On Sunday 19th August 7 members and 3 guests set forth from the charming village of Wootton Rivers with its mixture of thatched and redbrick houses. (The name Wootton meant farm by the wood and Rivers was the surname of the lords of the manor.)
Leaving the car park we walked through the village to reach the Mid Wilts Way and followed this path north for just under a mile climbing onto the downs. At the paths junction we turned left and then right to meet Mud Lane. Following Mud Lane we continued along the Mid Wilts Way through an avenue of trees for two miles, steadily climbing across the rolling downs with a steep escarpment to our left and amazing views over the Vale of Pewsey.
Continuing ahead, we passed Martinsell Iron Age hill fort, the second highest prehistoric camp in Wiltshire and stopped for a coffee break before walking along the southern edge of Withy Copse. Reaching a junction we turned left to join the White Horse Trail passing by some very unusual shaped trees. We continued along a ridge passing Giant's Grave, an Iron Age promontory fort/settlement, before taking the steep descent to reach Sunnyhill Lane.
Remaining on the White Horse Trail we reached Pains Bridge on the Kennet and Avon Canal, turning left on the towpath to Jones’ Mill and The Vera Jeans nature reserve, a unique wetland. It is believed there was once a water mill on this site possibly the Johun Myll referred to in documents from 1552.
We took our lunch break by the canal. Suitably refreshed, we walked the two and a half miles easy walk back to Wootton Rivers.
Walking through Wootton Rivers
Coffee break with a view across the Vale of Pewsey
On top of Martinsell Hill
Some unusual sights on the walk
Making our way along the Kennet and Avon Canal
Nearly back in Wootton Rivers