Following the lockdowns of 2020 and whilst still in the early stages of the Covid pandemic we made a short trip to Charlton Manor CL and had a good break. The CL is only 30 minutes drive from home and yet whilst out walking it felt like we were in a totally different part of the Country and we began to appreciate what a beautiful, gem the Vale of Pewsey is.
After our wet trip to the Cotswolds a couple of weeks ago we are ready for a dry sunny stay and the forecast for the week is good. It does not take long for us to get set up and erect the awning. Crosby and I are itching to get out for a walk so are soon ready to head off.
Leaving the site I go through the farm and on reaching a track turn left and head north on the White Horse Trail, this long-distance path covers ninety miles and visits all eight of the Wiltshire White Horses. During the course of 2020 I walked to all the White Horses but because of the pandemic had to do it as a series of days out.
After half a mile I reach a junction of tracks and turn left to leave the White Horse Trail. I continue along this hedge lined track for three quarters of a mile to reach a junction of paths where I turn left. The path heads through a field to cross a stream and then heads along the edge of another field. At a crossing of paths I continue straight on towards the A342. On my left on the side of the chalk down is an ancient Strip Lynchets field system.
Reaching the A342, besides Combe Cottage, I cross the road and continue along a footpath opposite which soon starts to ascend the escarpment of the downs.
The clear path goes uphill and then continues between fields to reach the perimeter of the military firing range on Salisbury Plain.
I now turn left and follow a path heading south east towards a clump of trees in the distance. This is one of the many groups of trees in this area marked on the map as Charlton Clumps.
On reaching the trees I take a footpath along a track on the left and am once again on the White Horse Trail. Soon on my right hand side is an Ordnance Survey trig pillar. I have bagged this one a couple of times, it is in a cracking setting with good views across the Vale of Pewsey.
The track I am on is Charlton Drove and it descends steadily with far ranging views in front of me. Across the vale in the far distance is the Alton Barnes White Horse.
The drove leads back to the A342 opposite the Charlton Cat cafe, I cross carefully and take a path through a gate. The Charlton Cat was a pub and the building dates from the 1820’s. Apparently, it was originally the Red Lion, but by the 1920’s had become known locally as the Cat due to the poorly painted lion on its sign. So the name was changed.
I follow this path the short distance to the outskirts of Charlton St Peter, where I turn left and follow the track back to Charlton Manor CL. This has been a cracking stroll in the late afternoon sunshine and has covered just under five miles.
To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL130 – Salisbury and Stonehenge
6th June 2021
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)
ll information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.