Before I step into the details of the walk, can we just take a moment to appreciate the charm of the name, ‘Honeystreet’ ? It has a story book, Enid Blyton, everything-is-lovely quality, doesn’t it?
It’s a real place. A canal side village tucked away in Wiltshire and home to many lovely things. But I’ll get to that. There are other things to chat about first, because Honeystreet came near the end of a very nice circular walk in the Vale of Pewsey.
The Start Point: Woodborough Yard
Situated in the heart of Pewsey Vale, Woodborough Yard is a destination in itself. A complex of converted farm buildings, the yard is home to a mixed bag of independent shops and a cracking garden centre. The joy I feel at finding a good garden centre with a pretty cafe knows no bounds.
Have a peek at Woodborough Yard here, it’s a grand place from which to start a
walk adventure. Before setting off, couldn’t resist saying hello to these two. Added ‘ nice donkey pair’ to the list of things for the future.
From Woodborough Yard, we skirted the village of Woodborough and wandered through the pretty Wiltshire countryside until we came to…
A little bit of local history. Interesting, but a bit puzzling as I’m not exactly sure which bit is the monument. The big historical looking mound we were walking alongside, or the stone with the inscription by the roadside?
Whichever, the significant thing is this: this is the place where King Aethelred met his brother Alfred, soon-to-be King, on their way to fight the Danes. Here they made a pact that should one die, the dead man’s child would inherit lands belonging to their father King Aethelwulf.
Either way, it’s a low key bit of history about a man who was kind of a big deal in these parts. Old King Alfred owned the estate of Pewsey and has a rather handsome statue in the village centre.
Walking Farmland & Field
After that, some good Wiltshire walking. Down a tree lined drive, onto farmland. It really is a fabulous part of the world to just put one foot in front of the other. Do that for a time on this walk and come to…
Ladies Bridge, The Kennet & Avon Canal
Love a bit of canal side walking. Canals are captivating- the boats, the community, the wildlife, even the bridges.
Most canal bridges are fairly plain, functional. Ladies Bridge is an exception. No accident, this.
When the canal was being cut, landowner Lady Sussanah Wroughton didn’t care for the idea of an industrial canal across her land. The Kennet & Avon canal was constructed anyway, but only after she’d been paid handsomely and had dictated that the bridge must be pretty.
Ladies Bridge still stands, is still beautiful and is now Grade II listed.
After Ladies Bridge, the canal takes on a wilder and more natural feel. It scoops out creating lake-like pockets in places. This too, no accident. Another condition laid out by Lady Wroughton was that her stretch of canal be created to look as natural as possible. Makes for some lovely walking, until you come to…
Honeystreet Wharf & Honeystreet Mill Cafe
From Ladies Bridge, there were two options with this route. One involved walking up a hill, which would have given great views and the right to feel virtuous for the rest of the day. The other was to cut off the hill bit and go straight to the cafe for coffee and cake.
Coffee and cake won. That hill is going nowhere, I’ll climb conquer it another day.
I’d discovered Honeystreet Mill Cafe online a little while ago and deliberately looked up a walk that would take us there. May my commitment to new places and good coffee never be called into question.
The place did not disappoint.
You walk in via a beautiful set of doors- don’t we all love a good door?- and the first thing you see is the cake counter. They had me at ‘Billionaires Brownie’. The menu is delightful. If you’re more disciplined than me, there are a range of healthy options.
The Honeystreet Mill Cafe is housed in an old saw mill building . You can see the bones of the historic industrial architecture, but its been softened with plenty of colour, fairy lights, a wood burner and the warmest of welcomes.
The welcome extends to four legged friends, the place is incredibly dog friendly. They even carry a range of doggy ice cream. We did, of course, indulge The Wolf.
Fuelled up, warm and rested we dragged ourselves reluctantly back out to walk.
Back on the path, I spotted my country home of dreams. Bay windows, decorative touches at the roof line and the cutest porch complete with log pile. I can imagine living there and creating a lovely Victorian/ country inspired interior.
A little more canal side walking and then back into the fields.
Looking back, a lovely view of a Wiltshire icon. One of the famous white horses, carved into the hillside. This route picked up a little of the 94 mile White Horse Way, a walk that takes in all 8 hillside horses.
I’d need a lot of cake stops to do that one.
Almost back into Woodborough, some local gang activity in the form of these bad boys. Mini sheep, full size attitudes. They came to the fence to have a good look at us and weren’t remotely bothered by The Wolf.
The route from here took us back into the village of Woodborough. Spotted signs of spring incoming along the way, always a cheerful sight. Through the village, over a bridge and the route delivered us back to the starting point.
A very Wiltshire, very lovely walk.
The Practical Stuff
The full details of the route can be found here, thanks to Visit Vale of Pewsey.
Parking at Woodborough Yard is plentiful and free. Use postcode SN9 5PF
The route is very dog friendly, with several dog friendly pubs and cafes along the route. It does cross a lot of farm land, so best on lead much of the time.
If you enjoyed this post, try this one next: The Lansdowne Monument & Cherhill White Horse