When we are travelling around the Country in the caravan I try to ensure that part of the trip includes bagging a trig point or two. This usually involves spending time studying the map to plot suitable walking routes. Surprisingly there are a few trig points not too far from home that I have yet to bag one is on Barford Down which is an area I have not previously walked.
The starting point for my walk is the car park besides the village hall and recreation playing field in Rectory Road, Alderbury (SP5 3BJ). Leaving the car park I join the Southampton Road and turn left to head past the village sign.
Wandering along the pavement there is very little traffic passing through the village, a far cry from the days when this road was the main A36, nowadays the village has been bypassed. On reaching Lights Lane I turn left and follow this minor road uphill to join School Hill. After passing the old School Building I turn left onto a track, Old Vicarage Lane.
I follow this track to the junction with Witherington Road where I turn left. I stay on the road to pass Alderbury Farm. Out to my right are the Alderbury Meadows currently flooded following the River Avon bursting its banks.
After half a mile on the road I take a bridleway on the left which heads up besides Treasurer’s Dean Wood.
I stay with the bridleway as it turns right going through trees and around a reservoir.
This route is part of a local circular walk and enters along the edge of the field. The map shows a footpath crossing the field to head south, but there is no sign of it so I continue on the path along the edge of the field to the north eastern corner of the field and turn right to follow a path along the edge of the field. I assume the route has been diverted or this is a permissive path to avoid folks walking right across the field.
The route follows alongside the disused Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway. This 18 mile line spurred off the Salisbury Southampton line at a junction in Alderbury through Downton and Fordingbridge to West Moors where it connected with the main Southampton to Dorchester line. The line was completed in 1866 and operated until May 1964. This section of the line ran through a deep cutting, so passengers had no opportunity to enjoy the view out to the right across to Clearbury Ring.
I keep the disused railway to my left until reaching Four Gates, after passing through a gate I turn left to cross the railway line and pause to look at the old track route.
After crossing the bridge I turn right and follow a bridleway, now with the disused railway line to my right.
The path continues south to reach a minor road besides a railway bridge.
After crossing the road I continue on a broad, uphill track.
At a junction of paths I continue straight on and descend to a tarmac lane, Muddyford Road, here I turn left and walk back up Barford Down on a farm track. At the summit of the hill there is an Ordnance Survey trig point tucked away in the hedge line. This is the 197th trig pillar I have bagged.
Just beyond the trig pillar is a junction of paths. Here I turn right to go through a kissing gate and follow the path along the edge of a field. There are fine views from here.
The path steadily descends to a kissing gate and then on to a junction of paths. I turn right and head steadily uphill besides Langford Lane Wood. At a crossing of paths I continue straight on and pass woodland to reach a junction of tracks where I turn left and follow a path heading north besides Long Copse.
The route continues into woodland. It is not initially easy to identify the path, it is clearly not well walked but I soon spot the route others have been using to pick a way through the trees.
At a crossing of paths I turn left and head towards Privett Farm. After passing the farm I continue straight on at a crossing of paths. This stony farm track has cracking views from the top of Standlynch Down across to Salisbury.
The farm track leads downhill to a junction with a minor road. Here I ignore the road and turn right to take a track heading north below the downs.
I go through a copse and continue on the track below Witherington Down. The path ascends gradually towards the A36. At a junction of paths, before reaching the main road, I turn left and descend besides the edge of a field.
At another junction of paths I turn right and head north on a path between fields going towards Whaddon. The path crosses the disused railway line and passes Matrons College Farm.
I ignore a footpath on the left and continue to a track, Castle Lane. At a junction of unmade roads I turn left, still on Castle Lane and stay with this track as it continues to reach the Southampton Road. Here I turn left and follow the pavement back to my starting point at the Village Hall car park.
My walk has covered just short of ten miles, there have been some stunning views. I will have to return before too long.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL 130 Salisbury & Stonehenge; and OL 131 Romsey, Andover & Test Valley
For more detailed walking directions and GPX download visit my associated Walking Moonraker website.
6th March 2020
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)