Knap Hill from Charlton St Peter

A couple of years ago I did a cracking walk with Lynnie and our friend Mandy that started from Charlton Manor CL and visited Knap Hill and Walkers Hill, the scenery through the Vale of Pewsey was stunning and the views from the hills amazing.  After my short walk yesterday I am ready to head out for a long jaunt today so have plans to head to Knap Hill on a variation of the route we did before.

Leaving the site I turn left to walk up a track following the route of the White Horse Trail. 

I stay with this long distance path ignoring two paths on the left and then at a fork stay with the White Horse Trail heading towards Falkner’s Farm.

After passing the farmyard I cross a minor road and continue along a tarmac lane passing old barns and follow the lane to reach St James’ Church. Apparently there has been a church on this site since 963, part of the current building dates from the 13th century.  The tower dates from the 15th century and the church underwent a restoration in the 1950’s.

From the church I head through trees to pass the lakes of Manningford Trout Fishery. According to this fishery’s website it has some of the best trout fishing in the south of England.

The path takes me around Manor Farm and then passes industrial buildings before going beside a cottage and emerging at a minor road.

Crossing the road I go over a stile and fork left at a junction of footpaths and head through horse paddocks. I am currently following the route of the White Horse Trail this heads through a field in front of Mannigford Manor and then goes through a belt of trees and crosses a stream before heading across another field to a minor road.

After crossing the road I continue on the Trail and then at a junction of footpaths go across a field to visit the church at Manningford Abbots.  Apparently there is no recorded dedication for this church which was rebuilt between 1861-64.   

From the churchyard I go through a metal kissing gate and head across a meadow towards a minor road.

On joining the road I turn left to walk through woodland and cross the River Avon. At a junction in West Sharcott I turn right and follow the lane to East Sharcott where I turn left and pass the Grade II listed Sharcott House.

After passing Manor Farm I take a footpath on the right which is waymarked to Pewsey.  Initially the path goes through fields and then passes what appears to be a disused playing fields before running along the back of gardens.

On reaching a minor road I turn right and then immediately left to go down Church Street and pass St John the Baptist church.

Following the main road through the town I pass shops and head towards the railway station.  A few hundred metres before reaching the station I turn right into Buckleaze Lane.  This lane goes under a railway bridge and then turns right to run parallel to the line before becoming a footpath besides an old mill.

After crossing the River Avon I continue on the narrow path besides the railway line, when the path opens out I fork left keeping a fence on my left and soon pass gardens.  Reaching a tarmac lane I continue to a junction and turn left to head north on a bridleway, this is the route of the White Horse Trail. The path heads downhill and crosses the River Avon.

Soon after I cross the Kennet and Avon Canal at Pains Bridge.

The path is now a farm track still heading north.  Approximately 100 metres after passing the entrance to Inlands Farm I take a footpath on the left which crosses fields, still the route of the White Horse Trail.

Reaching a minor road, Sunnyhill Lane, I turn left and then soon turn right to stay with the White Horse Trail which continues along the edge of a field with Giant’s Grave hill in front.

On reaching a track I turn left along it, leaving the White Horse Trail, I am now on the route of the Mid Wilts Way.  This long distance path is a 68-mile route crossing the County from its boundaries with Berkshire and Somerset.  I follow Pound Lane into the village of Oare to reach the A345.

Here I turn right and pass The White Hart pub, sadly this pub closed in 2014 and it looks like it is a long way from re-opening.  

Such pubs are key to retaining village life and it is surprising that one so close to so many good walks is not worthy of brewery investment to keep it going.  Apparently the local community had plans to try and operate the pub as a community venture, but that doesn’t seem to have progressed and there are now plans to convert it into housing.  The wall in front of the pub is full of bricks where customers have carved their names, some dating back to the 1940’s, it would be a pity if this feature was lost in the redevelopment.

Soon after passing the pub I take a lane on the left leading past the school and then turn right to follow a footpath heading steadily uphill on the edge of a field, still on the Mid Wilts Way. 

The path enters access land on Huish Hill and then climbs steeply.  It is a warm day and this ascent is a good challenge but the views make it worthwhile and I stop at a bench for a drink and to catch my breath.

I follow the footpath to reach a driveway to Huish Hill House and then turn left to follow the path through the grounds of the property and into a copse.  The path now continues in a northwesterly direction across fields.

Now back on the White Horse Trail I stay with it through a gate to head steadily downhill towards the edge of Gopher Wood.

On reaching a track I cross and go through a gate and steadily go uphill with Gopher Wood on my left.

After passing through a gate I follow the path to the top of Draycott Hill and then turn right, still on the Mid Wilts Way, to pass through gates and go past a dew pond.

This is a cracking ridge to walk along and there are a group of paragliders making the most of the thermals.  Soon I get a good view of Knap Hill and take a slight diversion from the Mid Wilts Way to pop to the top of this hill.

From the hill I follow the well-worn path to a gate and then go through a parking area before crossing a minor road.  On the far side of the road I go through a gate and turn left and head through a couple of fields and follow the path up to the top of Walkers Hill.

I now head south down Walkers Hill with a fine view across the Vale of Pewsey in front of me.

Looking to my right as I go down I can see Alton Barnes White Horse.  This horse was first cut in 1812 when Robert Pile of Manor Farm in Alton Barnes paid twenty pounds to John Thorne, known as Jack the Painter, to design and cut the horse.  The figure stands on Milk Hill which is the highest hill in Wiltshire at 295metres and is reported to be the second highest chalk hill in the UK.

I follow the path beside a road and then join the road to walk through the edge of Alton Barnes.

Staying with this minor road I reach Honeystreet where I join the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal and head east.

I am only on the canal towpath for a short while, leaving at the next bridge (no.122) to take a path that heads to the right towards the village of Woodborough.  

Reaching the outskirts of the village I pass Church Farm and continue along the lane to reach a road junction where I turn left and then at the next junction I turn right and soon reach a footpath on the left.  This goes across a field to reach the railway line which I cross and continue on a path towards Bottlesford.

The path enters Bottlesford at the back of the Seven Stars Inn. According to the Campaign for Real Ale website this pub was first licensed by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1748 to provide beer for the farm workers and had its own brewery. The pub gets its name from the seven stars in the constellation of the Plough.  Apparently it was also a pyrotechnics factory manufacturing fireworks between 1898 – 1903.   The pub was the headquarters of the “Queens Club”  a Friendly Society of tradesmen and others in the Parish of Wilsford formed in 1837.

I stay with the minor road and walk into Bottlesford and then on reaching a footpath on the left I take it across fields towards Manor Farm in Hilcott.

Reaching a minor road I turn left and then very soon at Stitchings Lane turn right and follow this lane to a junction of tracks where I turn left.

I now stay with this lane as it heads south heading back towards Charlton St Peter, it brings me to a junction of tracks where I turn right and retrace the route along the White Horse Trail to return to the caravan site.

My walk has covered just over seventeen miles and has been a cracking day out through some cracking countryside with some stunning views. 

You can view this 17 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps OS130 Salisbury & Stonehenge; and OS157 Marlborough & Savernake Forest

4th May 2024

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2024)

All 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.

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