Usually September is a month when we spend a lot of time in the caravan. However, this year for various reasons, including work being done to our house and my going walkabouts on the South Downs Way, we did not spend a single night in the van. At the end of last week I was suffering from caravan withdrawal and suggested to Lynnie we pop away for a few nights. Not wanting to travel too far, but keen to explore somewhere new we opt for a trip up the A36 from Salisbury to the village of Rode and we are fortunate to get a pitch at Barrow Farm CL.
As soon as we are pitched up and sorted out the boots are being laced up and we are heading out for a wander. We walk back along the CL entrance driveway and just after the house take the footpath on the right that leads up between fields and at a junction of paths we fork right and follow the fenced path between fields.
After going through a kissing gate we turn left and head uphill along a lane leading into The Mead and then into the village of Rode. At a junction with the High Street we turn left and walk through the attractive village soon passing the The Cross Keys pub.
After passing the village shop we reach a small green with a War Memorial.
Continuing along the High Street we cross the road by the village hall and head straight over along Langham Place. This lane continues over a cattle grid, which has silted up, and then along a tarmac lane. It is a pleasant Autumn afternoon and some of the trees have started to turn.
The tarmac track becomes tree-lined and continues besides the River Frome to reach a farm. Here there is a choice of paths, we opt for a footpath continuing through a gate to cross a field before reaching another gate besides the river. This is a cracking spot.
We soon reach another gate and enter a field with some inquisitive cows and their calves. Without the dogs this would not bother me, then we spot a large bull and decide it’s time to retrace our steps and take an alternative route. So we head back to the junction of paths by the farm, this time taking the uphill bridleway on the right.
Through a gate we enter a field and then head towards High Wood following the path through another gate to join a track around the eastern side of the woods. Out to our right, in the distance, we can see the White Horse that overlooks Westbury. This is said to be the oldest of the Wilshire white horses and was restored as far back as 1778, since then it has undergone a number of restorations. In 1872 the perimeter was lined with stones to ensure the shape did not change and then in the 1950’s it was concreted over and painted to make it easier to maintain.
On reaching a tarmac lane at Vagg’s Hill we turn left and are soon heading downhill to a splendid old house.
Just prior to reaching the ancient bridge across the River Frome we turn right through a kissing gate and head along a field of pasture besides the river.
The route then heads uphill through Tipney Wood to reach another field of pasture, which we cross to reach an electric fence into a field of recently harvested maize. After crossing this field we reach a kissing gate leading into a field of pasture. The cows are just returning from milking and are very interested in the dogs and they are a large herd. So once again we consider our options, deciding discretion is the better part of valour we turn and re-cross the maize field. Back over the electric fence we take a path to the top of Tipney Wood; passing the end of the woodland we get fine views across the valley.
The footpath leads us to a kissing gate at the top of Vagg’s Hill. We decide to turn right and head downhill passing the fine house and this time on reaching the 17thcentury bridge we cross.
The footpath passes the Tellisford Mill, this former watermill was restored in 2007 and is now a micro hydro power station.
The path continues up a steep path, which for centuries would have been trod by those heading to the mill. At the top of the village we continue along the road, passing a number of attractive homes, to reach the pathway to All Saints Church. We take the short diversion to visit the small church with its many memorials to various generations of the Crabb family.
Tellisford is a “Thankful Village”. Three local men went to fight in World War I and all three returned making it one of the smallest Thankful villages in Somerset. In the 1930’s thirty-two English and Welsh villages were identified as “Thankful villages”, there are none in Scotland or Northern Ireland, later research in 2013 identified the number to be fifty-three. I have now visited two of them.
Having viewed the church we return to the road and turn right to walk to the crossroads where we turn left and follow this country lane back to the edge of Rode, entering the village by the Rode Mill pub. Crossing the River Frome on the narrow road bridge we arrive back at the entrance to Barrow Farm CL. Our little wander has covered six miles, an ideal way to get a feel for the local countryside.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 143 – Warminster & Trowbridge
1st October 2018
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)