Walking Paths of Salisbury

A lot of our wonderful guests are avid ramblers and enjoy nothing more than a hike across the Wiltshire countryside, exploring the landscape where our ancient ancestors once roamed, and communing with nature.

If you’re staying at Brades Acre Touring Park we encourage you to make the most of the wonderful recognised walking routes across Salisbury Plain to which we are fortunate enough to have easy access.

Here’s our pick of the paths which we highly recommend:

Tilshead & Salisbury Plain Circular

This popular trail is used all year round by hikers, runners and twitchers, and it starts right on our doorstep at Brades Acre Touring Park, in a free to use car park just a half a mile west of our village, Tilshead SP3.

The circular route across the chalk grassland of Salisbury Plain should take you around three hours to complete, and is described as “moderately challenging” – though some walkers have said it is hillier than they anticipated and it can be very muddy in the winter. Older children should be able to manage the route, and dogs are permitted as long as they are on a lead. It’s not a route recommended for wheelchairs or buggies.

Just a word of warning: this trail goes through a part of Salisbury Plain owned by the Ministry of Defence, and you may well come across some military activity on the way. There’s no live ammunition used here, though, and all you have to do if you see any troops or tanks is give way, keep your distance and follow orders.

Brief Overview:

This walk starts off from the car park on a stone track, heading downhill past a section of woodland to the valley bottom. You’ll pass an ancient long-barrow burial mound, and then be presented with some spectacular views across Salisbury Plain, rich with abundant wild flowers (in summer) and plenty of wildlife – especially birds and butterflies.

As you continue across grassy fields you’ll pass by a mock village, built during the Cold War, still used for army training, followed by another ancient burial mound known as White Barrow.

Following the Imber Range Path you’ll reach the village of Tilshead, and after passing the church, village hall, pub and petrol station you’ll find a side road pointing to Chitterne, which returns you to the car park where the walk began.

Imber Range Perimeter Path

If you’re really a serious hiker then this one’s for you! The circular path around the Imber Firing Range Military Danger area on Salisbury Plain is a 30-mile long-distance challenge that follows the escarpment above the Westbury White Horse, passes through several Iron Age hill forts and reveals the stark beauty of Salisbury Plain in all its glory. The route also passes right through Tilshead, so Brades Acre Touring Park is the perfect place to stay if you’re going to do this walk.

Brief Overview:

Follow the waymarkers, which show a green cannon, and respect the “no entry” and “warning” signs or red flags you’ll encounter on the way. You might also like to check what military movements and live firing sessions are planned during your walk just so you’re not taken unawares by any big bangs.

You might encounter cyclists or horse riders along the way, because this route – which consists of a variety of surfaces from tarmac and gravel stretches to grassy paths – is open to them too.

Near Chitterne you’ll pass the MOD’s urban warfare training centre at Copehill Down – an unusual site constructed to resemble a German village to simulate troop training for European operations.

On the way you’ll pass round (rather than over) Battlesbury Hill and Scratchbury Hill, both topped with Iron Age hill forts, but if you are feeling energetic you may want to follow the footpaths to the summit of these hills of archaeological significance to take in the breathtaking views of the countryside around Warminster. Then you can take in the Westbury White Horse from the top perspective – a 55-metre high white horse painted on the hillside above this Wiltshire town, as you traverse the edge of the Salisbury Plain escarpment across another Iron Age hill fort, Bratton Camp.

Whether you walk it all in one go, or take it in stages, this is a unique journey that loops a restricted area full of fascinating landmarks, lovely views and some wild wonders, particularly in the form of birdlife and rare orchids in the summer.

West Lavington Salisbury Plain Loop

The village of West Lavington on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain has much to recommend it as an interesting local tourist destination with its listed buildings, Norman church and museum. It’s also the starting point for a pleasant walk that follows the Wessex Ridgeway, then along part of the Imber Range Perimeter Path, before heading down back into the village.

It’s the perfect walk for those who want to grab a leisurely look at the magnificent views in this part of the world, traverse some woodland and spot some unusual flora and fauna.

This walk starts just a few miles from Brades Acre Touring Park at Tilshead, four miles to the north on the A360.

Brief Overview:

Park up to start your walk in the layby up White Street (or you can park on the street outside the cemetery), following a hedged track to a kissing gate. From there you’ll pass the playing fields of the historic, independent Dauntsey School and emerge on the hill above the village.

Next its through some woodland on to Strawberry Hill, with some fine views, following a section of the Wessex Ridgeway. This long-distance path runs from Marlborough in Wiltshire to Lyme Regis in Dorset, following a prehistoric route. We don’t have to go all the way though – because we leave the Ridgeway and join the Imber Range Perimeter Path at the MOD New Zealand Farm Camp for a short distance, then its back to the village, perhaps stopping to view All Saints Church on your way.

King’s View Circular Walk at Stonehenge

If you’ve come to Wiltshire to soak up the atmosphere of the ancient Stonehenge landscape and explore the many important prehistoric archaeological sites that are abundant on Salisbury Plain, then this short walk is a great way to appreciate the esoteric allure of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

This walk gives you a taste of the flora and fauna on the chalk downland that makes up Salisbury Plain, and takes you on a journey from Bronze Age burial mounds to follow ceremonial pathways.

You’ll follow the Stonehenge Cursus, an earthwork monument believed to pre-date the stone monument itself, and walk along Stonehenge Avenue – the processional route that was trod by our Neolithic and Bronze Age ancestors.

It’s just one of the walks (the shortest and easiest) that the National Trust – guardians of the landscape here – have mapped out across this archaeologically rich area.

Here are some links to National Trust guides for further walks to enjoy across the Stonehenge landscape, just a few miles from Brades Acre Touring Park:

There is so much to see and do, you’ll never be stuck for ideas.

Let us take the stress out of your camping holiday.

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