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Country Walks near Swindon, Wiltshire
Here in Swindon, we’re so lucky to be surrounded by so much glorious countryside. With the Wiltshire/North Wessex Downs to the south east and the Cotswolds to the north west, you can imagine that our surroundings are some of the best in the UK.
Venture out to Swindon’s surrounding countryside this week and find a place to relax in the rolling hills with stunning views and the freshest of air! Here’s where recommend for a countryside walk near Swindon…
Martinsell Hill is a hidden gem located a few miles south of Marlborough which offers panoramic views across Wiltshire. As the third highest point in Wiltshire at 289m above sea level, it’s easy to see why it attracts so many visitors, especially during the warmer months. There are a number of walking routes, all of which lead you up to the very top of the hill where the views are most impressive. The most popular circular route takes you round the edge of the hill, dips into the woods and through the picturesque fields.
There are plenty of spots you can sit down and enjoy a picnic too, and plenty of ball throwing opportunities for your furry friends! Parking is free in a small car park just off the road from Clench Common.
Location: Milton Lilbourne, Marlborough SN8 4PA (postcode approx.)
Uffington White Horse
Uffington White Horse is a prehistoric hill figure and boasts a mysterious White Horse which is carved into the chalk hillside (so you can see where it gets its name!). The walk takes you through a field up to the White Horse and historical site of Uffington Castle, although Dragon Hill (in the opposite direction) is another place of interest as according to a legend, Saint George slew the dragon here. A bare patch of chalk is apparent, where supposedly the dragon's blood spilled.
Picnic spots are located around the car park overlooking the stunning view across three counties – so don’t forget your picnic basket! Beware for sheep grazing in the fields - dogs must be kept on leads in these areas.
There is a National Trust car park (free for members, £3 for non-members) half way up the hill where an ice cream van also sits on warm days.
Location: Uffington, Oxfordshire, SN7 7UK
Avebury and Silbury Hill
Avebury is home to the largest pre-historic stone circle in the world and carries an incredible history behind all those stones. It is a World Heritage site and unbelievably, dates back to 2850 BC. The stones are a site to see in themselves, but there are also plenty of interesting walking routes surrounding the village including a walk to Silbury Hill (the largest artificial mound in Europe). Find out more about walking from Avebury to Silbury Hill here.
Avebury Manor, situated in the village, is also worth a visit as it reflects the lives of the people who once lived there. Car Parking is available in a National Trust car park just a two-minute walk from the village (free for members, £7 for non-members all day). The Red Lion pub (the only pub situated in a stone circle) is a brilliant pit-stop for a quick drink to wet your whistle or enjoy a bite to eat.
Note: Dogs are not allowed in Avebury Manor.
Location: Avebury, Wiltshire, SN8 1RF
Cotswold Water Park and Beach
Cotswold Water Park and Beach is a massive hit here for us Swindonians. With it’s circular walk around the lake, (or two lakes if you're on a fitness kick!) beach and kids’ playground, it’s a fantastic spot for all the family all year round. To keep you cool in the summer months, pop into the café and shop as they sell a range of ice creams, drinks and more.
There is plenty of wildlife to spot, South Cerney Outdoor water activities to enjoy and walking to be had at Cotswold Water Park! The park is also incredibly dog friendly – let them have a swim in the lake, rummage around in the woodland and a run in the grassland!
Note: Dogs are welcome in the park but are not permitted on the beach.
Location: Cirencester GL7 6DF
If you know of Westonbirt, it’s probably because of the stunning colours it displays in the Autumn months which visitors travel from all over England to see. Westonbirt Arboretum is seen as the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom and not only boasts 18,000 trees, but also a vast 600 acres of land to roam. Although Autumn certainly is its prime time, with up to 60,000 people visiting during the season, it’s a beautiful site to visit at any time of year.
Follow the endless paths which wind you in and out of the huge variety of incredible trees, shrubs, hedges and wildlife as well as tree top walks and seasonal trails. Dogs are very welcome everywhere except the Old Arboretum. Make a day of it and stop off at the excellent café which serves sarnies, salads, cakes and more!
Price: Adults £10, Children £5
Location: Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS