Here in the South of England, Spring is springing. It’s glorious, not to mention long awaited and much appreciated. Spring flowers everywhere, washing on the line most days and the perfect weather to get out and do a bit of walking.

For me, walking pretty much always involves company in the form of the dog. He’s getting a little bit of extra walking time this week because he’s been indulging in some home baking from our Vet Chef treat box. If I were only so disciplined about my own biscuit-to-exercise ratio.

Wiltshire is a top place to be posted for a woman who loves walking. Let me share the walks I’ve discovered over the past few years that have made it to my favourites list. In no particular order…

Black Dog Halt, Nr. Calne

Not just a dog friendly walk, but a perfect walk if you actually have a black dog.

Things Helen Loves, image of black dog
Black dog, Black Dog Halt

Starting from Castle Park the Wiltshire market town of Calne, this walk follows the remains of old canal ways and rail roads and picks up part of the Sustrans National Cycle Route 403 along the way. Although the walk feels very rural once you leave the park behind, it doesn’t actually take you far out of town and is very flat and easy going.

The ‘Halt’ refers to the private rail station which used to serve the Bowood Estate. You can still pick out the structure of the stop; the long goods platform remains in place as does a small section of the passenger platform. The station house is still there, but is now a private residence. The garden gates are a tribute to the history of the place.

Things Helen Loves, image of gates with train and black dogs

A gentle walk to a relic of England past. Full post on this walk here.

The Bulford Kiwi, Bulford

The Bulford area is not the Wiltshire that is promoted to tourists. It’s a military heavy area, home to Bulford camp and the vast, adjacent training area. It’s the area’s military history that makes it keeper of a historical gem. The Bulford Kiwi.

With a body covering about 1.5 acres and a 46m beak, the kiwi is an amazing bit of Kiwiana carved and chalked into a Wiltshire hillside. It was dug out by NZ soldiers who were stationed in the area post WW1. Creating the Kiwi was part discipline, part national pride and partly a make-work task. I blogged about the story behind it here.

Things Helen Loves, Bulford Kiwi viewed from afar

A slight hill to walk on this one but not too strenuous. This is a walk that needs two viewpoints to get the best of it. The top of Beacon Hill for the views across the countryside and a close up of the Kiwi itself, and from one of the viewing points to see the Kiwi in its entirety.

Now a listed monument and point of pride for the local community, the Kiwi is something different in an area better known for hill side white horses. Use post code SP4 9BG to find it, look out for the brown signage for the viewing points.

The Devils Den, Nr. Marlborough

The one for those who fancy a bit more than a stroll, but want to be able to go and have some nice coffee and cake afterwards. And honestly, who doesn’t?

The Devils Den is a bit of a hidden treasure Getting there involves hiking across private land. It’s not sign posted and it’s not accessible by car. And, despite being part of the Avebury World Heritage site, it’s not that well known.

The Den is a dolmen burial chamber, comprised of two standing stones and a capstone to the top. It looks legitimately ancient, but look closely and you’ll see some suspiciously modern looking cement. Story goes that these stones are from the original burial site , but that this was constructed in the 1920s when the site was investigated. Whatever the truth, an intriguing monument in a beautiful setting.

I’m glad someone thought to cement the old stones together, because I couldn’t resist climbing up there. Needed some help to get down, it wasn’t very dignified. I’ll just stick with the walking next time. Post walk, Marlborough is just a short drive away with lots of lovely coffee shops and pubs.

To find the Devils Den , park at the Gravel Hill car park, Downs Lane, Wilts SN8 1PL (OS ref SU 159700).

Wooton Rivers Circular Walk, Wooton Rivers.

Couldn’t post about walking in Wiltshire without including something about canals, this county is home to miles of waterways. Built for heavy industry, they are peaceful places now and great for gentle walking.

A circular walk from the village of Wooton Rivers has a little bit of everything. It begins in a pretty village, follows a good stretch of the Kennet & Avon canal , takes you past a grand Elizabethan house and finishes right next to a dog friendly, traditional country pub. What more could you ask?

This walk also takes you along Mud Lane ( true to name- sturdy, waterproof footwear essential) where, if you look carefully, you might spot the Pewsey Green Man. Nobody knows who carved him or why. Or why he was carved there. But there he is.

I can heartily recommend The Royal Oak as a pre/post walk stop. A historic pub offering a warm welcome, plus the prettiest garden for summer sitting. A truly lovely local business.

Full details of the route we walked can be found here.

Wilton Windmill & Village, Wilton nr. Marlborough

Starting at the only operating windmill in Wessex and then skirting through some gorgeous country side into the picturesque village of Wilton, this is the perfect walk for those seeking the quintessential English countryside experience.

Unluckily for me, I’ve never yet managed to visit the windmill when it’s open, but it’s worth a look even when it’s closed for the chance to get up close with a lovely piece of industrial heritage and for the views across the surrounding countryside.

The village of Wilton itself is postcard-pretty with a duck pond, thatched cottages and a pub. If you wanted to extend this walk, it’s an easy diversion out of the village onto the riverside and the canal beyond.

Find full details of the circular walk route here, and my full blog post about the walk and village here. For clarity, the village of Wilton as pictured here is not so far from Marlborough. Not to be confused with the other Wilton, found closer to Salisbury.

To find this Wilton, use postcode SN8 3SW. This gets you onto Wilton Hill. Look out for the lay by. The windmill can’t be seen from here, but there is a track through the trees and hedges and beyond that the entrance to the site.

Helen x

21 thoughts

  1. themindfulstag says:

    Wow, these look and sound like such wonderful places to walk! Beautiful photos!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you- these are my good-for-the-soul places!

  2. Wow, these are amazing places. I’m going to get a dog soon and would love to try walk the dog in these places. Thank you for sharing!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Highly recommend getting a dog, lots of work but they bring so much love. Do you have a breed in mind?

  3. Love your photos!! I have a toy caboodle who would love these walks. They all look just beautiful.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      They are all lovely walks in all seasons. There’s just something lovely about getting out into the countryside. I’ve just looked up a toy caboodle, they are gorgeous little dogs!

  4. Some great walks here Helen with either a dog for company or not and how lovely that the wolf was sent a treat box, hopefully next time you’ll get a human version! There seems to be lots of Wilton’s around as my sister-in-law also lives in one that’s a district of Ross-on-Wye! Enjoy your sunny Sunday.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Always good to double check place names and locations, easy to end up on an utterly unplanned adventure!

      1. Exactly! Hope your week goes well, After the mini heatwave I put my scarf back on again this morning.

  5. These walk look so beautiful I would do them without a dog, or happily take someone’s dog with me… just so much stunning countryside.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It is a really beautiful place. The walks are great for everyone, dog absolutely optional! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment.

  6. Lovely walks Helen. So many places to visit in Wiltshire aren’t there, especially love walking along the canal.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Wiltshire is a beautiful place for walking, looking forward to pushing out a bit further this Summer and exploring.

  7. My goodness you have given me some great ideas for walks. I found a new to me White horse thus week. I need to visit the kiwi.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Definitely do the Kiwi walk if you can, it’s such a quirky thing. Lovely countryside aswell. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment, you’ve made me smile.

  8. Adventure Awaits Us At Home says:

    Your photos are beautiful. I can see why you enjoy your walks here. Your pup is so cute!

  9. Beautiful and such varied walks in Wiltshire. England is a walker’s paradise and we’ve enjoyed so many woodland and countryside walks this year. I particularly like the circular canal walk, it’s never bad finishing a walk at a pub.

  10. Love the look of all those walks. Such quirky and interesting things to see on all of them. I have never visited Wiltshire ~ if I ever do ( especially with our black dog) I would definitely want to do all those walks. 🙂

  11. What a beautiful selection of walks Helen, I’d love to do them all (even though I don’t have a dog!) 🙂

  12. What amazing destinations with photos that take me there. I love bonding with my dog over walks, especially when no one else is around. Always a great feeling to see her having fun in the outdoor. And your doggo is so cute! Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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