Where to Walk your Dogs Paws in Wiltshire
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 to read about wag wins recommended series of walks in Wiltshire – part one, for every dog and its owner to enjoy.
- Barbury Castle and Smeathe’s Ridge
Every major town has its ‘playground’ and the Barbury Castle Country Parkfulfils this role for Swindon. This Iron Age hillfort sits high on the Marlborough Downs, where the escarpment drops away to the flatlands of north Wiltshire and more distant Berkshire, encompassing the Upper Thames Valley and the Cale of the White Horse. The chance for your four-legged friend to run free off the lead across the vast open landscape.
Terrain– this walk follows tracks across the Marlborough Downs.
Where to Park– The Barbury Castle Country Park car park.157 Marlborough & Savernake Forest.
Refreshments– Barbury Castle Country Parkhas many excellent picnic spots. There is also a dog friendly pub, the White Hart in Wroughton with a beautiful garden.
Distance– 5 ½ miles
Road Walking– very short sections of road walking near the car park
Livestock– very occasionally there are cattle in a field where the track drops down from Smeathe’s Ridge
Nearest Vets– Drove Veterinary Hospital, 252 Croft Road, Swindon SN1 4RW (01793 522483)
- Castle Combe
Castle Combe is without a doubt one of Britain’s most picturesque villages. Away from the village, the local landscape is quire exceptional, with unimproved limestone grassland of West Yatton Down being home to a rich array of flora and fauna. Other than a few sections of road-walking near Castle Combe itself, where leads will be necessary, dogs will enjoy running free off the lead in what is a most picturesque part of the southern Cotswolds.
Terrain– a mix of woodland paths and fields, with the occasional quiet country lane.
Where to park– The visitors car park in Upper Castle Combe.
How to get there– The B4039 runs from the A420 west of Chippenham, through Yatton Keynell before reaching Upper Castle Combe, where the car park is clearly sign posted.
Refreshments– The White Hartin Castle Combe is a dog-friendly pub with a lovely courtyard and garden where dogs can relax in the sun.
Distance– 5 miles
Road walking– there are short sections of walking on quiet lanes near Castle Combe. More significant is a 300-yard section of verge-walking alongside B4039 between Castle Combe and West Yatton Down where dogs will have to be on their leads.
Livestock– There can be cattle in the fields before West Yatton Downs
Stiles– there are a couple of stiles on the hilltop above Long Dean, both alongside farm gates.
Nearest vets– Garden Veterinary Group, 1 Bristol Road, Chippenham SN15 1NQ (01249 653181)
- Box Hill and the Hazelbury Estate
The Quarrymans Armson Box Hill has its origins in the local stone mining industry. Once the local for hundreds of Bath-Stone miners who worked under this hillside, today the Quarrymans Armshas become a popular destination in its own right, with a reputation built on providing decent food and well-kept real ales – not to mention the fine views and mining-related memorabilia. This lovely country pub comes at journey’s end after a walk across open hilltops with fine views. From Box Hill Common, the first highlight is an area of ancient woodland. Beyond the tree cover, the path emerges onto open ground with a fine view across the By Brook Valley and Box to Colerne on the distant hilltop. More woodland follows and watch out for pigs running free here before the walk reaches Hazelbury Common. An oasis of natural grassland leading to a rather grand driveway of Hazelbury Manor, whose most spectacular features are the hall bay and the two-storey porch, before open fields return the walk to Box Hill.
Terrain– a mix of field margins, enclosed footpaths and wide tracks.
Where to park– on the edge of Box Hill Common
How to get there– Leave the A365 Box to Melksham road at Five-ways Junction, 1 mile from Box, and follow the B3109 towards Corsham. In 1 mile, turn left into White Ennox Lane. In 600 yards, at a crossroads by Tunnel Inn, turn left and drive for 350 yards to a junction by a small green. Turn right at this junction to reach Box Hill Commonin 50 yards.
Refreshments– The Quarrymans Armson Box Hill is very dog-friendly and a pleasant spot to stop and admire the view.
Distance– 3 ½ miles
Road Walking– there are very short sections of road walking at the start and finish of the walk in Box Hill on quiet and unclassified roads
Livestock– all the fields along the way are arable. There can be pigs nearby Hazelbury Common.
Nearest vets– Hale Veterinary Group, 37 High Street, Corsham SN13 0EZ (91249 715097).
Browse back over the Wag Wins Dog Blog next weekend to see what other recommended dog walks we’ve come across to share with you!