plenty of interest to discover along the way, including a sparkling stream, wildflowers, and ancient mounds to wartime relics.

More Details
Image credits (in order of walk date): Cocklebury Farm; Susie Brew/Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership; Rebecca Davies; RAF Welford Museum; Creative Commons; Action for River Kennet; Jacky Akam; Jacky Akam; Jacky Akam; Mark Clinch; Charmaine Hoey; Dan Bashford/Historic England; Jemima Sellwood; Judy Hible; Katherine Cook; Claire Selman; Dave Olinski; Sarah Ahmed; Heather Lilley/Forestry England; Jacky Akam; Jackie Browne; Henry Oliver; Henry Oliver; Youth Adventure Trust; Judy Haynes; Richard Gearey; Ann Shepley; Ann Shepley; Philippa Sanders.