Where to Walk your Dogs Paws in Wiltshire – Part 2
Having always loved walking in the Wiltshire countryside, it’s the exciting scents and sounds that appeal to Rosie (the Wag Wins chief). Water is always a great attraction, not only for drinking from fresh running streams, but also diving into a river or pond and amusing dog owners and passing walkers!
Welcome back to read further into the Wag Wins trail tail on recommended series of walks in Wiltshire – part two for every dog and its owner to enjoy.
- Bradford on Avon and Avoncliff
In countless surveys, Bradford on Avon appears as one of Britain’s finest small towns. Serried ranks of former weavers’ cottages (including Wag Wins HQ) that line the hillside above the River Avon, where the town bridge with its lock-up replaced what was formally a ‘broad ford’. Water is a big feature in Bradford on Avon, with the Kennet and Avon Canal also passing this way. The walk we recommend follows a section of the canal and a woodland path through to neighbouring Avoncliff, where the canal crosses the Avon by way of one of the finest aqueducts in southern Britain (and also allows you to stop of for a refreshment at wither the super dog friendly pub ‘The Cross Guns’ or ‘the super dog friendly tearooms No.10 Tea Gardens’– both a highly recommended visit by Wag Wins.
Terrain– A flat easy walk with one gentle climb up to Becky Addy Wood, where the woodland path can be a little rough underfoot.
Where to Park– Park in the station car park in Bradford on Avon
Refreshments– The Cross Guns, Avoncliff, or No.10 Tea Gardens, Aconcliff (both opposite each other with great views, and super dog friendly) or if you end up in Bradford on Avon for a refreshment, visit The Lock Inn pub which sits overlooking the canal front and welcomes dogs to the table.
Distance– 3 miles
Road Walking– There is a short section of road walking on a quiet lane from Becky Addy Wood down to Avoncliff. The canal towpath is popular with cyclists.
Livestock– There is occasionally sheep in the fields between the Kennet and Avon Canal and Becky Addy Wood.
Nearest Vets– Harris Hill and Gibbons Veterinary Surgery, Prospect House, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1LA (01225 862656)
- Ancient Avebury
Starting at the heart of the Avebury World Heritage Site, this walk takes you through the remains of the largest stone circle in the world and along the West Kennet Avenue into beautiful, rolling chalk downland. You’ll catch glimpses of mysterious Silbury Hill, pass Bronze Age burial mounds, and walk along ancient roads with fabulous views. The walk includes wide open spaces with big skies and far-ranging vistas. Almost the entire walk is off lead, with field margins and the occasional corpse to sniff about in, so you will have a tired and happy tail wagging dog by the end of the day.
Terrain– A mix of field margins, enclosed footpaths wide tracks. There are a couple of modern ascents along the way, but these bring rewards in the form of wide, expansive views across some of Wiltshire’s finest downland.
Where to park– There is a signposted National Trust car park on the southern edge of Avebury.
How to get there– Avebury lies one mile north of the A4 at Beckhampton on the A4361 road to Swindon.
Refreshments– The Red Lion in the centre of Avebury, passed at the end of the walk, welcomes dogs in the front bar or outside on leads.
Distance– 6 miles
Road walking– The A4361 has to be crossed at the start of the walk, as does the B4003 one mile further on. Dogs should be kept on their leads in Avebury at the end of the walk.
Livestock– Sheep often graze within the confines of Avebury’s stone circle.
Nearest vets– Macqueen Veterinary Centre, 1 Waller Road, Hopton Park, Devizes, SN10 2GH (01380 728505).
- The Stourhead Estate
There is a lot more to Stourhead than meets the eye. This walk explores both the magical gardens with the lake as its grand centrepiece, the Palladian mansion. Along the way the route initially passes ancient millponds, before climbing through woodland to reach King Alfred’s Tower, with magnificent views across Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. Below the folly lies Six Wells Bottom and St Peter’s Pump, the source of the River Stour from which Stourhead takes its name. At the far end of this beautiful valley, having passed a series of fishponds, the walk climbs to an obelisk before passing Stourhead House itself. The clock arch and a walled garden bring the walk to a grand finale before a decision needs to be made to lead either back up to the car park for the National Trust restaurant, or back down into the village to the delightful Spread Eagle Inn. Dogs are welcome in the gardens at Stourhead from March-November after 4pm on short leads, and all day between December and February.
Terrain– Fieldpaths and woodland tracks, with one relatively gentle climb up to King Alfred’s Tower.
Where to park– The National Trust car park at Stourhead
How to get there– Follow the A361 Frome bypass to its junction with the B3092 south of Frome. Follow the B3092 for 8 miles before taking the right turn signposted to Stourhead. In 200 yards, turn left into the National Trust’s car park.
Refreshments– Whilst the Spread Eagle Inn at Stourhead does not welcome dogs inside, outside is a large courtyard area with tables and chairs where dogs are allowed. Alternatively, is the National Trust restaurant beside the car park.
Distance– 5 miles
Road Walking– there is a short section of road walking in Stourhead, with the remainder of the walk being traffic-free.
Livestock– There are occasionally sheep and cattle in one or two of the fields on the Stourhead Estate.
Nearest vets– Southill Vets, manor Road, Mere BA12 6HY (01963 33226).
Enjoy some Tail-Wag Dog Walking!